At The University of Manchester we're committed to ensuring the transition to your new home away from home is as smooth as possible, and that during your time in halls, you have the best possible experience.
Starting university is an exciting time and living in university halls is a great way to meet other students, build friendships, and live with people from a variety of different backgrounds. Manchester halls of residence aren't just accommodation but their own communities, where many Manchester students make friends for life.
There are plenty of exciting events and opportunities life in halls has to offer. Every hall offers an extensive range of facilities, from computer clusters and libraries, to sports and bars, meaning you'll never be short of things to do or ways to socialise and relax.
My life in halls – a blog by Isabella Fleming, Geography student
When I first moved to my flat I ‘accidently’ banged my suitcase against every bedroom door on the way to my room, in the hope that my new flat mates would hear the noise and come out of their rooms to say hi. It worked, and within an hour, my three other flat mates and I were all off to the curry mile for a meal out together.
I loved my year in Fallowfield. Living on a campus with over a thousand students and having complete freedom in a new city is truly a novel experience. Coming from the small city of Cambridge, I found it amazing to be able to meet people from all over the world. I loved being a two second walk away from all my friends and being able to see them any time of day or night. The security of living in halls in Fallowfield is also something I greatly appreciated in my first year. It’s really nice to have this assurance and safety for your first year living away from home, and definitely a benefit of living in University halls.
One thing no one told me was how lonely you can get in your first year. You’re often so busy and constantly with friends, so I found that if I did have a day where I didn’t see many people, I felt really lonely. As the year went on, I realised all of my new friends had felt lonely too and that I was not the only one who missed home. I think this is one of the reasons we became such amazing friends.
For anyone moving into halls I would give three pieces of advice. The first would be to not over think things. It can be scary and awkward, and it’s very easy to hide away in your room - getting out of my room meant I met so many amazing people and had so many great times. The second is to realise that everyone feels exactly the same things as you. Not everyone will instantly find life in halls easy, and almost no one you meet will have lived away from home before, so it’s perfectly normal to have a few rocky patches. The third and final piece of advice is to have fun. Living in halls is an incredible experience, so enjoy it.
Location – getting your bearings
Our accommodation is set across three main areas, all within easy reach of the campus, the city and amenities. Each area offers something different but all offer a great place to live and study.
Want to be at the heart of our bustling University campus, with lectures and study spaces on your doorstep? Then our city accommodation is the place for you. Set within the University campus, green spaces and metropolitan streets, residents on the north of the campus are only five minutes' walk from the heart of the city centre, with Sugden Sports Centre and Manchester Aquatics close by too, while for those south of the campus, it's only a short journey via one of the many buses that travel along the Oxford Road corridor.
Stuart Johnson, PhD in Organic Chemistry, Whitworth Park, City Campus
Whitworth Park is a stone’s throw from the Students’ Union, as well as tonnes of other amenities. It has a private bar and gym onsite which is pretty impressive. Then there are big supermarkets, the campus, Manchester Aquatics Centre – you’re in the middle of it all. I cycle everywhere, so I’m back from campus almost immediately. It’s the perfect social middle ground – not too busy, but with a community feel.
The social aspect is the best part of living in halls for me. I only use my room for sleeping; otherwise I’m in the kitchen, having conversations with my flatmates. I’m a ResLife Advisor, so I help to organise social activities and events for residents, as well as providing support and guidance ResLife is good for student wellbeing; most don’t need help, but for those who do, we’re here to signpost them. I feel pretty lucky to be placed in the University’s most convenient location on campus.
Halls of residence within the city campus are:
Victoria Park is situated between the city and Fallowfield residential areas, so halls here are ideally placed for both academic and social activities. Leafy green surroundings provide a pleasant and tranquil atmosphere in which to live, with Whitworth Park and the renowned multi-award winning gallery, the Whitworth, only a stone's throw away. It's approximately a 15 minutes' walk to the University's main campus, however there are also frequent bus services operating along Wilmslow Road and Anson Road. The city centre is equally accessible – only ten minutes by bus. Next to Victoria Park is Rusholme – fondly known as The Curry Mile. Colourful and cosmopolitan, it's many restaurants and shops offer an unparalleled range of cuisine and produce. Here you'll find plenty of small supermarkets, as well as some larger, well-known supermarkets including Lidl, Tesco and Sainsburys' nearby.
