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Starting at Manchester

Want to know what you'll need, where to go and what to do when you start at Manchester? Here's our essential guide.

Are you a UK or international student? Choose a button below to get the right information for you.

UK International


Getting to the University

The University is easy to get to from anywhere in the world, with an international airport and great public transport links.

Visit our maps and travel webpages for detailed information about getting to the University from Manchester Airport and elsewhere in the UK.

What to bring

There are a few important details and documents you’ll need to bring with you when you first come to study at Manchester, especially if you’re coming from abroad.

If you’re new to Manchester, you’ll also want to make sure you have some practical items and home comforts with you – have a look at student Lydia's packing guide to see what she found useful.

Setting up your IT account

Be sure to check your email account carefully the weeks following confirmation of your place, as you will receive important information via email about setting up your IT account, confirming your attendance and registering as a student.

Collect your student card

Once you've arrived on campus and completed all steps of registration you can collect your student card.

Visit our registration webpages to find out when and where to pick up your card.

You can purchase a Totum card (previously known as an NUS card) from the Students’ Union once you’re here.

The city

Things to do

Often referred to as the ‘Capital of the north’, there’s no doubt Manchester is an exciting city to be a student, and it’s easy to see why it was voted the top UK city to live in for 2018 (The Economist's Global Liveability Index).

With an ever-expanding cultural offering, an intense passion for sport, and a world-renowned music scene, as well as festivals and events reflecting its vibrant multiculturalism, there’s always something to keep you entertained in Manchester.

Discover what Manchester has to offer.

Getting around

A large, modern city, Manchester has a robust infrastructure and public transport system to match, as well as a rapidly growing network of cycle routes across the city and on campus.

With three major railway stations in the city centre, buses every few minutes and a tram network spanning Greater Manchester, you’ll have no problem getting around.

Plan your journey on the Transport for Greater Manchester website.


Wherever you’re from, you’ll find a taste of home in Manchester.

Manchester’s cosmopolitan population means there are restaurants, cafes and shops offering food from China to Ethiopia, to the USA and Sri Lanka.

Modern and traditional British cuisine is well represented in the city, but you’re just as likely to find Indian Thali or Korean Barbeque as you are fish and chips or a Sunday roast.

Explore the flavours of Manchester.

Settling in

Freshers’ events and activities

At Manchester, we call freshers’ week ‘Welcome’, and we run a packed programme of events and activities to help you make friends and settle in.

You can view all the Welcome events online from August, and start planning what you’d like to do. You’ll need to book tickets online for some events. 


All major faiths are represented in Manchester, and there are many places of worship across the city, as well as places for prayer and contemplation on campus.

Our Students’ Union runs numerous religious clubs and societies, enabling you to meet like-minded individuals and become part of the University’s dynamic religious communities.

Getting help

Look out for Ask Me signs across campus during your first few weeks – they’ll direct you to places you can go to get advice and information. You’ll also see student ambassadors and staff wearing t-shirts and badges, which means you can stop them anytime and ask anything!

A dedicated Ask Me desk will be open in the Whitworth Building throughout Orientation and Welcome between 9am and 5pm (Mon-Fri).

Health and well-being

Healthcare services

When you arrive in Manchester, you will need to register with a local General Practitioner (GP). They will usually be your first point of contact for non-emergencies.

More about how to access healthcare services.


Starting a new course, moving to a new city or country, and making new friends can be stressful, on top of the academic and financial pressures that come with being a student.

At Manchester, we take well-being very seriously, and offer you the encouragement and support you need to stay happy and healthy at university.

Find out more about our six ways to well-being.


Manchester is generally safe, but as in any large city you should take precautions.

Visit our student support pages for tips for keeping safe in the city.


Tuition fees

All university students in the UK are required to pay tuition fees. Your offer letter from The University of Manchester will state how much you need to pay.

Fees are paid as part of the registration process at the beginning of the year.

Support for tuition fees

Most UK undergraduate students take out a tuition fee loan and/or maintenance loan from the government to cover some or all of the fees.

Postgraduate taught students can also get a master’s loan from the government.

Postgraduate research funding is available from various sources.

Setting up a bank account

It’s worth setting up a student bank account – they offer a wider range of services than current accounts, so it’s important to consider your options and shop around.

A main benefit of student bank accounts is interest-free overdrafts, which may be handy during your studies.

Cost of student life

We’ve put together a handy breakdown of typical student spending in Manchester.

The amount you spend will depend largely on your lifestyle – so you’ll need to budget carefully to make sure you don’t overspend.

Saving money

Budgeting and managing your money while at university can be a challenge, especially if you’re away from home for the first time.

The University offers lots of advice and support to help you manage your finances.

There’s plenty you can do to keep track of what you spend and make savings through shopping around and making the most of great student offers.

Watch our students’ top ten tips for saving money at University.