How to Get Into Manchester University

In my many years as an admissions consultant with The Profs, I’ve helped countless students get into Russell Group universities, like the University of Manchester. 

It is ranked 8th best in the UK, according to Times Higher Education (2024). In this article, I’ll provide you with insider advice on how to stand out amongst the crowd of applicants.

Getting into a well-respected and research-intensive university like Manchester is a real achievement but first, you will need to win over the admissions team. With the right support, hard work and preparation, you can maximise your chances of getting an offer. Our top admissions consultants have put together this advice to help you on your journey to becoming a student at Manchester University. Read on for top tips and key insider knowledge on how to get into the University of Manchester!

Our experienced admissions team can support you throughout the university application process, providing guidance on how to enhance your academic profile and write a stand-out personal statement that is tailored to Manchester University and your specific course. 

Thanks to our support, more than 95% of our students receive an offer from their first or second-choice universities. For more information on how we can help, get in touch with our team today.

Contents

What is the acceptance rate for the University of Manchester?

In 2020, the undergraduate offer rate was 51.1% (based on data provided by the University of Manchester). The university received 71,036 applications and gave 36,306 offers to prospective undergraduate students. However, around 8000-9000 places are available for new undergraduates each year meaning the true acceptance rate (i.e. the number of students that successfully enrol as a percentage of the total undergraduate applications in that admissions cycle) might be closer to the 12% mark. They give out more offers than places with the idea that applicants may choose another university or not meet their offer requirements. 

These calculations correspond with data collected by UCAS, in 2021:

Keep in mind that this is an overall offer rate and that some courses are more competitive than others. However, you will not simply get a place on a course because fewer people are competing against you for it; you must show that you are a good fit for the course. More than 95% of our students receive an offer from their first or second-choice universities, so get in touch with our admissions experts for the best support you can get with your application.

Is the University of Manchester a Russell Group university?

Yes, the University of Manchester is one of the 24 Russell Group universities. It is a leading university in the UK and in the assessment of research quality (REF 2021), 93% of its research was assessed as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. The Complete University Guide ranks Manchester as the 19th best Russell Group university. This ranking takes into account teaching quality, research quality and graduate prospects.

Year after year, thousands of students have the dream of getting into a Russell Group university but only a small percentage succeed. Here, at The Profs, we have some of the best admissions tutors in the UK, which is why we have a huge success rate with getting our students into their university of choice! Get in touch with our team to maximise your chances of getting a place at a Russell Group university, like Manchester.

What are the most competitive courses at the University of Manchester?

Manchester University offers a wider variety of over 400 undergraduate courses. So, whether you’re interested in Art, Languages and Culture, Science and Medicine, or the world of Business and Finance, Manchester is a place worth considering!

It is ranked in the top 10 in the UK for 25 subjects, including Dentistry, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, and Accounting and Finance. 

Manchester has provided some data on applications per place for its most competitive departments which I’ve tabulated below:

DepartmentApplicants per place*
Biomedical  and Biological sciences10.8
Chemistry 4.3
Chemical engineering  6.4
Computer sciences 10.0
Dentistry 16.2
Medicine8.5
Physics and Astronomy 6.1
Psychology10.0
Fashion 9.2

*Data provided directly from the University of Manchester website, for further information visit the individual course pages using their course search tool.

Regardless of what you want to study, if you’re applying to Manchester you can assume that you’ll be competing for a place. Read on for our insider knowledge and top tips!

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What are the entry requirements for the University of Manchester?

Manchester University’s entry requirements vary depending on the course you’re applying to study and the country you’re applying from. The table below shows the UK qualifications and some of the most common international qualifications accepted by Manchester, and the entry requirements for each. 

QualificationEntry requirements
A LevelsA*A*A*-ABB, depending on the course.
International Baccalaureate (IB)Overall score of between 30–39 along with three higher-level subjects (specific subject and grade prerequisites may apply for some courses).
Baccalauréat Général (France)Overall score of 13+/20.
Arbitur (Germany)Overall score of between 1.5/6 and subject grades of at least 11-13/15.
Indian Standard XII (CBSE/ISC)Minimum 80-95% overall score (subject-specific requirements may apply).
Other international qualificationsCheck the full list of international qualifications accepted by Manchester.

