Contract value is £17.5m.
The new halls, which are due to be completed by December 2013, will comprise 464 bedrooms.
They are in Northampton town centre on the site of the St John’s surface car park. The university took ownership of the site on 19 June. Consturction starts next week but Kier is already on site erecting hoardings and undertaking archaeological and ground investigative work.
The university's director of infrastructure services, Gill Winder, said: "We are delighted to announce the appointment of Kier Construction to build the St John's student residences. With an established office in Rushden, Kier is a local company, employing local people, and they understand Northampton and its people.”