Section Menu

Environmental and Architectural Acoustics MSc

Overview

This MSc Environmental and Architectural Acoustics can be used as a conversion course for maths, physics, architecture, engineering or audio technology graduates. It's also suitable for professionals from fields such as music production and technology, engineering, environmental health, and many others. 

LSBU has been offering courses in Acoustics for over 35 years, and houses the only centre for study with this level of facilities in the South-East of England,including full-size reverberant and anechoic chambers and an exceptionally well equipped and staffed laboratory, with access to the very latest instrumentation and technology.

This is a professionally focused applied degree and practical work is an essential part of the course, giving you direct experience of modern measurement equipment and techniques. The modules are directly relevant to the practice of acoustics, and also consider the broader aspects of investigation and control of the built environment. Half of teaching time is spent in the laboratory, and this focus is reflected in the balance between coursework and exams.

Individual modules can be taken separately as part of continuing professional development. For the final project module you'll devise and complete a piece of investigative work in an area of interest in considerable depth; the topic and scope of the project are selected with the guidance of an academic supervisor. For those applicants who already hold an Institute of Acoustics Diploma, there is an option of direct entry to the second year of the part-time Masters course.

Take a tour of the acoustics labs below. 

Accreditations

Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
Mode
Full-time
Duration
16 months / 13 months
Start Date
February; September
Location
Southwark Campus
Mode
Part-time
Duration
3 years
Start Date
February; September
Location
Southwark Campus

Case studies

Modules

Descriptions of module content

  • Acoustics laboratory
    This module aims to convey the nature of sound and vibration with a considerable depth of knowledge through practical means, giving you an understanding of how to accurately measure sound, how sound behaves, and practical aspects of noise control. It introduces you to the basic principles of acoustics, familiarises you with modern sound level meters, measurement parameters and measurement techniques for noise surveys, room acoustics, sound absorption and sound insulation. You should be able to produce an accurate report to consultancy level which is critical of the laboratory, experiment, technique or instrumentation by comparison to the appropriate international standard.
  • Architectural acoustics
    The module provides specific acoustics knowledge as relevant to buildings and in particular rooms. The aims of the module are to gain understanding of room acoustics, measurement of room acoustic parameters and the various means of modelling the sound field in rooms across the frequency range.
  • Measurement and control of sound
    This module is designed to teach, at an advanced level, the physical mechanisms by which noise may be created, as well as to provide the analytic and practical skills required to control noise and vibration from a variety of sources. The module instils the knowledge of how to undertake noise and vibration measurements to meet specific acoustical standards and guidance.
  • Subjective and environmental acoustics
    Teaches, at an advanced level, the physical mechanisms by which the ear/brain interact to hear. The aims of the module are to: appreciate how human hearing deteriorates dependent on a number of variables; how legislation has developed to protect workers and how hearing protection can help under certain conditions; to appreciate the difference between subjective loudness and objective measurements; to learn how acoustic comfort criteria and legislation have been developed and applied to protect people in different environments.
  • Environmental management
    The module develops understanding of the way that human social and economic activities impact on the environment. The emphasis is on how managers can assess and influence the environmental impact of their particular organisation, with reference to key technologies and the political and legal constraints within which organisations must operate.
  • Research methods
    This module focuses on the essential communication and analytic skills required in research, including techniques for successful dissertation writing.
  • Energy engineering project

Assessment

Methods of assessment by module
Module titleAssessment
Acoustics laboratory100% Coursework
Architectural Acoustics100% Coursework
Subjective and Environmental Acoustics50% Examination50% Coursework
Measurement and Control of Sound50% Examination50% Coursework
Research Methods100% Coursework
Environmental Management100% Coursework

Employability

Over the past decade a very high proportion our students have found employment in an acoustics related industry, and one or two outstanding students per year go on to undertake research on our sponsored PhD programme.

The supply of new acoustics graduates from UK universities has rarely met the number of job opportunities available in acoustics consultancy. This is particularly true at the moment, when the industry is struggling to recruit sufficient numbers of graduates within a growing sector.

Russell Richardson, Director, RBA Acoustics

Completion of the MSc satisfies the academic requirement for corporate membership of the Institute of Acoustics. The process of attaining Chartered Engineer status is offered through the Institute o fAcoustics or the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

Our past graduates include award winners and successful figures within the industry:

  • John Hinton, past president, IOA
  • Simon Kahn, Technical Director, Mott MacDonald
  • Dani Fiumcelli, Acoustics Technical Director, Temple Group Ltd.
  • Russell Richardson, Director, RBA Acoustics
  • Peter Mapp, Principal, Peter Mapp Associates

Acousticians work in a great variety of industries and environments and this profession is in high demand, especially in London, thanks to the wide range and speed of new infrastructure development.

