Manchester Metropolitan University

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Manchester Metropolitan University
Motto Many Arts, Many Skills
Type Public
Established 1970 (as Manchester Polytechnic)
1992 (gained university status)
Endowment £984,000 (2011)[1]
Chancellor Peter Mandelson[2]
Vice-Chancellor Malcolm Press[3]
Students 31,355 (2014/15)[4]
Undergraduates 25,810 (2014/15)[4]
Postgraduates 5,545 (2014/15)[4]
Other students
200 FE[5]
Location Manchester, England, UK
53.47053, −2.23872
Campus All Saints, Birley Fields, Crewe
Colours Blue, turquoise, burgundy, gold
Affiliations University Alliance
Association of Commonwealth Universities
Association of MBAs
Logo of the Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University (often referred to as MMU, Man Met or Manchester Met) is a British public university located in North West England. It was established in 1970 as Manchester Polytechnic and gained university status in 1992. Its headquarters and central campus are in the city of Manchester, and there are additional facilities in Cheshire. The university has its roots in the Manchester Mechanics' Institution (1824) and the Manchester School of Design (1838).[6]

Manchester Metropolitan University receives approximately 52,000 applications every year, making it the second most applied-to university in the UK after the University of Manchester.[7] It is the fifth largest university in the UK in terms of student numbers. It is an accredited member of the Association of MBAs, a member of the University Alliance, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the North West Universities Association, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the European University Association.

The university is home to the Manchester School of Art and the Manchester School of Theatre. Together with the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University also jointly administers the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) with MSA students classified as students of both universities.


The university developed from mergers of various colleges with various specialisms, including Technology, Art and Design, i.e. Manchester Mechanics' Institution (1824) and Manchester School of Design (1838). Later, Schools of Commerce (founded 1889), Education (f. 1878) and Domestic Science (f. 1880) were added along with colleges at Didsbury, Crewe, Alsager and the former Domestic and Trades College (f. 1911), latterly Hollings College.

The painter L. S. Lowry attended Manchester School of Art in the years after the First World War where he was taught by the noted impressionist Adolphe Valette.[6] It became Manchester Polytechnic in 1970. On 1 January 1977, the polytechnic merged with the Didsbury College of Education and Hollings College, and on 1 January 1983 with City of Manchester College of Higher Education. In 1987 the institution became a founding member of the Northern Consortium. Having previously been a local authority institution, the polytechnic became a corporate body on 1 April 1989, as allowed by the terms of the Education Reform Act 1988.

It was granted university status as "Manchester Metropolitan University" by the Privy Council on 15 September 1992 under the provisions of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The university absorbed Crewe and Alsager College of Higher Education on 1 October 1992 and the Manchester School of Physiotherapy in 2004.[8]

Manchester School of Physiotherapy: The Manchester School of Physiotherapy (MSOP) was a higher education institution based in Manchester, United Kingdom. It provided undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes within Physiotherapy and additionally offered NVQ level qualifications for unqualified Physiotherapy Support Workers. The School of Physiotherapy was affiliated to the Victoria University of Manchester and all degree level courses were validated and conferred by this institution.[9]

The School was officially formed in 1991, through the amalgamation of the Manchester Royal Infirmary (M.R.I.) and the Withington Hospital Schools of Physiotherapy. From these two institutions it can date its history back to 1911 and during the 1980s via its M.R.I. routes, became the first NHS School of Physiotherapy to offer a three-year undergraduate honours degree programme.[8] The Manchester School of Physiotherapy was based at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and from 1993, was housed within purpose built accommodation converted from the hospital's former outpatient department. The academic building consisted of two large raked lecture theatres, a number of practical rooms, a gymnasium, seminar rooms, a library, office facilities and a student common room.

In 2004 the Manchester School of Physiotherapy officially joined the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and initially became known as the Department of Physiotherapy. It was at this point the last NHS School of Physiotherapy to join a UK higher education institution.[8] It subsequently became the Department of Health Professions and is currently based at the Birley Fields Campus of MMU in Hulme.[10] All students now have their degrees conferred from the Manchester Metropolitan University.

The final cohort of Manchester School of Physiotherapy students graduated in 2005, with their degrees being conferred by the University of Manchester.

