Undergraduate BEng (Hons)

Acoustical and Audio Engineering with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

With placement

Course

Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2020

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Introduction

In a nutshell

Acoustical and audio engineering explores noise, vibration and sound in the context of architectural spaces, audio systems and consumer products. By understanding how people and environments react and respond to sound, our acoustical and audio engineering with integrated masters degree course will enable you to engineer a better sounding world.

For over 60 years Salford has pioneered acoustics teaching and research. This Foundation Year entry route will prepare your skillset, so you're ready to study our full BEng (Hons) Acoustical and Audio Engineering degree. This route aims to develop your mathematics and physics knowledge, to help you to build the skills for successful undergraduate study. On successful completion of the Foundation Year, you'll progress on to the full degree.

You will:
  • Develop competence in essential areas of physics and mathematics
  • Build the technical skills and confidence ready to progress to the acoustical and audio engineering undergraduate degree
  • Gain essential analytical and problem solving skills so you can study acoustics
  • Develop practical and I.T skills, as you strengthen communication and study skills
Placement

options available

This is for you if...

1.

You're passionate about sound, with a strong background/interest in science and technology

2.

You want to study acoustics but don't meet the entry requirements for direct entry to an Honours degree

3.

You enjoyed mathematics or physics at school/college and like using technology to find solutions to challenges

Course details

All about the course

Acoustical and Audio Engineering with Foundation Year entry provides a broad introduction to engineering. It is ideal if you’ve not reached the required A levels or BTEC grades, or if you’ve chosen a new direction for your studies. The year aims to build your understanding of challenges and problem-solving, alongside developing practical and study skills, so you are ready to advance to the full undergraduate degree.

On successful completion of the Foundation Year, you'll progress to the full BEng (Hons) Acoustical and Audio Engineering degree. For a further three over three years – or four with a placement year - you’ll study a suite of modules designed to embed theoretical knowledge and creative application to help you become a world-class acoustic and audio professional. With a focus on real-world problems solving, you'll explore the principles of acoustics, analogue electronics, speech, environmental noise measurement, digital signal processing, psychoacoustics, audio systems and speaker design.

INDUSTRY PLACEMENTS 

Industry placements are a great opportunity to get some hands-on experience and make those early career connections. On this course, you'll have the option to take an industry placement between years two and three. Although you’ll be responsible for securing your placement, our tutors will support you, monitor your progress and assess your final placement report. By successfully completing a placement year, you can also add 'with professional experience' to your final degree award.

Foundation year

Foundation Mathematics 1 and 2

These modules entail the development of mathematical and modelling skills. Subjects include algebra, transposition of formulae, coordinate systems, logarithms, introduction to calculus, problem solving in velocity and acceleration, differentiation, integration and matricesc.

Foundation Physics A

This module provides a grounding in basic physics and the development of numerical problem solving. The syllabus includes, mechanics, properties of matter and wave propagation.

Foundation Physics B

In this module electronics and electricity are introduced, along with fields (magnetic, electric, gravitation etc.) and atomic and nuclear physics.

Foundation Physics Laboratory

Laboratory skills, critical analysis of data and scientific reporting are examined in this module. The areas covered are experimental design, scientific measurement methods and data analysis. This is achieved through a series of experiments covering mechanics, thermal physics, electricity and waves.

Foundation IT and Study Skills

This module involves the development of IT, research, team working, presentation and scientific reporting skills. In more detail, the use of spreadsheets, graphical representation of data, report writing, scientific presentations and group-based research will be undertaken.

Year one

Introduction to Acoustics

This module offers an introduction to a wide range of concepts in acoustics and allows you to begin to gain skills in the practical measurement and analysis of acoustic devices and audio technologies.

Analogue Electronics

You will look at the basic building blocks in audio electronic circuits and develop an understanding and appreciation of impedance, current and voltage in circuits, use of complex numbers and circuit analysis. You will also use SPICE simulation for circuit analysis and design.

Mathematics Acoustics

You will be given the basic mathematical skills and concepts required to appreciate and succeed in understanding acoustics and audio engineering.

Mathematics and Computing

Building on the subject knowledge from the Mathematics module you will further you knowledge of differential equations and series with emphasis on their applications to physics and develop your awareness of the importance of mathematics in a quantitative description of physics. You will be introduced to the use of spreadsheets, computing programming and symbolic computing.

Acoustics Laboratory

You will be taught about a wide variety of specialist acoustic and audio measurements, in terms of equipment familiarity, correct use, interpretation of data and correct reporting (oral and written).

