Undergraduate BEng (Hons)

Acoustical and Audio Engineering with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Acoustics explores the physics of sound and the psychology of how people react to noise and vibration. Prepare for a rewarding future career where you can create a better sounding world with our BEng (Hons) Acoustical and Audio Engineering with Foundation Year degree. 

The foundation year pathway is an excellent study route if you don't meet the direct entry requirements for the honours degree or you are returning to academic studies. On successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress on to our BEng (Hons) Acoustical and Audio Engineering degree course.

For over 60 years Salford has pioneered acoustics teaching and research. Led by research-active practitioners, our courses include practical experiments in our world-class acoustic facilities, where you can discover the amazing ways that sound and acoustics impact our everyday lives. 

Start your study journey

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying Acoustical and Audio Engineering with Foundation Year, explore our facilities and meet the course team

You will:

  • Develop competence in essential areas of physics and mathematics needed to successfully study engineering
  • Build the technical skills and gain confidence ready to progress to the acoustical and audio engineering undergraduate degree
  • Gain essential analytical and problem solving skills so you can study acoustics
  • Explore the science of sound, as you complete experiments and projects in our world-class acoustics facilities and laboratories

options available

This is for you if...


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


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


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

Course details

All about the course

Students in the anechoic chamber

Foundation year

The foundation year aims to build your knowledge in physics and mathematics, alongside developing relevant practical and study skills. With a focus on progression, you’ll develop core skills in communication and problem solving so that you succeed at an advanced level.

If you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will automatically progress on to the full BEng (Hons) Acoustical and Audio Engineering degree.

BEng degree

Our BEng honours degree is designed to help you become a world-class acoustic and audio professional. For a further three years – or four with a placement year - you will study a suite of modules designed to embed theoretical knowledge and creative application.

Building a strong understanding of analogue electronics, mathematics, computing and audio systems in year one, you will progress to explore digital signal processing and microphone and speaker design in year two. In your final year, you can personalise your study path by choosing from optional modules in areas such as speech, room acoustics and noise control. 

Learn more about the course modules in the section below.

Learning experience

Located just over a mile away from Manchester, we are one of the few universities to offer an Acoustics and Audio degree course in the UK. With strong industry connections surrounding our Peel Park campus, you can gain practical experience and network with industry experts.

The Foundations Physics Laboratory module covers areas in experimental design, scientific measurements, and data analysis where you’ll be taught about best laboratory practice and how to examine scientific reports successfully.

We use interactive and engaging small group teaching styles to guide you through this creative area of science and engineering. Our carefully designed modules embed theoretical knowledge and creative application so you’ll spend lots of time in our world-class studios and laboratories which will nurture your transferable skills.

Read about student Alex's study experience at the university.

Industry placement

On the BEng course, you will have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your placement, our tutors will support you in finding a role, and monitor your progress throughout. By successfully completing a placement year, you can also add 'with professional experience' to your final degree award.

Industry placements are an excellent way to enhance your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections. We often find that placement students achieve higher final year grades.

Read about student Antonio's placement experience with RBA Acoustics.

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.

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).


Studio Production

This module is designed to give you an understanding of the underlying concepts and principles of multi-track production, develop your production skills to translate multi-source live music and sound into a recorded stereo image, and develop the organisational skills needed to successfully record an artist/group. Typically, you will use our Pro-Tools sound recording studios to record a band.

Signal Chain Theory

This module introduces the basic fundamentals of sound, signals, and systems, and then explores the signal flow of a complete generic audio system, from capture (microphones) to playback (loudspeakers) and transmission.

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.



You will learn about the fundamental laws of electromagnetism leading to the development of Maxwell’s equations and the electromagnetic wave equation. Underlying mathematical techniques, including vector calculus, will be introduced alongside the physical laws. The module is taught by a combination of lectures and problem solving tutorials.

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 two modules from the following group:

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.

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 engineering applications.

Psychoacoustics and Musical Acoustics

Music is one of the most important signals in acoustics and audio. This module is about how musical sounds are made, how they can be modelled and synthesised, and also how listeners respond to them.  

During the module, you will learn how the human auditory system works, starting with the physiology and physics of the ear, developing a solid grasp of how loudness, pitch and the ear’s frequency bands really work. The module covers a very diverse range of disciplines including physics, psychoacoustics and musicology. You’ll apply your new knowledge and skills in coursework assignments. 

Noise and Vibration Control

This module will provide you with knowledge and understanding of noise and vibration control engineering processes and methodologies. You will learn how to select appropriate noise and vibration control options for realistic scenarios, with a focus on the transport industry (road, rail and air vehicles). 

During the module, you will also learn the main sound generation mechanisms in road, rail and air vehicles.  You will gain a thorough understanding of current best practice in noise and vibration control, and apply appropriate acoustical analysis to assess limitations and/or adapt them for application in unfamiliar situations.  