Norbert Magos, BSocSC Politics and International Relations,
Dalton Ellis Hall, Victoria Park
I really like Dalton Ellis. It’s so relaxing, leafy and green – that’s the best part. Then there’s the cleaning service, the food – it’s all amazing. It’s very good for people who are passionate about university; there are lots of study facilities, libraries, computer clusters.
I wanted to make new friends, so I basically sat next to people in the cafeteria and talked to them! I also went to some cool social events: we had a Chinese New Year event organised by the Junior Common Rooms (JCR) committee, and we also have parties with free drinks, playing table tennis and giant Jenga.
My favourite aspect of hall life is that you can always find someone to chat with – and different people, so you don’t get bored. You can play pool, table tennis; we also have a squash court. There are great shops nearby and there’s the Whitworth art gallery a stone’s throw away.
Halls of residence within the Victoria Park Campus are:
Approximately 2.5km south of the main University campus, Fallowfield is a vibrant suburb where thousands of students live alongside permanent residents – creating a real sense of community. Almost a town within a city, Fallowfield is well-known for its lively social scene, meaning you'll have no shortage of opportunities to make friends. There is also a great mix of shops, cafes and bars and a frequent bus service to and from the city centre, making it an ideal location to live. Fallowfield is also home to the Armitage Centre, one of the University's two sports venues, which is no more than five minutes’ walk away. The Armitage Sports Centre offers football, rugby, hockey and cricket pitches (all-weather and grass), as well as squash and badminton courts, fitness classes and much more.
Elizabeth Martin, BA Modern History and Politics, Ashburne Hall, Fallowfield
I wanted an environment that felt like a community; Fallowfield is exactly that. It has a great nightlife and social scene. There are lots of small independent bars and chains on your doorstep, plus great supermarkets and convenience stores.
I looked at Ashburne on a visit to Manchester and it was so beautiful. I love the formal dinners, where we all dress up and interact with different people. Settling in was difficult at first, but you soon adjust to life away from home. I became a member of my hall’s JCR committee, which was a great way to make friends.
Fallowfield is a place for somebody who is enthusiastic and excited about new opportunities, meeting new people and trying something different. You have your independence and your freedom – but you also have ResLife, security staff, people you see every day. You’re in a lovely enclosed community where you take care of each other.
Halls of residence within the Fallowfield area:
Walking route from Fallowfield to the University:
Support in halls
The ResLife team are here to ensure that you get all the support and guidance you need throughout your stay in our Halls of Residence. Moving to somewhere new and starting university can be a daunting experience for many, but the ResLife team are here to help make your transition into university life as smooth as possible and are your first port of call in halls for any problems you may have. Whether you encounter an issue which relates to your accommodation, your academics, your safety or your personal life, ResLife are here to point you in the right direction of where you can get support and are always keen to be a helping hand.
The ResLife team live onsite in halls. Each hall has their own ResLife Coordinator, as well as several ResLife Advisors, who are usually assigned a certain block or number of flats to support. University staff and postgraduate students make up the team, so they understand the demands of university life and can empathise with most problems.
As well as being on call for any issues or incidents, your ResLife Advisors will hold regular flat meetings to ensure that everyone is happy and involved in the residential experience.
ResLife events and other opportunities
ResLife aims to get residents involved in a wide range of opportunities to get the most out of your time in halls. Opportunities include taking part in halls sports teams, volunteering, workshops and charity fundraising. We also organise a wide range of ResLife events in halls, you can find our events calendar.
