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

Airport Service

If you're arriving into Manchester Airport between 10 and 15 September 2019, take a look at our Airport Service

If you are making the journey from the airport yourself, it is quite easy and your best option will probably be a taxi. Manchester Airport is located just over 14 kilometres south of the city centre and is about 20 minutes away by car. 

Manchester Airport has some useful information on transport connections.

Taxi

Getting a taxi is by far the easiest way to get to your accommodation from the airport, especially if you have a lot of luggage. Your driver can take you to exactly where you need to go and you won’t have to worry about finding your way around as soon as you arrive.

It is likely to cost £25-£35 to get to University accommodation, depending on how much traffic there is and how much luggage you have.

Train

There is a train station at Manchester Airport. It takes 5-15 minutes to walk there, depending on which terminal you arrive at:

  • Terminal 1: 5 minutes
  • Terminal 2: 10 minutes
  • Terminal 3: 7 minutes

There are trains to Manchester Piccadilly every 10 minutes and the journey takes 20 minutes.

You can also get the train to Oxford Road Station, near the main University Campus, or Mauldeth Road Station in Fallowfield  both of which are close to some University accommodation. It’s best to check which station is closest to your accommodation before you travel. These trains are less frequent, so it is advisable to check the times in advance.

Tickets cost between £3 and £5, depending on which station you’re travelling to. You can buy tickets at the station.

To reach your accommodation from the stations you can get a taxi or bus. 

Bus

There is a bus station at Manchester Airport  it’s in the same place as the train station, so follow those signs to get there. We don’t advise getting the bus if you have lots of luggage. There is limited luggage room on most buses and they can often be very busy services, making getting on and off the bus difficult. 

The number 43 bus departs from the airport bus station and stops close to many accommodation sites, including those in Fallowfield, on the main University campus and in the city centre. You can find out more on the Transport for Greater Manchester website.  

Tram

You can travel to Manchester from Manchester Airport using the Metrolink tram system. The Metrolink stop is in the train station at the airport  the tram has its own platform.

Service 6 is the line that runs from Manchester Airport to Manchester Victoria Station, stopping at several places that are near University accommodation sites. All tram services run every 12 minutes, although this is slightly different for early morning services to and from the airport. A ticket will cost £3-£5, depending on where you are travelling to, and the journey takes about an hour. Tickets are available from ticket machines on all platforms but not on-board, so make sure you purchase before you travel.

We would advise against using the tram if you are travelling with lots of luggage. There is no luggage storage facility and space is limited when the service is busy. 

Travel from airports other than Manchester

If you are flying to the UK we advise you to fly directly to Manchester. There are frequent flights to Manchester Airport from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Southend and London City Airports. You can also find cheap flights to Manchester from other major European cities. If you are flying into London and transferring to another flight, remember to allow yourself enough time to get to your connection.

Arriving at a London airport and continuing to Manchester by coach

If you arrive in London by plane and are going to Manchester by coach, in most cases you will first have to travel by underground train (tube) to Victoria coach station in the centre of London. You should be aware that most tube stations don't have lifts and some have lots of stairs. As well as this, space on trains can be limited and services are often very busy, especially in central London.

If you decide to fly into London Heathrow and travel to Manchester by coach, there are some direct services. The journey takes around six hours, and can be longer depending on traffic. One of the UK’s major coach companies, National Express, is offering us a discounted rate on travel to Manchester. Find out more on the National Express website.

Manchester has two main city centre coach stations, Manchester Central on Chorlton Street and Shudehill Interchange.

If you decide to travel via London, remember to allow yourself enough time to collect your luggage, pass through immigration and travel across the city.

Information on transport in the London area can be found on the Transport for London website.

Arriving at a London airport and continuing to Manchester by train

Trains from London to Manchester leave from Euston Station in central London. The quickest way to get here from any of the London airports is to take the tube (underground train). Again, we strongly advise against travelling through London on the underground with lots of luggage because of the difficulty of navigating tube stations, which don't usually have lifts, and busy tube services with limited space.

Remember to allow yourself enough time to collect your luggage, pass through immigration and travel across London.

Information on transport in the London area can be found on the Transport for London website.

Manchester has three main train stations: Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road. The train from London Euston arrives at Piccadilly and usually takes just over two hours. You can find information on train times and book train tickets on the National Rail website or on Trainline. The cost of train tickets vary from around £25 to over £90 depending on the day, how far in advance you are booking, and the time of travel.

If you have any questions, please email us or telephone +44 (0) 161 275 2074. 

Arrival

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.

International students will also need to complete international check-in and may need to register with the police.

