Welcome to The University of Manchester’s official student blogs!

Here, our current students will tell you everything you need to know about studying and living in Manchester, from the study facilities to the best pubs and clubs.

You’ve probably heard the facts and figures… Manchester is home to 25 Nobel Prize winners, 92% of our graduates go straight into employment or further study…

It’s true – you can even visit the very same building where Ernest Rutherford first spilt the atom or bump into the man who discovered graphene on Oxford Road.

These facts are pretty impressive. But what’s it like to actually be a student here?

Take a look below and meet our student bloggers. We hope you enjoy the read!

Myths and tips – What I learnt from the university’s examination system

Everyone has their own study style and some people prefer one way of studying, while others have developed their own methods to suit them. Mine was a three-weeks-per-module semester. The first course ended and the next began until the first semester wrapped up with all four of my courses. But, wait. There were no exams! Christmas and winter vacations commenced soon after and time flew away until the exam week was right ahead on top.

I must tell you that it’s a myth that you will be able to prepare for the exams after the vacations. There’s no way you can prepare well enough if you had been partying all Christmas and extended it to the New Year’s Eve and opened up your eyes to study only a week before your first exam.

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‘Start early’. That’s my advice to you. Take one of the toughest subjects and spend some part of your holidays so that you don’t panic when you open your syllabus the last moment and find things you never saw before. Exams are a nightmare. What makes them worse is the long forgotten things you never had the time to revise.

 

But, the university does things in a smart way and that impresses me. Usually, revision lectures are conducted few days before your actual exams and you never know your instructor might give you a hint of what’s coming in the exam. While that’s pretty optimistic, but there is more. Some exams turn out to be successors to the past papers, often questions repeating like twins to the old exam questions.

 

Studying in a group is what helped me the most. Solving complex equations and playing with numbers can be time consuming and could be a waste of time if you are stuck on a problem that your teacher has not provided solutions to. So, when in a group, you could consult and check your answers quickly and move on at a faster pace. Conceptual questions can also be handled and if you need time on your own, you could actually study privately.

 

My recent exams reminded me of my CIE A level exams. The questions were phrased and structured like high school examiners did and it brought back all the good memories of my past. This was different from my Bachelors where I studied the American system and the examination style, variety of questions, layout and structure was always varying from one instructor to another. Having all exams structured with four questions of equal weightage, at least in my case, helped me handle the exams well. A constant style of exam makes you feel comfortable and helps you divide your time well.

 

However, what really bothered me was finding a study space during the exams week. All study spaces in the Main Library, Learning Commons and all other buildings were fully booked. I had not anticipated how much people study during the exams and it came off as a surprise because many people had been away all vacations and only arrived back from their homes one week before the exams. The crunch time was well-spent all day and night in the library and study spaces. I wasn’t used to such a thing. Perhaps the whole idea of having exams after holidays was a new phenomenon for me. This is the UK style and I’m still ambivalent of whether it helps students or not.

 

There is finally peace of mind now that exams have finished, but I know for sure how I will prepare for the next semester.

 

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The most important day in January…

… The rules of being savvy with your student loan

There is one day in January that all students look forward to- that much anticipated, beautiful day. And no I’m not talking about the end of exams, this is much much better. On the 18th of January 2016, Student Finance delivered all students with the best welcome back to Uni present… Their student loan.

Suddenly having enough money to book a five-star holiday to the Maldives can be a bit overwhelming BUT I have concocted these simple rules to ensure my student loan is spent on food and living instead of something unforgiving!

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What I’ve learned from my first semester at Manchester- the lowdown from ten Freshers across campus

As the Christmas holidays and New Year spirit slowly die away and the students flock back to Manchester in the hundreds and start infecting Fallowfield with their off-key singing and Kebab King remnants once more, the thoughts of the second semester of university begin to plague the hearts and minds of the once young and (questionably) wise students of this great university. However, thoughts cannot possibly move forward to the second semester without thinking back to the weeks that have passed, and what we have learned about our first semester as a fresher at the estimable University of Manchester. I have taken the liberty of surveying the university campus far and wide, from Owens Park to Ashburne Hall and Richmond Park to talk to real students (seriously, I’m not witty enough to make up these quotes on my own) to find out what they really learned throughout the first 12 weeks of being a Fresher at Manchester.

So let’s meet the Freshers and hear their (definitely) invaluable words of wisdom…

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Winter at Whitworth

I have recently moved to work at Whitworth Park Hall of Residence on Oxford Road on the main university campus. It has taken a little getting used to this new proximity, however. My pre-relocation thought processes had been something along the lines of: “I can have a half-hour lie in every morning and still get into the office before 9 – a win-win situation”.

I somehow hadn’t foreseen my own complacency when living so close to uni. My actual thought processes have now morphed into something like: “I’m so close to uni that I can have a lie in, maybe a cooked breakfast, and do all my uni emails while I listen to Melvin Bragg on the radio and still be in the office for 10 – a win-win situation”.

A new on-campus location does mean, however, that I am a three minute walk away from the university’s award-winning Whitworth Art Gallery.

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Time to plan big!

A new year brings about a sense of a fresh start, an opportunity to improve upon the accomplishments of the year gone by. And through university especially opportunities to make use of free time during summer and winter breaks are abundant and should be taken advantage off by students looking to stand out from the crowd.

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“Don’t be afraid to set targets and goals both in your chosen degree and general university life. “

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(Craft) Lager and Lyme

My highlight of the last month was finding a day that was so miraculously fair and free of Mancunian downpours that I could venture out a into the nearby countryside. Despite the reasonably clear and dry weather, I was wise enough to go prepared for mud underfoot, with walking boots and waterproof trousers.

I had a book to return to Stockport Library, so hopped on the 42 bus and was there in about 20 minutes or so. After depositing my item I then set out from the centre of Stockport, past the landmark tower of the Hat Museum and the world famous Bamboo Club  towards Lyme Park, which nestles on the edge of the Peak District, about 7 miles outside Stockport and 14 miles from the centre of Manchester.

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Tea speaks of hospitality

For an international student, living in a new environment can be challenging. However, there is one thing that you have in your culture that can be shared, offered and taken from other cultures without much hesitation. Yes, that’s it -‘Tea!’ Tea speaks of hospitality. Tea brings cultures closer.

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