Manchester accepts a wide range of international qualifications and the table above is not exhaustive. It displays international qualifications on its individual course pages, so always check there before applying. For more information on how to apply to Manchester as an international student, check on the university’s own support page, read our guide for international applicants, or get in touch with The Profs for one-to-one support from one of our international admissions experts.

If you need support improving your grades to meet Manchester’s competitive entry requirements get in touch with one of our A level or IB tutors to receive award-winning support. If you are looking for general support with your application then reach out to The Profs’ admissions consultants today. 

7 tips for getting into Manchester

At Manchester, there are a wide variety of application processes which vary from course to course. That makes it all the more essential that you read the relevant course pages on the University website before you apply!

Read our 7 tips for applying to the University of Manchester to learn how to maximise your chances of getting an offer.

Thanks to our network of experienced tutors, many of whom are Russell Group graduates and ex-admissions officers themselves, we have the very latest and best knowledge on what Manchester is looking for in top applicants. Get in touch with us today to chat with a member of our team about how we can help you.

1. Do you actually know your specific entry requirements?

The entry requirements for Manchester differ between courses – not just in terms of grades, but also in the specific subjects required. For example, for Computer Science, you are required to achieve A*A*A* with an A* in both Maths and a minimum of one other Science subject.

Some competitive courses also require applicants to study more specific subject combinations. Medicine (MBChB) requires AAA at A-level, including Chemistry or Biology and at least one of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Psychology, Mathematics or Further Mathematics. 

It is essential before you make your application that you research your course and that includes knowing the entry requirements! Entry requirements for each course at Manchester are available on their course pages.

Manchester uses a range of assessments before granting you an offer. The right grades and subjects are usually just the first hurdle. On top of this you may be required to complete an interview, a departmental aptitude test, an admissions test, or attend a UCAS applicant visit day. Read on to tips 6 and 7 for more insider knowledge on these!

2. You’ve mentioned a solid 5-year plan, right?

Getting into Manchester is a great goal to have, but it’s also important to think about the long-term plan. Like Oxbridge, LSE, and other top UK universities, Manchester will not only want to see a genuine passion and commitment to studying your chosen course but also a plan of how the skills and knowledge you will develop on the course will help you achieve longer-term goals. 

Manchester prides itself on its core goals: research and discovery, teaching and learning, and social responsibility. Manchester strives for academic excellence generating the most employable graduates. It ranks 5th in the UK for employability according to the QS rankings (2022). The University is also a hub for world-class research as 93% of research was deemed world-leading or internationally excellent in the most recent 2021 REF

Great employability prospects and research are what you can expect from a Russell Group University but what makes Manchester different is its commitment to social responsibility. Manchester wants its teaching and research to have a positive impact on the environment and society too. The Stellify Award encompasses this goal by giving recognition to students who are making a real difference in the world. You can read more about Manchester’s commitment to social responsibility on their website.  

If you share this passion for making positive change and have taken part in extracurricular activities or volunteering that shows this, it’s a good idea to include it in your personal statement. You can also explain how this commitment to making a difference has inspired you to study your chosen subject or shaped your long-term goals.

Whatever your long-term goals – whether it’s wanting to study a Master’s or PhD, follow a specific career path, or land a graduate job at your dream company – show Manchester University that you are motivated to achieve them. You can also have a look at the industry links Manchester has, its reputation amongst employers (Manchester is ranked 42nd in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings), and what previous graduates (alumni) have gone on to achieve as inspiration. 

For more support on coming up with a career plan and making the most of this in your application, get in touch with our expert admissions tutors who can help you at every stage of the application process.

3. Lay the groundwork for acceptance

When it comes to writing your personal statement, ensuring that you show a genuinely passionate and in-depth understanding of your subject goes a long way. Manchester University values wider reading, critical thinking and extracurricular activities as well as top grades, so it’s important that you don’t just limit yourself to school study. 