Audio Systems

You will be introduced to a broad range of audio systems and components including microphones, transmission, digital audio and loudspeakers. You will also learn how to make sound effects for a computer game.

Year two

Digital Signal Processing

This module gives a thorough grounding in the techniques and applications of digital technology in the acquisition, processing, storage and transmission of acoustic signals.

Microphone and Loudspeaker Design

On completion of this module you will have an understanding of electroacoustic transduction mechanisms and the modelling techniques used in the design of microphones and loudspeakers.

Principles of Acoustics

You will build on your knowledge and skills from the Introduction to acoustics module, to give you a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of acoustics. Subjects include: Fourier's theorem, solutions of 1-D wave equation, acoustic impedance, reflection factor and absorption coefficient, 3-D wave equation, radiation impedance, and behaviour of sound in 3D enclosures.

Industrial Studies and Career Management

You will understand the nature of entrepreneurs and the development of entrepreneurial organisations. You will cover popular business theories such as theory of management, the role of enterprise in the economy, leadership and management of an enterprise and developing and managing quality in the enterprise.

Group Design Project

You will work together with course mates on a specific real world acoustic/audio design task and come up with a real practical solution using the acoustics laboratory facilities and the Maker Space facilities and equipment.

Mathematical Methods and Applications

In this module you will develop a knowledge and critical understanding in the area of Mathematics Methods for Physics including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will also develop analytical, numerical and computer based problem solving skills in the area of Mathematical Methods for Physics.

Year three

Final Year Project

The final year project is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding and application of the knowledge you have acquired on the course. The project topic chosen will be on an agreed subject related to audio or acoustics and you have the option to work within a group or as an individual with regular supervision.

Choose four modules from the following:

Speech and Musical Acoustics

You will be introduced to speech production and modelling, speech analysis and synthesis with particular reference to the application of speech technology in modern communication devices. You will develop a systematic understanding of human perception of sound and its application in a musical context.

Environmental Noise Measurement

You will carry out measurement of environmental sound using appropriate sound measuring instrumentation. You will develop the ability to describe and explain the main provisions of current environmental noise legislation, and to interpret the requirements in order to carry out reliable measurements and apply acoustic theory to decisions about when, how and where to measure environmental sound.

Measurement Analysis and Assessment

You will develop an understanding of the relevant scientific principles underlying acoustic measurement techniques, and effectively undertake standardised acoustic measurements, taking full account of uncertainty introduced throughout the process.You will perform appropriate analysis of measured data, and communicate findings effectively to a specialist audience.

Computer Simulation for Acoustics (year one for part time)

You will learn the fundamental principles of computer simulation techniques: geometric room acoustics, finite element method, and boundary element method using COMSOL and related software packages. You will undertake practical problem solving using computer modelling of acoustical systems and assess the field of application, accuracy and limitations of the computer simulation methods.

Noise Control (year two part-time)

This module will provide you with knowledge and understanding of noise control design processes and methodologies. You will learn how to select appropriate noise control options for realistic environmental and industrial noise scenarios, and to justify their selections. You will gain a thorough understanding of current best practice in noise control, and apply appropriate acoustical analysis to assess limitations and/or adapt them for application in unfamiliar situations.

Psychoacoustics

You will develop understanding of how the ear works to turn acoustic stimuli into sensations including low and high-level perceptual attributes. You will be able to explain key evidence, ideas and techniques found in the research literature and use knowledge of psychoacoustic research to critically evaluate experimental design and explain key techniques to apply psychoacoustic models in real-world applications.

Room Acoustics

You will work with wave and statistical theories of room acoustics to analyse existing rooms or design new ones, as well as critically evaluate key theories and experimental results in the literature. You will examine how sound fields in rooms can be characterised and to what extent this explains perceptions of sound in rooms. This will enable you to apply techniques to control sound fields in rooms by absorption and scattering, with an appreciation of their limitations.

Transducer Design

You will apply the methods and techniques that you have learned to understand electro-acoustic design problems. You will critically assess practical issues such as radiation efficiency and non-pistonic vibration and apply your knowledge and understanding to design transducer systems to a given performance specification.

Digital Signal Processing and Machine Learning

You will perform modelling and analysis in the z-transformed domain and understand modern DSP techniques such as blind signal processing. You will apply the process of digital filtering; fixed, adaptive, recursive and non-recursive partly drawing on the latest research outcomes. You will also apply and understand Machine Learning methods for acoustics.

Automotive NVH

You will acquire a systematic understanding of NVH concepts and vocabulary, deploy mathematical descriptions of noise and vibration sources and characterisation methods. You will be able to describe and critically evaluate the main methods of numerical prediction for vibro-acoustics with reference to current research and professional practice. You will critically evaluate the main methods of measurement for vehicle and aircraft noise and vibration with some reference to current research and professional practice.

