Acoustical Engineering is a diverse field with various job opportunities: Dr. Matthew Wright, University of Southampton
Updated on May 3, 2015 - 5:22 p.m. IST by None

Acoustical engineering provides opportunity to students who are interested in the science and engineering of sound and vibration. In an interview with Careers360, Dr. Matthew Wright, Programme Director for Acoustical Engineering at University of Southampton, talks about the courses offered by the university on acoustical engineering.

Q: Could you please elaborate on the course- duration and major aspects covered in the course?

A: Our undergraduate programme in Acoustical Engineering programme can either be taken as a three-year BEng bachelor’s degree or a four-year MEng integrated master’s degree. The four-year version is accredited by the Institute of Acoustics and the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and satisfies the educational component of the requirements for Chartered Engineer status. You can also study joint honours Acoustics and Music for three years leading to a BSc degree by combining modules from the Acoustical Engineering and Music Programmes.

If you already have a good STEM degree, we offer a one-year MSc masters degree in Sound and Vibration Studies which can also be taken after the BEng programme. There are a number of pathways depending on your choice of modules: Applied Digital Signal Processing, Engineering Acoustics or Structural Dynamics and this will be noted on the degree certificate.

Acoustical Engineers must be able to:

a)      Understand the physics of sound

b)      Understand the effects that sound and vibration have on people

c)      Control sound and vibration

d)      Use sound and vibration for beneficial purposes

Our programme addresses all these requirements on top of a solid grounding in engineering fundamentals. Modules include Noise Control Engineering, Audio Signal Processing, Underwater Acoustics, Architectural and Building Acoustics, Vehicle Powertrain Noise and Vibration and Musical Instrument Acoustics.

Q: What are the admission criteria for international graduate students? What are the unique features you look in a prospective student?

A: Graduate students applying for our MSc programme should have a first-class or upper-second degree in a STEM subject such as Mathematics, Engineering or Physics. Occasionally, we take students whose first degrees are in Music Technology but Acoustics is a mathematical subject and we have to be sure of their mathematical aptitude.

We are looking for interested, creative students who want to make a contribution to the world of sound and vibration. Good mathematical skills are important and experience of scientific computer programming is helpful though not essential.

Q: When does application open?

A: It’s never too early to get in touch with a member of the admissions team to discuss an application. Our Admissions Tutors and I will be happy to answer your questions or refer you to online information to help you decide whether Acoustical Engineering is the programme for you.

Q: What is the application process?

A: You can apply for our undergraduate programmes online via the UCAS website. Graduates can apply for our MSc Sound and Vibration Studies programme online; send an email to to get started.

Q: What are the job prospects of Acoustical Engineering? What is the nature of jobs students get into after completing the course?

A: There is a very strong demand for our graduates, and one of the joys of Acoustical Engineering is the great diversity of fields in which it is needed. Our graduates find high-ranking positions in transport, architecture, audio, communications, marine technology, bio-engineering, environmental science and specialist acoustic consultancies. A significant number of our graduates have started their own consultancy companies. Companies that employ our graduates include Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Arup, Skype, Apple, Dolby Labs, KEF, Dyson, Aston Martin, Thales Underwater Systems and many more.

Q: Are there any scholarships offered to students who pursue Acoustical Engineering at the University of Southampton?

A: Applicants for our undergraduate programmes who exceed the requested entry grades may be eligible for a Southampton Merit Scholarship; see our website for more details. The University of Southampton does not currently offer any scholarships for our MSc programme but applicants may be eligible for Chevening Government Scholarships or for a Commonwealth Scholarship.

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