If you’re hunting for student accommodation in Manchester, thinking about your costs, wondering what to do when you arrive, or planning how to get around – this guide to being a student in Manchester has got you covered.
There are more than 100,000 students enrolled across the region’s six colleges: The University of Manchester, University of Salford, University of Bolton, University Academy, Manchester Metropolitan University, and The Royal Northern College of Music.
The city is highly oriented towards students as you’ll see below, but it’s also an international cultural hotspot. Here you’ll find the Whitworth Gallery, The Lowry, and the Royal Exchange Theatre; and a scene that birthed the likes of Oasis, Joy Division and The Smiths.
Home to two of the world’s biggest sports clubs – Man Utd and Man City and their respective colossal stadiums, Old Trafford and The Etihad – it’s also a city with rich sporting history. It’s no surprise, then, that the National Museum of Football is located here too.
With activities from shopping at The Trafford Centre to dining and drinking at The Printworks, there’s really nothing that Manchester can’t provide.
What Different Types Of Student Accommodation in Manchester Are There?
There are several basic types of student accommodation in Manchester, and the type you’ll need will depend on your specific circumstances. Here is what’s typically listed when people advertise student accommodation:
Student Halls: The typical first-year option but also popular for postgrads and the odd student in their second and third year of their undergraduate degree. These can be owned by the university themselves, where application and payment for them go through the university services, or they are owned privately. There is a wide range of options and prices, depending on whether you have an ensuite, there are shared living spaces, and if there is catering. Private halls may also include luxuries like gyms and cinema rooms – all for a price, of course. Sometimes student halls are just rows of rooms with a common area, or like flats with a shared kitchen.
If you want to leave home but don’t really want to leave home, then catered, uni-provided halls are probably best for you. They’re also usually on or close to campus and very sociable places, both of which you will probably want if you’re trying out independence for the first time.
Studio: A studio flat or apartment will include one bedroom, a kitchen, and a private bathroom – including a toilet and shower. It’s likely there will also be a living space. You could have this all to yourself, or share with a partner or friend. It’s all entirely self-contained and private.
House: Not much need for explanation. Many students choose this option, living in a shared tenancy agreement in a house with multiple bedrooms. The rooms may be ensuite or have one or more shared bathrooms. Check the listing closely to see what is actually on offer.
Room in a house share: In certain cases, there is a house with separate tenancy agreements for the residents. Perhaps one room in a student house is being sublet or there is already a group of students living there with a spare room.
Ensuite: Whether within a shared flat or student halls, this refers to simply a private bedroom joined to a private bathroom. All other areas, including the kitchen and living area, will be shared with others.
What Are The Best Private Student Halls In Manchester?
If you’re set living in the uni-owned halls, click here for more information on those owned by The University of Manchester; and click here for Manchester Metropolitan University. They’re very sociable places, usually well-located for lecture commutes, and they will provide the classic ‘uni experience’.
Of course, the classic ‘uni experience’ often includes brown, 70’s-style curtains, carpets soaked in several generations of puke, and prison food catering. Not all halls are like this but if you’re not feeling that vibe, then you’re going to want to go private. Naturally, these are usually a little pricier, but well worth it in other respects. To be sure, not all private halls are created equally – you will find private halls that do offer carpet puke with all the trimmings. So here we will provide some halls we can vouch for.
There are quite a few providers of private student halls in Manchester – the biggest three are ‘dwell’, ‘UNITE’, and ‘iQ’, and they’re quite similar besides stylised capitalisation. There are many different buildings, so it’s hard to cover them all here. However, we tend to hear decent things from students about these halls: River Street Tower, Daisybank Villas, Rosamond House, iQ Daisy Bank, Dwell Student Village (Manchester Student Village) iQ Lambert & Fairfield House, iQ Warehouse Two, Daisybank Villas, and Vita Student Circle Square.
We will shine a spotlight on a few of our favorites. Again, your preferences are key so don’t take our word before first seeing if these places meet your specific needs, and be sure to check their cancellation policies before booking.
Being just a 15-20 minute walk from both The University of Manchester and Manchester Met, right next to a high street with bars, restaurants, and supermarkets, and a short bus ride from the center, it’s in a pretty convenient location.
All rooms are ensuite, so peaceful toilet time is guaranteed, and you can choose between premium or standard. The rooms are divided into blocks of flats, each with a shared kitchen including breakfast bar and stools, and a modern living area set up with a TV. The rooms are modern, nicely furnished, and have sufficient space for work, storage and relaxation.
There’s a common room with Sky TV, an outdoor courtyard, on-site laundry, bike storage, parking, and quick WiFi throughout. Most reviews say the property is well-managed by friendly, helpful staff.
Student rooms start at £141 per week.
Named after the road it is located on, two minutes from Oxford Road – home of UoM and MMU – only 20 minutes walk from the city centre, and five from the nearest supermarket, it couldn’t be better placed.
