Navigating the Campus

When I was younger, I visited Manchester University with my high-school in order to tour around the library. All I remember back then was that the buildings were huge and the mass of students swarming around the campus overwhelmed me. Now that image of the University I once had feels silly. Of course, there are grand buildings like the Samuel Alexander building with its winding hallways and there are still thousands of students wandering campus at one time but these sights are no longer intimidating.

Now, I (mostly) know exactly where I’m going and what I’m doing when I’m on campus. As a student you’ll quickly get used to the different buildings which line Oxford Road. That being said I thought I would introduce some important places on campus that you’d likely visit during your time here:

The Student Union

This is the main hub of student activity, it’s where you can go to relax, have a sit down and eat some food in one of the cafes there. The union is a place for everyone. There is a multi-faith room and frequently, the space is host to concerts or cultural fairs. It’s a place to do everything and anything – even get a haircut

Alan Gilbert Learning Commons

This is located next to the student union and is a huge space designated for independent study. This building is open 24/7 and has lots of computers and study rooms so if you ever need to write an essay or do some research, this is the place to go

Main Library

The library is an amazing space. Around you there are thousands of books, all available to take out or read inside using your student card. As well as the main library, there are other collections such as the Art and Archaeology library and the John Rylands library. In total, there are four million items in the collections across all Manchester library sites!

University Place

During your time at Manchester, it’s almost certain that you will need to go inside Uni Place. Inside there’s seminar rooms and lecture theatres as well as a canteen serving pho, bubble tea and lots of other foods. Importantly, the building houses the careers service as well as student support and advice team who can advise you on your time here. It’s also where we will be hosting Welcome Information sessions during Orientation. The building looks like a huge silver tin can and is a short walk down from the Student’s Union

Samuel Alexander


This is the humanities building. Here, there are mostly lecture and seminar rooms but also a café and study space on the basement floor. The reason I point this building out is that if you’re learning a language or want to find a language partner, the language centre is a great place to start and is located in this building

University Sports

The Sugden Sports centre as well as the Aquatics centre are leisure centres located near the main campus. I thought I’d mention them both as they are both involved in the Sporticipate program which offers free activities like Badminton and Volleyball for students studying at the University of Manchester.

University Green

University Green is right next to the business school and is a green space with benches, grass and places to eat like PRET, Mowgli and Five Guys. There’s also Blackwell’s book shop where you can buy discounted books for studying. When the sun is shining and there isn’t much rain it’s a great space for sitting with your friends and getting away from any stress

Of course, there are many more buildings on campus, with buildings for most faculties, as well as a North campus near the city centre which is mainly used by engineering students.  Even so, I thought I’d introduce you to just a few places so when you arrive, you’ll have a better idea of what to do and where to go on campus.