open day

Manchester – The Capital of the North

‘This is Manchester, we do things differently here’ – Anthony H. Wilson

Coming to Manchester to attend an Open Day soon?  Well, not only is this a good opportunity to check out our wonderful University, but it’s also a super chance to explore the greatest, boldest, and most fabulous city in the North!

Mancunians are famously proud of their city, culture, and football club, and having lived here for a few years it’s easy to see why.  Not only is Manchester one of the UK’s most culturally diverse, exciting and famous city (narrowly beaten by London), but it has sights and activities to suit all tastes.  With wild nights out until sunrise, a world full of cuisines, and a multitude of museums and more, Manchester has something for everyone.

If you have time on your Open Day, there are loads of things you can see and do within walking distance of the University to have a taste of what Manchester has on offer.And_on_the_sixth_day,_God_created_Manchester

If food’s your thing

Foodies flock from all over to sample the one million and one different cuisines available in Manchester, so be sure to treat your taste buds when you visit!

The heart of Manchester’s South East Asian community is found in Chinatown, a few minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre.  For top-notch Vietnamese food, I recommend I Am Pho for their delicious noodle soup.  Or if you have a sweet tooth and fancy a twist, get a green tea or lychee dessert from Wasabi.

Closer to campus you can find the famous Curry Mile where you can find flavours from all over the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent.  As well as offering food for all tastes there are also options for all budgets, from mouth-watering £2.50 shawarma from Atlas to elaborate Indian banquets at Mughli.


Shopaholics’ Anonymous

If you’re keen for a shopping experience that takes you beyond the usual chain shops, the Northern Quarter has an eclectic selection of boutiques, independent cafes and record stores.  As Manchester’s beating bohemian heart, it’s also home to some of the most avant-garde bars, underground music spaces and galleries.

NQ market

If you only have an hour or so, I whole-heartedly recommend a quick tour of Affleck’s Palace.  In this multi-cultural bazaar, you can browse a marvellous mix of alternative fashions and knick-knacks, and experience the indie-vibes that make Manchester so Manchester.

Feed your brain in Manchester’s museums

Another reason why Manchester is the best city ever is the vast number of free museums and art galleries found across town.  The Museum of Science and Industry is a must-see if you’d like to find out why Manchester is such a hub of scientific excellence and innovation, with fascinating exhibits on how Manchester became the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Alan Turing’s computers, and graphene.


Avid football fans should consider a visit to the National Football Museum near Victoria Train Station – not only can you learn some fun facts about the city’s renowned teams, but you can also gain a fascinating insight into the history and global impact of the beautiful game.

The University’s own Manchester Museum is an award-winning institution situated in a beautiful Neo-Gothic building in the heart of campus.  If you only have a short break in the day between classes this is the perfect place to ogle at the museum’s beautiful collection of natural history and anthropological artefacts.  Get involved with their hands-on activities and expert talks, and check out my favourite exhibit – the frogs!  (They’re so cute and colourful.)

MCR art gallery

If you’re more of a da Vinci than a Darwin, then the Manchester Art Gallery has a number of world-class collections showcasing the work of some of the world’s most renowned artists.  Here you can view classical masterpieces as well as modern art, and also admire the work of Manchester’s own L. S. Lowry.

Closer to campus you can find the University’s own Whitworth Art Gallery for an eclectic variety of artwork and avant-garde exhibitions.  Its café is also a beautiful spot for lunch with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lush greenery of Whitworth Park.  Their salads and cakes are absolutely delicious too!

john rylands

If the main UoM campus doesn’t sate your appetite for stunning Neo-Gothic architecture, then the John Rylands Library on Deansgate Road is a must see.  A veritable cathedral of books with its lofty ceilings, exquisite stained-glass and dark wood bookshelves, it’s not surprising that this is one of Manchester’s top visitor attractions.  As a student at UoM you’ll have full access to the Wi-Fi and resources available here – I like to study in the main reading room and pretend I go to Hogwarts!

See you soon!

An Open Day here can be so much more than just looking around campus.  Take the time to explore Manchester, discover its eccentricities, and get excited for a jam-packed few years studying in this wonderful city!



How to make the most out of your open day

Ah Open Days – an exciting time for any prospective student.  I remember when I was an excitable teen taking trains across the country, swimming in free pens and comparing the complimentary buffets provided by different uni’s.  Not only is an open day an exciting time and a great excuse to travel, but they’re also the best way for you to make a well-informed decision on which course and uni is best for you.  This decision could be the biggest you ever make, so make sure you make the most of your open days by following this advice.