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.

Don't forget as well that Citymapper is also a great tool to use when planning any journey. Just enter your point of departure and your destination and it will tell you the quickest way to complete your journey. We recommend that you download the app or use the online service, not just for your journey to Manchester, but for getting around the city.

Food

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

Orientation

We offer a comprehensive programme of orientation events to help international students settle in following their arrival in Manchester.

Our Orientation programme offers practical advice about starting your life and studies at the University with valuable information to introduce you to the city of Manchester. The social events offer fun and informal opportunities to meet other students.

Student ambassadors are available to support you and answer any questions you may have.

Find out about our Orientation presentations and workshops below and plan your schedule with the orientation timetable

If you have any queries or concerns about your arrival, please email us or ask any questions on our FacebookTwitter or Weibo pages.

General Orientation and Welcome events

There are plenty of events taking place all over campus, hosted by the Students’ Union and the University. Events are being added on a frequent basis, so be sure to check back to see what’s new!

Discover all of the events happening on and off campus between 10-28 September

Use the orientation timetable to find out more about the presentations on offer and to plan your schedule. 

Welcome presentations (90 minutes)

Presented by staff from across the University, these sessions cover information relevant to all new international and EU/EEA students. They include information on living in Manchester, the Students Union and integrating into the new community you have joined.

Although not compulsory, we strongly recommend you attend one of these sessions as they'll be invaluable to helping you settle in. Each session will cover the same content, so there's no need to attend more than one Welcome presentation.

There are four sessions to choose from:

  • Friday, 13 September, 11am
  • Friday, 13 September, 2pm
  • Sunday, 15 September, 10am
  • Sunday, 15 September, 12pm

Please try to arrive between 30 and 15 minutes early so we can start on time. These presentations take place in University Place. 

Orientation Workshops – 13 September

These workshops are not compulsory, but are very useful and come highly recommended. Some of the workshops will run more than once; each one lasts 45 minutes.

English language support, 12 noon, University Place. Find out how the University can help you improve your English and academic skills during your studies. (This session is aimed at non-native speakers of English.)

Getting involved in your Students' Union, 12 noon, University Place. Discover how you can get involved with activities and societies, in student activism, and how the student representative system operates.

Inclusive Manchester, 12 noon, University Place. You will have an opportunity to reflect on your own approach to different cultures and to find out about the positive steps that the University is taking to achieve equality for all.

Reaching your academic goals, 12 noon, Kilburn Building. Staff from the My Learning Essentials Team will offer advice on academic matters, including teaching and assessment methods, avoiding malpractice, and learning facilities.

Introducing peer support, 1pm, University Place. You will be introduced to the benefits of working with your peers to create a supportive learning community.

Staying Safe, 1pm, Kilburn Building. Colleagues from the University Security service and from Greater Manchester Police will give you the information you need to protect your valuables and ensure that your time in Manchester is as safe as possible. You can also come and chat to these same colleagues at our Saturday Village Fair on Saturday, 15 September between 10am and 3pm.

Student Panel, 1pm, University Place. Come along and meet some of our student ambassadors and find out some tips and advice on studying and living here. There will be lots of time for you to ask questions and no question is too big or too small!

Living in private accommodation, 2pm, University Place. Colleagues from Manchester Student Homes will offer advice and support on finding and securing a private rental. (This session is aimed at students who will not be living in University accommodation.)

Money and banking, 2pm, Kilburn Building. Come along and receive information on the cost of living, UK banking, how to open a bank account and managing your money.

IT on campus, 3pm, Kilburn Building. Staff from the University’s IT Division will introduce you to the IT provision and support at the University, with advice on security and social media.

University Support Services, 3pm, University Place. Colleagues from the Student Advice and Guidance Team will give you an overview of the Support Services available, and how you can get advice on a range of academic and non-academic matters.

Using your mobile safely (for Chinese students), 3pm, University Place. This session will be delivered in Mandarin by staff from China Unicom and will give you advice on keeping your devices and money safe.

Healthcare in the UK, 4pm, University Place. Staff from the University’s Occupational Health Service will explain how the UK National Health Service (NHS) works, how to register with a doctor, where to buy medicines and how to access emergency care.

Thinking about your future, 4pm, University Place. Staff from the University’s Careers Service will help you understand how the University can support you to secure a graduate job.

Orientation Workshops – 14 September

These workshops are not compulsory, but are very useful and come highly recommended. Each workshop lasts 45 minutes.

Banking and life in the UK (Chinese students only), 3pm, University Place. This session will be delivered in Mandarin by staff from the Bank of China (UK).

