With over 30,000 undergraduates and 10,000 members of staff, the University of Manchester is the largest university in the UK. It is also ranked one of the best in the world, coming in the 2014 Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking at 38th place - 7th best in Europe, and 5th best in the country. In its latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), 65% of the University of Manchester’s research activity was described as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
Indeed, these are not recent developments, but rather the latest milestones in a history of the university’s long-standing reputation for fostering bright and intrepid students. So far, the University of Manchester has produced 25 Nobel prize winners, which is fitting, perhaps, considering Manchester’s latent attraction for innovators and inventors from around the world. The city is the so-called ‘birthplace of nuclear physics’ as it is the place where Ernest Rutherford first split the atom. More recently, University of Manchester students Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov were both awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for isolating the properties of graphene. A long way from Rutherford’s days, no doubt, but still an excellent example of what hopeful applicants might strive towards achieving whilst living and studying at one of the most successful institutions in the world.
The university’s students are not the only ones with things to offer,however. Successful applicants can expect to be taught by some of the most esteemed and recognised researchers that the world has to offer. Researchers give lectures and seminars, allowing students the privilege of firsthand insight into developments that are being made in their specific subject area. In turn, students are able to engage and have an impact upon research that fuels discovery around the globe.
Of course, university life is not all about reaching for those Nobel Prizes, or dashing off that last spot of reading for a seminar the next morning. The city of Manchester itself is one of the biggest draws for interested candidates. A bustling hub for people of all cultures and backgrounds, Manchester boasts some excellent student haunts with something to satisfy your curiosity on every corner. Be prepared to witness some breathtaking architecture one second, only to turn your head and find yourself on the doorstep of one of the city’s busiest bars - in essence, your quintessential student town.