How Prestigious is the University of Manchester?

Please excuse my ignorance in this thread, but what is the reputation like for the University of Manchester? Is it seen as a highly prestigious school and some of the best in the world, similarly to how UCL, KCL, or even St. Andrews is viewed? The school is ranked to be one of the best in the world, but at the same time, it does not seem to have such a “prestigious” rep. Is this school really one of the best in the world?

Manchester is ranked by the Times ranking about where UW-Madison is.

For that matter, KCL is ranked about where UT-Austin, UW-Seattle, and UBC are and UCL about where UCLA is.

That sounds about right.


Just a quick question, wondering why you’re interested in attending a UK university ? If you don’t mind sharing.

I feel that the education is better since I will graduate in three years, while getting a prestigious education without having to waste my time taking worthless “general education” courses. Not to mention that tuition is cheaper so that I would not be over $200,000 in debt upon graduation.

All good points! Just as an aside St. Andrews is 4 years, not 3.

Good luck with your applications!

MXCOL- your logic only works if indeed, you get accepted and graduate from a “prestigious” UK university. There are lots of U’s in the UK which are no better, reputation-wise, than a mid-tier US State school. And those “worthless” Gen Ed courses could turn out to be what you actually end up doing professionally… so not so “worthless”.

If your stats are strong enough for a top tier UK university, have you looked at the colleges in the US where you’d likely be getting merit aid? Thereby avoiding 200K in debt? (and you know that you cannot take out 200K in loans, right?)

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Do you know what you want to study yet? Kind of important in the British system where undergrad is essentially junior grad school (except where marks are determined mostly by big tests at the end of the year).

And what plans do you have after undergrad? Job-hunting (as well as getting internships) in the US obviously would be easier from an American college at the same tier.

BTW, “prestige”, as you’re thinking of it, really only matters in the minds of high schoolers.

Different unis would offer different opportunities, pathways, education,etc., but without knowing your goals (and where you have permission to work), it’s hard to say what is better.

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I would say Manchester is not a university you can classify as prestigious. It is just a Top university, just like NYU.

See some of my points here: King’s College London in the US - #30 by LutherVan

You don’t tell people you attended the university and there is an impression of selectivity and “Wow”.

I would put it as one of the top 51 to 150 universities in the world. So still very, very good to attend.

Are you a graduating senior who has already been accepted, or a just-completed-junior-year student deciding where to apply for next year?

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The key question about “prestige” is prestigious to whom? Your family & friends? Grad schools for subject X? employers in field Y?
When you are swimming in the competitive HS pool, it seems as though a famous name college is what validates you as a successful person. What you will discover- just a few months after you graduate from HS, is that prestige at your new college pool is a whole different thing. What you see as the most important variables will change.

From your other threads, I am guessing that you are HS sophomore or junior (considering ‘trading up’ from one local Parochial to another), might have Italian citizenship (trying to figure out how to get into Italian universities) and do not have stats / test scores that will get you into a place with a name as fancy as you would like (hence looking internationally).

What I haven’t seen is any indication that you know what you want from your college experience, other than a name that other people rate as “prestigious”. The odds on you finding a great place for you go up exponentially if you spend more time on figuring out the former, and less time worrying about the latter.


Manchester is very highly regarded for STEM subjects. Very modern campus, well funded labs and facilities.
Have you visited the city? The uni is right in the middle of town, you have to run across 4 lanes of traffic to get from one building to the next which totally put me off.

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Interestingly, UCL is also ranked about where Columbia and Cornell are in that same Times ranking.

While Manchester is about the same area as USC and Brown on that same ranking.

Other World rankings mix it up further.

So the logic becomes tougher to use.

No employer is going to look up the ranking of the school you graduate from. They’ve heard of it or they haven’t. And there really are very few schools that most people have heard of. Harvard and Oxford are perhaps the only true names that most people have heard of.

You are far too focused on prestige. Go to a college where you can get a degree that will help you find a job when you graduate. Frankly, that is almost every college. Your success in life depends on you, not the name of the school.

This is why you can’t rely on rankings to tell you where to go to uni for undergrad. Resource-wise and in terms of the undergraduate experience, most of the British publics would be closer to the American publics than to the American privates (that is, students are expected to be more in charge of their own education). They also select/admit differently. Brown and Manchester admit very differently at the undergraduate level, for instance. For the vast majority of applicants, Brown for undergraduate would be much more difficult to get in to than Manchester (hence why a poster in a different thread didn’t consider the British publics below Oxbridge/LSE/Imperial to be at the same level as elite American privates). Granted, there is variation amongst the different privates as well as both the American and UK publics. And also, undergrad in the UK is more like a junior grad school experience.

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