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BEng (Hons) Audio and Acoustic Engineering

Learn to measure and model the effects of sound

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

Are you intrigued by the science of sound? Would you like to pursue a career in this fascinating industry? Whether it’s designing auditoriums, improving consumer audio products or working to reduce noise pollution, audio and acoustic engineers play a vital role in a range of engineering projects.

Southampton Solent University’s audio and acoustic engineering programme offers students a solid grounding in core mathematics, electronics and computing principles alongside a thorough study of acoustic engineering.

  • Audio and acoustic engineering is available as a three year undergraduate degree (BEng) or a four year integrated masters programme (MEng).
  • Students make use of industry standard acoustic measurement and laboratory facilities including test equipment by NTi; Bruel and Kjaër; Norsonic; GRAS and National Instruments.
  • The curriculum covers the underlying audio signal chain from acquisition to propagation, leaving students well-placed for roles with manufacturers, studios, broadcasters and more.
  • Teaching is delivered by tutors with extensive experience of both academic research and industry practise.
  • Strong links with the Institute of Acoustics enables students to gain professional certifications as they study.
  • The course curriculum is continually revised to keep up-to-date with industry developments. The course also draws on the experience and input of Solent graduates working at the industry’s cutting edge.
  • Students choose from a range of optional units throughout their degree, allowing them to specialise in a specific area of acoustic engineering.
  • Students are encouraged to gain practical work experience. Previous students have worked at a number of high profile events.
  • The course has good links with industry including organisations such as ITV, the BBC, Arqiva and Global Media.

The industry

The UK is a world leader in acoustic and audio engineering, home to a significant proportion of the world’s leading audio system manufacturers. Qualified audio and acoustic engineers also benefit from the UK’s thriving automotive and construction industries.

The acoustics industry has recently seen a significant increase in demand. This is a result of a recovering UK economy and more legislative requirements to reduce noise emissions. Acoustics covers all aspects of sound and its behaviour. Acousticians are an essential part of all engineering projects, whether it’s designing the latest concert venues, reducing aircraft noise emissions or making consumer products quieter.

The programme

Audio engineers specialise in the design and configuration of recording, playback and amplification technologies, combining a high level of technical expertise with operational skills and a practical knowledge of media industry practices.

This highly practical course aims to help students develop a strong grounding in both of these related disciplines, combining specialised acoustics and audio engineering tuition with core engineering skills such as computer programming, physics and electronics. 

Audio and acoustic engineering students are able to access fully-equipped laboratory and studio facilities. Learners will undertake acoustic measurement and laboratory work 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.

Acoustic and electro-acoustic principles are demonstrated using a range of equipment including a hemi-anechoic chamber, audio isolation booths and the University’s own 3D cinema. Students may also utilise the University’s multi-track recording studios; radio studios; 5.1 surround sound dubbing studio; 5.1 post-production suite; ProTools HD and Pyramix digital audio workstations; multi-camera green-screen TV studios; and a full 5.1-equipped HD multi-camera outside broadcast vehicle.

The course team support students as they pursue vital work experience. Past students have found placements with KP Acoustics and Vanguardia Consulting. Students have also been involved with acoustics and noise control work experience at festivals such as Hyde Park, Truckfest, Boomtown, Nozstock, Pulse and Isle of Wight.

Next steps

Think a career as an audio or acoustics engineer might be for you? With high-end laboratory facilities, established professional links and expert tuition; Southampton Solent University’s audio and acoustic engineering programme could be the ideal first step into your dream career.

Have you got a question about applying?

Email: ask@solent.ac.uk

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 4 Years Technology Foundation Year 22B1
  • 4 Years Language Foundation Year (Jan Start) F381
  • 4 Years Language Foundation Year Y6SW
  • 3 Years Standard entry 3KQW

Typical entry requirements

2016 entry
280 UCAS Tariff points

2017 entry - New UCAS Tariff
112 UCAS Tariff points

Year one:

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Core units

  • Core Skills
  • Engineering Mathematics  
  • Electronics Fundamentals
  • Computing Fundamentals
  • Acoustics and Psychoacoustics
  • Transducers and Instrumentation 

Year two:

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Core units

  • Managing Projects
  • Building Acoustics
  • Electroacoustics
  • Audio Systems
  • Fundamentals of Signal Processing

Options

  • Computing and Networking 
  • Media Formats
  • Live Sound Techniques
  • Control of Sound and Vibration

Year three:

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Core units

  • Media Technology Project
  • Audio Systems Design 
  • Digital Signal Processing

Options

  • Media Networks and Communications
  • Live Sound Technology
  • Curriculum Plus
  • Musical Acoustics

Year four (MEng only):

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Core units

  • Group Engineering Project 
  • Emerging Audio Technologies

Options

  • Acoustic Materials
  • Audio Content Analysis
  • Spatial Audio
  • Standards and Legislation
  • Environmental Acoustics
  • Computational Methods
  • Emerging Audio Technologies

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course is taught through classroom study, practical lab work, studio exercises and independent research.