Manchester Royal Infirmary School of Physiotherapy Badge


Exercise and Sports Science Building at Cheshire Campus.
The All Saints Building on the All Saints Campus, Chorlton-on-Medlock
The administration building of the Didsbury Campus

The university was previously located on seven sites, five in Manchester (All Saints, Aytoun, Didsbury, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Hollings) and two in Cheshire (Alsager and Crewe), and has rationalised its estate, reducing the number of sites to two. The university has moved the work of the Alsager campus to Crewe. The Aytoun campus closed in 2012 when a new Business School opened on the All Saints Campus. Since 2011, the university has been engaged in a £350 million investment programme involving the largest physical change to its estate since its foundation. In 2014 the Elizabeth Gaskell, Hollings and Didsbury campuses were closed and the faculties moved to All Saints and the new Birley campus[11]

All Saints Campus[edit]

Statue of John Dalton by William Theed outside the university's building in Chester Street

All Saints campus is one of the university's 2 campuses.

The Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science is split between the Geoffrey Manton and Mabel Tylecote buildings. The Geoffrey Manton Building accommodates the English, History and Economic History, Information and Communications, Politics and Philosophy, and Sociology departments. The Languages departments are housed in the Mabel Tylecote Building.[12]

The John Dalton Building, on Chester Street is the home of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.[13] It comprises four schools: the School of Healthcare Sciences, the School of Computing, Mathematics & Digital Technology, the School of Engineering, and the School of Science and The Environment. To the rear of the John Dalton Building is JD tower, housing the university's main science laboratories including IRM,[14] the Institute for Biomedical Research into Human Movement and Health.

The Manchester School of Art on the All Saints Campus is composed of four departments: The Manchester School of Architecture (operated jointly with the University of Manchester Faculty of Humanities); Department of Art; Department of Design; Department of Media.[15] The faculty houses the Holden Gallery which has a continuous programme of exhibitions and is open free to the public.[16] The university has invested in improving the Manchester School of Art building granting £35 million to facilitate three changes including: a new building for the faculty, refurbishment of the workshops and renovation of the studios. In 2014 the building was nominated for the Stirling Prize.[17][18]

New premises costing £75 million for the Faculty of Business and Law have been built on All Saints Campus and the Business School re-located to this building from the Aytoun Campus in 2012.[19] It will house more than 5,000 students and 250 staff.[20] The new building is an original architectural concept with three towers under a single glass roof.[citation needed] Green credentials are an integral part of the building's design which incorporates solar panels and heat pumps to power the building and a rain water recycling scheme.[20] The Manchester Law School is in the Sandra Burslem building which opened in 2003.

The university library, renamed the Sir Kenneth Green Library, is on the All Saints campus. It houses a number of special collections mainly relating to the fine and applied arts, like the Laura Seddon Greeting Card Collection, a collection of 32,000 Victorian and Edwardian greeting cards.[21] The library is in the All Saints Building where it occupies three floors. It was planned as a single central library in 1972 but after the mergers with the Didsbury College of Education and Hollings College it became a central library and administrative centre for seven library sites. From 1975 a catalogue was produced with the aid of the Birmingham Libraries Co-operative Mechanisation Project.[22] From 1992 the library was part of the Consortium of Academic Libraries in Manchester (CALIM) which was extended in 2002 to become NoWAL, the North West Academic Libraries.[23]

The John Dalton Tower and John Dalton West on the All Saints Campus

The Hollings Faculty offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in food, clothing, and hospitality studies and related fields. Formerly in Fallowfield, the faculty is now housed in the Righton Building on the All Saints campus, a former department store.

Cheshire Campus[edit]

The second campus is based in Crewe, Cheshire. The Provost of the campus is Professor Janet Haddock-Fraser. [24]

The Cheshire campus is home to over 3,000 students from around the world, supported by nearly 500 staff across 200 undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the arts, business, education, humanities and sport science. [25]

Academic staff regularly win Students’ Union teaching awards and departments on campus have numerous accreditations from professional bodies. [26][27]The strong regional, national and international links mean that graduates at the campus have had a wealth of opportunities to work with industry professionals, from Paralympic and Olympic athletes and artists to business leaders and high-profile practitioners in health, welfare and social care. [28][29][30][31]

Birley Campus[edit]

2014 saw the opening of a highly environmentally sustainable £140 million development situated on the Birley Fields site in Hulme, Manchester, creating a central location for the Faculties of Education and Health following the closure of the Didsbury and Elizabeth Gaskell campuses. Alongside the academic building there is student accommodation for up to 1200 students comprising ultra-modern, environmentally sustainable townhouses and traditional student apartments.




In common with most universities in the United Kingdom, Manchester Metropolitan University is headed formally by the Chancellor, currently Lord Mandelson but led by the Vice-Chancellor, currently Professor Malcolm Press. There are two deputy Vice-Chancellors.