Virtual and Augmented Reality Audio

You will develop the knowledge for design and implementation of spatial audio systems in virtual and augmented realities including a systematic understanding of the complexities and shortcomings of human spatial hearing and how this knowledge is used in the design and operation of spatial audio systems.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

TEACHING

You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods. These include:

  • Laboratory exercises
  • Case studies
  • Group work
  • Project work

Some of the course is delivered in a production environment so you will spend time developing your practical skills in our sound recording studios, music technology rooms and TV studios.

ASSESSMENT

You will be assessed using a combination of formats. These include:

  • Examinations which will assess your immediate response to a set of unseen problems
  • Assignments which will assess your response to a larger problem
  • Practical tests in acoustics laboratories which will assess your ability to apply appropriate skills to a problem
  • Projects which will assess your ability to create a plan, identify possibilities, make decisions, carry out the plan, and reflect on the choices and outcome
     

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shapes the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Through advanced research, we’re pioneering robotics and AI, smart environments and the appliance of data. With a team of over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment where you can realise your potential.

facilities

The Acoustic Laboratories at our Peel Park campus feature world-class acoustics facilities. We have a full range of specialist test environments: one full anechoic chamber and two semi-anechoic chambers, a transmission suite, two large and one small reverberation chambers, an ITU standard listening room equipped with a 96 channel Wave Field Synthesis system, a 3D Ambisonic listening booth and audiometric test facilities. Many of these facilities are regularly used by industry for commercial testing and research.

We also have Audio Production suites at Our MediaCityUK campus. These include industry-standard professional audio-visual suites, production and recording studios.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

EMPLOYMENT

Successfully completing an acoustical and audio engineering degree course can put you in a great position to take a leading role in the diverse world of sound, music production, acoustics and audio.

Audio and acoustics graduates often develop careers as studio and live producers/engineers, broadcast engineers, gaming audio engineers, product developers, acoustics and audio researchers, and acoustics consultants.

Our graduates have excellent career prospects in acoustic consultancy and audio-related industries. Course alumni have progressed their career in roles with Arup, BBS, Apple, Dolby, Jaguar Land Rover and Bang and Olufson.

FURTHER STUDY

You might find you want to learn more about acoustics, so we offer a range of specialist postgraduate courses to help you take your career and interests even further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a significant fees discount.

A taste of what you could become

A broadcast engineer

A noise consultant

An audio producer

An acoustics specialist

An audio technology designer

And more...

Career Links

The University of Salford began teaching undergraduate acoustics and audio courses in 1975 and and many of our graduates can be found in major acoustic and audio companies around the world. The course is recognised by the UK Institute of Acoustics and offers a route to Chartered Engineer status. This leading reputation and professional standing has helped us to build opportunities for our students across the UK and beyond.

Our acoustics staff hold strong links with industry either through collaborative research and development projects through the Acoustics Research Centre or via our commercial test laboratories. These connection help us to keep course content relevant to the needs of industry and in tune with latest research findings.

Requirements

What you need to know

This course is not suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

APPLICANT PROFILE 

The type of person who would be interested in this course would ideally have studied mathematics or physics subjects at college and would like to gain a deeper knowledge in these and other related subjects with particular bias towards acoustics. You will ideally already have a keen interest in sound and desire a future career working in this field.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS 

Where English is not your first language you must demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no band below 5.5, is proof of this.

 

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English language and Mathematics at grade C/level 4 or above.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

64 UCAS points where qualifications include both Mathematics and Physics to A-Level or equivalent standard. 72 UCAS points from any subject combination without Mathematics and Physics

A level

64 UCAS points where qualifications include both Mathematics and Physics at A-Level and a Pass in Science Practical. 72 UCAS points from any subject combination without Mathematics and Physics

BTEC National Diploma

MPP for Engineering or Science subjects that include Mathematics and Physics modules. MMP for subjects without Maths and Physics modules

Access to HE

64 UCAS points from QAA-approved Science/Engineering Access courses

Scottish Highers

64 UCAS points where qualifications include both Advanced Higher level Mathematics and Physics. 72 UCAS points from any subject combination without Advanced Higher level Mathematics and Physics

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 UCAS points where qualifications include both Higher Level Mathematics and Physics. 72 UCAS points from any subject combination without Higher Level Mathematics and Physics

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60%, to include Science, Engineering or Technology

International Baccalaureate

26 points including Higher Level Mathematics and Physics

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019/20 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID H342

Institution S03