Assessment
The course is assessed through written examinations and assignments, laboratory exercises, time-constrained assessments and individual/group presentations.

Work experience
Practical experience is an extremely important element of the course, and the course team’s considerable experience provides extensive industry contacts.

Each year students get involved with acoustics and noise control work experience at a number of events; recent highlights include noise monitoring work at Hyde Park festival, Truck festival, Boomtown festival, Nozstock, Pulse festival and Isle of Wight festival.

Students have also obtained short work placements with companies such as KP Acoustics and Vanguardia Consulting, and year-long placements with companies such as Adrian James Consulting.

Our facilities

Throughout the course you will use industry standard packages for acoustic measurement and laboratory work, with a wide range of test equipment by NTi, Bruel and Kjaër, Norsonic, GRAS and National Instruments. These include both lab and field test equipment such as sound level meters, a 16 channel data acquisition system, 2 Head and Torso simulators, a laser vibrometer and ambisonic microphones.

A wide range of industry-standard software packages are used for simulation and modelling of acoustics, including MATLAB, NI Labview, CadnaA, CATT Acoustic and EASE.

You’ll also be able to use our electronics labs for systems testing and circuit building, and you will have access to specialist facilities such as our hemi-anechoic chamber, audio isolation booths and fully equipped Digital 3D cinema.

Study abroad

The Erasmus+ programme gives you the opportunity to spend between a term and a year of your course studying abroad at one of our partner universities, or undertaking a work placement for a company in Europe.

For more information see our www.solent.ac.uk/exchange.

If you are a student at one of our Erasmus partner institutions in Europe, then you may have the opportunity to come to the UK and study audio and acoustics engineering units at Solent for either a single term or a full academic year as part of your degree programme.

If you’re studying outside Europe then you may be able to study with us as an exchange student if there is a partnership agreement in place. If you are studying at a university which does not have a partnership agreement with us, then you could apply to study at Solent under our Study Abroad programme.

Web-based learning

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

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 4 Years Technology Foundation Year 22B1
  • 4 Years Language Foundation Year (Jan Start) F381
  • 4 Years Language Foundation Year Y6SW
  • 3 Years Standard entry 3KQW

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 is a branch of engineering used in virtually all industry sectors, from designing new auditoriums to making the latest vacuum cleaner quieter.

As a graduate, you could be involved in the planning process for new airports or motorways, or the design of the latest skyscraper – many students will go into consulting, while others will work for technology firms improving the sound quality of the latest flat-screen TV. Others will work for local authorities, the government or the military.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • acoustic consultant
  • acoustic engineer
  • environmental consultant
  • signal processing specialist.

Links with industry

Input from a panel of industry specialists ensures the course remains up-to-date with the latest technology and developments, while you will also have access to regular guest lectures from visiting professionals.

Recent guest speakers have included the managing director of Vanguardia Consulting, the head of acoustics at Hilson Moran, and the managing director of Advanced Communications Solutions.

You will also have the opportunity to attend events and conferences such as IoA Southern Region meetings, Acoustics in the Built Environment, PLASA and Reproduced Sound.

Transferable skills

During the course you will develop project management, communication, problem-solving, time-management, teamwork, leadership and networking skills.

You will also learn transferable engineering skills, including computer programming, electronics and signal processing.

Further study

Students entering the bachelor’s degree variant of this course can go on to study our MSc Applied Acoustics or the Institute of Acoustics (IoA) Postgraduate Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control.

Examples of employment obtained by recent graduates

While this is a relatively new course, recent graduates from Southampton Solent’s media technology courses have gone on to positions such as acoustic design engineer or acoustic consultant, working for companies such as ACCON:UK, Hoare Lea, Hilson Moran, Lee Cunningham Partnership, Solid State Logic, Sound Associates and Vanguardia Consulting.


 

Key facts

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Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time

Accreditations:You can work towards Institute of Acoustics Certificates in Building Acoustics Measurement and Environmental Noise Measurement as part of the course, for only the cost of IoA registration.

Entry requirements

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UCAS have updated their tariff points for 2017 entry. Please click here for more information.

280 points (for 2016 entry) or 112 points (for 2017 entry) from:

  • A minimum of two A Levels including minimum Grade C in two relevant subjects excluding General Studies and Key Skills, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D* or equivalent.
  • An interview is required for entry to this course. 

Interview requirements

Before attending your interview, please read the following: Interview information

We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

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 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component- 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 programme 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

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Tuition fees

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

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £11,000 per year

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: www.solent.ac.uk/studying/graduation/home.aspx

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.

How to apply

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Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website: www.ucas.com.

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services

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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.

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 4 Years Technology Foundation Year 22B1
  • 4 Years Language Foundation Year (Jan Start) F381
  • 4 Years Language Foundation Year Y6SW
  • 3 Years Standard entry 3KQW
 


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