At the outbreak of war in 1914, the two institutions that today form The University of Manchester were separate but closely linked.

The Victoria University of Manchester, was based on Oxford Road, primarily in the buildings around the Old Quad. In 1914, the Victoria University of Manchester was small institution in comparison to today’s University of Manchester. In contrast to the 40,000 students at the University today, in 1914 the Victoria University of Manchester had just 1,400 and 15 buildings.

The Manchester Municipal School of Technology, which would later become the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), was located in the older, western end of what is now the Sackville Street Building – the rest of the Sackville Street building was completed in 1957. From 1905 the Municipal School of Technology’s degree level students and their professors formed the Faculty of Technology of the Victoria University of Manchester, which awarded degrees to those students.