Planning and preparation – most universities will release a timetable of events taking place throughout the day, so make sure you read this and come up with an itinerary that best suits your interests.  Usually there’s loads of stuff going on, so get an in-depth insight of studying and living at the uni by attending a couple of subject talks, a campus tour and a finance talk.  Give yourself some time to explore the city and student accommodation too – you’re going to be living there for at least three years as well as studying!  Try to imagine the campus on a wet day in February – everywhere looks good in the sun and in prospectuses.openday

Getting a map in advance of the day too will let you see if these events will take place close to each other, or if you’ll need a good chunk of time to get between venues.  This will also be essential if you need to find the university when driving or getting a train in.  Many larger universities run shuttles to the different campuses and sometimes even to the train and coach stations.

Come up with your own list of questions you want answered to help your decision-making.  Feel free to pick the brains of the academic staff to help you learn about the courses and styles of learning – but remember some of them might have their own agenda when answering you!  Also they might have a narrow view of just the particular module they teach.

Alternatively, the student ambassadors assisting in various events will be a great way to find more objective views from a student’s perspective, such as how much they enjoy the courses, what life’s like at the uni, and tips for picking accommodation (shout out to UoM Campus Tours team! #PurpleAndProud).  It’s definitely worth asking as many people as you can for their opinions as everyone has different tastes and experiences.


Good things to know include:

  • How many hours a week will I probably be working?
  • How many contact hours are there?
  • How big are the classes?
  • What opportunities are there for you to broaden and deepen your understanding of the subject?
  • Are there industrial/research placements or study abroad on offer? Where are they and how are they organised?
  • How are you assessed?
  • Is there much to do around campus? Societies, Students’ Union events, sports etc…
  • What accommodation suits you best? Which are the party residences and which are quieter?
  • Do I prefer a bustling city uni or a more relaxed campus-based/small town one?

To wrap up then, remember to make a plan, ask looooads of questions, see as much as you can, and have fun.  Good luck with your decision-making!


Eleanor’s Blog – 10 July

Hello hello! I hope you’re all having a lovely summer, I certainly am.

I can’t believe it’s July already! The time is flying by and it won’t be long now until the start of my second year at the University of Manchester. Since my last post, I’ve had my first year results, and I’m pleased to tell you I’m now one quarter of a Speech and Language Therapist, after passing everything. I’m so pleased! A couple of my exams I thought hadn’t gone too well, but I scraped through to get a pretty ok average for the year.  It means I can relax a bit without having to prepare for any exam resits!

I’ve been getting into the summer holiday spirit (despite the awful weather we’ve been having, it’s chucked it down literally every day) and I’m doing some fun stuff now I have the time, with no lectures to go to! ‘Fun stuff’ for me, includes selling loads of clothes on ebay, decorating in my family’s new house, and making my own bag.

The bag started out as a horrible old Bench jumper that I’d been given- it had been shrunk in the wash and was
just like felt. I dyed it using food colouring and vinegar (feeling like an alchemist or a wizard or something whilst mixing these bowls of bright coloured mixtures) and chopped it up with scissors, it’s now a beautiful blue and yellow handbag 🙂

I’ve also been doing some student ambassador work during the holidays, earning a bit of money to spend- probably on more food colouring. I worked at the University Open Days, which were so busy and quite fun as I was stood inside all day! Hopefully I helped in showing the University off and hopefully helped people decide to come here! I’ve helped out at some UMASS lectures as well, Hello to any UMASS students out there! It stands for the University of Manchester Aspiring Students’ Society, and is a helpful thing to join if you’re thinking about University and want more information. They put on a range of taster days and interesting lectures to get a feel for what uni is like and become familiar with the campus. The lectures this time were from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the Faculty of Life Sciences, and they were both really interesting!

This week was also the first MAP (Manchester Access Programme) life conference for this year’s students! The University Life Conference is where MAP students get to come into university and stay overnight in halls, complete a university-style project and hopefully have some fun too. As a student ambassador, I was helping out a group of lovely girls who all did really well with the project. The weekend included a competition where groups were set with designing their ambassador a tshirt to wear. Apparently I say “cool” a lot, so it featured in the design of my shirt and my green eyes and massive hair were incorporated too! Unfortunately our tshirt didn’t win the competition but I thought it was definitely the best one!

