SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1H623534
Module Leader Patrick Quinn
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Audio Engineering
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module will provide students with a thorough grounding in the science and theory underlying the basics of sound transmission in air and in audio systems. The role and operation of key elements of audio systems are covered, with practical applications. In addition, practical laboratory sessions will provide the opportunity to use test and measurement equipment.


Sound fundamentals including characteristics of waves, frequency, amplitude, wavelength, simple and complex sounds, time and frequency domain representations, repetitive and non-repetitive sounds. Acoustic and electrical audio transmission methods. Properties of sound in enclosed spaces, standing waves, properties of absorption and diffusion materials, and boundary effects. Digital and analogue storage, processing, and transmission. Human auditory system including hearing mechanisms; outer, middle, inner ear, frequency perception, loudness perception, masking, spatial perception. Psychoacoustics and auditory illusions. Technical evaluation of elements in professional studio configurations. Properties of transducers. Signal flow and interpretation of circuit diagrams. Prototyping and constructing circuits. Soldering PCB circuits. Audio metering and units of measurement. Measurement standards and equipment. Indicative assessment: VLE-hosted class test, focussing on theoretical aspects of the module syllabus approximately half way through the trimester. 25% Practical assessment involving the design, development, and testing of a hardware audio system. 50% VLE-hosted class test, focussing on theoretical aspects of the module syllabus end of trimester. 25%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1.Explain the principles of audio transmission in different media.2.Demonstrate an understanding of physical audio hardware and human auditory systems.3.Build and test audio systems for given applications4.Discuss techniques for audio system measurement

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. Lectures and tutorials will present the main theoretical principles of the syllabus. Extensive use of audio and video examples will be used to reinforce these concepts and provide broader learning opportunities. Students will be given the opportunity to engage with a formative assessment in order to gain feedback and become familiar with the University's VLE. A diagnostic assessment strategy will be employed to support student learning and consolidate underpinning knowledge. Practical, open-ended project work will reinforce the concepts covered in the syllabus and ensure engaged learning and divergent thinking. A deeper learning approach will be encouraged by peer-reviewing and discussion of project-work.

Indicative Reading

Rumsey, F. and McCormick, T. (2014) Sound and Recording: Application and Theory. 7th ed. Focal Press, ISBN: 978-0415843379 Howard, D. and Angus, J. (2009) Acoustics and Psychoacoustics. 3 ed. Focal Press, ISBN: 978-0240521756 Eggleston, D. L. (2011) Basic Electronics for Scientists and Engineers , Cambridge University Press, ISBN-13: 978-0521154307 Ballou, G (2009) A Sound Engineers Guide to Audio Test and Measurement, Focal Press , ISBN: 978-0240812656 Watkinson, J. (2002) Introduction to digital audio, Focal Press, ISBN-13: 978-0240516431

Transferrable Skills

Specialist knowledge and application, Critical analysis, Communication skills, written, oral and listening, Numeracy, Computer literacy, Self confidence, self discipline & self reliance (independent working), Awareness of strengths and weaknesses, Ability to prioritise tasks and time management (organising and planning work), Interpersonal skills, team working and leadership, Presentation skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 122.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 36.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 40% Practical