An in-depth analytical treatment of audio and acoustic engineering as used in industry and research
You will be taught by world-class researchers with international prominence and strong industrial links
Strong and long-standing connections with industrial partners across Europe which inform course content, drive postgraduate recruitment, and create collaborative MSc summer project opportunities
The generation, manipulation and reproduction of high quality audio are core elements of the rapidly expanding communication, entertainment, music and sound engineering industries. This course is aimed at graduates of numerate science disciplines, who wish to make the transfer into this exciting and growing sector. Building on the engineering fundamentals you already know, it will provide you with the specialist expert knowledge required to become a future leader in audio technology. The University of Salford has a long history of research and teaching in audio and acoustics - by taking this course you will be joining a community of alumni who can be found at the heart of many leading organisations both in the UK and abroad.
You will study core topics including architectural acoustics, psychoacoustics, dynamics and vibration, computer modelling and measurement. Beyond this, the course provides specialist modules in digital signal processing and advanced loudspeaker and microphone design. Further specialisation is then developed in the Project module.
You will be based in the university’s internationally-renowned Acoustics Research Group. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework panel praised our outputs, saying that the Salford submission showed “particular strengths in acoustics”, and our industrial links led our REF impact case study to be singled out by the EPSRC and Royal Academy of Engineering for highlight the economic benefits of engineering and training.
This course is accredited by the Institute of Acoustics for the purposes of meeting the educational requirements for Corporate Membership of the Institute. Graduates may attain Engineering Council registration via the Institute of Acoustics.
This course offers a variety of flexible study formats, including full and part-time modes, either on campus or via distance learning. Those considering part-time study should bear in mind that the programme is intensive, and that generally, we advise that part-time means half time, i.e. you would need to allocate half the week to you studies ≈ 19 working hours.
This course comprises eight 15 credit taught modules, followed by a 60 credit project module leading to the dissertation. For full-time students, the taught modules all take place in trimesters one and two, followed by the project module in trimester three. For part-time students, the taught modules are spread over trimesters one and two of two years, followed by the project module in year three.
Please note that the ‘Measurement Analysis and Assessment’ module includes a lab week in semester 1 of year 2, attendance of which is also mandatory for distance learning students. Depending on your nationality you may require an ATAS certificate and Short Term Study Visa for this – see the Entry Requirements tab for details.
We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.
Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.
International Students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin studying their course. You may need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK in order for you to comply with Home Office regulations. Please refer to your offer conditions.
You can find out if your programme requires an ATAS by checking the FCO website at https://www.gov.uk/academic-technology-approval-scheme with your JACS code which will be on your offer letter should you choose to make an application. If you cannot find it please contact International Conversion team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any queries relating directly to ATAS please contact the ATAS team on Salford-ATAS@salford.ac.uk.
You can apply for your ATAS Certificate via this link: https://www.academic-technology-approval.service.gov.uk/
Please note that distance learners are required to attend a lab week in semester 1 (of year 2 for part-time study), for which they may require ATAS approval and a Short Term Study Visa.
This course is designed for technically-skilled, numerate graduates whose first degree was in an engineering or science discipline, who wish to train to begin an acoustics and audio engineering career.
This course is also suitable for those currently working in the audio and acoustic industry who wish to expand their expertise.
If you feel you have the technical knowledge for the course but lack the engineering maths, please get in touch and we can recommend a 1 year part-time distance-learning maths course that may be suitable to help you meet our entry requirements.
For informal discussions about your suitability for this course, please contact the programme leader, Dr Jon Hargreaves.
The majority of teaching and learning takes place through tutorial and seminar groups. There is a strong focus on guided self-learning. Assessment is generally in the form of assignments, which improve problem solving and other skills as well as providing a strong background in the subject area. The ‘Measurement, Analysis and Assessment’ module also includes practical group work.
All students benefit from the supply of a range of high-quality teaching materials, text books and software. Interaction with students is face-to-face wherever practical, but we also use web-based learning support packages (databases of materials, discussion boards etc.) to support the cohorts. Distance learning students are able to stream classes via our Virtual Learning Environment, either to participate live or watch back later.
Trevor Cox is Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford, author and radio presenter.
One major strand of his research is room acoustics for intelligible speech and quality music production and reproduction. Trevor’s diffuser designs can be found in rooms around the world. He was awarded the IOA’s Tyndall Medal in 2004. Current audio projects include Future Spatial Audio for the Home and a big data project trying to Make Sense of Sound.
Trevor has presented over twenty science documentaries for BBC radio including: Life’s soundtrack, Save our Sounds and Science vs the Strad. His popular science book, Sonic Wonderland was published in 2014.
Our MSc Audio Acoustics course is designed to train graduates to meet a growing demand for audio skills in industry, and also to enable employees to reach their full potential. This postgraduate course has been used as in-service training by a number of UK and global companies (e.g. mobile telecoms). While one naturally thinks of mobile phone design as belonging to 'telecommunications', there are considerable audio engineering challenges in designing good quality sound from the small transducers used in confined spaces, often in the presence of considerable background noise. Also, increasing markets exist for sophisticated audio systems in the home (smart speakers), at work (virtual and augmented environments) and in transport (car audio or ‘infotainment’).
