MSc Applied Acoustics

Shape a high-level career in acoustics and sound

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

Fascinated by the science of sound? Southampton Solent University’s applied acoustics masters programme can provide you with the skills and knowledge required to work in a range of acoustics fields. Suitable graduate destinations include consultancy, engineering, environmental health, built environment work or further study at PhD level.

Taught by experts with experience in both research and industry, you can get hands-on experience and learn to use the latest measurement, simulation and modelling technology. You will also study important acoustics principles including how humans respond to sound, acoustic physics, and how sound interacts with our environment.

  • Students learn from industry experts with strong backgrounds in industry, research and consultancy roles.
  • Southampton Solent’s on-campus acoustics consultancy provides students with the opportunity to work with real clients.
  • The curriculum is informed by industry partners and Solent’s strong track record of acoustics research.
  • Solent has a 10-year history of successful graduate employment in the acoustic industries.  
  • Students are given the opportunity to tailor the programme to their own career ambitions by picking from a range of optional units.
  • Students have free access to the latest industry-standard technology including a state-of-the-art 3D digital Cinema with Dolby Atmos; a Hemi-anechoic chamber; CadnaA, EASE and CATT software; and a wide variety of lab and field test equipment.

The industry

Acoustics offers an intellectual and practical challenge across a wide range of sectors - from manufacturing or construction to architecture, telecommunications and engineering.

Acousticians could be involved in designing and planning exciting new infrastructure projects such as airports, motorways and sports arenas; could be responsible for making aeroplanes and cars quieter; or could work on improving the sound quality of consumer electronics. Acousticians are also involved in the design of new buildings – from flats and houses through to skyscrapers and concert halls. 

The programme

Taught by experts with strong research and industry backgrounds, MSc Applied Acoustics offers students the chance to gain hands-on experience with the latest measurement, simulation and modelling technology. Students also study relevant scientific principles such as how humans respond to sound, acoustic physics, and how sound interacts with our environment. 

We have excellent links with the Institute of Acoustics (IoA) and the Association of Noise Consultants, as well as a number of commercial companies across the sector. These include KP Acoustics, with whom we have a formal partnership for work placement and mentoring. The course has also been designed to meet the requirements for professional IoA registration. 

To aid study and help perfect techniques, students have full access to the University’s laboratory and studio facilities. Students will be able to undertake acoustic measurement and laboratory projects using a wide range of test equipment such as sound level meters, a 16-channel data acquisition system, head and torso simulators, a laser vibrometer and ambisonic microphones. Students will also have access to cutting-edge simulation and modelling software, including MATLAB, NI Labview, CadnaA, CATT Acoustic, and EASE.

The University also offers access to specialist facilities for the testing and demonstration of acoustic and electro-acoustic principles, including a hemi-anechoic chamber, audio isolation booths for sound recording and audiometric testing, and the University’s own digital 3D cinema.

Thanks to the course team’s strong industry connections, students have access to guest speakers from a range of relevant organisations. Previous speakers have included Mark Murphy and Jim Griffiths (Vanguardia Consulting), Nicholas Jones (Hilson Moran) and Phil McIlwain (Westminster City Council).  

Next steps

Looking to hone your knowledge of acoustics while boosting your employability? With top-of-the-line facilities, an experienced teaching team and a history of delivering world-class acoustics tuition, Southampton Solent University’s MSc Applied Acoustics will help equip you with the skills you need to thrive in a range of exciting careers.

Have you got a question about applying?



  • 1 Year Standard entry


  • 2 Years Standard entry

Typical entry requirements

A relevant bachelor's degree in a related science or technology field



Year one


Core taught units:

  • Principles of Acoustics
  • Noise, Vibration and Health
  • Computer-Aided Simulation
  • Research Methods
  • Field and Laboratory Testing

Core project units:

  • Pilot Project
  • Research Project

Three options from:

  • Environmental Acoustics
  • Acoustics in the Built Environment
  • Noise and Vibration Control
  • Electroacoustics
  • Acoustic Materials
  • Professional Skills and Practice Practice
  • Standards and Legislation  

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course is taught through classroom seminars/lectures, laboratory sessions and independent learning, as well as your supervised research project. While some laboratory sessions entail working in a group, all assessment is individual.

Partial credit can be awarded to holders of the Institute of Acoustics diploma in acoustics and noise control against equivalent taught modules of the MSc. Please contact the course team for further information.

Work experience
There are a number of opportunities for work experience with professional partners and contacts, as well as through the University’s own Solent Acoustics consultancy.

Past students have worked on a range of projects, including for Truck Festival, Isle of Wight Festival, Westminster City Council and KP Acoustics.

Additionally, the Professional Skills and Practice unit involves organising your own work placement with an external company, supported by staff and making use of the course team’s industry contacts.

The course is assessed through a mixture of coursework, projects, presentations and practical and written examinations.

