Frequently asked questions

Answers to frequently asked questions.


Anyone over the age of 16 can become a member and it’s very easy to join.

Find out how to join the Society

New members are very welcome, and can join at any time throughout the year.  Discounted membership fees are available to new members: the annual fee will be reduced for those applying part way through the year to reflect the number of remaining lectures.

Find out more about discounted membership fees for new members

Find out more about membership fees for current members and former members

We are a membership-based Charity.  Through their support, our members play a key role in promoting education to the wider public.

If you choose to become a member you will also benefit from:

  • Priority booking for lectures
  • Invitations to excusive ‘members-only’ events and seminars with distinguished speakers
  • Monthly e-newsletter with exclusive updates
  • Online access to the latest editions of the Manchester Memoirs, which has been published continuously since 1785. The Memoirs contain transcripts of most of the lectures of the previous season.
  • Full voting rights to help decided upon the future running of the Society (Ordinary and Joint Ordinary members only)


If you would like to get more involved in the running of the Society, including making suggestions for our lecture programme or making an application to join a Section Committee, please contact the office.


Our events are open to the public and non-members are very welcome to attend.

All of our Young Person lectures are free to students.

We ask that non-members who attend our online or in-person lectures consider making a voluntary donation to help the Society to meet its costs.  A minimum amount of £5.00 is suggested.

Please click the Donation button in the menu on the right or click here

Blue Jeans Events is the application we use to deliver our online lectures.

Booking for our online events is a two-stage process:

1. If you would like to register for an event - be it a live lecture, live Q&A or pre-recorded talk - please click on the ‘Register here’ link on the event page on our website.  This will take you to the Blue Jeans registration page where you can input your name and email address to request a place.

2. Once your details have been approved by a moderator you will receive an email with a unique link and details on how to ‘join the event’ on the night.


Please note:

* Registration closes at 5.30pm on the day of the event

* Members have priority booking - if you are not a member and are interested in attending one of our events, please bear in mind that we will only be able to approve your registration request if there are places available, and that this will generally be just a few days before the event date.


If you would like to find out more about the technical side of our online events, including more detailed event attendee guides, please see our attendee guides:

Blue Jeans Events - Attendee Guides


One of the strengths of our programme is the sheer variety of topics we cover!  Each of our Section Committees are responsible for organising six lectures a year, covering the subject areas of Arts, Social Philosophy and Science and Technology.  The Young Person’s section organises three lectures a year specifically aimed at 16-18 year olds; members are also welcome to attend.

Take a look at our past events to get an idea of the range of subject areas we have covered in recent times

All of our lectures are currently taking place online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will return to holding in-person lectures as soon as it is safe to do so.

Find out more about our varied lecture programme