University of Manchester

Nuclear Research and Skills

The University of Manchester has a long and established history in nuclear research and education. Activities are coordinated by the Dalton Nuclear Institute, which represents the largest community of nuclear academics and researchers in the UK. In 2012 the Dalton Nuclear Institute was presented with the Diamond Jubilee Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its "internationally renowned research and skills training for the nuclear industry".

In addition to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate nuclear courses, the Institute leads research programmes across the full nuclear fuel cycle - from reactor and fuel performance through to decommissioning and geological disposal. We have established the most sophisticated nuclear research facilities anywhere in the UK, including state-of-the-art equipment for materials testing in reactor environments, the Dalton Cumbrian Facility for radiation science, access to active laboratories at the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), and facilities for radiochemistry, manufacturing and materials examination.

The Dalton Nuclear Institute maintains industrial and academic partnerships to ensure the relevance and impact of skills development and research innovation. These include AREVA, Westinghouse, AMEC, a consortium with Serco and Battelle for the management of the NNL, the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Sheffield University, the Dalton Cumbria Facility with the NDA, the Modelling and Simulation Centre with EDF and a Centre of Excellence with Sellafield Ltd.

About The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is committed to becoming one of the world’s top 25 research universities by 2020. The University attracts world-renowned researchers and teachers, boasting no fewer than 25 Nobel Prize winners amongst its current and former staff and students – with more on its current staff than any other UK university.

The University was ranked third in the UK in the latest Research Assessment Exercise in terms of ‘research power’ and in 2010/11 attracted over £279 million in external research funding. The University has four faculties hosting 20 academic schools and a number of specialist research institutes, amongst which the internationally renowned Dalton Nuclear Institute is one of the largest.

Students at The University of Manchester

Across so many diverse areas: music, culture, fashion, social life, business and sport, Manchester has much to offer its students. The city is vibrantly multicultural and hosts four major HE Institutions within a few miles of the city centre. We are one of the UK’s most popular universities with the largest student community in the UK. 

“Manchester’s got everything except a beach” - Ian Brown, lead singer with The Stone Roses. 

Of the 40,000 students registered at the University, over a quarter are postgraduates and a further quarter are from overseas. With over 300 nuclear researchers and about 1,500 students taking nuclear modules, Manchester has the largest nuclear capability of any university in the UK. Over 90% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.  The University has a large alumni community. Many of our graduates hold positions of seniority in business, academia, politics, industry and the media. Examples of destinations of our nuclear graduates include Westinghouse (in Sweden and the USA), the Malaysian Nuclear Agency, China Light & Power, Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (in São Paulo, Brazil), Idaho National Laboratory (in the USA), as well as Rolls-Royce, AMEC, EDF and NNL in the UK.

Our accommodation guarantee for international students: If you come to Manchester unaccompanied and pay the overseas rate of fees, you are guaranteed a place in university-managed accommodation for the duration of your studies (for full terms see

Nuclear Educational Programmes

At undergraduate level the University offers a 3 year BEng and 4 year MEng in Mechanical Engineering (Nuclear Engineering).The MChem and MPhys degree programmes also contain modules to build a nuclear thread with input from the Centre for Radiochemistry Research and the Nuclear Physics research group.

For postgraduates, the University coordinates the Nuclear Technology Education Consortium, of 11 (mainly University) partners delivering Masters-level training that leads to an MSc in Nuclear Science and Technology. Part-time, Diploma and Certificate pathways encourage industrial registrants. 150 people are currently registered.

Two major doctoral programmes aimed directly at training the next generation of nuclear graduates are also run and managed from The University of Manchester:

The Nuclear FiRST Doctoral Training Centre in nuclear fission is a joint venture with the University of Sheffield training 50 PhD students. A semester long, detailed introduction to all aspects of ‘Nuclear’ is followed by two 3 month research training projects, after which students then formulate their own PhD projects. These range from nuclear engineering and materials to decommissioning and radwaste disposal.

The Nuclear Engineering EngD is a doctoral programme run by Manchester, with Imperial College as a major partner. 55 industry-sponsored or fully-funded students have started the 4 year programme.

Executive level training for the current and future leaders of the nuclear industry is provided by ExecEd programmes, such as the recent two-day Dalton delivery to 80 executives, engineers and government officials in Hong Kong. The Institute can also offer bespoke courses for companies to suit business needs.