Drive the next generation of audio technology with the help of this distinctive masters programme. Underpinned by pioneering research, excellent teaching and first-rate facilities, our MSc Audio Engineering equips you with the skills and knowledge valued most by employers in the rapidly changing and dynamic field of audio engineering.
Hone your skills on a cutting-edge MSc programme developed in consultation with industry leaders
Gain up-to-the-minute knowledge in areas which are central to the needs of the sector, including audio electronics, live sound reinforcement, surround sound systems and software engineering
Prepare for high-level careers in the industry: our graduates have gone on to work for world-leading firms such as d&b audiotechnik, Bowers & Wilkins, Holovis and MQA
Benefit from state-of-the-art facilities, ranging from 3D multichannel sound rooms to a hemi-anechoic chamber
Be inspired by experienced and supportive lecturers who are renowned in the field and whose research even featured on Blue Planet II
Engage in your own cutting-edge research, with the chance to contribute to publications and international conferences
Hear from top industry professionals through fascinating guest lectures and master classes
Audio Engineering graduate joins research team at world-leading company
Iustin Sandu has achieved his dream – becoming part of the research and development team at one of the world-leading audio system manufacturers, d&b audiotechnik in Germany, after completing our MSc Audio Engineering.
This MSc programme enables graduates with good first degrees in Electronic Engineering, Music Technology or similar subjects to develop the higher-level expertise they need to enter the specialist field of audio engineering. With a flexible part-time study option available, it also represents an excellent route for professionals already working within the sector to upgrade their skills and understanding.
At the forefront of industry developments
Audio engineering is a well-developed and far-reaching field encompassing subjects such as loudspeaker and microphone design, analogue and digital electronics, digital signal processing, acoustics, psychoacoustics, computer programing and beyond.
There is a widespread need for audio engineers in these fields and the skills you gain on the MSc will set you apart as a high-calibre, well-trained and forward-thinking professional.
The course is designed with a focus on innovation and critical thinking. When you graduate, you will be capable of working with – and shaping – the next generation of audio technology. You will also be ideally positioned to remain at the leading edge of audio engineering throughout your future career.
I've loved the MSc in Audio Engineering. It's really helped me to build the next level skills that are required for a job in the industry. The content that the lecturers taught us was very professional, important and exciting.
MSc Audio Engineering graduate
Expertise to inspire you
You will be taught by experienced, research-active lecturers who boast an international profile in audio engineering and will support you to reach your full potential. They include Dr Adam Hill and Jon Burton, who have extensive experience as live sound engineers, and Dr Bruce Wiggins, who has a particular specialism in ambisonic surround sound systems.
The team’s research findings have been published and presented at international conferences, referenced in British Standards, and assimilated into World Health Organization initiatives, not to mention being put into place at large-scale live events such as Glastonbury Festival and Pitchfork Music Festival. One underwater acoustics project was even spotlighted on the BBC’s Blue Planet II.
As an MSc student, you will engage with the cutting-edge research being undertaken by our experts. Our Entertainment Engineering group hosts the annual Sounds in Space research symposium, which brings leading spatial audio researchers to the University to demonstrate their latest work.
We have made a substantial investment in state-of-the-art facilities so that you can gain insights into the latest technology transforming the industry today.
You will have the opportunity to learn and conduct research in our 3D multichannel sound rooms, a hemi-anechoic chamber, a virtual reality cave, live event production spaces and fully-equipped analogue and digital electronics laboratories.
A rich learning experience
Because we maintain close links with local, national and international industry, as well as the leading professional bodies, our teaching remains contemporary and relevant. We regularly invite representatives from industry to give guest lectures and masterclasses.
Our students also have the chance to hear from world-leading experts and expand their professional networks at the annual Reproduced Sound conference.
Your learning experience will be varied and vibrant. You will study as an individual but also have the chance to work as part of a group on integrated project work. This gives you insights into working within diverse teams to solve engineering problems. There is also plenty of opportunity, through independent study, to pursue projects which match your professional interests and career ambitions.
Want to know more? Read our blog for all the latest news and views.
The MSc helped me to hone my audio software skills and improve my confidence in building applications for the real world. I'm glad to have participated in an award-winning plugin as a developer and I'm looking forward to contributing more to the industry.
MSc Audio Engineering student
Environment and Sustainability News
We're in the fortunate position of having a wealth of expertise and knowledge to help tackle some of the world's greatest challenges. Take a look at examples of how we are responding to the climate emergency.
This course is made up of three stages – Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc.