Presentation by Chinese Consulate (Chinese students only), 4.30pm, University PlaceRepresentatives from the Chinese Consulate will welcome you to Manchester. You will also have the chance to meet current Chinese students from the University. The majority of this session will be delivered in Mandarin.

Orientation Workshops – 15 September

These workshops are not compulsory, but are very useful and come highly recommended. Some of the workshops will run more than once; each one lasts 45 minutes.

Healthcare in the UK, 10am, Kilburn Building. Staff from the University’s Occupational Health Service will explain how the UK National Health Service (NHS) works, how to register with a doctor, where to buy medicines and how to access emergency care.

Inclusive Manchester, 10am, University Place. You will have an opportunity to reflect on your own approach to different cultures and to find out about the positive steps that the University is taking to achieve equality for all.

University Support Services, 11am, University Place. Colleagues from the Student Advice and Guidance Team will give you an overview of the Support Services available, and how you can get advice on a range of academic and non-academic matters.

Reaching your academic goals, 11am, Kilburn Building. Staff from the My Learning Essentials Team will offer advice on academic matters, including teaching and assessment methods, avoiding malpractice, and learning facilities.

Introducing peer support, 12 noon, University Place. You will be introduced to the benefits of working with your peers to create a supportive learning community.

IT on campus, 1pm, Kilburn Building. Staff from the University’s IT Division will introduce you to the IT provision and support at the University, with advice on security and social media.

Living in private accommodation, 12 noon, University Place. Colleagues from Manchester Student Homes will offer advice and support on finding and securing a private rental. (This session is aimed at students who will not be living in University accommodation.)

Staying Safe, 12 noon, Kilburn Building. Colleagues from the University Security service and from Greater Manchester Police will give you theinformation you need to protect your valuables and ensure that your time in Manchester is as safe as possible.

Student Panel, 12 noon, University Place. Come along and meet some of our student ambassadors and find out some tips and advice on studying and living here. There will be lots of time for you to ask questions and no questions is too big or too small!

Money and banking, 1pm, University Place. Come along and receive information on the cost of living, UK banking, how to open a bank account and managing your money.

Successful start for postgraduate research students (PhD/MPhil), 2pm, University Place. A member of academic staff and a current PhD researcher will lead a discussion on what it means to be a postgraduate researcher at The University of Manchester.(This session is aimed at all new PhD and MPhil students.)

Successful start for postgraduate taught students (master’s and MRes), 2pm, University Place. A member of academic staff will take you through the essentials of being postgraduate taught student at The University of Manchester. (This session is aimed at all new Masters and MRes students.)

Successful start for undergraduate students, 2pm, Kilburn Building. A colleague from Student Recruitment will give an overview and an introduction to studying at degree level. (This session is aimed at all new undergraduate students.)

English language support, 3pm, University Place. Find out how the University can help you improve your English and academic skills during your studies. (This session is aimed at non-native speakers of English)

Getting involved in your Students' Union, 3pm, University Place. Discover how you can get involved with activities and societies, in student activism, and how the student representative system operates.

Thinking about your future, 3pm, University Place. Staff from the University’s Careers Service will help you understand how the University can support you to secure a graduate job.

Using your mobile safely (for Chinese students), 3pm, University Place. This session will be delivered in Mandarin by staff from China Unicom and will give you advice on keeping your devices and money safe.

British culture

The UK is a proud multicultural nation, where people and their culture, traditions and religions are respected and embraced.

People in the UK are generally polite, tolerant and friendly – particularly in Manchester, which was recently voted one of the ten friendliest cities in the world by Rough Guides readers.

Known for incessantly talking about weather, copious tea-drinking and love for queuing, find out what our students really think about the Brits

Faith

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

Health care 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 health care services.

Well-being

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.

Safety

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.

Money

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

EEA and Swiss students

Most EEA and Swiss 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.

International students (non-EEA or Swiss) 

If you’re coming from outside the EEA or Switzerland, you need to make sure you have funds (or a sponsor or scholarship) to cover your tuition fees.

Setting up a bank account

UK/EU students

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 can be very handy during your studies.

International students

If you want to pay your tuition fees or University accommodation fees in instalments by Direct Debit, you will need to set up a UK bank account.

It’s also more convenient to have a UK bank account, as you can avoid transactional or currency conversion charges incurred through using a foreign bank card

More information about setting up a UK bank account can be found on our finance pages.

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.

If you’re coming from abroad, the cost of living in the UK might be quite different from your home country. Find out more about how much things cost in the UK.

 

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.