ISVR - Southampton University


The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for research and training in acoustics and vibration.

Formed in 1963, the Institute is committed to improving our understanding of acoustics and vibration and their impact on the wellbeing of the community and the quality and performance of engineering products.

The ISVR is renowned for its contributions to reducing noise and vibration in engineering applications – rail and aircraft noise for example – but also for fundamental work on understanding how humans hear sounds and process this information.


Southampton University’s acoustical engineering degree courses are taught in the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), one of the world’s leading centres for research, teaching and consultancy in acoustics.

Acoustical engineering demands a remarkable breadth and depth of study, drawing on disciplines such as mechanics, materials, manufacturing, electronics and signal processing. Consequently, acoustical engineering is an excellent degree choice for those who want to open up a broad range of scientific and engineering career options on graduation.

ISVR offers a 3 year BEng and a 4 year MEng in Acoustical Engineering as well as a BSc in Acoustics and Music – a unique sound engineering degree programme taught in leading centres for both music and acoustics.

The MEng Acoustical Engineering degree is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)and the Institute of Acoustics (IOA), and meets the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.

Practical experience is essential in today’s employment market, the ISVR’s degree programmes provide plenty of opportunities for you to enhance your practical skills and put your theoretical knowledge to the test in our world-class facilities.

In the second year of the acoustics degree programmes you will have the opportunity to design your own loudspeaker and then put it to the test in our anechoic chamber – a room in which the walls, floor and ceiling are lined with sound absorbing material which is an ideal environment for testing loudspeaker frequency responses.

For those considering the MEng degree programme in the 4th year you will complete a Group Design Project, this gives you and your team the opportunity to address a challenge that will put your knowledge to the test.

The project opportunities change from year to year in line with the research activities of the ISVR. Acoustics degree students have worked on projects including the development of Earbot – a robot that can follow the sound of a speaking person and projects looking at virtual stereo to reproduce 3D sound in the home.



This is a four year full time integrated Acoustical Engineering masters programme. After successful completion of all four years the degree of MEng is awarded. For those who prefer to graduate after 3 years, the BEng in Acoustical Engineering is an option, with some divergence in the modules taken in the third year; this is also the required route for those who do not achieve the consistent high grades required for the MEng.

Please note that minor adjustments may be made to the programme and module from year to year.

The first two years of this unique programme build a firm grounding in compulsory core disciplines that will enable you to make in-roads into answering questions such as the ones above and solving a wide range of acoustics problems. In years 3 and 4 you can choose advanced options which concern specific applications of acoustics such as electroacoustics, transportation noise, musical instrument acoustics, sound and audio systems and so on. Teaching is generally in small groups and there is a large emphasis on practical and design work.

The teaching is structured on a semester pattern. You study modules comprising 120 credits in each of Parts I (level 4), II (level 5) and III (level 6). You will also be required to undertake an individual project in ISVR worth 40 credits.

  • ISVR was awarded the prestigious Queen‚Äôs Anniversary Prize for its achievements in higher education
  • ISVR is one of the leading brand names in acoustics, known and respected Worldwide


BEng (Hons)

Accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partly meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer. This course is also accredited by the Institute of Acoustics (IOA).


Accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer. This course is also accredited by the Institute of Acoustics (IOA).




Qualification Grade
GCSE English Language, at Grade C or above

A Levels:

Qualification Grade
A-level AAA including Maths and Physics (A in Maths)
Irish Leaving Certificate AAAAB (A in Mathematics and Physics)


The MSc Sound and Vibration programme is taught by experts from the world-leading Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) and the range of subjects offered is linked to our research activities.

The programme has been designed to provide flexibility and allow you to tailor your learning to fit your personal interests and career aspirations. Through the wide choice of modules available in the Sound and Vibration Studies Programme, you have the possibility to specialise in one of the three following areas:

  • Applied Digital Signal Processing
  • Engineering Acoustics
  • Structural Dynamics

Specific aims of this MSc programme are:

  • To enable you to acquire some of the advanced knowledge and practical skills needed for a professional career in sound, vibration and signal processing.
  • To develop your ability to apply the academic knowledge gained to practical situations in your chosen discipline.
  • Through a substantial open-ended research project, to develop your critical and analytical abilities as well as project management skills.

Subsidiary aims are:

  • To provide a supply of well-trained and motivated graduates for research positions both in the ISVR and elsewhere.
  • To provide career development opportunities in the broad field of sound, vibration and signal processing, for those seeking a change in employment or enhancement of their first degree.

This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineerson behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

This course is also accredited by Institute of Acoustics.


Applied Digital Signal Processing

The Applied Digital Signal Processing pathway provides in-depth training on modern signal processing techniques for biomedical applications and audio signal processing.

Engineering Acoustics

The Engineering Acoustics pathway is available to students wishing to specialise in acoustics, including engineering disciplines such as architectural and building acoustics, underwater acoustics and electro-acoustics.

Structural Dynamics

The Structural Dynamics pathway emphasises the advanced techniques to model, measure and control vibration in mechanical systems such as railways and automotive applications.


Honours Degree

First or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in engineering, science or mathematics.

Applicants with a lower-second class Bachelor’s honours degree are considered only if evidence can be provided for the development of skills and capabilities beyond the degree, such as 2-years of relevant and appropriate work experience and training.

Equivalent Qualifications

Alternative qualifications are considered on individual merit. For example, a portfolio of appropriate work experience underpinned by an academic achievements equivalent to the basic requirements and recent serious and appropriate study, with clear evidence of scientific aptitude. Applicants in this category are interviewed and might be required to sit the admissions assessment. We are always happy to receive applications from candidates with equivalent qualifications. If you are unsure about our entry criteria, please contact our admissions staff who would be happy to provide advice in advance of your application.


Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 4651 / 3262 / 8840 / 3113

Email: pgtfee@soton.ac.uk

Postal address:
Engineering and the Environment PG Admissions
University of Southampton
Building 22
Southampton SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom


Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 9296/4185/7387

Email: pgrsofee@soton.ac.uk

Postal address:
Engineering and the Environment PG Admissions
University of Southampton
Building 22
Southampton SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom

Clients we’ve worked with

  • barnfield
  • bedford
  • barnfield
  • continental
  • essex
  • hobson
  • interserve
  • kfc
  • leicester
  • persimmon
  • puregym
  • snap
  • starbucks
  • tacobell
  • tower hamlets
  • ITV
  • Unilever
  • Sig
  • Leeds University
  • Morrisons
  • Taylor Wimpey
  • City of Stoke On Trent
  • Hambleton District
  • Calvert Trust
  • Aldi
  • Arnold Laver
  • Broadley
  • Engie
  • Gardiner Theo
  • Iggesund
  • Oxford University
  • PepsiCo
  • Richmonshire
  • Savills

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- Paul Hastings

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I engaged Nova at the outset of my project (which I recommend you do) to assist with providing a detailed material specification and installation guidance. There was always someone available to help with practical enquiries and advice...

- C.G. Henry

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I had Adam come round to a property which i thought was beyond repair. He gave sound advice with exact details of what needed to be carried out in the most cost effective manner. Once the works were carried out he returned, tested it...

- Andrew Youngson

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I have worked with the team at nova on a number of projects and have always been very helpful and competitively priced. Highly recommend this company for any sound test and report.

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Excellent service, engineer was very informative and helpful.  Good customer service being able to speak to knowledgeable people on the telephone when making inquires about the procedure involved for the sound testing of our property...

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Good efficient service. Recommend it to all.

Bright Construction UK Ltd

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Very attentive and friendly service, keen to serve the client, and absolutely not about dragging the case out for fees - will work to save the client fees, and understand the practicalities of the case and the opposition that applications...

- Ejaz Shah

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Adam was very attentive and very professional answered all my questions and returned all calls the engineer arrived at the time agreed and again explained everything before carrying out the test , and we received our report within couple...

- Charles OKell

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Its a tricky area and you need the right support, Paul Robinson  brought Adam's team to the table and we'll be working together again in future for sure.

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Although we had followed the building reg, in terms of sound insulation the property conversion still failed the sound Test. Adam was very helpful and professional and guided us to the point that when it was retested again we passed. Would...

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Friendly efficient and cost effective service, without complication

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Very quick service, would recommend to others

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Excellent service and communication with all the members of staff we had dealings with.  A very professional approach and attitude by all.  An experience that is refreshing within the building sector and a company I could recommend...

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Fast turn around and great service, recommended

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Excellent service by Adam and the team at Nova. The service they delivered was efficient, competitive and I would highly recommend them!

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Having selected Nova Accoustics to perform a sound test on my latest project, I found the whole process completely professional, prompt & efficient .

The phone contact to set up the appointment was extremely  helpful...

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Having used Nova Acoustics on several projects, I would not hesitate in recommending this company.

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Used Nova Acoustics to sound test a property we'd converted in the Newcastle area.

Excellent service from start to finish. Professional, helpful & reliable throughout...highly recommended.

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Really helpful team of people and very quick service, which was greatly appreciated.

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We are a small design firm and NOVA Acoustics provided very sufficient services to our clients with reasonable price. And they are quick to respond too.  Highly recommended.

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Very good company, communicated all the way through.  Competitive pricing, I will be using them again in the near future.

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First Class, prompt professional service. I will recommend to other clients.

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Excellent  service so far and will be contacting them again for their services.

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Fantastic service from this company at a very reasonable price, would definitely recomend....

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I used Nova acoustics to sound test my basement flat conversion for the building control certificate

And found them to be professional and friendly. The test was done mid afternoon and I had received by six o'clock the same...

- Stephen Shaw

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Excellent service. Would recommend to anyone needing assistance with matters arising from acoustics and noise.

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iKoustic have worked with Nova Acoustics for some time now and they are constantly thorough, professional and super helpful in everything they do ... They are certainly our partner of choice ... Rick

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Prompt, friendly, efficient, professional... would recommend and use again.

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As most of you reading this message are now probably aware  the difficulty of finding guidance and compliance of the part E building regulations is an arduous task. Well search no more! Adam at Nova Acoustics not only talked me through...

- Kate Whitehead

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Speedy quote, arranging the testing & report! Seb was really friendly & efficient onsite. Highly recommend!

- David Hope

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Came promptly at the requested time. Did the work professionally and in good time and provided the required reports so no issues or problems to report.

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NOVA provided a fast and efficient service. They came to carry out the sound tests on my 8 Bed HMO, which was a change of use from 4 flats. Very friendly and professional service. Mark (Hull)

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Excellent company, providing a professional service at a competitive price and a quick, hassle free  experience. I would recommend them to anyone.

Simon Phillips  Salisbury Poultry Ltd

- Peter Phillips

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Excellent service from start to finish.

Highly professional team who where very accommodating to the team on site and worked exceptional well with everyone.

Having worked with other companies within the same...

- Claire Gannon

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent speedy service, Luigi was very proficient and professional at carrying out his job, a real asset to the company. Thank you Luigi. Kind Regards, Ant Mason