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Staircase in Whitworth Building

Our history

Some of the world's most important achievements took place at Manchester. Our story is one of world firsts and brilliant discoveries, with 25 Nobel Prize winners having worked or studied here.

Manchester is the birthplace of nuclear physics, where Ernest Rutherford first split the atom. The world’s first stored-program computer was developed here, and Alan Turing pioneered artificial intelligence during his time at the University.

Our observatory at Jodrell Bank is home to the iconic Lovell Telescope – the biggest telescope of its type in the world when it was built. Fittingly, Jodrell Bank will be the central control hub for the world’s largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array.

The economist Arthur Lewis became the first black professor at a British university when he joined us, and published his most influential works while at Manchester. And Christabel Pankhurst, a Manchester law graduate unable to enter the profession on account of her sex, became one of the suffragette movement’s most committed campaigners.

Isolating the properties of graphene won our scientists Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. Lightweight, super-strong and highly conductive, this new wonder-material will transform technologies in every walk of life – from solar power and fuel cells to flat-screen devices and disease detection.

With a degree from The University of Manchester, you’ll become a part of this distinguished club, whose collective achievements have shaped the history of the modern world.