Plus two further modules from the following group:

Computer Simulation for Acoustics

In this module, 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.

During the module, 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.

Environmental Noise Measurement and Modelling

In this module, you will carry out measurement and modelling of environmental noise using appropriate sound measuring instrumentation and modelling capabilities.  You will develop the ability to describe and explain the main provisions of current environmental noise legislation, guidance and best practice. 

During the module, you will also develop the ability to interpret the requirements in order to carry out reliable environmental noise measurements and modelling, and apply acoustic theory decision about the most appropriate interventions to control environmental noise.  This module will also introduce the state-of-the-art soundscape methods. 

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.

Immersive Sound Reproduction

In this module, you will develop understanding of transducer systems for the capture and reproduction of 3D sound. You will then go on to develop understanding of how the human auditory system works and how this can be exploited to deliver realistic and immersive spatial audio experiences.

During the module, you will also learn how to design loudspeaker systems using typical enclosures or horns and develop the skills necessary to design PA systems using suitable loudspeaker systems and arrays.

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?


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

Alongside technical and subject-based knowledge and skills, we will also help you to develop a range of personal and professional skills which will make you highly employable. These include report writing and presentation skills, data interpretation and IT skills and team work and project management skills.


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, deliver the plan, and reflect on outcomes
What you want to know

Frequently asked questions

What is a foundation year? 

A foundation year offers a year of studying to gain an understanding of the programme before progressing to the full three-year studies. You'll get the chance to understand the way higher education studying works and gain the relevant skills and knowledge needed to undertake the full degree. 

What is acoustical and audio engineering? 

Acoustical and audio engineering is the branch of engineering that explores the physics of sound and the psychology of how people react to noise and vibration. Acoustical and audio engineers focus on the design, analysis and control of sound. 

Is acoustical and audio engineering a good career? 

A career in acoustical and audio engineering can be very rewarding. If you choose to go down this career path, you could play an important role in reducing noise pollution, preventing hearing loss, and preserving the environment. 

What can you do with an acoustical and audio engineering degree? 

Acoustical and audio engineering graduates may go into roles such as: 

  • Broadcast Engineer 
  • Noise Consultant 
  • Acoustics Specialist 
  • Audio Technology Designer 

and more... 

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders.

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


As an Acoustical and Audio Engineering student, you will study at our green Peel Park campus, featuring accessible lecture theatres, AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software. Online, you will experience our Blackboard Ultra virtual learning environment. 

During your studies, you will use our world-class acoustic laboratories at Peel Parkwhich include anechoic chambers, transmission suites, reverberation chambers, listening rooms and audiometric test facilities. At our MediaCity campus, you'll find more industry-standard professional audio-visual suites, and production and recording studios.

Industry Collaboration and Research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global issues and challenges with noise, sound and vibration.

Read on and discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Acoustics researcher working with a microphone


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. With a growing number of opportunities in areas such as environmental noise measurement, loudspeaker system design for music venues and noise control, there are exciting and emerging career fields to consider

Audio and acoustics graduates often develop careers as acoustic consultants improving the sound of buildings or reducing noise, product developers carrying out research and development in an industry or university setting, and audio software engineers in broadcast and gaming. Our graduates have progressed their career in roles with Arup, Apple, Dolby, Jaguar Land Rover, Thales, NHS, and Sandy Brown Associates.

Further study

You might find that you want to learn more about acoustics and audio. Building on our expertise, we offer a range of postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni who apply for our postgraduate courses also qualify to receive a generous fees discount. 

Some graduates choose to pursue postgraduate and doctoral research. For over 60 years, the Acoustics Research Centre at Salford has led audio and acoustics knowledge-building and innovation. Funded by research councils, government bodies and industry, the Centre offers a range of postgraduate research opportunities for acoustics graduates. 

A taste of what you could become

A broadcast engineer

A noise consultant

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 through collaborative R&D projects either 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.

Research by our staff has been incorporated in International Standards used by major engineering companies such as Dyson, Boeing and Bosch, developed the standard methods using by the Environment Agency to access low frequency sound and created technologies used in everyday products, such as the air-springs in Audi cars.


What you need to know

Applicant profile

We look for applicants who have studied mathematics or physics subjects at school/college, and want to gain a deeper knowledge in these and other related subjects, with particular bias towards sound. Along with academic strengths in these areas, we want applicants with a passion for audio, acoustics and sound, and a desire to build a future career working or researching in this field.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses.

International applicants

This course isn’t 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.

Standard entry requirements


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


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 mathematics and physics modules.

Access to HE

64 UCAS points from QAA-approved science or 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 at least grade 4 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.  To be considered for the scheme, you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).

Learn more about the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.
Full-time home 2025/26 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 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

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID H342

Institution S03