Undergraduate MPhys (Hons)

Physics with Acoustics

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2020


In a nutshell

As interruptions in our daily life intensify, the impact of noise in our environments is an increasing important topic. Physics with Acoustics is your opportunity to specialise in this exciting branch of physics, leading with the careers that can make a huge difference to our world.

This integrated masters pathway offers you the opportunity to expand your knowledge of acoustics. For over 60 years, Salford has pioneered acoustics and audio research. Our discoveries have shaped commercial products and audio equipment, and set international noise regulations and standards.  Accredited by the Institute of Physics, this unique course blends physics principles with acoustic specialisms. You’ll study classical, quantum and particle physics and relativity, alongside this, you’ll follow acoustic-based modules that explore human and environment response to sound and vibration.

In the NSS 2020 survey, Physics courses received 90% overall satisfaction [University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2020 data].

You will:
  • Explore acoustics, including acoustic impedance, reflection, absorption and sound behaviour
  • Develop a systematic understanding of human perception of sound and how this impacts on the design and delivery of audio outputs
  • Take your studies to master's level, graduating with an MPhys degree
  • Strengthen your knowledge and analytical technique around the principles associated with electrons and physics
  • Experience laboratory sessions that apply numerical methods and techniques frequently encountered in physical and engineering challenges

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations
Institute of Physics Logo

This is for you if...


You have an enquiring mind, with a strong academic background in physics and mathematics


You're passionate about physics, with a keen interest in the science behind sound


You want to take your studies to an master's level

Course details

All about the course

Our physics courses combine a fundamental understanding of the laws of physics that govern the behaviour of systems of all sizes, alongside an understanding of their applications in modern industry. The course is built around a core of compulsory modules that give you a thorough grounding in physics. We place great emphasis on small group teaching to make you feel fully supported and able to ask the questions.You'll also take part in group projects that will enable you to develop desirable industrial and research skills in team working, problem-solving, communication and presentation skills.

In year one, you'll explore the fundamentals of physics and the connecting mathematical principles. In year two, you will progress to develop an understanding of physics specialisms including classical and quantum waves and properties of matter. You’ll also learn the principles of acoustics. In year three, you will complete your final project, alongside modules in nuclear and particle physics, Maxwell’s equation and quantum mechanics. You can also choose to focus on speech and music or computer simulation for acoustics.

In the final year, you'll explore advanced modules in subjects including quantum mechanics and solid state physics, as well as modules reflecting physics research specialisms at Salford including Thin Film Technologies and Materials Characterisation. You'll also complete a research project in acoustics, based on theoretical, computational or practical and completed in collaboration with active acoustics researchers using world-class facilities such as our anechoic chamber.


Placements are a great way to expand you knowledge and apply theory to real-life practice. On this course, you'll have the option to take an industrial placement year between year two and three. Although you'll be responsible for securing your placement, a tutor will support you, monitor your progress and assess your final placement report. Industry placements have a number of benefits. You can improve your employment prospects after graduation, see physics in action and receive a salary. Evidence suggests that many of our students who choose an industry placement year improve their final degree classification.

Year one

Fundamentals of Physics A

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.

Fundamentals of Physics B

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.

Frontiers of Physics and Entrepreneurial Skills

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.

Fundamentals of Physics C

In this module you will develop the knowledge and understanding in the area of Electricity, Electronics, Optics and Optoelectronics including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will also develop analytical, numerical and computer based problem solving skills in the above areas. This module will also develop your practical laboratory skills.

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.


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.

Year two

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.

Properties of Matter

Through this module you will develop a knowledge and critical understanding in the area of the properties of matter including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will also develop analytical and numerical problem solving skills in the area of the properties of matter.

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.

Classical and Quantum Waves

You will develop a knowledge and critical understanding in the area of classical and quantum waves including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will also gain analytical and numerical problem solving skills in this topic.

Physics Laboratory

Gain breadth and depth in experimental techniques in the Physics laboratory. You will strengthen you knowledge and analytical technique around the physical principles associated with electrons and physics. You will develop your team-work skills within the context of project-based experiments and acquire effective and impactful report writing skills.

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.

Year three

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.

Project in Physics

This project will allow you to carry out a research or development project individually, under the guidance of a personal supervisor.

Maxwell's Equat and Wave Optics

You will develop a knowledge and systematic understanding in the area of Maxwell’s Equations and Wave Optics, including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will also develop expertise in analytical, numerical and computer based problem solving skills in the area of Maxwell’s Equations and Wave Optics.

