Salford is a city just outside Manchester. While a vibrant place to live on its own, it’s intrinsically linked with Manchester, as all the amenities and entertainment options are super accessible.

If you’re planning to study in Salford and want to know more, you’re in the right place! Here at Sanctuary Students, we know the city well, and what it offers for students. We also know Manchester and the local universities.


Student life in Salford


Salford is the home to the University of Salford. It’s also within easy reach of the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, but as we have a dedicated page for those, we’ll concentrate on the University of Salford.

The University of Salford is located between the city centre and Manchester on the A6 by Peel Park. It’s divided into four schools, the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology, School of Science, Engineering and Environment, School of Health and Society and Salford Business School.

Each provides a range of degree courses for up to 22,000 students across diverse subjects.

The University of Salford isn’t as highly placed as others in league tables, around #98, but students often recommend it for the quality of life and for the quality of education. That means it could still be a very good bet!

Living costs for students

Salford is on the outskirts of Manchester so has the same quality of life and cost of living, which is at the affordable end of the scale. There are over 70,000 students in Manchester and Salford, so rents are kept reasonable due to competition.

Eating out, drinking, public transport, groceries and everyday essentials are all reasonably priced. As wages aren’t the highest here, prices have to stay low in order to supply the local market.

As you’re so close to Manchester, you have two very different ways of life. You have the upmarket areas where properties are expensive, boutiques are elitist and pubs overpriced.

But you also have a larger, much more down-to-earth way of life, which Manchester and Salford are so famous for. It’s these areas and this way of life that students in Salford gravitate towards.

It means you can still go out and have a good time without spending all your student loan in the first year!

Eating out

As you’ll find with most things, there is a lot of crossover between Salford and Manchester. That’s a good thing, though, as it provides a lot of opportunity.

Salford Quays is a go-to for eating and drinking but there are options throughout town.

Places to eat include Karahi Wok, Vero Moderno, Revolution Parsonage Gardens, Oh You Pretty Things Champagne & Cocktail Bar, Las Iguanas, Lugana Restaurant, Siena Restaurant, Platzki, Peaky Blinders Manchester, Mambos Italian Restaurant, The Remedy Kitchen, Wah Ji Wah, Teppanyaki Chinatown, Three Little Words, Comptoir Libanais Manchester, Vesuvio, One Plus Restaurant, Vincenzo Trattoria and Vintage Ambiance.

Venture into Manchester and you literally have hundreds of places to eat, covering every conceivable cuisine! Ready to dig in?


Nightlife in Salford is also well catered for. If you want clubs, you’ll want to go into Manchester. If you want pubs and bars, you have options closer to home.

Highlights in Salford include Salford Quays, House of Hops, The Dockyard, The Alchemist, The Botanist, Seshlehem, The Old Pint Pot, Lime, Bijou, The Kings Arms, The Northern Type, The Salford Arms, Love Conquers All, White Swan, The Mountain Tap, Matchstick Man, The Royal Oak, Park Inn, Nags Head, The Starr Inn, Duke of York, The Unicorn, Bird in Hand, The Kings Head and the New Inn.

Venture into Manchester and you have pubs, bars, cafés, bistros, restaurants, clubs, comedy, live music and a whole lot more.

Shopping as a student

If shopping is your thing, Salford is an amazing place to be a student. You have local stores and shopping centres and all the delights of Manchester on your doorstep.

Highlights include Swinton Market & Shopping Centre, West One Retail Park, Quayside MediaCityUK, Salford Shopping City, Salford Market, Eccles Market, Marks & Spencer Outlet, The Lowry and Barton Square.

You also have independents throughout the town centre and Manchester city centre, so no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it!

Preston has St George’s Shopping Centre, Fishergate Shopping Centre and Deepdale Shopping Park. Each has a decent mix of independents and chains to browse.

St George’s is in the city centre while Fishergate and Deepdale are slightly outside.

The city centre itself has plenty of shops, again, both chains and independents. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it here.

Student accommodation

Most university towns and cities are a real mix of quality student accommodation and…the not-so-quality! Salford is no different. In fact, it’s more diverse than many cities when it comes to student accommodation.

The University of Salford has its own halls, which are well-maintained and a nice place to spend your first year. Private landlords are at either end of the spectrum, with a few in the middle. Some student houses are dives, while others are very nice. It definitely pays to inspect before you commit!

Then there’s Sanctuary Students. We’re a private landlord with our own student halls in Salford. Located on Frederick Road, the accommodation is ideal for getting to class and getting into town and to Manchester.

Rooms are spacious, fully equipped and many are en-suite. Rents are fully inclusive too, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Places to visit

Salford is a decent-sized city with lots going on. It doesn’t hurt that it also has one of the largest cities in the north on its doorstep.

That provides plenty of scope for getting out and about as a student in Salford.

Highlights include Ordsall Hall, Salford Quays, MediaCityUK, The Lowry, Salford Museum & Art Gallery, IWM North, Salford Lads’ Club, Manchester United, Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Chapel Street, St Philip’s Church, Barton Swing Aqueduct, Peel Park, Salford Cathedral and Lowry Outlet.

Then there’s Manchester and everything it offers. Check out our dedicated Manchester page for that!

Getting around

Getting around Salford as a student is ridiculously easy. You can fly there, drive there and get a train or coach there. Once you’re there, getting around is equally easy.

Salford has access to two airports, Manchester City Airport south of the city along the M56 and Liverpool John Lennon Airport to the west along M62. Between them, they cover the majority of popular destinations.

Salford Crescent train station is by the campus and links to Salford Central and Manchester Piccadilly Station. This provides easy access to local and national routes.

Buses are plentiful, both in Salford and Manchester. Routes cover most of the city areas and run regularly between campus and the two city centres.

Many places are walkable or easily cycled. Traffic can get busy but there are cycle paths around.

Working as a student

Working as a student in Salford is usually pretty good. Given its proximity to a northern powerhouse city, you have plenty of options.

There are the typical waiting tables, bar staff, retail work and weekend work to keep you occupied.

There are also more industrial jobs around the city, as there is a lot going on in both Salford and Manchester. As long as you can get to work, there should be something for you. Wages aren’t amazing but they should be enough to keep you fed and watered.

Need more info?

Our goal is to equip you with all the necessary information & resources to make this process as smooth as possible. So, don't hesitate – explore our website today and find your dream student accommodation!