If you want to get into top universities such as Manchester, it’s best to start expanding your reading list, getting involved in clubs or volunteering, and furthering your passions early on.

For example, if you’re interested in Mathematics, is there a local Maths club or Chess club you can join? Otherwise, have you thought about putting yourself forward for a competition like the renowned UK Maths Challenge

Interested in the Natural Sciences or Engineering? Consider browsing STEM activities, such as those offered by STEM learning and big pharma companies like GSK or Pfizer, or FMCG companies like MARS and Unilever. Universities like Imperial College London, University College London and Manchester University itself run STEM activities every year! 

Whatever course you’re looking to apply for be sure to read about the course structure (which is available on the Manchester University website). This should tell you a bit about the modules you’ll cover and some key aspects of the course including how you’re graded, graduate prospects, and opportunities for further study and research. You might also want to compare the course with similar courses at different universities to ensure that this course is right for you! 

It is also definitely worth researching the department professors and lecturers to see their work. Perhaps even give their LinkedIn a browse, as this is far more likely to be updated than a university webpage. Manchester is an outstanding hub for research and scored highly in the latest REF across numerous departments. 

You should also look up relevant articles, books or podcasts related to your chosen course. A good place to start is by looking online. You can use reviews and blogs to help navigate the literature on your subject. Just be sure to use credible sources, not Wikipedia or ChatGPT! This extra groundwork will work wonders for your personal statement and it will also help you get ahead with your independent research skills in preparation for university-level study. 

Reach out to our team of admissions tutors today who can identify where your strengths are and help you develop your academic and extracurricular profile before you submit your application to Manchester University.

4. How to actually go beyond the school syllabus

To help prove your commitment to your long-term goals outlined in your personal statement, you should look to gain relevant work experience in your field. Whether paid or unpaid, having experience working in your desired field will provide you with invaluable real-life knowledge about the industry.

For some courses, such as Medicine and Law, work experience is valued extremely highly, so it’s important that you get experience in relevant settings. For example, Medicine applicants should have work experience in at least one medical setting (e.g. a hospital, GP surgery, hospice, or another medical environment), while Law applicants should try to gain experience in a courtroom, law firm, charity, or governmental organisation. Read our guides to applying for Medicine and Law for more information on these two competitive degree programmes.

Some courses are harder than others to find direct work experience for. Courses such as Accounting, Economics and Finance at Manchester do not interview nor do they have any admissions tests. Instead, the admissions team makes their final judgement on your predicted grades, personal statement and references. Lots of applicants will meet the high grade requirements so this is where having an extra boost comes in handy! Our advice is to start early by trying to find relevant work experience by researching online; use credible websites like Bright Network, TargetJobs and RateMyPlacement. You should also make sure your teacher (who will be writing your academic reference) is aware of your ambitions and ensure you have permission to apply for these placements before you start them!

If you can’t secure work experience relevant to your chosen subject, try to engage in as many extracurricular activities related to your chosen subject area as possible. For instance, if you’re applying for Computer Science, you could join a school Computing club or learn a new programming language in your free time in order to gain valuable extra skills to supplement your application. If you are thinking of applying for Computing you can find more insider information including advice on relevant extracurricular activities in our online guide. This will still help to strengthen your application and show your commitment to the subject area.

Knowing how to boost your application is one thing, balancing your application preparation whilst keeping on top of your studies is another. Get in touch with our experienced admissions consultants as soon as possible to keep you on track and assist you with every step of your application!

5. Invest in your personal statement

It may seem obvious given the tips above, but making sure that you’re investing plenty of time into writing your personal statement is crucial to your application’s success. For many of Manchester’s most competitive courses, lots of applicants will achieve the grades required for entry so extra reading, work experience, and extracurricular activities are essential features to add to your statement. 

Having a winning personal statement is particularly important if your course doesn’t interview. If you are applying for a Social Science (e.g. Politics, Economics, Sociology and Philosophy) or Engineering course at Manchester then you are unlikely to be interviewed as part of the admissions process. 

