Our main GIS software is ArcGIS, but we work with other organizations who use MapInfo, and we occasionally receive data from them in MapInfo format, or they ask us to supply data in MapInfo format, for example at the Census Dissemination Unit.
Need a specific GIS software product? We have various site licensed products, meaning you can just use them and don’t have to buy a license: http://www.applications.itservices.manchester.ac.uk/list_products.php?category=gis&excludeArchived=1
Please check terms and conditions, e.g. some restrict use to on-campus or university-owned PCs only.
Of course you can use any other software you like, but you will need to obtain it yourself.