The main site of the University contains the vast majority of its facilities and is often referred to simply as campus. Despite this, Manchester is not a campus university as the concept is commonly understood. It is centrally located and the buildings of the main site are integrated into the fabric of Manchester, with non-university buildings and major roads between them.
Campus occupies an area shaped roughly like a boot: the foot of the boot is aligned roughly south-west to north-east and is joined to the broader southern part of the boot by an area of overlap between former UMIST and former VUM buildings; it comprises two parts:
- North campus, centred on Sackville Street
- South campus, centred on Oxford Road.
These names are not officially recognised by the University, but are commonly used, including in parts of its website; another usage is Sackville Street Campus and Oxford Road Campus. They roughly correspond to the campuses of the old UMIST and Victoria University respectively, although there was already some overlap before the merger.
Fallowfield Campus is the main residential campus of the University. It is located in Fallowfield, approximately 2 miles (3 km) south of the main site.
There are a number of other university buildings located throughout the city and the wider region, such as One Central Park (in the northern suburb of Moston) and Jodrell Bank Observatory (in the nearby county of Cheshire). The former is a collaboration between Manchester University and other partners in the region which offers office space to accommodate new start-up firms as well as venues for conferences and workshops.