At The University of Manchester, you have the opportunity to have a say on how your hall is ran, and what activities and events are available to students living there, by running for a position on your hall's Residence Association (RA) or a Junior Common Room (JCR).
Not only will your involvement in such activities make your time in halls more sociable, fun and memorable, many of the extracurricular activities ResLife promote will be a fantastic addition to your CV.
In catered halls, meals are served in communal dining halls for you to enjoy with fellow residents. Meals are served throughout the year, except for vacation times and bank holidays, and their cost is included in the residence fee, making budgeting easier. Varied and extensive menus are always offered, including vegetarian and vegan options, and provision can also be made for those with special dietary requirements. The majority of catered halls also have smaller kitchen facilities enabling you to prepare meals at weekends or during the day.
What our students say
Catered halls are so convenient as you don’t have to worry about food shopping or cooking and it gives you more time to focus on the big changes you go through once you move to university, like adapting to the independence and meeting new people. The big advantage of catered halls is the social aspect. I got to eat with my flat mates for breakfast and dinner, five days a week.
Mel Davies, first year, Foundation Year Biosciences
The food was great and far exceeded my expectations. I don’t eat meat and I was a little worried about how good the vegetarian options would be. I needn’t have worried, because the vegetarian and vegan options were both tasty and varied. And my favourite had to be the amazing desserts; they made the most wonderful cheesecake!
Laura Gallacher, Linguistics and Social Anthropology student
Self-catered halls offer flexibility and independence: you determine the food budget, prepare the meals and decide when and what to eat. Typically, those in self-catered halls are grouped in shared flats or corridors, where communal lounges and kitchens are provided. In each kitchen you will find cupboard space, cookers, microwaves, refrigerators and freezers. Students are however required to bring their own cutlery and crockery.
My first year in self-catered halls –
a blog by George Wagstaff,
Biomedical Sciences student
Self-catering can be a daunting prospect, as for many students this is their first experience of it. I had never really cooked before university, so I wasn’t sure how I would cope with this transition. In the early days I often found myself going back to three of my stock meals that revolved around pasta, potato, pesto, chicken and vegetables. However, once I became accustomed with what food items were essential for me in terms of value for money, nutrition and practicality (at a local Sainsbury’s), my provisioning and cooking progressed.
I also relished the flexibility of self-catering as you can eat when you’re hungry, and if you have a commitment, you can adjust your mealtimes accordingly. Importantly, you get to make these decisions! Another aspect of self-catering that worked well for me was sharing meals. This was something I would do on a weekend in first year, with some of my flatmates. We would either take it in turns to cook or do it together. The kitchen had two ovens and eight hobs so when we cooked together, it was easy. Either way, sharing meals (spaghetti Bolognese springs to mind) with friends was a great way of spending evenings at the weekends.
The other key advantage of living in self-catered halls, is you live in a flat with 6-10 people, which makes it easy to get to know everyone. This allows you to settle into university life quickly as everyone is in the same boat as you. Furthermore, your flat will start to feel like a family away from home (especially if you share meals too). This was certainly true for me, as I made a best friend for life and still keep in touch with a lot of the others.
In addition to the standard fixtures and fittings, en-suite study bedrooms include an adjoining room containing a shower cubicle, wash basin and toilet.
My en-suite room at Unsworth Park – a blog by Alex Bell, Adult Nursing student
My experience of living in halls has been amazing and I would highly recommend students stay in halls for at least their first year. If you like it that much, you can reapply for your following years.
Having an en-suite enabled me to feel comfortable and not a disturbance to other people. My en-suite was brand new at Unsworth Park and if there were any issues you could report it online and it would be sorted within a week if it wasn’t urgent.
Being a nursing student, I was really apprehensive about staying in halls, but due to me leaving home, this was the only real option I had. My room and en-suite was absolutely everything I’d hoped for and more!
The storage was never ending, they are so well thought out and make really good use of space.