Use your personal statement as a chance to express what makes you unique, demonstrate your commitment to the course, describe your academic and career ambitions, detail your skills and experience, and explain why you would be an excellent candidate for your chosen course. You can find more expert advice on writing a winning personal statement by reading our article and watching our video! The Profs’ experienced personal statement tutors can provide further guidance on how you can write a stand-out statement that is tailored to the University of Manchester and your specific course.

6. Don’t trip on your admissions test

Medicine applicants (including the foundation and graduate entry courses) are required to sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in the year they wish to make their application. Please note that the result is valid for one application cycle only. Further information specific to The University of Manchester is detailed on their UCAT page. Admissions tests like the UCAT can be a real nuisance for many applicants especially alongside the stealthy grade requirements for Medicine degrees (for Manchester that’s AAA at A level or equivalent). 

Manchester Medicine applicants must achieve at least a band 3 in the Situational Judgement Test, however, applicants in bands 1 and 2 will be prioritised. The UCAT is completely necessary for acceptance to universities like Manchester so don’t trip up on it! Read our helpful medical guides to find out more about preparing for the UCAT.

At The Profs we have expert UCAT tutors ready to help you succeed, get in touch as soon as possible for the best chance of success.

If you are interested in studying Medicine, read our article to understand more about the different courses offered for studying Medicine in the UK and how to submit a winning application!

Manchester does not ask applicants for Law (LLB) and related LLB courses to sit a National Admissions Test for Law (or LNAT for short). This is the same for some other top universities, including the University of Edinburgh and the University of Warwick. However, completing the LNAT and having a high LNAT score can certainly work in your favour even if it isn’t a requirement. Russell Group universities like Manchester will always have a surplus of quality applicants so completing the LNAT may give your application that extra push it needs.  Read our previous article if you are considering studying Law for more key insider knowledge and tips!

We at The Profs have excellent UCAT and LNAT tutors so if you are considering applying for Medicine or Law. Reach out to ensure success on these important tests!

Computer science and Mathematics courses could run aptitude tests as part of their application process, although this is currently under review. This is an exam set by the University academic departments. These are highly mathematical courses so study of Further Mathematics at A level or equivalent is highly preferred. Whilst not explicitly stipulated on the course pages, applicants who are confident in Mathematics may want to consider taking STEP or AEA examinations to support their application. 

7. Remember the purpose of your interview

Interviews form part of the application process for Medicine, Dentistry, Midwifery and Nursing courses. For Medicine and Dentistry, the interviews are run in a so-called MMI (or Multiple Mini Interviews) format, a style of interview used by many universities for Medicine courses involving several interview stations and questions by different interviewers. You can read more on this style of interview in our article on how to prepare for an MMI. If you are applying for one of the above courses then be sure to read Manchester’s Interview advice for Medicine and Dentistry

For Nursing courses one-to-one interviews will be held online, you can read more about the application process for Nursing at Manchester here. For Midwifery, the interview process is arguably the most intensive of the courses above, taking approximately 3 hours involving an individual interview and a group interview, more information is available here.

Many other courses including (but not limited to) Chemical Engineering, Drama, Music, Fashion and Material Science, and most Foreign Language single and joint honours degrees hold interviews as part of a Visit Day. The main part of the visit day for these subjects is a 20 to 30-minute interview with a staff member from the department. Visit days are also an opportunity for the student to learn more about the course they have submitted an application to and can include presentations from the admissions tutor ( a staff member from the department) and a Q&A with current students. Note that Visit days are for UK-based applicants and may be held virtually or in person. Also note that not all Visit days involve an interview, such as Visit days for Computer Science, but attendance is still compulsory for an offer. 

Bear in mind that the majority of departments reserve the right to interview candidates for a variety of reasons including those studying alternative qualifications ( i.e. not IB HL or A level), mature students (those who have spent 3 years or more out of mainstream education), or simply because they wish to interview! The interview policy and application process are outlined on the course pages. Generally, Social Science and Engineering courses (aside from Chemical Engineering) do not interview as a policy but look more weightily at other factors such as work experience, extracurricular activities, and strong academic performance.

