The generation, manipulation and reproduction of high quality audio are core elements of the rapidly expanding communication, entertainment, music and sound engineering industries. This course is aimed at graduates of numerate science disciplines, who wish to make the transfer into this exciting and growing sector. Building on the engineering fundamentals you already know, it will provide you with the specialist expert knowledge required to become a future leader in audio technology. The University of Salford has a long history of research and teaching in audio and acoustics - by taking this course you will be joining a community of alumni who can be found at the heart of many leading organisations both in the UK and abroad.
You will study core topics including architectural acoustics, psychoacoustics, dynamics and vibration, computer modelling and measurement. Beyond this, the course provides specialist modules in digital signal processing and advanced loudspeaker and microphone design. Further specialisation is then developed in the Project module.
You will be based in the university’s internationally-renowned Acoustics Research Group. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework panel praised our outputs, saying that the Salford submission showed “particular strengths in acoustics”, and our industrial links led our REF impact case study to be singled out by the EPSRC and Royal Academy of Engineering for highlight the economic benefits of engineering and training.
This course is accredited by the Institute of Acoustics for the purposes of meeting the educational requirements for Corporate Membership of the Institute. Graduates may attain Engineering Council registration via the Institute of Acoustics.
This course offers a variety of flexible study formats, including full and part-time modes, either on campus or via distance learning. Those considering part-time study should bear in mind that the programme is intensive, and that generally, we advise that part-time means half time, i.e. you would need to allocate half the week to you studies ≈ 19 working hours.
This course comprises eight 15 credit taught modules, followed by a 60 credit project module leading to the dissertation. For full-time students, the taught modules all take place in trimesters one and two, followed by the project module in trimester three. For part-time students, the taught modules are spread over trimesters one and two of two years, followed by the project module in year three.
The majority of teaching and learning takes place through tutorial and seminar groups. There is a strong focus on guided self-learning. Assessment is generally in the form of assignments, which improve problem solving and other skills as well as providing a strong background in the subject area. The ‘Measurement, Analysis and Assessment’ module also includes practical group work.
All students benefit from the supply of a range of high-quality teaching materials, text books and software. Interaction with students is face-to-face wherever practical, but we also use web-based learning support packages (databases of materials, discussion boards etc.) to support the cohorts. Distance learning students are able to stream classes via our Virtual Learning Environment, either to participate live or watch back later.
Our MSc Audio Acoustics course is designed to train graduates to meet a growing demand for audio skills in industry, and also to enable employees to reach their full potential. This postgraduate course has been used as in-service training by a number of UK and global companies (e.g. mobile telecoms). While one naturally thinks of mobile phone design as belonging to 'telecommunications', there are considerable audio engineering challenges in designing good quality sound from the small transducers used in confined spaces, often in the presence of considerable background noise. Also, increasing markets exist for sophisticated audio systems in the home (smart speakers), at work (virtual and augmented environments) and in transport (car audio or ‘infotainment’).
The audio acoustics industry is diverse. It includes major firms with 'core' audio-related market share such as Philips, Sony, Dolby, B&O and KEF. Many other businesses employ specialists in acoustics from Salford: Apple, Bentley, JLR to name a few. Building design and architectural acoustics needs specialist engineering consultants looking at room configurations and surface treatments, noise ingress and egress, sound reinforcement system design and so on, and a very wide variety of companies (Arup Acoustics are one large example in our area) employ graduates from our courses. Students also go on to study for a higher degree by research, here at Salford or elsewhere.
Acousticians with engineering, science and mathematical skills are currently in short supply, and Salford MSc Audio Acoustics graduates are in a very strong position in the jobs market. The University of Salford has over 25 years’ experience of placing graduates in key audio and acoustic industries carrying out consultancy, research, development and design. These include well-known companies such as Apple, Dolby and the BBC, and with almost every major acoustic consultancy in the world.
Typically our graduates go into:
In 2013, A survey of 500 of our acoustic and audio alumni found 1 in 5 of our graduates live outside the UK and 45% are in Senior jobs or are Directors. The 6 most popular industries were: research (15%), environmental (11%), university (10%), construction (9%), architecture (9%) and consumer electronics (6%).