Exams Facilities Learning Services

Secret study spots on campus

It’s a busy time of the year with exams happening left, right and centre. This means that study spaces in the the Library and the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons will fill up fast.

However, you don’t necessarily have to conform to either – we’ve found some of the top secret study spots on campus which you might have never heard about!

Manchester Museum 

Hidden away through the archway nearest to University Place, this one’s definitely a spot to consider. Make your way up to the top floor of the Museum and you will discover a place called ‘The Study’ – Manchester’s space for new thinking. The area consists of galleries, a research space and a study centre. This area is great if you want some cultural inspiration while still being around campus!

Open daily (10am – 5pm)

Stephen Joseph Studio 

This brand new study spot has opened as part of Exam Extra. Located between the Main Library and the Mansfield Cooper Building, the old church has two large rooms (located on the first floor) and four smaller rooms (ground floor). Plus, if you’re in need of a book from the Main Library, you’re only a minute’s walk away!

Open 11 May – 5 June (9am – 9pm)

The Atrium

Tucked away on the first floor of University Place, the Atrium is a wonderfully calm, light, airy space with a range of comfy seating and plenty of plug sockets! It’s a great spot to relax and study for the day, or stop by if you’re between classes in some of the many nearby teaching rooms.

Open Monday-Friday (9am – 5pm, or 10am – 4pm during vacations)

Art and Archaeology Library

Found on the fourth floor of the Mansfield Cooper Building, the Arts and Archaeology Library is a three minute walk from the Main Library. If you head to the right of the library, you’ll be able to sit by the large windows and look out to campus if you’re in need of a little distraction.

Open Monday – Friday (9:30am – 7pm)

John Rylands Library

Immerse yourself in Europe’s best example of neo-Gothic architecture. Founded over 100 years ago, this fascinating building contains one of the most finest libraries in the world and is the perfect place to learn and let your imagination take over.

Open 10am – 5pm (Tuesday – Saturday) and 12pm – 5pm (Sunday – Monday)

Barnes Wallis Building

A perfect oasis from the Manchester cold winds, the Barnes Wallis building is located at the North Campus opposite the Joule Library.

They have two floors full of computers alongside a nice cosy cantina and study rooms if you want something more private.

Click here to get the latest opening times.

Kantorowich Library

Carry on down Oxford Road from the Ali G and you’ll reach the Kantorowich Library in the Humanities Bridgeford St. Building. Found on the ground floor, the library has a relaxing atmosphere with plenty of natural light and not a sound to be heard.

Open Monday – Friday (9:30am – 7pm)

Milk and Honey Cafe

Head up the steps between the Kilburn Building and Crawford House and you’ll find the sweet Milk and Honey Cafe. The cafe has a chilled out atmosphere and comfortable seating. Plus, treat yourself to some of their delicious food and drinks, which includes a specific breakfast menu if you’re an early riser.

Open Monday – Friday (8am – 3pm)

If you prefer to study in cafes, then Content Ambassador Cara has reviewed her top study spots in the city.


So if the Library or the Ali G are full, give one of these secret spaces a go! Plus, check out the Library’s #SpaceOfTheDay on Instagram for any further study space ideas.

And if you decide that you want a break from campus, check out how Content Ambassador Lina has made her perfect study spot at home.

Don’t forget – most of the libraries will be closed on 27 May as it is a Bank Holiday (however the Main Library and Alan Gilbert Learning Commons will remain open).

For further help, please check out the Exam Extra website.