The audio acoustics industry is diverse. It includes major firms with 'core' audio-related market share such as Philips, Sony, Dolby, B&O and KEF. Many other businesses employ specialists in acoustics from Salford: Apple, Bentley, JLR to name a few. Building design and architectural acoustics needs specialist engineering consultants looking at room configurations and surface treatments, noise ingress and egress, sound reinforcement system design and so on, and a very wide variety of companies (Arup Acoustics are one large example in our area) employ graduates from our courses. Students also go on to study for a higher degree by research, here at Salford or elsewhere.
Acousticians with engineering, science and mathematical skills are currently in short supply, and Salford MSc Audio Acoustics graduates are in a very strong position in the jobs market. The University of Salford has over 25 years’ experience of placing graduates in key audio and acoustic industries carrying out consultancy, research, development and design. These include well-known companies such as Apple, Dolby and the BBC, and with almost every major acoustic consultancy in the world.
Typically our graduates go into:
In 2013, A survey of 500 of our acoustic and audio alumni found 1 in 5 of our graduates live outside the UK and 45% are in Senior jobs or are Directors. The 6 most popular industries were: research (15%), environmental (11%), university (10%), construction (9%), architecture (9%) and consumer electronics (6%).
Anthony Churnside joined the BBC R&D's trainee technologist scheme after studying Audio Acoustics at The University of Salford.
His first placement was with the Technology Consultancy Team helping define the technology requirements for MediaCityUK.
His second placement looked at the possible future of surround sound, both in terms of what benefits it can offer our audiences and how hard it would be to incorporate into BBC production processes and the broadcast infrastructure. This project allowed him to record the Last Night of the Proms in 3D sound. The 3D sound project was recognised by the Royal Television Society and Tony was awarded Young Technologist 2010.
His final placement was with the Prototyping Team. This is a group of engineers and designers who build prototypes that explore new ways of presenting BBC content. Examples of prototypes that he has built range from a conduct your own orchestra installation for Radio 3 to a brainwave controlled remote control for a television set top box.
Tony has now completed a PhD studying at the Acoustics Research Centre at Salford University.
Staff have strong links with industry either through collaborative R&D projects with industry through the Acoustics Research Centre and our commercial test laboratories. These all help to keep the MSc Acoustics up to date with the current needs of industry, incorporating the latest research findings. This course is an exemplar of the University’s Industry Collaboration Zones (ICZs) strategy - our single strategic priority.
Recent collaborative projects have included:
In addition to the taught programme, we hold regular informal research seminars. Recent industry contributors have included:
Some of our students go on to study a PhD at our world-class Acoustics Research Centre. We have been carrying out acoustics research for over 40 years. Our research is funded by research councils, government bodies, and industry. It has fed into audio products that companies make and sell worldwide, as well as regulations and standards used in the UK, Europe and beyond. We are also involved in public engagement - getting more people aware of and interested in acoustic science and engineering.
Key areas include broadcast audio, building and architectural acoustics, environmental noise, soundscapes, outdoor sound propagation, remote acoustic sensing of metrological conditions, human response to sound and vibration, audio signal processing and machine learning.
The Acoustics Research Centre's research was recognised in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). Nine acoustics staff were part of the 49 staff submitted by Salford to “Architecture and Built Environment.” The Salford submission was evaluated as having a GPA of 2.9. The REF panel singled out our outputs as showing “particular strengths in acoustics” and said that there was “outstanding impact in acoustics for the built environment.” Our REF impact case study on acoustics was subsequently used by EPSRC and the Royal Academy of Engineering to highlight the economic benefits of engineering research.
|Type of Study||Fee|
|Part-time||£1,230 per 30 credit module|
|Distance Learning||Full-time £7,380, part-time £1,230 per 30 credit module|
|International Distance Learning||Full-time £13,500, part-time £2,250 per 30 credit module|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
We offer awards to help you study through our:
There are also other sources of funding available to you.
For more information please see our funding section
The Postgraduate Bursaries and Scholarships for 2017-18 entry are currently under review and subject to change. A revised schedule of scholarships and bursaries will be published in Spring 2017.
Acoustic and audio test facilities at Salford are second to none. We have a full range of specialist test chambers: full anechoic chamber, two semi-anechoic chambers, transmission suite, two large and one small reverberation chambers, ITU standard listening room equipeed with a 96 channel Wave Field Synthesis system, 3D Ambisonic listening booth, audiometric test facilities and a range of modern instrumentation and equipment. We are accredited to perform no less than twelve types of test and the test chambers are maintained by a team of commercially funded technical staff. We also have a UKAS accredited Calibration Laboratory which provides a full scale commercial service to industry. All these facilities are available for students carrying out projects.
MSc (one year full-time or 32 months part-time)
PgDip (nine months full-time or 20 months part-time)