Good University Guide 2023

University of Manchester

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
University of Manchester

Contact details


Oxford Road, Manchester , M13 9PL,

View on map


Students arriving at Manchester in September 2022 are the first to benefit from the largest construction project undertaken by any UK university. Four engineering schools and two research institutes will share the £400 million Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD), connecting facilities along Oxford Road as part of a £1 billion redevelopment to create a unified world-class campus.

With a floorspace roughly the size of 11 football pitches, the MECD can fit more than 8,000 students, researchers and staff who will have access to its blend of lecture theatres, maker space and flexible teaching and learning facilities. 

The extra room will not go to waste. The biggest university in our table, with more than 40,000 students, Manchester also attracts the most applications. And its popularity is growing: more than 88,000 students applied to the university in 2021 (an 11 per cent year-on-year increase), while enrolments exceeded 11,000 for the first time in the same recruitment round. A snapshot of the latest recruitment cycle at the end of March 2022 showed another 4.5 per cent rise in applications. The university also has four global centres in Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.

Seven courses will be added to the broad curriculum for 2023-24, six in Arabic with another language — including Russian, Portuguese and Spanish. A new degree in dental hygiene and therapy is also on the way.

Manchester maintains a top-25 position in our main academic league table despite recording falls in student satisfaction. Our analysis of the latest National Student Survey puts the university in the bottom ten for how students view teaching quality (121st) and the wider undergraduate experience (121=). University life has returned to campus for the 2022-23 academic year under a “blended and flexible” model, says the university, supplementing on-campus learning with online material.

Manchester’s performance in British rankings, which take account of student satisfaction, has been variable in recent years, but the university places greater store in its success in research-focused international comparisons. It is in the top 30 in the QS World University Rankings 2022 and 35th in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, compiled in Shanghai. 

Demonstrating its strength in research, Manchester has received a £17.4 million increase in QR (quality-related) funding by Research England for 2022-23 — in third place behind the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. The boost to its research coffers follows an impressive showing in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) across 31 subject areas.

Overall, 93 per cent of the university’s research was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent, the top two categories. The results have propelled Manchester six places up our research quality index to reach seventh place — a significant step among the tightly bunched research-intensive universities. 

Manchester has had 25 Nobel laureates among its staff and students, most recently Sir Andre Geim and Sir Konstantin Novoselov, who shared the prize in physics in 2010 for discovering graphene, the strongest material to be measured. The university hosts the National Graphene Institute, set up to explore its industrial potential. 

Jodrell Bank, the university’s world-famous radio observatory, became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2019 and a £21.5 million refurbishment project was completed in June 2022, adding a visitor exhibition to aid public engagement with scientific research. 

Facilities to help transform outcomes for cancer patients are being enhanced by the redevelopment of the former Paterson research building, destroyed by a fire in 2017. The centre, housing the university’s collaboration with Cancer Research UK and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust — twice as big and fitted with the latest equipment — is due to reopen in early 2023. 

The university-owned Manchester Museum has been extended in a £15 million refurbishment and the recently renovated Whitworth art gallery and the Alliance Manchester Business School are also part of the campus. 

All undergraduates are set three “ethical grand challenges”: sustainability, social justice and workplace ethics to reinforce social responsibility, a core aim at Manchester. The Stellify Award recognises extracurricular activities alongside degree studies and is designed to make Manchester students highly employable. The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2021-22 listing ranks Manchester graduates as No 1 among those most targeted by the UK’s top employers.

In our analysis of graduate prospects, Manchester is steady in 22nd place. This result is based on the proportion of graduates in highly skilled work or postgraduate study 15 months after finishing their degree. 

Manchester is 91st in our social inclusion index, and fourth out of the research-intensive Russell Group universities. Just under one third of students are the first in their family to go to university, and non-selective state schools account for 72.3 per cent of entrants. 

Efforts to widen participation include contextual offers requiring lower grades to allow for disadvantage in eligible students’ educational experience. In 2021, nearly 4,000 applicants were made contextual offers (1,000 more than in 2020). The dropout rate has improved to be in our top 20 (17=) and is lower than expected in light of the university’s course and student profile.

About a third of undergraduates receive financial aid such as the Manchester bursary of £1,000 or £2,000 per year, depending on household income. Other bursaries and subject-specific scholarships are also offered. 

The city hosts about 100,000 students at a variety of institutions and Manchester’s world-class reputation for diverse cultural life is well deserved. Accommodation is plentiful and first-years who apply by the end of August are guaranteed a place in halls. 

There are first-rate sports facilities and the university’s teams frequently rank near the top of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (Bucs) league table.

show more


Category Score Rank
Ranking - 24 (23)
Teaching quality 69.5 121st
Student experience 66.3 121st=
Research quality 64.4 7th
Ucas entry points 162 20th=
Graduate prospects 83 22nd
Firsts and 2:1s 84.8 24th
Completion rate 93.9 17th=
Student-staff ratio 14.3 28th
World ranking - 28 (27=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 88,330/11,070
Applications/places ratio 8:1
Overall offer rate 60.2%


Places in accommodation 7,244
Accommodation costs £110 - £172
Catered costs £153 - £212
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,850
Fees (overseas year) £1,385
Fees (international) £21,500 - £25,000
Fees (international, medical) £48,000
Finance website
Graduate salaries £25,000


Sport points/rank 1550.5, 25th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 91
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 72.3%
Grammar school admissions 11.5%
Independent school admissions 16.2%
Ethnic minority students (all) 33.3%
Black achievement gap -14%
White working class males 3.1%
First generation students 32.8%
Low participation areas 8.8%
Working class dropout gap -0.2%
Mature 7.7%
EU students 8.2%
Other overseas students 25.3%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Materials technology 83.4%
Anthropology 82.8%
Art and design 80.6%
Music 80.4%
Linguistics 77.8%
Accounting and finance 77.1%
Land and property management 76.4%
Geography and environmental science 75%
Theology and religious studies 74.1%
Geology 73.1%
Business, management and marketing 72.5%
History 72.4%
Biological sciences 72.1%
Mechanical engineering 72.1%
Classics and ancient history 71.9%
History of art, architecture and design 71.9%
Drama, dance and cinematics 71.8%
Mathematics 71.6%
English 71.1%
Philosophy 70.8%
Politics 70.3%
East and South Asian studies 70%
Physics and astronomy 69.9%
Subjects allied to medicine 69.8%
Civil engineering 69.7%
Animal science 69.4%
Town and country planning and landscape 69.4%
Electrical and electronic engineering 68.9%
Law 68.5%
Pharmacology and pharmacy 68.1%
Iberian languages 68%
Italian 68%
Russian and eastern European languages 68%
Economics 67.8%
American studies 67.4%
Criminology 67.1%
Sociology 67.1%
French 66.6%
Nursing 66.1%
Medicine 65.5%
Psychology 65.4%
Chemical engineering 65.1%
Computer science 64.1%
German 63.3%
Dentistry 60.6%
Aeronautical and manufacturing engineering 60.5%
Chemistry 58.9%
Middle Eastern and African studies 58.7%