Manchester, University of



Overall ranking: Ranked 28th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Formed in 2004 from a merger of Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

Address: Half a mile from Manchester city centre on Oxford Road.

Ambience: Buildings range from grand Victorian and sixties dreary to eighties towering block and brand new laboratories. Combines city life with campus community and urban vitality with friendliness.

Who's the boss? Vice-chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell is a British physiologist and academic.

Prospectus: 0161 275 2077 or download one here.

UCAS code: M20 MANU

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Competitive- the majority of courses require grades in the region of AAA-ABB at A-level. Many courses do make lower offers so it's worth checking your desired course in the prospectus.

Vital statistics: Boasting over 27,000 undergrads at present and 38,430 students in total. One of 24 Russell Group universities dedicated to the highest levels of academic excellence in teaching and research. Manchester is in the top quartile for having one of the highest number of lower-income students in the English Russell Group and the largest Students' Union.

Added value: Investing over £1bn (yes, you read that right) in a ten-year investment plan, with many new developments recently opened or under construction. Upcoming projects include new centres for the School of Law and Manchester Business School; a major refurbishment of the University Library; a Biomedical Campus; a new health centre and crucially, plans to create one campus. Runs the pioneering Biomedical Research Centre, the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, the Planetarium and the Arboretum, plus the Whitworth Art Gallery. Third biggest academic library in the UK with over 4m books and the second biggest careers service.

Teaching: Came 88th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: Placed 29th with 75.5 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? More rooms than you could shake a stick at, with almost 8,500 rooms in 23 halls of residence. Every first-year undergraduate is guaranteed a room. Average weekly rent ranged from £93 - £135 for undergraduate halls in 2013/14 depending on the type of accommodation.

Cheap to live there? Wallet-friendly with private rents starting from £50 a week.

Transport links: Two mainline train stations- Manchester Piccadilly for London and the south and Manchester Victoria for almost everywhere else. Excellent bus and tram networks with Manchester International Airport just 9 miles outside the city.

Fees: Set at £9,000 per year for full-time home and EU undergrads. Study-abroad years cost £1,350 and industrial placement years cost £1,800. Overseas students pay more depending on course.

Bursaries: A number of academic excellence and sports-based scholarships are available. More than a third of students accepted to study here receive bursaries of up to £3,000 per year with many offered even more support depending on their household income.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Huge Students' Union at the heart of the campus. The Academy attracts top bands while Old Cotton Exchange is now the nationally renowned Royal Exchange theatre. Great clubbing scene with venues to suit all tastes.

Price of a pint: £3 seems to be the average but cheaper pints can be found in the chain bars.

Sporting reputation: Currently in 17th place in the BUCS league.

Notable societies: Dance is big here with multiple societies for different styles. Thriving LGBTQ scene. Some cool societies include: Beatbox which teaches beginners some basic beatboxing skills; Slacklining which practices balancing on tightropes; and BlogSoc for keen fashion bloggers.

Glittering alumni: Anna Ford, former BBC and ITN newscaster; The Chemical Brothers, DJs/musicians; Anthony Burgess and Louis de Bernieres, writers; Robert Bolt, playwright; Peter Maxwell Davies, composer; Benedict Cumberbatch, actor; Dr Mark Kermode, film critic; and Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, writers of television comedies Peep show and Fresh Meat.

Alternative prospectus: For student ratings of various aspects of the Manchester experience plus further facts and reviews, visit the What Uni? page here.