Cost of living support


The cost of energy bills, food and other essentials is having an impact on people across the country, including you, our students.

Working with the Students’ Union (SU), we have identified ways to support you and have created a hub of resources to help whether you need financial assistance, mental health support, or jobs and budgeting advice.

Additional sources of urgent support 

Support on campus

You’ll find plenty of places to stay cosy across our University campus. In our designated ‘Cosy Campus’ spaces you can relax, hang out with friends and spend time between lectures and seminars. 

These spaces, depending on which you visit, will include: 

  • hot water for tea, coffee and meals;
  • washing up and hand washing facilities; 
  • microwave stations to heat up your own food; 
  • warm and cosy seating for group study or leisure time.

Cosy Campus

Free food

We regularly run free breakfasts events on campus, where you can start your day off right with a free hot drink and a pastry or muffin. Find out more about our current free breakfast offer every Wednesday.

We also have a Community Fridge, designed to combat food waste and help keep your costs down by providing fresh food options for you to enjoy for free. The fridge is in the Hive on the first floor of the Students' Union. We'll also be launching a second Community Fridge located in University Place - keep an eye out for more details.


SU Eats

The Students’ Union have been running meal kit giveaways through their SU Eats scheme. There will be more free meal kits coming soon!
Reduced food prices

We have reduced our food and drink prices across campus and now offer a 20% discount for students who use Food In Advance. You can also bring your own meals and use our hot water or microwaves free of charge.

Cosy Nights In

The SU are hosting a series of free, fun events as part of their Cost of Living support offer. Cosy Nights In are open to all students – they’re a great way to make new connections and enjoy a new activity, plus, free refreshments are always provided. Head to their events page to see what they’ve got planned. 

Free hot showers Save on your bills by taking advantage of the showers available across campus. You can use the filters on this campus map to see where our showers are located.

Cosy Campus locations:

  • University Place Drum, open 9am-9pm 
  • Dover Street Ex Café, open 9am-6pm 
  • Dover Street G45, open 9am-6pm 
  • Engineering Building A, Ground Floor, open 9am-8pm, and until 10pm during exam time 
  • Main Library, open 8am-midnight Monday to Friday, and 9am-midnight Saturday and Sunday 
  • Alliance Manchester Business School 2.094, open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm Saturday 
  • Samuel Alexander Building departmental hubs, West Wing, first and second floors, open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday  

Health and wellbeing

We don’t want you to put your health and safety at risk as a result of money worries. Below we have rounded up free sources of support for your health and wellbeing. 

Emergency food vouchers are available during office hours (excluding weekends and bank holidays) from Advice and Response. Visit the Students’ Union Advice Service or email

The Access to Recreation Grant has been set up to reduce financial barriers, so you can make the most of social aspects of your University life. Students can claim up to £250, in advance or after spending, towards University and Union registered recreational activity. This could include end of year balls; joining societies which have membership fees or taking part in society trips.

The SU has partnered with Street Cars to get you home safely, even if you haven't got any money. Find out more about the Safe Taxi Scheme

Free period products across campus

We provide free period products in 100 toilets across campus. 

Free period products in halls

If you live in one of our halls of residence, you can pick up free sanitary towels and tampons in your laundry, as part of a pilot running until December 2023. 

Routine contraception such as condoms, implants, and the coil, as well as emergency contraception (the morning after pill), are now available on campus.

We provide 1-2-1 counselling sessions as well as a range of wellbeing workshops for students. Find out more and get the support you need. 

Free eye examinations, contact lens checks and fittings, and appointments for children can be made at our on-campus Optometry Clinic, where our final-year Optometry students perform the eye examination and spectacle dispensing under supervision by fully qualified staff.

The clinic dispenses glasses at a discounted rate and safety spectacles at set prices. The clinic also stocks a wide range of contact lenses from all the main contact lens manufacturers, including daily disposable, monthly disposable, coloured, toric, rigid and bifocal contact lenses. 

The Optometry Clinic is situated in the Carys Bannister building, just off Dover Street. To make an appointment, call 0161 306 3860 or 0161 275 5354.

You are required to have an up-to-date prescription for your eye examination.

The University of Manchester GP Service, in partnership with The Robert Darbishire Practice, is based on the fourth floor of Crawford House, and is open 9.00-17.00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 9.00-12.00 on Wednesday. Register with the practice

There is support in place for student sex workers. Find out more on our sexual wellbeing page.

Money and jobs

There are plenty of opportunities across campus and the city to gain experience and make money by working part-time. Our Careers Service and the SU Job Shop can provide support with your job search. We also have plenty of helpful tips to make your money go further

Our work experience bursary offers full time undergraduates support to undertake low or unpaid work experience. It can help you cover travel, accommodation and dependent care costs. 

The University of Manchester’s Travel Awards can provide between £75 and £1500 for individuals or groups, to help you explore the world and gain invaluable experiences.

The University’s Furniture4Reuse store is open to students. Hundreds of pieces of quality home study furniture are reused and rehomed for free. The store is open between 12pm and 3pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

This programme is included in the Library’s Reading Lists service and provides each student on a module with unlimited, continuous access to an interactive electronic textbook.

How we're standing up for you

We are taking an active role and speaking to local and national government, on your behalf, to improve the situation. We are:

Advocating for improved maintenance grants

We agree that that the 2.8% increase in the student maintenance loans provided by the UK Government is insufficient. We’re actively working with other universities to encourage a review of this and our President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Nancy Rothwell, has been lobbying government ministers on this issue.


Lobbying for your rights

Your Students’ Union is making sure that your concerns are heard by Mayor Andy Burnham through the Greater Manchester Student Assembly and is collaborating with other students’ unions to lobby central government.


Standing up for affordable rent

When Manchester City Council asks for comments on new student accommodation plans, we speak up for affordable rents and won’t support any schemes that don’t offer good value for money.

Find out more