The project will involve building a 16,000 sq m seven storey Arts Building, which has been designed by architect Stride Treglown and structural engineer Gifford to act as a visually striking gateway to the site.
It includes a public square and access routes to link the university and a new student village with the nearby Salford Crescent railway station and the local communities around the campus.
The seven-storey building is the first phase of a £75m masterplan.
This includes a refurbished and extended Chapman Building, currently underway, as well as the new arts building, and £30m student halls of residence overlooking Peel Park.
The Arts Building is expected to be completed in 2013 and other projects in the larger masterplan will run through to 2015.
Firms have already prequalified for the job and an invitation to tender is due to be issued in November.