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!


5 things you will hear if you are applying to study English

My guess is that if you’re applying to study at Manchester, a fair number of you will be interested in studying English. Not that this is surprising: when I made it known to my teachers at school that I wanted to study English, most of them shot back with the three universities that should be on my hot list: Oxford, Durham, Manchester. Not only is Manchester the 24th most applied for university in the world to study English, but also English Literature itself is the most applied for subject in the UK. Despite English being such a competitive and highly sought-after degree, there are still many negative associations that go along with this ageless and well-reputed subject.


spinningfields 2

5 tips for when the family come to town!

Saturday morning, 6:30am and there I was stood at the bus stop, bright and early waiting for the number 42 to the airport!! With a grin plastered across my face, I jumped on the bus. For me, one of the most difficult aspects of moving away was leaving my family but at long last I was able to share the magic of Manchester with my Mum! Armed with a welcome sign, welcome garland, and almond croissants I waited in Terminal 3 for my Mums arrival! She didn’t know that I would be waiting for her at the airport so as you can image the tears started flowing as soon as she noticed me- in fact, the tears were so persistent I’m surprised that the MET Office didn’t issue a severe weather warning!

Planning for such occasions can be difficult, so, to save you the trouble here is an insiders guide of things to do in Manchester when the family come to town!

“…both beautiful and peaceful, a winner with the family and also a great place to study!”


Darkness and light exhibition at  John Rylands Library

From an uncertain future to a macabre past

I spent an engaging, if slightly ghoulish afternoon at the John Rylands Library this week, where I attended a public event arranged by the university to mark Academic Book Week. The event itself was certainly not ghoulish, it was a really lively debate on the Future of the Academic Monograph featuring a panel of experts from Manchester University Press, the University of Manchester Library, and University of Manchester academic staff, as well as a full audience of undergraduates and postgraduates as well as visiting academics and members of the public.


Cooking for Beginners

Student quote of the day – ‘You don’t understand until you understand’.

5 weeks gone in Manchester and I’ve established a few things:

  • Takeaway is one of man’s greatest inventions.
  • Cooking fires are very exciting but not recommended.
  • Don’t eat raw chicken (obvious, but I feel it should still be mentioned, you know what students are like).


Despite some mishaps with the cooker it’s been a success story in general and my flat mates and I have even gotten a cooking system in place – myself and one other prepare the meals whilst the rest clean. Various Shepard pies, a taco casserole and meatball marinara have graced our kitchen over the weeks (and unfortunately have disappeared in next to no time at all).

Sheppard Pie

And my culinary exploration of Manchester has had me fine dining on pizza, chicken wraps of all types and even some fish and chips. It’s been heart-warming (all blame goes to the cholesterol for that) however the thrill is wearing off and some care packages being sent in from family have been met with tears of appreciation (admittedly I did stub my toe at the time but nevertheless the food was delicious). I even managed to snag a free meal at Zouk and some chocolate laced pancakes on the Curry Mile, paid for by some much loved uncles.

Unfortunately some bad habits are creeping in most particularly in the kitchen area, where the once endangered dirty dish is now as regular a visitor as I am. A second midnight cleaning session undid most of the damage however an uneaten watermelon whose presence I had become accustomed to had to leave. RIP Steve the watermelon.

Steve the watermelon, RIP

Steve the watermelon, RIP

Aside from the loss of Steve all is well in the world and even the 40 minute trek to university has been accepted and dare I say it, enjoyed from time to time. Plug in the phone, blast some ‘Learn to speak Spanish’ podcasts and faze out the world as you dander down the road whilst trying to dodge cars (the red and green traffic men are ignored in this strange land). Life is good! Hasta luego!

Science Fest literature

Manchester Science Festival 2015

Autumn is a wonderful time in Manchester; the leaves on campus turn orange as the students return to their studies, Halloween and Bonfire Night are just around the corner and the air becomes crisper on the walk into uni. Ask any scientist in Manchester though and they’ll tell you that their favourite event in the calendar at this time of year is the Manchester Science Festival.

The Manchester Science Festival (www.manchestersciencefestival.com, @McrSciFest, #msf15) runs over 10 days at the end of October each year which sees the city turn into ‘part laboratory and part playground’ as a whole host of science-themed events for all ages are staged across the city. This year the line-up of events was as wonderful as ever, with everything from forensic experiments, drones, art installations and even a giant adult ball pool. Oh yes! Whether you are a scientist by trade or just have a curious mind there is bound to be something for you and also a lot of opportunities to get involved yourself as well.


Worried about homesickness?

Moving away from home for the first time? I know it’s quite natural to be homesick, especially if you have never lived far from your friends and family.

But, Manchester is different. You can’t be homesick here. I highly doubt it. But, if you are worried about that, I have a remedy for you.

#1 – Blow the cobwebs away

One reason why you might feel homesick may be that you are not shaking the laziness out of you. Go out, and grab something to eat even if you are not hungry. The positive impact of human presence around you is more likely to make you feel better than hiding under your blanket or staring at the blank walls in your quiet room. All student dorms have a café or a restaurant near them. Oxford Road and the Curry Mile could be great hotspots for finding a nice place to sit and eat. Find a buddy, smile at strangers and you are more likely to enjoy your time.

#2 – Make new friends, course mates or floor mates!

It doesn’t make any difference if you are living in a single accommodation, all by yourself or in a shared one – you could be homesick and it might be too late until you realize where the real problem lies. Sometimes, people tend to mind their own business. It’s wise most of the times, of course, but making a new friend or two ain’t no harm. It could be your floor mates or someone you know from your class. Being busy with people around you, who are there to share your news and thoughts and having someone to listen to, is a great idea to strangle the loneliness intimidating you.

#3 – Wicked Weekend

Weekends could be extra boring and mundane if you don’t have friends to hang out with. If you are not a night owl, you might have a higher chance of suffering homesickness. If you pass by the Student’s Union, you will see guys and girls eager to stuff your pocket with a flyer or brochure for any event coming up, musical nights, gigs, theatre plays, and what not. It’s not too bad sometimes to spend a penny on entertainment. The AMC cinema in town is a nice place to hit any time and you will find a movie of your choice awaiting you.

#4 – Share your thoughts!

It’s always, always wise to tell others what you have in mind. The Health and Wellbeing service at the university could be of great help. Don’t be shy. Express yourself. You will get away from the sinking feeling.

#5 – Out of sight, out of mind

I know I make it sound more technical now, but studies could have a positive feedback or a negative feedback on you. It depends on how you treat it. If you focus on your courses more, you are less likely to think of what’s going on back home, who’s coming over for a family dinner and what your dog did with your younger sibling.

When you have ample time, you let the devil do its job. You might lose interest in getting up in mornings, slack off and end up with missing mom’s home made food, the warmth of your bedroom, and the close friend who is always there for you.

So, it’s time to be more active, conserve your energy and make the most out of your stay in this lovely place, Manchester.


The big hello – halls, hangovers and a hell of a good city tour!

Hiya guys,

Seeing as this is my first blog I think a good way to start would be to introduce myself! I’m Chloe and I’m currently 4 weeks into my first year of studying Chinese and Linguistics at the University of Manchester.

Coming from a little village in Cornwall where the most exciting thing that happens is the bus turning up on time the move to Manchester was super exciting for me! So after numerous goodbyes to my extensive family, my decision was made and on the 18th of September 2015 I began my journey “Up North”.