Get 1-to-1 guidance from an expert admissions tutor

At the Profs, we have expert admissions consultants, many of whom are ex-Russell Group admissions officers, who can guide you through the process of applying to the University of Manchester, as well as Oxbridge, Durham, Bristol, and other top universities. We offer our students the very best tuition in the business – in fact, only 3% of tutors who apply to our network are accepted to work with us. As a result, more than 95% of our applicants receive an offer from their first or second-choice universities at undergraduate level. 

Get in touch with our friendly team today to access our dedicated support.

FAQs

Is Manchester University good?

Manchester is a highly regarded and sought-after Russell Group university in the north of England. It is ranked as the 32nd best university in the world (QS World University Rankings) and the 8th best in the UK (Times Higher Education). 

Does the University of Manchester accept transfers?

Manchester University does accept transfer students from other universities onto some of its courses. However, you may not be able to transfer directly into second or third year and may be required to apply for year one entry via UCAS. You can find more information on the Manchester Student Support pages.

How many students are at Manchester University?

Manchester University is one of the UK’s largest campus-based universities, with over 26,000 undergraduate and 14,000 postgraduate students. It is also the most globally diverse university in the UK, with over 10,000 international students enrolling from more than 160 countries globally. 

Does Manchester give contextual offers?

The University of Manchester does give contextual offers based on factors including if you live in an area of disadvantage or with low progression into higher education if the school or college where you took your GCSEs/A-levels has performed below the national average over multiple years and more. 

If you meet the criteria for contextual admissions and your predicted grades are within two grades of Manchester’s minimum entry criteria (see above), you may be made a reduced offer. This will usually be one grade lower than the standard entry requirements unless the standard entry requirements are A*A*A*, in which a two-grade reduction will be applied (i.e. A*A*A* becomes A*AA).

The majority of students won’t be eligible for Manchester’s contextual offers, however, it is always worth checking. Use Manchester’s contextual admissions eligibility tool to find out if you are eligible.

Does Manchester University accept lower grades?

The entry requirements for Manchester University are typically high, ranging from A*A*A*-ABB depending on the course. For the most competitive courses, such as Mathematics and Medicine, it is unlikely that lower grades will be accepted. However, for less competitive courses, Manchester may accept lower grades via Clearing. Manchester also gives contextual offers – if you meet the criteria for contextual admissions and your predicted grades are within two grades of Manchester’s minimum entry criteria, you may be made a reduced offer. 

Does Manchester University interview everyone?

Manchester University does not interview the majority of its applicants. However, for some competitive courses (including Medicine) and more practical courses (such as Drama), you will be invited to interview. You are also more likely to be interviewed if you are applying with non-standard/alternative qualifications or are a mature student. See the above tips for more information on interviews. You must read the information relevant to the course you are applying to on the university course pages to make sure you are aware of the application requirements before you apply!

Does Manchester University accept BTEC?

Manchester University does accept students who have studied BTECs in subjects relevant to their chosen course. Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Extended Diploma (e.g. D*DD or DDM). For Medicine applicants, only the foundation course accepts BTEC qualifications. Some courses such as Chemical Engineering (MEng) require at least one or more A level grades alongside BTECs. Some courses specify required levels of achievement in particular units/modules or ask for additional qualifications to meet the subject requirements, so make sure to check on your chosen course page before applying. If you are not taking the right qualifications for your chosen course you may have the option of joining the foundation course which just means that your first year will be a so-called foundation year. These courses generally have lower entry requirements but also tend to accept a wider range of qualifications. 

Does Manchester University do Clearing?

Manchester University does participate in Clearing. It also has a scheme called Contextual Clearing, whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds may be eligible to receive reduced entry requirements for some Clearing courses. Bear in mind that spaces will only be available on courses that are not already filled – the most competitive courses may not be available via Clearing. For more information on Clearing see the UCAS.