Student Lettings Point has been granted planning consent to convert the former Main Bridewell in Liverpool's Cheapside into university accommodation.
The conversion of the Victorian grade 2*-listed building was designed by architect Falconer Chester Hall. The building has been vacant for 15 years.
The refurbishment will see 14 clusters of accommodation created with a total of 106 bedrooms.
Adam Hall, director of Falconer Chester Hall, said: "The building has significant heritage value and we have gone to great lengths to ensure that the conversion will not detract from its significance."
Existing cell doors, stone floors and staircases, plus the painted brick walls and finishes will be retained.