Undergraduate MEng (Hons)

Acoustical and Audio Engineering

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

With placement

Course

Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2022

Introduction

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 MEng (Hons) Acoustical and Audio Engineering degree. 

Take your studies further

With a focus on solving real-world problems, you will explore the principles of acoustics, analogue electronics, speech, environmental noise measurement, digital signal processing, psychoacoustics, audio systems and speaker design. With our advanced MEng pathway, you will take your knowledge to an advanced level, preparing you for an exciting range of opportunities once you graduate.

Industry-focused approach

For over 60 years Salford has pioneered acoustics teaching and research, and is recognised by the UK Institute of Acoustics with a route to Chartered Engineer status meaning you will be taught to the highest industry standards. Led by research-active practitioners, you'll complete practical experiments in our acoustic facilities, and discover the amazing ways that sound and acoustics impact our everyday lives. 

Supportive learning environment

We use small-group teaching to guide you through this creative area of science and engineering. You will follow carefully-designed modules that embed theoretical knowledge and creative application, and nurture your transferable skills so you can become a world-class acoustic and audio professional.

You can learn more about studying acoustics, explore course modules and speak to the course team, by joining our next Open Day.

You will:
  • Complete experiments and projects in world-class acoustics facilities and laboratories
  • Discover the acoustic design principles behind smartphones, cars and loudspeakers, as well as recording studios, public places and live venues
  • Gain professional-level knowledge and skills that could lead to future Chartered Engineer status
  • Include a placement year to apply your knowledge and develop additional transferable skills
  • Stand out in the graduate jobs market as you 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

Students in the anechoic chamber

Recognised by the UK Institute of Acoustics, our Acoustical and Audio Engineering degree course will shape your future career credentials.

Having the ability to apply technical detail is at the heart of engineering, and core to Salford’s values, so we embed this as a core learning objective throughout your studies.

  • In year one, you will study a suite of introductory acoustic modules that will prepare you for your next study. Topics covered include analogue electronics, mathematics and computing, and an introduction to audio systems
  • As you progress on to year two, you will expand your subject knowledge by exploring subjects such as digital signal processing and microphone and speaker design. You will also complete a group design project, working with your course mates to fine a creative solution to a real-world issue. At the end of year two, you will start your industry placement
  • In your third year, you can begin to shape your degree around your interests, selecting optional modules in areas such as speech, room acoustics and noise control. You will also complete further experiments and project work, culminating in your individual project
  • As you go into your final year, you'll advance on to the postgraduate level, exploring modules in environmental noise measurement and psychoacoustics, helping you to expand your knowledge of specialist areas within acoustics

INDUSTRY PLACEMENT 

On this course, you'll have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your own placement, we will support your search and assign you a tutor to monitor your progress whilst on placement.

By successfully completing a placement year, you can also add 'with professional experience' to your final degree award.

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).

New

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.

New

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.

New

Electromagnetism

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 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.

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.

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 engineering applications.

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. 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.

ASSESSMENT

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

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.

Facilities

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 MediaCityUK campus, you'll find more industry-standard professional audio-visual suites, and production and recording studios.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Acoustics researcher working with a microphone

EMPLOYMENT

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, BBS, Apple, Dolby, Jaguar Land Rover and Bang and Olufson.

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. 

MSc Audio Production

MSc Audio Acoustics

MSc Environmental Acoustics

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.

Requirements

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.

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English Language and Mathematics at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

128 UCAS points where qualifications include mathematics, physics, engineering or a numerate science 

A-Level

128 UCAS points, including grade C in mathematics, physics or a numerate science.

BTEC National Diploma

DDM for Engineering or Science subjects, including Distinctions in mathematics modules

Access to HE

Pass with 128 UCAS points from a QAA-approved science or engineering course

Scottish Highers

128 UCAS points to include mathematics, physics or chemistry at grade C for Advanced Higher level, or grade A at Higher level

Irish Leaving Certificate

128 UCAS points to Higher Level mathematics and physics 

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60%, to include a numerate science or engineering

International Baccalaureate

31 points including Higher Level physics, mathematics or chemistry at grade 5

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60%, to include a numerate science or engineering

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 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,600per year
Part-time 2021/22 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time home 2022/23 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15900per year
Part-time 2022/23 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 consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

International student scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. We offer a range of scholarships worth between £3,000-£5,000.

Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID H345

Institution S03