Which are the Best Universities in Manchester?


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A city that’s rich in culture and teeming with new experiences, the melting pot of Manchester is perfect for students. There’s no wonder it’s often first-choice for those looking to take their first steps into adulthood, or among those heading back to study later in life. Put thoughts on whether you want to live in the heart of town or in a nearby spot such as Stalybridge or Marple to one side for a moment, as we take a look at some of the top universities in and around the city.

University of Manchester

There are more than 100,000 students spread out across all of the universities in Manchester, with over 40,000 of those attending the University of Manchester. One of the top universities anywhere in Europe, it has produced 25 Nobel laureates over the course of its lengthy history. Celebrating its 200th birthday in 2024, the main campus is on Oxford Road, while the university also owns and runs top cultural attractions such as the Manchester Museum, Jodrell Bank Observatory, John Rylands Library and Whitworth Art Gallery.

Manchester Metropolitan University

Another of the best universities in Manchester, this organisation traces its roots back to 1824 and the Manchester Mechanics’ Institution. The product of a number of mergers of colleges with specialisms such as technology, art and design, Manchester Met offers a comprehensive range of courses to more than 33,000 students. The main MMU campus is in the city centre, but you can also choose to study out of town in Cheshire if you prefer.

University of Salford

Adjacent to Manchester in Salford and not far from the town of Walkden, this university began life as the Royal Technical Institute, Salford, back in 1896. Nowadays, more than 20,000 students attend the University of Salford, which lies on the banks of the River Irwell and received its university status in 1967. There’s a diverse student population at this uni, while there’s a particular emphasis on sports and other extra-curricular activities and societies. Furthermore, the Salford Museum and Art Gallery was the first free public library in England.

University of Bolton

If you’re widening your search a little out from the city centre, Bolton has one of the top universities in Greater Manchester. Smaller than the central unis above, the University of Bolton has around 10,000 students and has a strong representation from the North West of England. Gaining its university status in 2004, it actually started life back in 1825 as Bolton Mechanics Institute. The campus benefits from being close to both Manchester and Liverpool, as well as offering the chance to take part in research projects through master’s and PhD programmes.

Whether you can’t wait to live the student life in the city centre or you’re searching for a more family-orientated neighbourhood like Hazel Grove, there are lots of great places to live in and around Manchester. That includes our Galloway Grange and Stanneylands developments, which are both to the south of town. We can help you plot your move when you get in touch with us today.