Architectural acoustics 

Many types of new buildings need careful acoustic design to make them sound good, to protect them from nearby noise sources, to make them productive and pleasant places to live or work in and to make them commercially successful. This is especially true for places like concert halls, but equally applicable  to universities, residential buildings, leisure centres and many others. Day-to-day tasks could include: design meetings with architects and other engineers, noise surveys of existing and new sites, design using computer and physical models, communication of the design  to the client and design team, project management, site supervision and commissioning of the finished projects. This offers a balance between creative, scientific and practical skills and is a career that will always present new experiences and challenges. (www.ioa.org.uk)

Environmental noise

Noise is a major issue for society: 80 million EU citizens live in unacceptably noisy areas. Environmental health officers consider noise in planning new developments, such as housing affected by noise, or new noisy activities, and enforcement of existing noise concerns including the sources of complaints  from the public. Consultants in environmental noise work in small specialists firms or large multinational consultancies, including engineering firms. Junior staff measure noise and use computer models to predict noise levels from new developments such as roads, railways and industrial  plants. Consultancy can be a demanding job, but one which offers great variety and career progression. (www.ioa.org.uk)

Other areas you could work in include audio engineering, noise control and product sound, musical acoustics, speech and hearing, ultrasound, underwater acoustics.

If there is a clear link between the number of job ads and growing economic prosperity, then it would appear that the acoustics sector is enjoying something of a boom.

Institute of Acoustics, March 2015

LSBU Employability Service

We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search.

As an LSBU student you have access to the Employability Service and its resources during your time here and for two years after you graduate.

Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or a placement/internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the career you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

  • Direct engagement from employers who come in to network with students
  • Job Shop – daily drop in service to help with, tailoring CVs, cover letters and applications, sourcing online resource, mock interviews and general job searching. One to one appointments for further support also available
  • Mentoring and work shadowing schemes
  • Higher education achievement report - The HEAR is designed to encourage a more sophisticated approach to recording student achievement, which acknowledges fully the range of opportunities that LSBU offers to our students.
    It pulls into one certificate: Module grades, Course descriptions, Placements, LSBU verified extra-curricular activities
  • Employability workshops - delivered free to students all year round on a variety of related topics
  • Careers fairs throughout the year to really focus your thoughts on a career after university

Find out about any of these services by visiting our student employability page

Placements

Staff

Dr Stephen Dance

School/Division: Built Environment and Architecture / Civil and Building Services Engineering
Job title: Reader; Course Director for MSc Environmental and Architectural Acoustics

Steve is a Reader in the School of the Built Environment and Architecture, with particular interests in music and acoustics, PA systems, urban wind turbines, vocal stress and speech intelligibility.


Dr Luis Gomez-Agustina

School/Division: Built Environment and Architecture / Civil and Building Services Engineering
Job title: Course Director, Institute of Acoustics Diploma in Noise Control and Institute of Acoustics Certificate; Lecturer in Acoustics and Building Services

Luis is an acoustician and academic with research and development background. His areas of expertise are architectural acoustics, noise control, building and room acoustics, environmental noise, acoustic simulation, revision and creation of acoustic design guidelines. His current research interests are in office and performance spaces acoustics, sustainable acoustic design and improvement of quality of life through the acoustic environment.


Dr Bob Peters

School/Division: Built Environment and Architecture / Civil and Building Services Engineering
Job title: Senior Research Visiting Fellow

Bob has been active in research, teaching and consultancy in acoustics, since graduating with Honours in Physics from Imperial College, London, in 1965.


Prof. Bridget Shield

School/Division: Built Environment and Architecture / Civil and Building Services Engineering
Job title: Emeritus Professor of Acoustics; Visiting Professor

Bridget's research interests include the acoustic design of schools and its impact on pupils and teachers. She became the first female President of the Institute of Acoustics when she was appointed to this role in 2012.


Facilities

LSBU houses the only centre for study with this level of facilities in the South-East of England, including a full-size reverberation chamber, anechoic chambers, two audiometric booths and an exceptionally well equipped and staffed laboratory, with access to the very latest instrumentation and technology.

