Undergraduate MEng (Hons)

Acoustical and Audio Engineering

School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Full-time

With placement

Attendance

Four year

Five year

Course

September 2019

Next enrolment
Introduction

In a nutshell

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

Salford is recognised as a global leader in acoustics teaching and research. Our new Integrated BEng/MEng Acoustical & Audio Engineering course, recognised by the UK Institute of Acoustics, will take you on an exciting journey towards Chartered Engineer status.

You will:
  • Build professional knowledge and skills that lead to Chartered Engineer status
  • Understand the social, legal and environmental issues associated with senior engineering roles
  • Explore cutting-edge topics such as noise measurement, psychoacoustics, audio design and sound management
  • Complete experiments and projects in specialised acoustics facilities and laboratories
  • Be able to take a placement year to increase your skills within the industry
  • Take your acoustical engineering knowledge to master's level
Placement

options available

International

students accepted

This is for you if...

1.

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

2.

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

3.

You want a degree with professional status with the opportunity to take your studies to postgraduate level

Course details

All about the course

Recognised by the UK Institute of Acoustics with a route to Chartered Engineer status, this course will shape your career credentials. You will explore the creative science and engineering involved in creating, controlling and manipulating sound, whether that is designing sound for VR games or designing noise barriers to quieten high speed rail.

In years one and two, you will follow a structured programme of acoustic modules, with subjects including analogue electronics, digital signal processing audio systems and speaker design.

By year three, you will be able to shape your degree around your interests, selecting optional modules in speech, room acoustics and virtual reality.  Should you opt for the postgraduate part of the course, you can take additional Masters modules in environmental noise measurement and psychoacoustics.

Professional Experience Option

If you are studying full-time, you'll have the option to take an industrial placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your own placement, we will assign you a placement tutor to monitor your progress and assess your final placement report. By competing a placement year, you can add 'with professional experience' to your final degree award.

Year one undergraduate

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

This module will introduce you to a broad range of audio systems including microphones, transmission, digital audio and loudspeakers. You will learn how to make sound effects for a computer game.

Year two undergraduate

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 undergraduate

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 (year one for part time)

This module is about linking the acoustic signals we measure to peoples’ subjective responses. You will gain an understanding of how the auditory system allows humans to perceive different attributes of the surrounding acoustic environment, and develop a detailed understanding of how low-level percepts such as pitch arise from the physiology of the ear. You will then study how these are linked to high-level attributes such as emotional response, and how this drives good subjective experiment design.

Room Acoustics (year one for part time)

This module aims to provide you with a thorough grasp of room acoustics principles, including theoretical models for both low and high frequencies, developing your ability to apply these in order to analyse existing rooms or design new ones. You will study wave theory and statistical theory for acoustic enclosures, including objective descriptions of and how these tally with listeners' perceptions. Techniques for designing and applying sound absorbing and scattering treatments will be covered, and you will consider the effectiveness and limitations of these in important application areas such as musical performances spaces and critical listening rooms.

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.

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.

Year four postgraduate

Group Design Project

You will demonstrate an understanding of techniques applicable to your research, show originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create, interpret and critically evaluate knowledge within the chosen project area. You will be expected to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level.

Choose four modules from the following:

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.

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

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.

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.

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 (year one for part time)

This module is about linking the acoustic signals we measure to peoples’ subjective responses. You will gain an understanding of how the auditory system allows humans to perceive different attributes of the surrounding acoustic environment, and develop a detailed understanding of how low-level percepts such as pitch arise from the physiology of the ear. You will then study how these are linked to high-level attributes such as emotional response, and how this drives good subjective experiment design.

Room Acoustics (year one for part time)

This module aims to provide you with a thorough grasp of room acoustics principles, including theoretical models for both low and high frequencies, developing your ability to apply these in order to analyse existing rooms or design new ones. You will study wave theory and statistical theory for acoustic enclosures, including objective descriptions of and how these tally with listeners' perceptions. Techniques for designing and applying sound absorbing and scattering treatments will be covered, and you will consider the effectiveness and limitations of these in important application areas such as musical performances spaces and critical listening rooms.

Transducer Design (year two for part time)

In this module you will extend the knowledge you acquired during the Loudspeakers and Microphones module to study their design principles in greater depth. You will analyse the design of electro-dynamic and distributed mode loudspeaker systems, including the interaction of the electrical, mechanical and acoustical properties to determining sensitivity, frequency response and directionality. This will include study of two-port networks methods and the method of analogues. Practical issues such as radiation efficiency and non-pistonic vibration will be considered, and analysis will be extended to vented, transmission line and band-pass 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

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.

Standard Entry Requirements

UCAS tariff points

128 points

GCE A level

128 points - grade C in maths or numerate science at A-Level

BTEC National Diploma

DDM from engineering or science

Scottish Highers

128 points; Advanced Highers grade C in maths, physics or chemistry; Highers grade A in maths, physics or chemistry.

Irish Leaving Certificate

128 points to include Higher Level physics and maths.

International Baccalaureate

35 points Grade 5 in physics or maths or chemistry at Higher Level

Access to HE

A minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 60 credits overall. Pass with 120 UCAS points achieved. Distinctions in numerate modules required.

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 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2019 £14,400per year
Part-time 2019 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Additional costs

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

Scholarship Opportunity

Applicants for this course can qualify to apply for one of five scholarships provided thanks to the generosity of the Morson Group. Each scholarship is worth a total of £9,000, paid as two cash award instalments of £1,500 each per annum for a maximum of three years.

The scholarships aim to ensure that talented students starting their first year are not deterred from studying at the University of Salford for financial reasons.  Qualifying students will be encouraged to apply following registration and enrollment in September 2019. Priority will be given to students who:

  • Can demonstrate the scholarship will provide the necessary support during their studies;
  • Would otherwise be deterred from an undergraduate degree by tuition fees and associated living costs; 
  • Live in the North West; 
  • Have at least 112 UCAS points or equivalent. 
Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID H345

Institution S03