The building consists of blocks of five or six new and stylishly furnished en-suite bedroom flats, each with a shared kitchen and common room. All beds are doubles and ensuites. You can pick either a standard and large room.
There’s social areas for the whole building with a pool table, TV, sofas and vending machines. Facilities include laundry, speedy WiFi throughout, and contents insurance.
Apparently, the social scene isn’t so lively, but if that doesn’t bother you, then this is a great place to be.
Rooms start at £159 per week.
iQ Kerria Apartments
A 10-minute walk from the UoM campus and an 18-minute walk from MMU, this property is in a similarly good location to the others for trekking to uni. Being in the city center, it has all the location advantages you could imagine – food, shops, bars, everything.
They’re also the best designed on the list, with double beds, spacious, naturally-lit rooms, and sleek, modern furniture. There are lots of configurations to choose from.
Perks of the building include a study space, socialising area with a TV and ping-pong table, and an onsite gym. Laundry facilities, WiFi, contents insurance, parking and bike storage all come included.
All this comes at cost, of course, with rooms starting at £210 per week.
How Much Will Student Accommodation in Manchester Cost?
Most places will allow payment in instalments, rather than an annual lump sum. This will usually require you to have a guarantor – an adult based in the UK who could pay this for you.
On average, for student accommodation in Manchester, rent costs £188 per week. The average ensuite price is £163 per week, whilst the shared room average £216 per week, and for studio apartments, £240 per week.
Can I Share Accommodation With A Friend Or Partner?
Yes, as a lot of student halls have ‘dual occupancy’ options. Whilst this is usually for a little extra, or free, some halls charge per person, so watch out for that.
What Are The Best Areas For Renting A Student House in Manchester?
Just south of the city center lies the biggest student hub in Manchester, with thousands of students in many halls of residence and student houses.
It’s just a kick of a pebble from the UoM campus, not too far from MMU, and a 30-minute walk from town – ideal location-wise. Though you need not travel to the center to get great bars, food spots and shops, as Fallowfield has all this – especially those aimed at students. Think £1 shots and kebabs.
Given the student-centricity, the rent is as cheap as the kebabs and the shots. The housing quality might be lacking at times, but there’s plenty of green spaces you will find littered with students on a sunny day.
Just a little further south is Withington. Slightly less rowdy but still popular with students, it offers good access to everything you need, it’s still in close range to the uni buildings but has a bit more space from the dense student atmosphere of Fallowfield. Perhaps a good call to rent a student house in Manchester here if you’re a postgrad or more studious undergrad.
Once a little dilapidated, now mostly regenerated and gentrified, the housing quality and pricing vary greatly in this area. This may be by the wayside, though, for MMU students, who will find it most convenient to live here given its proximity to the campus. It’s also a quick, 20-minute walk to the center, which is good because it’s not the best for nightlife. Here you are more likely to find art centre’s and vegan cafes, which suits some.
What’s The Best Way to Get Around in Manchester?
The bike is a student-favourite in Manchester due to the plentiful cycle paths running across the city and its cheap cost. A good way to burn off those pints too.
The Magic 147 provides free riding for all UoM students between Sackville Street and Oxford Road on the campus. It runs every ten minutes throughout the week. Outside of this area, a single costs just £1.50, or £4.00 for a day-rider.
To get the Fairfield and further south, the 147 is the bus you need.
Manchester’s Metrolink is easy and convenient and runs frequently between Altrincham and Rochdale, as well as East Didsbury and Ashton-Under-Lyne. You can also take it to The Lowry and the Trafford Centre.
How Much Does Student Life in Manchester Cost?
According to UoM, you’re likely to need just under £10k as an undergrad for all term-time in Manchester. This includes £5k for (self-catered) accommodation, £1.5k for food, £450 for transport, and about £2.5k for £60 per week on books, mobile bills, social spending, and clothes.
This makes it one of the cheapest cities in the UK for students – if you needed yet another reason to go here.
Nightlife and Culture
For bars and clubs that won’t burn a hole in your pocket – Turtle Bay offers 2-1 cocktails every day from 9.30 till close; the aptly named Dive has happy hour from 5 pm to midnight; Walrus offers two beers for a fiver and a bottle of wine for a tenner at select hours. ?Fifth Ave’ is a student staple with regular themed nights, £1 entry, and 90p drinks.
For a different night out, there’s Black Dog Ballroom that has pool tables open till 5 am, Twenty Twenty Two with cheap drinks and ping-pong tables, and live laughs at The Comedy Store.
For gigs, Band on the Wall, The Warehouse Project, Night and Day, and O2 Ritz are always promising a range of live talent.
When it comes to art and culture, there’s the internationally renowned National Football Museum and The Lowry.
So there you have it – everything you need to know as a student in Manchester. Best of luck on your journey to independence.
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