Quantum Mechanics Atoms Mole and Solid

Develop your knowledge and systematic understanding in quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules and solids including the origin and limitations of the associated laws. You will develop expertise in analytical, numerical and computer based problem solving skills in quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules and solids.

Nuclear and Particle Physics

You will receive an overview of Nuclear Physics and gain 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 element will cover the basic discoveries of modern Particle Physics and introduce the ideas of Grand Unified Theory.

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.

Year four postgraduate

Thin Films and Materials Characteristics

Module content to be confirmed.

Advanced Quantum Mechanics

You will be introduced to use of group theoretic methods in quantum mechanical problems and instructed in formal statement of symmetry properties and their use to label states and formulate selection rules. Topics covered include particle wave functions, quasiparticles, matrix formulation of quantum mechanics, and angular momentum and intrinsic spin.

Research Project

You will apply all of the knowledge and skills you have developed on the course by completing a research or development project, under the guidance of a personal supervisor.

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:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Practical activities

Lectures and tutorial classes are complemented by practical laboratories which reinforce your understanding of the laws of physics and their application. 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. You;ll also have opportunities to learn about future careers in physics in weekly seminars delivered by physics graduates and industry professionals.


You will be assessed through a combination of formats:

  • Lab exercises
  • Examinations
  • Reports



Rising to the challenge of a rapidly changing world, our multi-disciplinary courses will shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Shaped by industry and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the skills to become unstoppable in your career. 




You will experience a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software. 

As a physics with acoustics student, you will use our specialist laboratories for electronics, optics, lasers, computing and composite materials. The Joule Physics Laboratories include a purpose-built suite of large, open-space teaching laboratories. 

You will also have access to a full range of specialist acoustics facilities: full anechoic chamber, two semi-anechoic chambers, transmission suite, two large and one small reverberation chambers, ITU standard listening room equipped with a 96 channel Wave Field Synthesis system, 3D Ambisonic listening booth, audiometric test facilities and a range of modern instrumentation and equipment

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


As a Salford physics graduate, you'll have no shortage of exciting career options. Due to the analytical and problem-solving nature of physics, this degree can open doors to a wide range of career paths. Typical employment sectors, including medical physics, defense, finance, research, education, engineering and the nuclear industry. Recent course graduates have secured roles with ADT, British Nuclear Fuels, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) Astrium, Gabriel Scientific Consultancy and the Royal Air Force.


You might find you want to learn more about physics and related subjects, so we offer a range of specialist postgraduate courses to help you take your career and interests even further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a significant fees discount.

A taste of what you could become

A geophysicist

An acoustics consultant

A teacher

A research scientist

A radiation practitioner

And more...

Career Links

We work with a range of organisations to ensure the course content remains relevant, but they also contribute annual seminars, research project opportunities and work placements. Recent organisations include:

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 organisations add value to the course by sharing industrial skills and knowledge with you from the very start of your degree.


What you need to know


This course is designed for someone who is passionate about physics and science in general, but also looking to broaden their learning experience with study overseas. We're looking for applicants with an aptitude for mathematics and problem-solving.


If English is not your first language, you must demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no band below 5.5, is proof of this.


Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.


Standard entry requirements


English Language and Maths 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, including grade B in Mathematics and Physics. 

A Levels

128 UCAS points including grade B in Mathematics and Physics. You must have a Pass in the Practical Element of Science A Levels.

BTEC National Diploma

DDM in Engineering or Science (Science must include Physics and Mathematics)

BTEC Higher National Diploma

DDM in Engineering or Science (Science must include Physics and Mathematics)

Foundation Degree

128 UCAS points

Scottish Highers

128 UCAS points, including grade B in physics and mathematics at Advanced Higher level.

Irish Leaving Certificate

128 UCAS points, including physics and mathematics at Higher level.

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% from Science or Engineering

International Baccalaureate

31 points, to include grade 6 in Higher Level Mathematics and Physics

Access to HE

Pass with 128 UCAS points from a QAA-approved Science or Engineering course.

Other Qualifications

128 UCAS points

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively 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 receive your application, we'll 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 Salford Alternative Entry Scheme you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).

Please contact Admissions for further information.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2020/21 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £15,240per year
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15600per year
Additional costs

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

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID F385

Institution S03

Interested in starting university in September 2021? Book your place on our next Open Day.