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Physics with Acoustics

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Subject area - Physics

UCAS Code: F384

Start Dates(s): September


Three years full-time
Four years with placement


UK - £9250 per year

International - £14,400 per year

In Brief:

  • Wide range of exciting specialisms and career options
  • The programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and benefits from regular lectures from visiting industry professionals with associated case study problems
  • World-class acoustics facilities
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

In addition to the core focus on physics as detailed under our BSc/MPhys courses, the BSc or MPhys in Physics with Acoustics allows you to study specialist modules in acoustics. The University of Salford has excellent facilities for the study of acoustics, including our anechoic chamber, the quietest  place in North West England.

Foundation Year available

Course Details

This physics courses at Salford combines a fundamental understanding of the laws of physics, that govern the behaviour of all systems from the very small to the very large, with a specialism in acoustics.

The course is built around a core of physics modules giving a thorough grounding in physics combined with specialist acoustic modules. You will also take part in group projects that will allow you to develop your team working, problem solving, communication and presentation skills, all desirable within the industrial and research communities.

In the first year you will be introduced to the whole breadth of physics including classical physics, quantum physics, particle physics and relativity. In addition you will study further mathematical techniques and the use of computers to solve mathematical problems. Lectures and tutorial classes are complemented by practical laboratories used to reinforce an understanding of the laws of physics and their application. This teaching is further complemented by exposure to possible careers in physics through weekly seminars delivered by employers of physics graduates. These seminars are complemented by a problem based learning laboratory where you will embark on open ended group based exercises designed to enhance problem solving skills.

In the second year you will study more topics in physics at an advanced level including classical and quantum wave phenomena, statistical physics and the properties of matter and electromagnetism. You will learn how to use computers to solve problems in physics as well as interfacing computers to experiments. In the practical laboratory you will undertake experiments linked to the curricula as well as undertaking a group project whose aims are to design, build and demonstrate a piece of physics related equipment. Specialist acoustics modules include Principles of Acoustics that provides the foundation for other acoustics modules and Digital Signal Processing that provides a grounding in the processing of digital acoustical signals.

In the final year you will study topics including the quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules and solids, nuclear physics, particle physics, relativity, electromagnetic theory and wave optics. Specialist acoustics modules include Speech and Signal Processing, Psychoacoustics and Musical Acoustics.  You will also undertake a significant final year project in an acoustics related area that can be practical, theoretical or computational in nature (or a mix).

You can opt to take an industrial placement year in between your second and third year of your degree course. You will arrange your placement with our support. This has a number of benefits: you will improve your employment prospects after graduation, you get to see the physics you have learned in action, they are often paid positions, and many of our industrial placement students ultimately improve their degree classification over their second year results to receive top class degrees.

Year 1    

Delivered through lectures, problem-based learning and laboratory sessions, in this module you will be introduced to the following subjects: classical dynamics, static and dynamic charges, fundamentals of quantum mechanics, fundamentals of relativity and atomic and nuclear physics.
Delivered through key note lectures, tutorial and problem-based learning classes and practical laboratory sessions, in this module you will be introduced to the following subjects: thermodynamics, microscopic and macroscopic properties of matter, fundamentals of waves and geometrical optics and wave optics.
Being able to apply your scientific knowledge and thinking to unfamiliar problems is a key skill for success in industry and research. By introducing you to this skill, along with other important skills identified by our industrial and academic partners, they will become second nature, giving you a head start in your chosen career.
An understanding and ability to use mathematics are essential skills for success in physics this module will review A level mathematics covering the following subjects: algebra, trigonometry, functions, geometry, vectors, complex numbers and calculus, with emphasis on their applications to physics.
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.

Year 2    

In this module 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.

Year 3  

In this module you will be provided with an overview of Nuclear Physics, an understanding of nuclear stability in terms of the Liquid Drop Model and of nuclear reactions involving neutrons, protons, electrons and neutrinos, and major experimental techniques and practical applications. The particle physics aspects of the module will cover the basic discoveries of modern Particle Physics and introduce the ideas of Grand Unified Theory.

Please note, exact modules may vary in order to keep content current. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the modules you will study on or before the start of the programme.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
GCSE English language and maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 104-112 points including grade C or above in maths and physics. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved
GCE A level 104-112 points including Mathematics at grade C and Physics at grade C.A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.
BTEC National Diploma DMM
International Baccalaureate 30 points, 5 points each from Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level

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.

English Language Requirements

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

Applicant profile

If you have solid results in Physics and Mathematics, a keen and enquiring mind and want a wide range of career options available to you on graduation, this is the degree for you.

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 which is designed for this purpose. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University. Please contact Jos Hirst the Director of Admissions for further information.

Fees and Funding


Tuition fees for Home/EU students beginning their course in September 2018 will be announced as soon as they are confirmed by the UK Government. Tuition fees for 2017 were £9,250 per annum for Home/EU students; we expect this figure to rise slightly for 2018.

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9250 per year
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs

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

Scholarships & Bursaries

We offer awards to help you study including:

  • Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship
  • Salford Student Bursary

For more information please see our funding section.


Your learning will be facilitated through a wide range of teaching techniques including:

  • Lectures – lectures are used to impart essential information, typically students are given prior reading tasks which facilitates an interactive approach to enhance understanding.
  • Problem Tutorials – here you will enhance your problem solving skills through facilitated exercises.
  • Laboratory Classes – following being taught basis laboratory skills you will undertake experiments in physics designed to both enhance practical skills and further understanding.
  • Problem Based Learning – the first year Frontiers of Physics module carried out in a problem based learning laboratory. Here students embark on open ended physics based problems as part of a group. Activities are designed to enhance employability skills alongside exploring applications of physics.
  • Seminars – throughout the year guest speakers from a range of physics employers and sectors will expose you to possible career paths.
  • Projects – there are elements of project works in all years, including group projects in first and second years and individual projects in later years. Projects can be tailored to student interests.
  • Assessment

    • Exams - 70%
    • Continual assessment (tests, coursework and lab reports) 30%


    Due to the analytical and problem solving nature of physics, this degree opens doors to a wide range of careers. Previous graduates have commonly found employment in the following sectors: medical physics, defence, finance, research, education, engineering and nuclear.

    Recent employers of graduates from this course include: ADT, British Nuclear Fuels, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) Astrium, Gabriel Scientific Consultancy, and the Royal Air Force.

    Career Prospects

    Links with Industry

    The following companies are partnered with Salford Physics courses. They not only consult on the development of the course but contribute annual seminars, research project opportunities and work placements: Atkins Global, Technium OpTIC, Pilkington, Nuvia, Royal Navy, Astrium, BPD Acoustics, Nanoco Technologies, Salford Royal Hospital, BAE Systems, Centre for Alternative Technology, IOP (Institute of Physics) Publishing, NPower, Serco and TDA (Training and Development Agency for Schools)

    These companies give added value to the course, making industrial skills and knowledge from a wide range of industries available to you from the very start of your degree. An industrial placement, usually taken between the second and third year of your degree, is an excellent way to improve your employability after graduation.

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