A parent’s guide to student living in Manchester

As another intake of prospective university students begin the search for their perfect university choice, we know parents everywhere might be anxious. The idea of your child transitioning into adulthood, and moving away from home for the first time, can be surreal and stressful. Trust us when we say that however much independence, they’re trying to assert in picking their home for the next four years, they still need your help! There’s a balance to strike in providing support whilst allowing them to exercise their own judgement, but for most parents there is still a role to play.

Manchester is a popular choice for many considering tertiary education. The universities offer high quality teaching, and the city is vibrant yet affordable. There’s plenty to do, brilliant local transport, and though the weather can be grey the people are as friendly as their reputations suggest. If the students in our housing are anything to go by, it’s an excellent choice for an unforgettable university experience.

Expenses and maintenance

Tuition isn’t the only major bill that students and families face when considering university. The cost of living away from home can be extreme and varies significantly between cities or locations. Accommodation, books and academic supplies, socialising, transportation and personal expenses all add up, and their running total will be much higher for some than others.

Thankfully, Manchester has been ranked as the second most affordable UK city for students, with an estimated cost of living of around £890 per month. Take a look at our affordable Manchester student accommodation listings, we’re confident that you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what we can offer on a reasonable budget.

Quality of education

With over 99,000 students and a number of world-class universities, Manchester has become one of the UK’s most sought-after destinations for higher education. Based in the heart of the city centre and known for fantastic academic facilities, the University of Manchester was voted the 27th top university in the world by QS World University Rankings in 2020. We know that all students are different, and the beauty of Manchester as a spot to study is the breadth of institutions on offer. Also accessible are the University of Salford, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Bolton and the Royal Northern College of Music. All in all, students are offered access to over 2,500 degree courses, ensuring that there is truly something for everyone. The combination of these universities means a properly diverse student population mix and enjoy the city together.

Things to do

Things to do in Manchester

Multicultural and always buzzing, Manchester draws visitors from all over the world. Whether you seek good food, bold culture or vibrant nightlife, there are plenty of exciting things to do in Manchester. The local music scene gifted the world the likes of Oasis, The Smiths, Joy Division and the Stone Roses, and the city stays true to this rich musical past with a variety of gigs of all sizes every week. Read up on our guide to the best nights out in Manchester.

If students are more interested in Manchester’s rich culture and history, our list of must see Manchester sights includes:

  1. The Manchester Museum, which is the UK’s largest university museum with a collection of 4,500,000 artefacts from around the globe.

  2. The Manchester Art Gallery, which has been around since 1823 and celebrates both local and international work.

  3. Chinatown, which is the second largest in the UK and is home to a variety of restaurants, supermarkets and shops.

  4. Heaton Park, which is Europe’s biggest public green space, spanning 600 acres and containing a number of attractions including the park’s original Animal Centre, built in 1789.

  5. Manchester Cathedral, which has stood since 1421 and is a wonderful place to learn about the city’s history.

Safety and peace of mind

Manchester is relatively safe, with a very low risk of violent crimes. As in all big cities around the world, petty crime is a common occurrence and students should be wary of pickpockets and remain vigilant in the more secluded parts of the city. The most significant criminal factor is in fact one largely irrelevant for students. Manchester has the highest car crime rate in the UK, but public transport is so accessible and affordable that very few people attending the universities bring cars to the city anyway.

The type of student suited to Manchester

Manchester’s character is defined by rich history and multicultural experience. Nearly 200 languages are spoken here and there is a student population of almost 100,000, many of whom are international students. We think it’s safe to say that Manchester is a good choice for anyone considering a university in the UK, and are proud to offer affordable student accommodation in the city which tenants are proud to call home.