£35m School of Digital Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University

Back £35m School of Digital Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University

The region’s digital economy is thriving – worth some £5bn – and is the largest UK tech hub outside London. Over 80,000 people are employed in the sector, with 8,000 digital and creative businesses based here.

Yet, to continue to grow and keep pace with other leading digital cities, an educational infrastructure must be built that fosters the next generation of creative talent. The urgent and growing demand for a larger skilled digital workforce must be achieved if the region is to fulfil its ambition of becoming one of the biggest digital city-regions in Europe.

That’s why Manchester Metropolitan University is opening the School of Digital Arts (SODA) in 2021, a £35m investment, co-funded by the University with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership. This collaboration between the University, industry and public bodies is essential in building a pipeline for newly trained filmmakers, game designers and animators, among others, to stay in the region and make their mark.

Today’s schoolchildren – Generation Z as they have come to be known – are our future university students, and society’s future makers, content creators and creative entrepreneurs. These are young people born with advanced technology at their fingertips, who simply do not see the same distinction between creative and digital subjects as prior generations may have.

SODA is being developed in recognition of this, with facilities that meet their needs for collaboration and innovation. More than 1,000 students per year will study disciplines that span animation, filmmaking, photography, UX and games design, AI and more. They will benefit from a digital innovation and UX lab, film studios, green screens, edit suites, sound, music and production studios; alongside a screening room and gallery space.

SODA students will take advantage of opportunities to work on live projects hand-in-hand with industry partners, building on fruitful partnerships already developed by the University’s Manchester School of Art with the likes of the BBC at MediaCity. We are extremely proud that the SODA industry advisory board will be co-chaired by Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle and multi BAFTA-winning producer Nicola Shindler. This engagement with the creative industries will help set our School apart.

As well as developing technical skills, SODA will provide a progressive curriculum that suits a diverse, socially conscious generation of students. Our teaching, a mixture of undergraduate, postgraduate, degree apprenticeships and short courses, will provide them with a critical framework and inspire them to use their skills to create positive social change.

Construction on the new SODA building began in November, and we are working hard to commence recruitment for our first cohort of students over the coming year, ready for them to start their studies in September 2021.

Thanks to the partnership approach, the University, city and region will have a future-proofed skills hub, supporting industry and Manchester’s digital ambitions.

As Danny Boyle recently told us at the first SODA industry talk at Manchester’s HOME theatre, “I'm not a future storyteller because that's what the School of Digital Arts is about – it is about creating the space where future storytellers can begin to find their footing.”

Hear from over 40 expert speakers

Seminars, masterclasses and panel discussions

Earn up to 16 CPD points

 Complimentary breakfast, lunch and light refreshments

Free parking and excellent transport links

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Private Sector Tickets

Gain business critical information

Hear from over 40 expert speakers

Connect with buyers

Complimentary breakfast, lunch and light refreshments

Free parking and excellent transport links

Pay by card or by invoice

 

Use code Jan2020 and pay only £396 + VAT

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Use code Jan2020 and pay only £236 + VAT

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Use code Jan2020 and pay only £236 + VAT

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