A prestigious university renowned for sciences and engineering
Adam Girsault, International Admissions Consultant
The University of Manchester is a Russell Group university located in the North of England, in the riveting city of Manchester. It is a relatively new addition to the wealth of fantastic universities in Britain, having been formed by the merger of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and the Victoria University of Manchester in 2004. Despite that, its roots hark back to 1824, with the formation of the Mechanics’ Institute. What’s more, the University is a source of great pride for many Mancunians (as residents of Manchester are called), as Manchester is the world’s first industrial city, making the University one of the best in the UK for engineering and sciences.
With over 40,000 students, of which 27,000 are undergraduates, it is the largest single site university in the UK, and the second-largest in the UK overall. In addition, in the 2018-2019 QS World University Rankings, the University of Manchester ranked 6th.
The University boasts many famous alumni, such as Ernest Rutherford, who, whilst on the university’s academic staff 1909, first split the atom. In fact, amongst the University’s former staff and students, there are 25 Nobel Prize winners!
Although the University is widely referred to as a campus university, this is not strictly correct. With its red-brick academic buildings and facilities interspersed around the town of more than 500,000, the University of Manchester is a vital part of the city. It is worth noting that most of the university is spread across two parts, that are colloquially referred to as the ‘North Campus’ and the ‘South Campus’.
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The University of Manchester is home to the largest number of full-time students in the UK. It is extremely international, with thousands of students hailing from 154 countries around the world.
It is a research-intensive university, with the 6th largest research income of any English university. A post-graduation employability ranking published by Emerging in 2015 put Manchester in the impressive place of 5th nationally.
The University has an impressive scientific legacy, which is demonstrated by the fact that both the contraceptive pill and the first working computer were created by academics at the University. However, science is not its only forte. The Sunday Times stated, in 2006, “Manchester has a formidable reputation spanning most disciplines, but most notably in the life sciences, engineering, humanities, economics, sociology and the social sciences.” Teaching is primarily lecture-based, but students will also have smaller, more personalised seminars. The amount of contact hours a student will have is entirely dependent on the course, as some have far more than others. For instance, English Literature students will have far fewer contact hours than students of Medicine.
The University of Manchester Students’ Union is the UK’s largest student union, and it provides students with the chance to get involved in whatever takes their fancy, offering over 400 extra-curricular societies including ‘Barbershop Singers’, ‘Creative Writing’, and ‘Dogs Unleashed’. The University also has an Athletics Union with over 40 sports clubs including ‘Trampolining’ and ‘Ultimate Frisbee’. Students can enjoy the city of Manchester itself, with its vibrant music and sporting scene, including the Manchester Arena and the Old Trafford. In 2018, it was voted the UK’s top city to live in by The Economist’s Global Liveability Index. The University proffers the best of both worlds: a social and convivial campus community, along with the opportunity to explore a city with a rich cultural scene.
The accommodation is spread out between several different areas. Students live in ‘halls’, of which there are 19, and can tailor the halls to suit their needs, such as deciding between catered and self-catered housing. There are many different options, for instance, the halls ‘Owens Park’ and ‘Oak House’ are known to be two of the most socially vibrant halls, whereas ‘Denmark House’, and several others offer family and partner accommodation.
To sum up, if you’re looking for a renowned engineering & sciences university in a large city that isn’t London, Manchester might just be the place for you!
How do I apply?
Queen Mary University of London requires strong academic results and rigorous preparation is needed.
What are the different stages of the application?
There are several steps:
The details of these steps are covered below.
How to begin an application:
Candidates apply via the British online platform UCAS, and upload a letter of motivation (Personal Statement), their predicted exam marks, and a letter of recommendation from one of their teachers. Students may only submit one Personal Statementfor all the universities they apply for (maximum of 5 choices). The Personal Statement, no more than 4,000 characters, should explain why students want to study their chosen course, what aspects particularly interest them, what steps they have already taken to engage with the subject (reading, conferences, internships etc), and, if possible, what aspects they are looking forward to studying.
Further information specific to the University of Manchester can be found on Manchester’s website.
Conditional offer and acceptance:
If students succeed in all these stages, in January they will receive a ‘conditional offer’ of admission. This means that they will be accepted if they attain the required marks (most often a high grade in your end of high school studies, and in a standardized English exam: 7.5 in the IELTS for example).
What is the deadline for applying?
The deadline for applications to the University of Manchester is 15th January of a students’ final year of secondary school or sixth-form college (Year 12).
When do you have to start preparing for the University of Manchester?
It is strongly recommended that students begin preparing from the end of Year 11 or beginning of Year 12. If possible, start any reading and thinking about what to write about in a Personal Statement as early as possible. Some candidates, particularly those with a weaker level of English, need to consider preparing even earlier. See this link for useful information for international candidates.
It is recommended that students try to find aspects of their chosen course that genuinely interest them and to think deeply about why they wish to study this subject – after all, students are applying to study this subject full time for at least 3 years.
Is it possible to visit the campus?
Open days at Manchester are 28 September and 12 October, 2019. Registration is not necessary, although students may need to register for the most popular sessions. For more information, see this page.
What is the profile of the students at the University of Manchester?
Because of the high selectivity of the university, we recommend to apply to this university only if yo can show strong academic results and you are sure to obtain at least a Mention ‘Assez Bien’ grade in the Baccalaureate.
Moreover, you must also show an excellent command of the English language.
Costs for Medicine will be considerably higher: £27,24 per year for the first three years (pre-clinical years), and £37,445 per year for years 5 and 6 (clinical years).
International students must also pay a ‘College fee’ of £7,570
*Tuition fees subject to increase with inflation in subsequent years
When taking into account the cost of any university, you should also consider the cost of living.
Oxford provides an estimate for the cost of living, which can be found on its website: they advise budgeting between £1,058 and £1,643 for each month that you are in Oxford. You should budget this amount for 6-9 months of the year, depending on whether you will be staying at Oxford during the holidays.
From this, you might predict an annual average budget of around £10,567 per year, including accommodation, transport, personal expenses etc.