Facilities Manchester

The best alternative study spaces on campus and around the city

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Whether you’re in need of a change of scenery, or are struggling to find space in the University Main Library, or AGLC you might want to consider other options for study spaces. Here’s our round up of hidden study space gems across the campus and the city. From independent cafes to atmospheric libraries, there really is something for everyone.

Quiet spots

If you prefer a quieter atmosphere while you work, head to one of Manchester’s scenic libraries. If you haven’t ventured to Central Library yet, it’s a must! Alternatively, for something a little closer to home on days when you’ve slept through your alarm, try either one of the libraries in Didsbury or Withington.

  • Central Library: Monday to Thursday 9am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm.
  • Didsbury Library: Monday and Tuesday 9am to 8pm, Thursday to Saturday 9am to 5pm
  • Withington Library: Monday and Wednesday 9am to 8pm, Tuesday 1pm to 8pm, Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm
  • Fallowfield Library: Monday 1pm to 7pm, Wednesday 2pm to 5pm, Thursday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 11am to 2pm
  • John Rylands Research Institute and Library: Part of the University, but located on Deansgate. The Harry Potter-esque reading room is available for anyone to study in. Open Wednesday – Saturday 9am until 5pm.
  • The Portico library: Established in 1860 this historical library on Mosely Street is open to all Mon-Wed and Fri: 10am until 5pm, Thursday: 10am until 7pm and Saturday 12pm until 4pm
  • You can visit the Manchester Council website to find more library spaces across the city.

On campus

The big central spaces definitely aren’t the only study spots on campus! There are countless other options available to students that you may not have even heard of:

  • Art and Archaeology Library, Mansfield Cooper Building – Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
  • Stopford Library – Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
  • Whitworth Park and The Whitworth Art Gallery cafe – if you enjoy studying outdoors, visit one of Manchester’s most scenic green spaces. Even from the café, you can feel surrounded by nature as you work. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10-5pm, to 9pm on Thursdays.
  • Alliance Manchester Business School study spaces are open to all students – Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm.
  • MECD (The Engineering Building) has hundreds of great, flexible study spaces and three cafes available for all students. The building is open Monday – Friday 9am to 6pm.

Keep up to date with available study spaces on campus from the Library’s assessment support page.

Cafés around the city

Go and grab a coffee and cake to help boost your study power! Here are just a handful of student favourites around the city:

  • Chapter One Books, Northern Quarter – the large desk areas that hug each wall are perfect for students to work at!
  •  Fuel, Withington – this is the perfect spot for group work and serves up some of the best veggie and vegan food in the city on a student budget!
  • The Pen and Pencil, Norther Quarter- A great relaxed option! There are also plenty of plug points and food is served all day if you get peckish.
  •  North Tea Power – another in the Northern Quarter and a great spot to get stuck into your revision. Great Wi-Fi, comfortable furniture and wide selection of cakes and freshly ground coffee,
  • Foundation Coffee House, various locations – The large open space and fast WiFi is also a bonus.
  • The Art of Tea, Didsbury – the attached bookshop makes this the perfect environment for studying. And just in case you didn’t know, University Green has some great cafés right here on campus, including Bold Street Coffee and Takk as well as the new Starbucks and the Café Nero tucked away in Blackwells.

City spaces

The city doesn’t just have cafe’s to offer! If you’d prefer to study in a quieter environment that doesn’t feel as formal as a library, try one of the following work spaces:

  • HOME ground floor – this study space is often forgotten about by students but is well worth a visit!
  • Manchester Art Gallery cafe and outdoor seating on the Mosley Street terrace – this is the perfect place to work if you fancy having a mooch around the gallery on your study break.
  • Another option if you’re in desperate need of somewhere to go to really focus are paid for shared workspaces such as Colony or Seesaw where you can book a day passes.

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