The flagship project designed by Hawkins Brown will cost around £60m and span more than 15,000 sq m.
AECOM will be the project and cost manager, with BDP taking up the role of multidisciplinary engineer.
The scheme is a part of the university’s £200m masterplan development.
The new student centre will span 7,304 sq m and include a new reception area, informal learning spaces and a student wellbeing support centre.
The new square will stretch 8,440 sq m and provide flexible spaces for a wide range of community, public, business and student use.
Improvements to landscaping and the public realm in Adelphi Quarter are also included in the plans.
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Michael Ahern, chief operating officer at UCLan, said: “Securing planning approval for this flagship project is fantastic news and we’re extremely grateful to the many people and organisations who came forward to provide us with their views during the consultation process.
“Their contribution was invaluable.
“It’s another significant step towards delivering a centre of learning where people of all interests and backgrounds can feel at ease, comfortable in their physical surroundings and supported in their academic, social and business aspirations.
“This project is of significant importance.
“Not only will it transform our campus, but will positively contribute to the ongoing regeneration of Preston.”
Work on the site is expected to start in early 2019, with the student centre and square completed in summer 2020.