For the Postgraduate Certificate, you will study three modules from the list below.
The process of converting an acoustic signal into an electrical signal, applying processing (using analogue and/or digital methodologies), amplifying the signal and then converting back into the acoustic domain is complicated, requiring a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of electroacoustics. This module concentrates on the analogue and digital electronics of the electroacoustic signal chain. The discussion revolves around audio power amplifier design and also considers essential signal chain components surrounding the amplifier such as crossover networks and equalisation systems. The module will provide you with an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of advanced audio electronics, allowing you to apply your knowledge to the design and implementation of a fully functional audio electronics device and to evaluate its performance.
The audio engineering industry is fuelled by innovation. The ability to stay ahead of the game often determines engineering successes and failures. This module is designed as a think-tank for all things audio, consisting largely of open discussions which give students the ability to develop innovative ideas alongside lecturers and invited speakers from industry. Emphasis is placed on innovative thinking, moving towards new and exciting solutions to long-standing engineering problems. Work carried out in this module focuses on a comprehensive understanding of a chosen cutting-edge research topic in audio engineering. You'll be assigned a research topic and will be responsible for leading a seminar discussion on the topic. This module is designed to develop your ability to stay on the leading edge of audio engineering research. You'll analyse and interpret current activity in academia and industry in order to develop ideas for future technological advancements.
Live Sound System Design and Optimisation
Live sound system design and optimisation is a multidisciplinary topic that can take the bulk of a career to master. This module covers the core science and engineering principles behind implementing a sound system that meets all design specifications. Large room acoustics, loudspeaker design, computer modelling techniques and a range of optimisation strategies are covered to build up a robust skillset that is valued by employers. This module culminates in a project focusing on the design, modelling and analysis of a sound system for real-world use.
Acoustics in Buildings
This module will review the factors governing the acoustic characteristics of enclosed spaces, and how these characteristics are described, predicted, measured and adjusted by design. The physical principles governing sound insulation provided by building structures will be reviewed and how this is predicted and assessed. The principles of electroacoustic system design for buildings is considered as well as the impact of building services on the acoustics of a room.
Environmental Noise Assessment
Environmental noise is continually increasing as the global population grows, resulting in an impact on health and the environment. This module will introduce the main sources of environmental noise, in particular those associated with transportation, industry, construction and entertainment noise. The module will explore indices and standards used to assess these sources, and will review the methods of control available.
Advanced Surround Sound Systems
Investigate, develop and analyse the science and engineering principles and theory of various surround systems applied at largescale live events. These include 3D cinema audio, broadcast, computer games audio and personal audio systems.
Audio Software Engineering
Prepare for an industry where music technology software is everywhere. You will focus on aspects of software engineering, usability, modular design and software life cycle, implementing real-time digital signal processing algorithms on digital audio.
Engage with a specific aspect of the technology used within your subject area at masters level. Through practical industry experience, you will combine elements of project management, target setting and implementation of objectives.
Apply and enhance the knowledge you have gained and develop your specialist skills in an area of your choice.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
How you will learn
Our MSc programme has been developed in consultation with leading figures in the audio engineering industry. All teaching and learning exercises are focused on real-world applications. For some assignments, certain tasks require working with various individuals in the industry for guidance and mentorship.
Assessment involves a combination of coursework and examinations. Coursework entails individual and group assignments, all with a focus on real-world applications.
An appropriate undergraduate degree in Engineering, Science or Music Technology (2:2 or above) or an equivalent qualification
If English is not your first language, then you will need to hold IELTS 6.0 or above
This programme is suitable for UK, EU and international applicants.
Fees and funding
2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)
£7,850 for the full course or £875 per 20 credits*
£875 per 20 credits
£14,700 for the full course
Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.
* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable
Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.
MA or MSc
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a graduate of the MSc Audio Engineering, you will be ideally prepared to progress into rewarding careers within many fields of professional activity – or to advance an existing career if you are already employed.
You will find that high-calibre audio engineers are in demand in fields such as:
Electroacoustic engineering (loudspeakers, power amplifiers and so on)
Software engineering (digital signal processing, software development and so on)
Our teaching team can give you advice on relevant employment opportunities and you will receive full support from the University’s Careers and Employment Service, who can assist in areas such as job application and interview techniques.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.
The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
Use of resources (audio + electronics facilities, specialist software)
Accommodation + sustenance for IOA Reproduced Sound conference (if not online)
Optional costs not included in your fees
There are no optional costs not included in your fees
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.