Information for Overseas Applicants

Manchester: an overview of the city and the university

Manchester is a major UK city and The University of Manchester is one of the largest single-site universities in Europe. The University is an internationally renowned centre of excellence in research and teaching, boasting four current Nobel Laureates, two of whom are based in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

A brief history of the University of Manchester.


The city of Manchester boasts a rich cultural heritage as the epicentre of the industrial revolution and, today, as home to two famous football clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City. The city contains many fine examples of 19th, 20th and 21st century architecture from the Victorian Gothic Manchester Town Hall through to the award-winning Alan Turing Building, in which the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics is housed. Manchester is home to numerous art galleries, theatres, museums and restaurants. It also has a renowned music scene and a thriving nightlife.

The University of Manchester today.

You might also like to look at the University's Youtube Channel for student video diaries and other information about the University.

Travel links within and outside the UK

Manchester is a great city for international students and hosts more international students than any other UK university. It boasts excellent international and UK transport links. Manchester Airport is a major international air hub and is the busiest UK airport outside of London, with several direct international routes. It was the World's first regional airport to accommodate the Airbus A380, the World's largest passenger plane, and it hosts a daily A380 service to Dubai. Manchester is just a two-hour rail journey away from London. The London to Manchester rail service operates every 20 minutes during peak hours.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy

Professor Brian Cox, a particle physicist and science broadcaster based at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, talks about how Jodrell Bank and physics research at Manchester attracted him to study physics at the University of Manchester.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy can rightly claim to be the epicentre of many seminal discoveries and breakthroughs in physics and astrophysics, from the nuclear physics work of Ernest Rutherford and Hans Geiger, the pioneering development of Radio Astronomy by Bernard Lovell, through to the recent discovery of Graphene by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov.

The Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics is part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy with a cohort of around 80 staff and students including around 25 members of academic staff. Our research spans: technology development; extra-solar planets; the Sun; stars and the inter-stellar environment; pulsars; extra-galactic astronomy and cosmology.

Funding possibilities for non-EU overseas students

The University operates a number of scholarship and bursary schemes which are available for highly qualified international students that can cover or contribute towards tuition costs and, in some cases, living costs. Current schemes are outlined on our funding page.

When and how to apply

Early application for the PhD programme is advised, especially if you are intending to apply for ORS or other University Scholarships. If you wish to apply to one of the University scholarship schemes you must apply for it separately as well as filling in the PhD application form.

If you have an idea for the research area you are interested in then you are advised to make contact with a member of staff working in that area. They will be able to help you with your application.

Applications involving self-funding or other sources of funding can be considered at any time.

All PhD applications should be made online.

Application guidance for overseas students

It is important that you complete the application form carefully and fully. Your nationality should be that which is recorded in your passport.

English language requirements

All graduate students are required to be proficient in the English language. Students whose first language is not English or who have studied at an institution where English is not the language of instruction should arrange to take the IELTS Test or the TOEFL test and either enclose their official score reports or send them to us as soon as they are available.

English language requirements for PhD candidates starting in the coming academic year are given here.

What to include with your application

It is important that the application returned to us is filled in completely and accurately. Referees' reports may be included in sealed envelopes with your application, or sent directly to us by the referees to

As part of your application you should enclose copies of your degree certificates and official transcripts, where appropriate. You should also include score reports for English Language tests. Any document enclosed which is written in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified translation into English.

You do not need to send us a 1000-word account of the research you propose to undertake as specified in the Graduate Study website. It would however be helpful to us if you specify up to three areas of interest on the "areas of proposed research" part of the form; this is used to gauge demand for particular subject areas.

Please enclose details of any disability/special needs. This information will not prejudice your application but will be helpful in discussing whether the university facilities are sufficient to meet your needs. Contact the Disability Advisory and Support Service for more information.

Further information

Further information which may be useful for international applicants can be found on the University's international webpage.

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