Undergraduate BEng (Hons)

Acoustical and Audio Engineering with Foundation Year

School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Full-time

Attendance

Four year

Course

September 2019

Next enrolment
Introduction

In a nutshell

Acoustical engineering focuses on the noise, vibration and audio output of architecture and consumer products that sound good and achieve results. By understanding how sound waves behave and how people respond to them, you will help to engineer a better sounding world.

Salford is recognised as a global leader in acoustics teaching and research. Our degree course in acoustical and audio engineering, recognised by the UK Institute of Acoustics, will take you on an exciting journey towards Chartered Engineer status.

This foundation year course will develop your engineering knowledge and skillset, preparing you to study the full acoustical and audio engineering degree.

You will:
  • Study the fundamentals required to progress on to the full Acoustical and Audio Engineering degree course
  • Develop professional knowledge, design and analytical skills towards Chartered Engineer status
  • Learn about the social, legal and environmental issues associated with senior engineering roles
  • Train in physics and mathematical techniques through a combination of theoretical and practical modules
  • Complete experiments and project work in specialised acoustics facilities and laboratories
  • Be able to take a placement year to increase your skills within industry

This is for you if...

1.

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

2.

You are seeking a change of direction into engineering, or are mature student with workplace experience

3.

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

Course details

All about the course

Our foundation year is an effective bridging programme for applicants who do not meet the entry requirements for the BEng Acoustical and Audio Engineering degree. You will complete a range of modules to develop your mathematics and physics knowledge to the academic level required for further study.

During the Foundation year, you will gain awareness of social, legal and environmental issues that are associated with the role of a senior engineer. You will study a broad range of engineering subjects to prepare you for a wide variety of careers.

Led by our academic engineering team, this course will give you the capabilities to take your passion for engineering further. A key benefit on successful completion of the foundation year is your seamless entry to our BEng Acoustical and Audio Engineering degree.

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

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

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:

  • 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 through a combination of formats:

  • 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
     

The School of Computing, Science and Engineering

The School of Computing, Science and Engineering (CSE) seeks to improve lives through proactive collaboration with industry and society. Our stimulating, industry-accredited courses and research programmes explore engineering, physics, acoustics, computing, mathematics and robotics. Through our award-winning lecturers, world-class facilities and research-led teaching, CSE produces highly employable graduates ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our facilities

ACOUSTIC LABORATORIES

Our Peel Park campus houses 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.

AUDIO PRODUCTION

Our MediaCityUK campus is home to industry-standard professional audio-visual suites, production and recording studios, available for students, researchers and commercial clients. 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Employment

Graduates from this degree course are well-placed to become major players 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

If you decide to take your studies further, we offer a range of specialist postgraduate courses. We even offer a fee discount to our graduates and alumni.

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

The pre-checklist

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 with no band below 5.5 is proof of this.

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment to measure their suitability. Please contact Admissions for further information.

Route one standard entry

GCSE

English language and maths at grade C/grade 4 or above.

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

UCAS tariff points

72 UCAS points from any subject combination. 64 UCAS points where qualifications include both mathematics and physics to A-Level standard.

GCE A level

72 UCAS points from any subject combination. 64 UCAS points where qualifications include both mathematics and physics at A-Level standard.

BTEC National Diploma

MMP for any subject, MPP for engineering or science

Scottish Highers

72 UCAS Tariff points (new system) from any subject combination. 64 UCAS Tariff points where qualifications include both mathematics and physics to A-level standard.

Irish Leaving Certificate

72 UCAS Tariff points (new system) from any subject combination. 64 UCAS Tariff points where qualifications include both mathematics and physics to A-level standard.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019 £9,250per year
Additional costs

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

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID H342

Institution S03