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Universities in Manchester, UK

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Manchester is a modern and fast-paced city in the northwest of England.

Manchester is a city in north-west England with a population of nearly 550,000 residents, world-famous sporting venues and a history of nearly 2,000 years! Manchester will appeal to international students because of its top-ranked universities, world-class urban infrastructure, and a vibrant international student and immigrant community across the city. In fact, nearly 20,000 of Manchester’s 100,000 university students are international students from over 150 countries.

Manchester’s ideal location will allow you to easily travel all over England within a few hours, as well as reach major cities in Scotland for weekend trips and academic events. International students at top-ranked Manchester universities will also be able to land in Manchester from their home countries, because the Manchester Airport receives direct flights from most destinations abroad, especially in Asia and Africa.

Top Universities in Manchester

The city of Greater Manchester is home to five top-ranked universities for international students, alongside multiple other specialised institutes offering degrees and certificates in certain subject areas.

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University is one of the largest top-ranked universities in the United Kingdom with a total student enrolment of nearly 29,000, of which about 5,500 are international students.

The Manchester Metropolitan University is well-known for its world-class faculty and facilities in courses relating to filmmaking, design, and other creative arts subjects. The University has three primary campuses spread across Manchester – in the neighbourhoods of Cheshire, Birley and All Saints.

Courses at the Manchester Metropolitan University are offered to international students for undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the following departments:

Royal Northern College of Music

Founded originally as the Royal Manchester College of Music in 1893, the Royal Northern College of Music is one of the world’s best institutes for international students to learn and pursue a career in classical music and related artistic fields. The college operates as a small-scale but top-quality institute with only about 900 enrolled students.

Alongside providing international students with world-class musical facilities and equipment to practice, the Royal Northern College of Music also offers award-winning faculty support and career assistance to secure your future in the music industry, according to your specialisations and musical interests. The college even operates a Professional Experiences Scheme which allows international students to work with and learn from world-famous musicians and orchestras.

The Royal Northern College of Music offers courses relating to specific musical subjects across six departments:

  • School of Composition
  • School of Keyboard Studies
  • School of Strings
  • School of Vocal Studies and Opera
  • School of Wind, Brass & Percussion
  • Popular Music

University of Bolton

Situated close to both major cities of Liverpool and Manchester, the University of Bolton provides international students with an attractive and welcoming student-friendly atmosphere, as well as the distraction-free environment of a small town.

Consistently ranking at the top for student satisfaction and campus life, the University of Bolton was originally founded as the Boston Mechanics’ Institute in 1825, nearly 200 years ago! International students will feel welcome at the University of Bolton, because nearly 1,500 or 30% of the university’s overall student population of 5,000 are international students from over 60 countries.

In addition to its Bolton campus, the University of Bolton also has an overseas academic centre in the UAE and regularly operates exchange programs for international students to countries including Greece, Singapore, China and Germany. The University of Bolton offers courses across over 20 departments and faculties. Some of them are:

  • Faculty of Engineering & Creative Tech
  • Faculty of Health & Wellbeing
  • Bolton School of the Arts
  • School of Education & Psychology
  • Institute of Management Greater Manchester
  • School of Sport & Biological Sciences

University of Manchester

International students searching for innovation and research-focused academic degrees will be especially interested in the top-ranked University of Manchester. Originally founded in 1824 and officially accredited as a university after mergers between institutes in 2004, the University of Manchester is also a member of the Russell Group, a prestigious group of 24 Universities in the United Kingdom with a shared focus on research and a reputation for academic achievement.

The high degree of comfort that international students feel at the University of Manchester is proven by the fact that nearly 15,000 international students are part of the university’s total enrolment of 36,000 students. The University of Manchester offers world-leading research and innovation faculty and infrastructure focused on five areas – advanced materials, cancer, energy, global inequalities and industrial biotechnology.

The University of Manchester also operates multiple advanced research and entrepreneurial institutes including the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre and ID Manchester, an entirely new innovation-focused business district in downtown Manchester.

The University offers postgraduate and undergraduate programs in the following three faculties:

  • Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Faculty of Humanities

University of Salford

The University of Salford provides excellent facilities for international students to pursue careers in fields related to media communication and journalism. The university has a large international student population of about 4,000 overseas students, and has recently developed multiple world-class facilities for subject areas including law and healthcare.

Located only a short drive away from downtown Manchester, the University of Salford offers courses in the following departments:

  • Salford Business School
  • Salford Languages Centre
  • Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
  • School of Science, Engineering and Environment
  • School of Health and Society

Manchester Universities World Ranking 2024

Below is a list of the top Manchester universities in 2024, according to QS world rankings and Times Higher Education:

UniversityQS World Ranking 2024Times Higher Education Ranking 2024QS Rank in UKTHE Rank in UK
University of Manchester325168
Manchester Metropolitan University=590501-60057=30
University of Salford851-900801-1,00077=32

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Manchester

In addition to the five top-ranked Manchester universities, the city also offers international students the chance to study at one of many specialised institutes for work-study programs and other degrees. These are:

  • Manchester College
  • Nazarene Theological College
  • Manchester School of Architecture

Tuition and Living Costs in Manchester

Average undergraduate tuition costs for international students in the UK range between 25,000-30,000 US Dollars annually. This figure is higher for Dentistry and medical courses at about 38,000-40,000 US Dollars per year.

Postgraduate tuition fees depend on the course selected, and can range from 20,000-35,000 US Dollars on average. At the Royal Northern College of Music, undergraduate courses for international students begin at about 27,000 US Dollars annually.

As for living expenses, the University of Manchester proposes that undergraduate international students require between 13,000 to 15,000 US Dollars annually for shared accommodation fees, utilities bills, food expenses, transport expenses, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses. This figure will be slightly greater at about 15,000-18,000 US Dollars annually for postgraduate international students because they spend more time on campus for the duration of their courses.

Life in Manchester for International Students

Manchester offers a wide range of attractions for international students outside the classroom. Those interested in sports will surely want to experience iconic sporting venues such as the Old Trafford Football Stadium and Cricket Ground, while the city’s historical venues such as the Manchester Museum will appeal to international students of history and politics. Listed below are a few more of Manchester’s must-visit sites:

  • Science & Industry Museum
  • Manchester Art Gallery
  • National Football Museum
  • IWM North
  • John Rylands Research Institute
  • People’s History Museum
  • Manchester Cathedral
  • Heaton Park
  • Etihad Stadium
  • SEA LIFE Manchester
  • Fletcher Moss Park
  • Salford Museum & Art Gallery
  • Piccadilly Gardens
  • Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
  • Chorlton Water Park
  • Stockport Air Raid Shelters
  • Sale Water Park
  • Alan Turing Memorial

Top-ranked Manchester universities are an excellent place for international students to progress their academics using world-class faculty and research offerings, while also enjoying the best of British culture, sport and history outside the classroom.

You will never run out of events and venues to enjoy the vibrant Manchester nightlife and entertainment scene, and the city’s ideal location in the United Kingdom means international students can make frequent weekend trips to multiple tourist sites nearby, as well as to other major cities including London and Liverpool.

See our Studying in the UK directory for more information about being an international student in the country, as well as other cities, tuition fees and a full list of courses/subjects available.

See all universities in the UK.

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