Skip to main content

Student life in Salford and Manchester

The City of Salford is in the heart of Greater Manchester, with the University of Salford main campus just 2km from Manchester city centre, so you’ll be just a short walk from world-class music, sport, nightlife, food, shopping and culture.

You’ll be joining one of the largest student communities in Europe, with around 100,000 total students across Greater Manchester. It’s one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the UK, with people from all backgrounds and countries coming here to live and study.

For detailed information on things to do in the cities, go to Visit Salford and Visit Manchester.

We’ve got a lot to boast about, so here’s a quick overview of why we love Salford and Manchester…

Home imageHOME is more than a cinema: it’s Manchester’s centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film, complete with a bar and restaurant. Discover your new favourite director, immerse yourself in foreign film and get involved in exciting events and exhibitions, with generous student discounts. We’re proud to be founding partners of HOME, which opens up opportunities for students such as gaining direct industry involvement in the curriculum on relevant courses.

The Lowry Theatre, named after the Salford artist LS Lowry and located at Salford Quays, hosts plays, comedy shows, dance performances, family activities and gallery exhibitions – right on our doorstep next to MediaCityUK.

Islington Mill, just a ten minute walk from Peel Park campus, is home to radical, subversive music and visual arts, with an eclectic mix of events and exhibitions to inspire and surprise you.

Read about student blogger India's top six places for culture in the city on our student blog.

Want to enjoy your culture even closer to home? Our campus is home to New Adelphi Theatre, a 350-seat theatre which hosts a range of events, from side-splitting comedy to ground breaking dance projects and big band entertainment, involving both our own students and external companies. You can see all upcoming events on the theatre's booking page.

We admit it, we’re a bunch of foodies here – but you can find a lot more than avocado toast at one of Manchester’s many food and drink establishments.

Salford’s Chapel Street, just a few minutes’ walk from main campus, is home to a growing number of independent outlets including veggie favourite Deli Lama, authentic Italian pizza at Vero Moderno and beautiful cakes and artwork at GK Gallery.

Teacup Northern Quarter imageIn the Northern Quarter it’s all about quirky diners, canteens and cafes – huge breakfasts at Koffee Pot, vegan junk food at V Rev, American-style burgers at Almost Famous and homemade cakes at Teacup.

Manchester’s Chinatown is the second biggest in the UK, with a host of Chinese, Korean and Japanese restaurants, as well as a number of speciality supermarkets. Just outside of the city centre you’ll find Rusholme’s famous ‘curry mile’ offering Indian, South East Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Weekly street food fair GRUB offers a rotating bill of the best caterers from around the country, and the indoor market at the Mackie Mayor brings you quality food and drink from local producers and brewers.

Coffee addict? Check out Hollie’s recommendations for the best caffeine fixes in Salford and Manchester. Is a hearty bruch more your thing? Read blogger Rebecca's tips on the best brunch spots in the city.

The Manchester music scene is more than Morrissey and Madchester (although Bez does still make an appearance now and again). Whatever your music taste, you’ll never be stuck for gigs in the city.  

Night and Day Cafe imageCatch the biggest national and international acts at Manchester Arena, the Apollo and Manchester Academy, and see your favourite indie and underground artists at Norther Quarter venues Night and Day and Soup Kitchen. Manchester’s alternative music scene still roars, with gigs at Rebellion, the Star and Garter and DIY venue Partisan.

Check out Hollie’s top five venues on our student blog.

Salford and Manchester have a packed festival calendar, with student favourite Park Life held at Heaton Park; Sounds from the Other City at various venues along Chapel Street and three days of rock at Manchester Punk Festival.

The University itself has been host to a range of great artists over the years as well, from The Who in 1968 and Status Quo in 1972, to The Smiths in the 1986 and Pulp in 1992. We're currently making plans to re-develop Maxwell Hall so it can play host once more to the stars of the future!

“My favourite place to go in Manchester is the Craft and Design Centre, followed by a big slice of cake and a brew at Home Sweet Home in the Northern Quarter. It’s so inspiring – lots of talented local artists in such a beautiful building.”          

Sophie McNeill, BSc Occupational Therapy                  

Ever wonder where Mancuanians get their unique street style? The Northern Quarter is home to the best independent, vintage and boutique shops, as well as Afflecks Palace, with four floors of alternative fashion. If vintage style is your thing, read our blog on the best places to find vintage fashion in Manchester. You can find all your high street favourites in Manchester Arndale centre, and designer labels in the city centre.

If you fancy getting out of the city, you can catch the bus to the Trafford Centre and spend the day shopping, bowling, watching a film, and of course, eating your lunch in the gloriously kitsch Titanic-themed food court.

“Being a Geordie it’s tough to admit it, but the Etihad Stadium is not only spectacular to look at but you can feel the love and joy for sports and athletics from the moment you step into the grounds. I would recommend everyone takes the opportunity to visit the stadium whilst here.”

Eddy Reay, BSc Exercise, Nutrition and Health

It’s never just a game here – sport is in our blood.

We’re home to two of the biggest teams in football, Manchester United and Manchester City (the Students' Union offers discounted tickets to some matches!) as well as Lancashire County Cricket Club at Emirates Old Trafford.

Manchester United image

Sportcity at the Etihad Campus houses the National Cycling Centre and Velodrome, the National Squash Centre and regional Tennis Centre. Along Oxford Road you’ll find Manchester Aquatics Centre, boasting a 50m swimming pool, diving pool, gym and health suite.

If you like your sports a little less theatre of dreams and a little more grassroots, Manchester and Salford are also home to a community of active and enthusiastic non-league football teams, as well as rugby, hockey and roller derby teams. You can even try your hand at outdoor swimming at Salford Quays,next to our MediaCityUK campus - read about student blogger Rhys' experience here. Or if you’re keen runner, check out student blogger Rachel’s favourite running routes.

On campus itself we have the Sports Centre, where facilities include a 25 metre swimming pool with spa and sauna, a fitness studio with strength and conditioning rooms, and multi-use sports hall for badminton, basketball, netball and five-a-side-football. Next to the Sports Centre we have four grass pitches – three football pitches and one rugby pitch. We offer a range of fitness classes in our state-of-the-art Studio Room, including Metafit, Zumba, yoga, pilates and studio cycling, and regularly refresh our timetable to bring you new classes at convenient times. In addition,wehave also introduced new Matrix MX4 group exercise classes, within our newly opened Functional Training Suite, which provides our members with a unique industrial gym setting. Our health hub offers discounted massage treatments to help you recover after training sessions and exam stress. Find out more on the Sports Centre webpage.