In Unsworth Park you share a flat with ten people including yourself, and in my case there was five girls and five boys which meant we had a great opportunity to get to know new people and friends that I’ll hopefully have for life. Our halls were made up of people from all different courses which was a real bonus for me as could meet a variety of people.
A really nice thing about halls is that you share a kitchen so you can make meal times really fun by cooking together and eating together. Overall, I really enjoyed my first year living with my friends in university halls and having great memories that will last a lifetime.
My experience of a sharing a bathroom –
Isabella Fleming, Geography student
When I was in first year, I lived in Oak House, which is a shared bathroom accommodation type in the Fallowfield halls of residence. In Oak House you’re in a flat of eight, which has four boys and four girls split across two levels, with a bathroom on each floor. I thought it might be a little bit awkward at first sharing a bathroom, but I found actually in the first few weeks it helped me get out of my room a bit more because I had to shower and brush my teeth, and I think it definitely made me more comfortable living there. I bumped into my flatmates all the time which made us much better friends. By the end of the year, we were all brushing our teeth together at the same time. I also really liked having a shared bathroom because the cleaners came in twice a week to clean it, and they also gave us all of our loo roll, and I definitely didn’t realise how expensive loo roll was until I was in my second year.
Finding University approved accommodation with Manchester Student Homes
What we do
Manchester Student Homes (MSH) is a department of both The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. We work in partnership with The University of Salford, The Manchester College and The Royal Northern College of Music to promote quality accommodation and provide advice and guidance to students who choose to live off campus.
We understand that moving out of University accommodation and finding a house off campus can be daunting, especially as a first-year student in a new and exciting city, but hopefully after reading this guide you will feel a lot more comfortable with ample resources and knowledge going forward and moving into your new abode.
Our very own recognised accreditation scheme means that our landlords have agreed to comply by our Code of Standards, which are above those in the private renting sector, to ensure that your rights as a tenant are protected and that your accommodation is up to a good quality standard in terms of space, safety and the security of your new home.
All our landlords must provide us with valid certificates before they are allowed to advertise on our website, these include:
- Gas Safety Certificate
- Electrical Installation Condition Report
- Local Authority Licences (where applicable) eg HMO Licences for properties with 5 bedrooms or more
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) –they must have a rating of E or above
Accreditation Plus (A+) is our highest level of accreditation. This level of accreditation is awarded to landlords who go above and beyond, this include but is not limited to:
- Not charging a retainer over the summer without providing access to the property
- Does at least 10 hours of volunteering through the MSH volunteering programme each year
International Friendly Standard
The International Friendly Standard was created by MSH to recognise those accommodation providers who provide a fair and transparent service to international students.
Accommodation providers that have been awarded the Standard have agreed to the following conditions:
- NO requirement for UK based guarantors
- NO requirement for your rent to be paid upfront for the year
- To have reasonable payment plans available
- To use simplified and fair booking procedures for students to access from overseas
- To use a fair and easy to understand contract with clear information on any additional fees or charges
- To provide information about the area to assist your orientation at check-in
- To have a commitment to international student safety
Whether you are renting with an accredited landlord or not, our service is free, impartial and totally confidential. We also work in partnership with local authorities such as Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Police, and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. We offer a free contract checking service to ensure the agreement is fair and transparent, and you can visit us for advice on a range of issues with deposits, repairs and maintenance, contractual issues and any other housing related queries.
When your tenancy begins to near its completion, we are available to provide information regarding move out procedures, deposit refunds and offer advice in instances of disputes. It is important to understand what you could be charged for when moving out and it is imperative that you fulfil the needs of your tenancy agreement in full and clean the house thoroughly or there will be deductions from your deposit.
Our dedicated Housing Caseworker investigates cases where the Code has been breached, and offers an official complaint procedure which you can use to report any issues with accommodation providers that will be resolved by us in a timely manner. If you choose to rent from a landlord or provider who is not on our accreditation scheme, don’t worry, we can still provide support and information to you if you have any issues free of charge, but we would be unable to physically act as a mediator as we can with our accredited landlords.