Our facilities

On the master’s course you will have access to a wide range of specialist equipment and facilities, including:

  • Hemi-anechoic chamber with 16-channel National Instruments data acquisition system.
  • NTi Flexus electroacoustic analysis system with turntable.
  • Wide range of Class 1 and 2 Sound level meters.
  • Cirrus Research Dosebadge workplace noise assessment kits.
  • Building acoustics systems including conical and dodecahedral loudspeakers and tapping machine.
  • B&K Head and Torso Simulators (HATS).
  • Environmental noise measurement kits.
  • Polytec Laser Vibrometer.
  • Larson Davis Hand Arm vibration measurement system.
  • Siemens Unity and Amplivox audiometers and Larson Davis Audiometer calibration system.
  • Computer suites with EASE, CATT and CadnaA acoustic modelling software. 

Web-based learning

Solent’s virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading, discussion forums and other course information.

You will also receive a subscription to the online video tutorial resource, to help learn extra professional skills.

The Professional Skills and Practice optional module is a distance/online module, supported through the virtual learning environment.


  • 1 Year Standard entry


  • 2 Years Standard entry

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

Acoustics offers an intellectual and practical challenge across a wide range of sectors, from manufacturing or construction to architecture, telecommunications or various engineering industries.

Acousticians could be involved in designing and planning exciting new infrastructure projects such as airports, motorways and sports arenas, or could be responsible for making airplanes and cars quieter, or improving the sound quality of a television or computer.

Acousticians are also involved in the design of new buildings – from flats and houses through to skyscrapers and concert halls.

Career destinations

Examples of career destinations include:

  • acoustic engineer
  • audio system designer
  • recording studio and concert hall designer
  • environmental health officer
  • environmental consultant
  • audio engineer
  • health and safety officer
  • building control officer.

Links with industry

We have excellent links with the Institute of Acoustics and the Association of Noise Consultants, as well as a number of companies across the sector, including KP Acoustics (with whom we have a formal partnership for work placement and mentoring).

Guest speakers from a range of different organisations regularly present seminars and workshops, which have recently included Mark Murphy and Jim Griffiths (Vangardia Consulting), Nicholas Jones (Hilson Moran) and Phil McIlwain (Westminster City Council).

The University also hosts regular industry events and conferences to which students are invited.

Transferable skills

The MSc in Applied Acoustics offers students a wide variety of transferable skills, such as using software to analyse and present complex data, use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and architectural CAD modelling, problem solving, mathematics, project management and research skills.

Further study

If you are particularly interested in research, the course offers opportunities to continue on to PhD study.

You will also have the chance to gain additional qualifications while you study, such as the Institute of Acoustics (IoA)’s certificates of competence in building acoustics measurement or environmental noise measurement, at significantly reduced cost.

There is also the opportunity to register to take the assessment for the IoA Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control while taking the MSc (registration fee applies).

Examples of employment obtained by recent graduates

Solent graduates have gone on to work in acoustics roles for Apple (acoustic engineer), Accon UK, Samsung (audio engineer), Cole Jarman Associates, Hilson Moran, Mott Macdonald, KP Acoustics, Hann Tucker Associates, Hoare Lea, Vangardia Consulting and Clarke Saunders Associates, among others.


Key facts


Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time, Part-time

Accreditations: This qualification is designed to meet the educational requirements for corporate membership of the Institute of Acoustics (the UK’s professional body for acousticians). As the IoA is a member of the Engineering Council, membership of the Institute allows you to work towards gaining Chartered Engineer status.

Entry requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in a related science or technology field – including audio/music technology, physics, engineering, construction/architecture and environmental science.
  • Alternatively, Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner status or an equivalent qualification, such as the NEBOSH Environmental Diploma.
  • Applicants who hold the IoA Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control will be exempted from the equivalent taught units of the MSc. This will allow holders of the Diploma to gain the MSc award by part time study over one year. In this case fees will be pro-rata according to the number of modules studied.

We also consider candidates with alternative qualifications and related professional experience.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with minimum of 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in reading, listening and speaking
  • TOEFL IBT 92 with minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 19 in reading, listening and speaking - TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a Pre-Sessional English Language Course for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved


Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £7,210 

International full-time fees £12,380

UK and EU part-time fees: £3,605 per year

International part-time fees: Please contact us for information

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit:

How to apply


Applications for postgraduate courses can be made at any time prior to the start of the course. However, we strongly recommend you apply at your earliest convenience.

Please ensure you upload the following mandatory documents with your application.

  • Two academic references
  • Certified transcripts of qualifications, including English language proficiency if non-UK student
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of current visa (if applicable)
  • A personal statement
  • Employer sponsor form where appropriate

To apply please click the link below and complete the online application form.

Apply for MSc Applied Acoustics

Solent alumni could be eligible for up to a 50% reduction of tuition fees if returning to study a postgraduate course. The discount applied will be dependent on your undergraduate degree classification as follows:

Solent Alumni with a:
• First (1.1) will be offered a 50% discount to study at PG level
• 2.1 or 2.2 will be offered a 20% discount to study at PG level

The discount applied will be based on the most recently completed course.

If you are currently a student at Southampton Solent University and are continuing on without a break in your studies, your discount will be automatically applied on your return.

If are not following directly on from a course at Southampton Solent University, but have studied with us in previous years, you will need to register for the alumni discount.

Click here to register or to find out more. 

Student support and services


Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.



  • 1 Year Standard entry


  • 2 Years Standard entry


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