Manchester Metropolitan’s School of Digital Arts (SODA) is a £35 million interdisciplinary establishment which builds on the strengths and reputation of the Manchester School of Art.

SODA officially opened in November 2021 and students are now benefitting from the school’s industry-standard facilities and world-leading research in digital and technological arts. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GMLEP) were proud to support Manchester Metropolitan’s vision for SODA, contributing £14.9 million of grant funding for the project through the Local Growth Fund Programme.

The building spans five storeys and features open workspaces to promote student innovation and collaboration. The building’s design also allows SODA to adapt and respond to emerging technologies for years to come. All aspects of the building are used creatively to showcase students’ digital content. One of the most impressive features is an integrated LED light wall which covers the building façade and provides an innovative digital canvas for student work.

In addition, the school offers the latest technological facilities to support high quality learning across all courses offered. These facilities include a UX suite, film studios, green screens, edit suites, sound & music production studios and a cinema.

The school was developed to invest in teaching and research that will drive Greater Manchester’s next generation of creative content. Students can study a range of specialist disciplines where creativity meets technology including film, animation, UX design, photography, sound design, gaming, and AI. These are offered across a flexible mix of courses from undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees to degree apprenticeships.

The school collaborates with leading industry partners who help inform SODA’s curriculum to give students the required industry-ready skills and experiences to launch a career in the creative media, arts and digital tech industries. The university expects that around 450 graduates will leave SODA in summer 2024 with the highly sought-after skills that meet the demands of creative industries.

Manchester Metropolitan University’s SODA has arrived in Greater Manchester at the perfect time. It is based an area that is widely recognised as a national and international media hub, home to MediaCityUK, the BBC and ITV as well as a thriving creative and cultural scene.

SODA is ideally placed to provide students with the best post-study opportunities, and in doing so, retaining the city region’s creative talent to drive its digital economy forwards. The school will also help cement Greater Manchester as one of the most important digital and media hubs globally.

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