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What is Manchester University like?

(13 Posts)
itsanewusername Mon 25-Jun-18 16:15:40

Looking for anyone who knows Manchester University or has dcs there to tell me what it is really like. DS and I went to the open day on Saturday. We know the city already as live fairly near, and expected to like the university but were unimpressed. There seemed to be a lot of corporate gloss and PR-speak from staff, but the campus, residences, study centre, library, sports facilities, etc all seemed a bit inadequate for a huge university despite all the talk about massive investment. Maybe we looked at the wrong things or got a misleading impression.I'd be interested to hear other people's opinions. (Name changed on request of ds).

OP’s posts: |
user1487519954 Mon 25-Jun-18 16:28:35

I went and loved it!
Some thoughts:
Upsides: Very cosmopolitan, real mix of people. I loved that because it was such a big uni, it had loads of options for sport, activities, clubs etc, (pretty much anything you could think of, it either already exists or you could find people wanting to do it).
Also it has all the "infrastructure", so support services are equipped to deal with anything.
A great place to "find your crowd". people who are maybe a little bit odd and didn't have many friends at school, will find people that they have stuff in common with.
Also very cheap, to live, go out etc.
Academically quite strong, although it's gone down.
Lots of jobs nearby.
Good transport links.

The downsides: possibly - living in a city (I loved it but not everyone does). It's big, a bit dirty and noisy, and some bad areas with high crime. But if he's fairly streetwise he'll be fine.
You can feel a bit lost among so many people, my course had over 200 on it, so lecturers didn't know our names etc.

user1487519954 Mon 25-Jun-18 16:30:50

btw I went in 2009 smile

itsanewusername Mon 25-Jun-18 20:10:49

Thanks user - that's good to know. Hopefully our impression was not a good representation of what it's really like there.

OP’s posts: |
user1487519954 Mon 25-Jun-18 21:18:53

Universities are all having a much tougher time than 10 years ago (I now work at a different uni), so things have changed slightly. Places like manchester that formerly banked on their reputation attracting good students now have to advertise.
I remember someone saying years ago, "some unis recruit, some select", but I think that's changing.

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 26-Jun-18 06:47:48

We went on Saturday too. Ds really liked it, but we spent most of our time in the department, where everyone seemed pretty straightforward, not a lot of PR gloss. The halls seemed to be pretty standard compared to others I've seen. (Didn't think they were particularly cheap though!)

We didn't look at the study centres/libraries/sports facilities though.

Have you looked at other universities? You don't have to like everywhere! A lot of it is just about how you/the potential student feels about the place, that gut instinct of "I could live here".

itsanewusername Tue 26-Jun-18 07:49:25

Aria yes we've been to others, all similar level RG but ds thought he'd prefer Manchester because of the course but also he wants a big city but not London. Maybe you're right - it's just a gut feeling that it's not right for him, but I was so surprised by what seemed like poor facilities I was interested to hear what others' impressions were to see if it was just ds and me!

OP’s posts: |
hellsbells99 Tue 26-Jun-18 12:33:37

DD1 went to Manchester University and was out of her depth there - we know a couple of others who went there and loved it.
Have you looked at Leeds? Do they do the course? Campus on the edge of a city - only 10 minutes walk into the city.

BubblesBuddy Tue 26-Jun-18 18:48:57

DD went on an offer day for MFL and was totally underwhelmed. She was accepted into their MLang course and discovered that it didn’t mean much to employers (their words) because they didn’t know the difference between the differing levels of qualifications. They also told her that as long as she did well in two A levels (the MFL ones) they would accept her into the course. Just give them a ring if she had a problem with the other one. It wouldn’t matter. Definitely recruiting.

In general, DD thought it was not a bit inspiring and the faculty was dull. She didn’t feel she belonged there. Of her friends that did go, getting jobs in London afterwards didn’t go well. One girl was very bright and definitely under sold herself by going to Manchester. Like a lot of Northern universities there seem to be lots of locals there so it feels very parochial, even though it’s huge.

Jabbott1 Wed 31-Oct-18 13:55:48

My DS started this September on M’physics, so 4 Year course. He first looked round last October & even though we, his parents, weren’t that impressed by it, thought Bristol & Exeter we’re on par. For him that was where he wanted to go. We live in the New Forest so huge cultural difference! But he was adamant it was Manchester.
He’s been there about 6weeks now & is loving it, doesn’t want to come home till Xmas. Lives in halls, & yes I do think they are expensive! made loads of friends, joined Societies. His course is very intense, so not a lot of free time.
Think you just have to let your DC decide for themselves, after all they are adults.

whiteroseredrose Fri 02-Nov-18 21:37:35

We went to an open day a few weeks ago, just to look at courses. It looks like they've reorganised some of the courses in a good way. Computer Science seems much more commercially focused that when we went with DS a couple of years ago. DD is interested in Earth Science / Geology or something environmental. They now have a common first year for Earth Science, Environmental Science, Geology, Geophysics etc. Then you can decide what specialism when you know what you actually enjoy.

We live outside Manchester though and not sure if it'd be my first choice.

kawla Fri 02-Nov-18 21:42:06

I am currently studying at UoM. I love it here! With regards to the buildings, there are so many of them so It’s hard to make a judgement if you’ve only seen a few. I like the support that is available and the location is excellent. I might be biased though since I already lived in Manchester before starting my course, but I would really recommend the uni smile

whiteroseredrose Sat 03-Nov-18 08:18:56

Another thought is not to actually judge the University by its city. Students tend to live in their own enclaves.

I grew up in North Manchester and now live in the southern suburbs but I don't actually like much of Manchester City centre itself. Lots is tatty especially around Piccadilly and they seem intent on knocking down buildings with any character and building ugly glass skyscrapers (Neville Bros ☹️). However lots of students will live in Fallowfield or Withington and go to their own pubs and clubs.

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