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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Architectural Acoustics and Spatial Sound (MUSI08079)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides a broad foundation in architectural acoustics and the human perception of sound ("psychological acoustics", or "psychoacoustics"), that may be grasped by students from a range of backgrounds. The course brings these subjects together through both theoretical study and a range of practical applications. For example, you will explore how the principles of architectural and psychological acoustics have recently come together to drive a revolution in the world of augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) systems.
Course description Technical and practical knowledge of architectural acoustics is an increasingly important skillset in the design of the built environment, in computer game development, and in emerging immersive media platforms. Given that the audible aspects of all such platforms are experienced by human listeners, knowledge of the ways that humans capture, process and perceive sound ("psychological acoustics") provides a natural companion subject. This course provides a broad foundation in both architectural and psychological acoustics that combines aspects of acoustics, architecture, engineering, informatics, and music. Whether you are a student of one of these subjects or not, the only formal requirement is that you should have achieved a good pass in mathematics at Higher/A-Level.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents must have passed an appropriate mathematics course in their final year at school.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 2, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 160 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The summative assessment is split into three components.

Component 1 (20% of course mark): Mid-semester test.
A time-limited online mid-semester test which covers the key background material developed in the first half of the course.

Component 2 (20% of course mark): Group case study in architectural acoustics.
In a group of 4-5 fellow students, you will carry out a short case study on a topic in architectural acoustics and deliver a 15-minute presentation. This will take place sometime between mid and late semester, usually within a tutorial. You will receive an individual mark for this component. This mark will be based upon an overall mark for the group, with further moderation applied through peer-assessment. This means that your mark for this component will include a weighting that considers your relative contribution to the group┬┐s effort.

Component 3 (60% of course mark): Architectural acoustics project.
Individually you will carry out a detailed computer simulation based acoustic analysis of an architectural space of your choosing. This will involve 3D modelling, acoustic simulation, analysis of results, and providing design recommendations/improvements based upon your findings. The project will be assessed through a 1500-2000 word report submitted at the end of the semester.
Feedback Formative feedback takes places at two key moments:

1. In relation to summative Component 2, an initial discussion with your group will be held within a tutorial session in which the course tutor will provide formative feedback on your proposed topic.

2. In relation to summative Component 3, you will be able to discuss your project topic with the course lecturer and/or tutor around mid-semester, and gain formative feedback to help shape the project.

Summative feedback will be provided for all three components of assessment, as follows:

1. Component 1: You will receive an overall mark for the component, and a limited breakdown of which questions you answered correctly/incorrectly. A course-wide feedback session, where any common problems will be reviewed, will also be incorporated into a lecture.

2. Component 2: You will receive a mark and written feedback.

3. Component 3: You will receive a mark and written feedback.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe the physical basis of sound propagation in architectural spaces
  2. Discuss the role of acoustic design in the construction of architectural spaces
  3. Understand acoustic measurement and analysis techniques, and employ computer-modelling techniques to characterise the acoustics of architectural spaces
  4. Describe the key attributes of human hearing pertaining to the perception of speech, music, and spatial directivity of sound
  5. Present a short talk on a topic in architectural acoustics to a small group of peers
Reading List
Marshall Long: Architectural Acoustics (Academic Press, 2nd Edition, 2014)
Murray Campbell and Clive Greated: The Musician's Guide to Acoustics (OUP Oxford, 2001)
Gareth Loy: Musimathics, Volume 1 - The Mathematical Foundations of Music (MIT Press, 2011)
Gareth Loy: Musimathics, Volume 2 - The Mathematical Foundations of Music (MIT Press, 2011)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1) Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues relevant in the field of architectural acoustics.
2) Understand the key terms and methodologies involved in acoustical measurement and design.
3) Carry out a major piece of project work, including management of the project's aims and methodologies, acquisition of measurements, and critical analysis of results, and engagement with the wider literature.
4) Use a range of approaches to formulate and critically evaluate evidence-based solutions/responses to defined and/or routine problems and issues encountered in architectural acoustics.
5) Exercise autonomy and initiative in activities relevant in professional acoustic consultancy.
6) Practise in ways that show awareness of own and other's roles, responsibilities and contributions when carrying out and evaluating a major project.
7) Work, under guidance, with others to acquire an understanding of current professional practice in the fields of architectural acoustics, acoustic consultancy, and audio-VR.
8) Develop skills in the application of applied mathematical techniques.
Keywordsacoustics,architecture,virtual reality,augmented reality,psychology,psychoacoustics,spatial,sound
Course organiserDr Thomas McKenzie
Course secretaryDr Ellen Jeffrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 2430
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