The University's Board of Governors is responsible for determining the educational character and mission of the University. It also falls to the Board of Governors to ensure that the University's resources are used in line with the University's Article of Government. It also safeguards the University's assets and approves the annual estimates of income and expenditure.[33]

The Board of Governors is responsible for broad policy but the Vice-Chancellor, along with the Executive and Directorate, is responsible for overall management, policy implementation, organisation, operations and direction of the University.[34]

In December 2014, it was announced that Malcolm Press[3] had been appointed to succeed John Brooks[35] as Vice Chancellor on 1 June 2015.[36]

University structure[edit]

The University is organised into eight faculties:

  • Manchester School of Art
  • Health, Psychology and Social Care
  • Humanities, Languages and Social Science
  • Science and Engineering
  • Business and Law
  • Cheshire Campus
  • Faculty of Education
  • Hollings Faculty

The Manchester School of Theatre is a drama school, which trains students to become professional actors. The course offered is a BA (Hons) in Acting. The school is a member of Drama UK, which means the course is a nationally acclaimed programme. Students who complete the course successfully are eligible for full Equity status. The school has links with many local theatres and television companies, such as Granada and the BBC. Graduates from the school of theatre include Amanda Burton, Steve Coogan, Richard Griffiths, Graham Fellows, Julie Walters and Burn Gorman.

In the session 2014/15, the University had 31,355 students, making it the seventh largest university in the UK (out of 165).[4] The University employs 4,400 staff, comprising almost 1,500 full-time teaching staff, 700 part-time teaching staff and 2,200 support staff.[37]


In the financial year ended 31 July 2011, Manchester Metropolitan University had a total income of £248,028,000 (2009/10 - £243,606,000) and a total expenditure of £213,103,000 (2009/10 - £220,221,000).[37] The University's collects £106,857,000 from tuition fees and education contracts (2009/10 - £101,640,000) and attracts £4,992,000 in research grants and contracts (2009/10 - £4,414,000). Income from other sources totalled £31,371,000 (2009/10 - 30,524,000).[37]

Academic profile[edit]

Admissions and ranking[edit]

(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2017, national)
The Guardian[43]
(2017, national)
Times/Sunday Times[44]
(2017, national)

UCAS statistics show that the University received 58,752 applications in 2011 and granted places to 9,083 students.[45] Its student population stands at 35,165[46] and The Complete University Guide shows that the University has a ratio of enrolled male to female students standing at 42:58.[47]

The University admits undergraduate students who have achieved a broad range of UCAS tariff points, with an average of 343.7[48]

In terms of academic rigour, in 2012 government statistics show 0.5% of students gaining a First Class Honours degree, 35% gaining a 2:1, 5% gaining a 2:2, and 55% gaining a 3rd or a pass.[49] According to The Complete University Guide's teaching quality inspections, the publication places the university within the top 20 in the UK. [50] The university is also ranked fourth of the new universities in attracting research funds from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.[50]


MMU has eight research institutes:

  • Dalton Research Institute (DRI)
  • Education and Social Research Institute (ESRI)
  • Healthcare Science Research Institute (HSRI)
  • Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research (HSSR)
  • Institute for Performance Research (IPR)
  • Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD)
  • Research Institute for Business and Management (RIBM)
  • Research Institute for Health and Social Change (RIHSC)

Students' union[edit]

Main article: The Union MMU

The students' union has buildings on both campuses. The Students' Union exists to represent all members at the Manchester Metropolitan University and students on accredited external courses. The union is controlled by the Union Officers Group formed of six students and recent graduates of the university, elected by the students to control the Union on their behalf. A shop especially designed to cater to the university students has also been set up inside the Students' Union.

The students' union will be moving, in January 2015, to a new purpose built building on Higher Cambridge Street, next to Cambridge and Cavendish Halls of Residence.

International partnerships[edit]

The university has developed international relationships with the following institutions:[51] American Hotel Academy, Brasov, Romania, University of Nicosia, Cyprus, University of Economics, Prague, Aalborg University, Denmark, Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand, École Supérieure de Commerce de Montpellier, Montpellier and University of Savoy, France.

In Germany, Hochschule Bochum, Bochum and Viadrina European University, Frankfurt (Oder).

In Italy, University of Padua, Padova. In Lithuania, ISM University of Management and Economics, Vilnius. In Spain, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, University of Murcia and University of Seville.

In the Netherlands, Radboud University Nijmegen

In Australia, Deakin University, Geelong, Melbourne, Warrnambool, Victoria, Flinders University, Adelaide, University of Technology, Sydney, University of Newcastle, Newcastle.

In Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University and, Bridgewater State University,

In the USA, Buffalo State College, East Carolina University, Louisiana State University, Texas Tech University and University of North Carolina.

In Canada, Ryerson University.

Notable alumni[edit]

This partial list of alumni of Manchester Metropolitan University includes some who attended institutions which became part of present-day MMU.


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External links[edit]