As well as ALL this stuff, we got the keys to our new house this week as well, yay!! There’s a lot of work to be done on the house with redecorating and stuff, so we’re not living there or moving stuff in quite yet but I’m excited to see it when it’s all finished and I can plan where all my stuff’s going to go. Here’s my new bedroom, looking a bit bare at the moment but soon it’ll be full with all my weird trinkets and ornaments, can’t wait.

This weekend I’m off to work at 2000trees festival in Gloucestershire, I’d best pack my wellies with all this rain!

Eleanor xxx

Eleanor’s Blog – 23 January

Hello again  🙂

Another week in Manchester and more to talk about!

I’ve been doing more Student Ambassador work this week, helping out at a Postgrad Student Open Day on Wednesday. It was my job to just stand around and be helpful- answering questions and pointing people in the right direction. It was good to talk to potential students and let them know why Manchester is so amazing. Something which I hope I do in this blog too! Part of the day was spent lingering outside University Place, the visitors centre, in a purple hoody to be pretty much a human signpost. It was absolutely freezing, even with 5 layers on. If I was still cold by Wednesday night I soon had a chance to warm up as it was time for yet another gig, as the bands New Found Glory and The Blackout were playing at The Academy.

The next day it was back to lectures, including a practical session in a lab in the medical building as part of my Anatomy and Physiology module. Like the dissection room, it’s a chance to see real examples of the stuff we’re learning but in the form of live practicals. It was really interesting- the lecturer showed us how he could stimulate the nerves in his arm with a technical-looking piece of kit to make his hand twitch. I am finding the whole module a bit tough as I didn’t do Biology at A Level, but the practicals are helping. It’s just a case of getting my head down and doing some revision!

The day also had a session of Clinical Studies- learning about how we’d assess people for treatment when we’re qualified. It was good, as up until now most of the stuff we’ve been learning is about just theory rather than how we’d actually work in practice. It pretty much just involved playing children’s games!

I went to yet another gig on Friday, this time it was Pulled Apart By Horses in Club Academy, at the Student’s Union. It was amazing- so busy and everyone was going crazy- sweat was literally dripping from the ceiling. We had planned on going out to a club afterwards but by the end we looked like we’d been dragged though a hedge backwards and were worn out so it was back to mine for a brew and a jaffa cake. Such a rock and roll lifestyle.

There was also pancake day this week, so of course it involved a bit of cooking. Our pancakes weren’t exactly…conventional in shape or size but they tasted pretty good. We also managed to flip them without dropping anything and having to evoke the 5 second rule!

Eleanor’s blog – 10 November 2011

Reading week this week- a chance to relax and catch up on a bit of studying for all my modules. Unfortunately, as is probably typical of many students, I focused a bit too much on the ‘relaxing’ side…

But as well as catching up on a bit of well-needed sleep (sleeping until 4 o’clock in the afternoon is my personal best so far) I’ve been doing important things!

Wednesday I had a final award presentation for The Manchester Access Programme which I completed before coming to Uni, gaining me extra UCAS points and a grant. The money is funded by the alumni; ex-Manchester students who’ve done well and want to give something back to Manchester, to help others have the amazing experience that they have benefitted from. The presentation, held in the Chancellor’s Bistro (a cafe in one of the old university buildings, posh and a bit like something out of Harry Potter) was to let the alumni know how thankful me and other MAP-ers are for the scholarship- I didn’t really have trouble in expressing how glad I am to be here!

As I’ve mentioned before, I have applied to be a Student Ambassador, and Thursday was my interview. A student ambassador is a sort of representative of the Uni, and would mean talking to school age and prospective students about going to Uni, and why Manchester is amazing (some may say that’s an opinion, but it’s a generally known fact). It also involves things like campus tours on open days and helping out with workshops in the Manchester Access Programme. I didn’t think the interview went that well: it was a group presentation and everyone in my group did so well I thought I had no chance. However, I mustn’t have done that badly as now I can proudly say I am an Ambassador of The University of Manchester 🙂 – I have a meeting next week to sort out my criminal record check (not that I have one…!)

Being reading week and having no lectures, I spent a glorious few days at home as well this week- I love Manchester but it was good to see my family for a while. Bonfire night was Saturday, and I went to my local firework display and met up with some of my friends from home who I haven’t seen in a while. I’d forgotten how much colder it is where I live compared to Manchester.

Even with all this excitement, I did manage to squeeze in a bit of reading and do a few online exams…but now I’m well rested and ready for next week back in lectures.