Manchester Metropolitan University is a public university located in Manchester, England. The university traces its origins to the Manchester Mechanics Institute and the Manchester School of Design, which formed Manchester Polytechnic in 1970. Manchester Polytechnic then gained university status under the government’s Further and Higher Education Act, becoming the Manchester Metropolitan University in 1992.
Manchester Metropolitan University is an accredited member of the Association of MBAs, and 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.
Today, it is also home to the Manchester School of Art, the Manchester School of Theatre, as well as the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) administered in collaboration with the University of Manchester.
The University’s logo is derived from the upper part of the shield of the university’s coat-of-arms, with six spade-irons positioned together, suggesting hard toil and entrenchment.
Manchester Metropolitan University was developed from mergers of various colleges with various specialisms, including technology, art and design. Its founding can be traced back to the Manchester Mechanics Institute, and the Manchester School of Design latterly known as the Manchester School of Art. The painter L. S. Lowry attended in the years after the First World War, where he was taught by the noted impressionist Adolphe Valette.
Schools of Commerce (founded 1889), Education (f. 1878), and Domestic Science (f. 1880) were added alongside colleges at Didsbury, Crewe, Alsager and the former Domestic and Trades College (f. 1911). The school renamed itself as Manchester Polytechnic in 1970, which was followed by series of mergers with the Didsbury College of Education and Hollings College in 1977, as well as City of Manchester College of Higher Education in 1983. In 1987, the institution became a founding member of the Northern Consortium, and became a corporate body on 1 April 1989 as allowed by the terms of the Education Reform Act.
On 15 September 1992, Manchester Polytechnic gained university status under the wide-sweeping Further and Higher Education Act 1992, and has since rebranded as Manchester Metropolitan University.
After earning university status, MMU absorbed Crewe and Alsager College of Higher Education, and in 2004 the Manchester School of Physiotherapy (MSOP), an institution officially formed in 1991 through the amalgamation of the Schools of Physiotherapy of the Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) and of Withington Hospital. MSOP was previously affiliated with the Victoria University of Manchester, which conferred degree-level courses by extension until the final class of 2005. MSOP joined Manchester Metropolitan University as the Department of Physiotherapy in 2004, and was later renamed as the Department of Health Professions. Today, it offers undergraduate and postgraduate studies, a three-year undergraduate honours programme, and National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) programmes for unqualified support workers in the field of physiotherapy.
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). However, the university later closed two of the seven sites to rationalise its estate. The university moved the work of the Alsager campus to Crewe, while the Aytoun campus was closed in 2012 following the opening of an All Saints Campus business school. In 2011, the university announced a £350 million investment programme for the largest physical change to its estate since its foundation. The Elizabeth Gaskell, Hollings and Didsbury campuses were closed in 2014, with faculties being relocated to campuses at All Saints and Birley. The Crewe campus closed in summer 2019, a decision taken following a review conducted by financial advisory firm Deloitte. The university cited a poor intake in students as a main reason for closure.
The Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science was 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 department was housed in the Mabel Tylecote Building until this was demolished in 2017 to make way for a new Arts and Humanities building on the site.
The John Dalton Building, on Chester Street, is the home of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. 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, 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 and Performance; Department of Design; Department of Media. The School of Art houses the Holden Gallery which has a continuous programme of exhibitions and is open free to the public. 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 school, refurbishment of the workshops and renovation of the studios. In 2014 the Benzie Building was nominated for the Stirling Prize.
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. It will house more than 5,000 students and 250 staff. The new building is an original architectural concept with three towers under a single glass roof. 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. The Manchester Law School is in the Sandra Burslem building which opened in 2003.
The university library was renamed the Sir Kenneth Green Library but then again renamed the All Saints 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.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. 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. The library has been replanned to incorporate a second entrance as part of reorganisation of all the libraries of the MMU.