Our specialised lab equipment includes:

  • B&K Shaker
  • B&K accelerometers
  • B&K head and Torso Simulator
  • B&K calibrated sound source
  • BSWA two channel Standing Wave/sound transmission  Tube
  • Microflown Impedance Gun
  • 2 KayPentax Vocal Load APM
  • Svantek 6 Channel Vibration Meter
  • JBL 6112 Subwoofer
  • 2 Dodec Loudspeakers
  • 3 Norsonic Nor 140 Class 1 SLM
  • 2 CEL 593 Class 1 SLM
  • Svantek 958 Noise/Vibration meter
  • Norsonic Nor 132 Class 2 SLM
  • 6 NTI XL2 Class 1 SLM
  • 10 SoundBadge Dosimeters
  • Rion Vibration Suite
  • B&K Standing Wave Tube
  • Norsonic Sound Insulation Kit

reverberation chamber

Students work in the reverberation chamber

  • Acoustic Research Facilities

    Acoustic Research Facilities

    Our acoustic laboratories offer an outstanding and rare learning environment. Facilities include an Anechoic Chamber and a Reverberation Chamber, which support cutting-edge research in the field of applied acoustics.

Teaching and learning

Members of the teaching team are all highly-experienced and award-winning, and you'll enjoy guest lectures from world experts. In addition,all are actively involved in research and consultancy, which enables staff todraw on the latest industry developments in both lectures and practical work.

Currently 50% of our full-time student cohort is from overseas.This allows our students to network across America, India, the Middle-East,Australia and Europe.

Acoustics students

2014-15 acoustics students

Entry requirements

A Bachelor degree equivalent to UK Second Class Honours Lower Division in a relevant subject.

Applications are also welcomed from those without the required qualifications that possess the life/work skills that would make them suitable to study at this level. Those applicants holding an Institute of Acoustics Diploma will be exempted from the appropriate taught units.

How to apply

International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
Mode
Full-time
Duration
16 months / 13 months
Start date
February; September
Application code
2129
Application method
Mode
Part-time
Duration
3 years
Start date
February; September
Application code
2130
Application method

Full-time/part-time postgraduate students and research students apply through the UK Postgraduate and Statistical Service (UKPASS). Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.

Postgraduate applicants are required to provide up to two references as part of their application.

Accommodation

Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.

Finance

It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as a postgraduate student.

Postgraduate Application Service

Book a session with one of our specialist Postgraduate Advisors. Over a one on one Advice Session they'll advise you on postgraduate degrees at LSBU that match your interests and experience. Book an Advice Session.

Fees and funding

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

Possible fee changes

Current regulatory proposals suggest that institutions will be permitted to increase fee levels in line with inflation up to a specified fee cap. Specifically, LSBU may be permitted to increase its fees for new and existing Home and EU students from 2017/18 onwards. The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any governmental guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually, and additionally the University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in line with inflation up to 4 per cent.

Postgraduate loan (PGL) for Masters study

If you are starting a postgraduate course, studying for a Masters-level qualification either full- or part-time from 1 August, you may be entitled to apply for a £10,280 postgraduate study loan. Find out more at our postgraduate fees and funding section.

Postgraduate Advice Service

You are invited to book a one-to-one appointment with one of our Postgraduate Advisors. They offer a 30 minute face-to-face session where you can get tailored advice on fees and funding. Book a 1-2-1 Advice Session.

Scholarships

We offer students considerable financial help through scholarships, bursaries, charitable funds, loans and other financial support. Many of our scholarships are given as direct Tuition Fee discounts.

Overview of scholarships and fee discounts for postgraduate students. Key scholarships and discounts below.

Vice-Chancellor Scholarships

Students holding an offer of a place on a postgraduate course will be invited to apply for a Vice-Chancellor Scholarships.

LSBU Graduate Loyalty Scheme

This scheme gives eligible undergraduate students and alumni a discount of their taught postgraduate tuition fees when they enrol on one of our postgraduate taught courses starting this year. Read more about the Graduate Loyalty Scheme.

International students

As well as being potentially eligible for our undergraduate scholarships, International students can also benefit from a range of specialist scholarships. Find out more about International scholarships.

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a home, EU or international student for fee-paying purposes by reading the UKCISA regulations.

Case studies

Select a case study and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read How to apply tab for this course.

Enrolment and Induction

Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.

In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.

Read more about Enrolment and Induction.

 
Top of page
Open Days and Events
Teaching excellence framework
Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK/EU

Tel: 0800 923 8888

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6100

Get in touch

Course Enquiries - International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

Get in touch
 
Top of page