Manchester Metropolitan University

The lowdown

Manchester Metropolitan University, often referred to as MMU, is a public university in Manchester, UK. It began as the Manchester Mechanics Institute, which later joined with the Manchester School of Design, to make up the Manchester Polytechnic. It gained university status in 1992 under the Further and Higher Education Act, at which point it changed its name to Manchester Metropolitan University, as it is called today. Its main headquarters and campus are still located in Manchester, though it now has additional facilities in Cheshire.

It has grown since that time of course, and now includes the Manchester School of Art, the Manchester School of Theatre and shares administration of the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) with the University of Manchester.

The university is a member of several bodies and associations, including the University Alliance, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the European University Association, an accredited member of the Association of MBAs.

The MMU logo is derived from the upper part of the shield of the university crest, with six spade-irons in a group. The graphic is meant to suggest hard work and entrenchment.


As mentioned above, the university began through mergers between a number of specialist colleges, including art, design, and technology. The Manchester Mechanics Institute joined with the Manchester School of Design (which was latterly known as the Manchester School of Art). Teachers of note include Adolphe Valette, a well-respected impressionist. The School of Design was attended by some notable individuals too, including L. S. Lowry who attended the school after the First World War and was taught by Valette.

The group expanded as it joined with several other institutions, some of which brought with them some pedigree. Included in these were the Schools of Commerce (founded 1889), Education (founded1878), Domestic Science (founded 1880), the former Domestis and Trades College (founded 1911) and other colleges at Didsbury, Crewe and Alsager. In 1970, the growing body renamed itself the Manchester Polytechnic.

Seven years later, Manchester Polytechnic merged with the Didsbury College of Education and Hollings College, then with the City of Manchester College of Higher Education in 1983. The institution became a founding member of the Northern Consortium in 1987, then just two years later, became a corporate body according to the rules laid out in the Education Reform Act. University status came three years later, in 1992, under the Further and Higher Education Act of the same year, and then changed its name and branding to the Manchester Metropolitan University.

In 2004, the university absorbed Crewe and Alsager college of Higher Education and the Manchester School of Physiotherapy (MSOP). MSOP was formerly affiliated with the Victoria University of Manchester, but conferred its last degree-level course (by extension) with this body in 2005. It was later renamed the Department of Health Professions, as part of MMU. It currently offers a variety of programs, including those for unqualified support workers in physiotherapy, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), a three-year undergraduate honours programme, and various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study.

Student Accommodation

The student accommodation in Manchester is often a lot similar to other northern cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield, with a mixture of student halls of residents, and independent student housing agencies.


The university is currently spread over five sites, in Manchester and Cheshire, down from seven that it had run previously. Five of these original sites were in Manchester (All Saints, Aytoun, Didsbury, Elizabeth Gaskell and Hollings – and two of them were in Cheshire (Alsager and Crewe).

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