The Science of Sound - CMAT3010

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Charles Hutchins checkmark-circle


This module introduces students to important concepts that underpin sound and sound technologies, starting from an understanding of how sound is produced, how it travels and how we perceive it. The module also explores the principles by which sound can be recorded and encoded in both analogue and digital formats. Practical demonstrations and experiments are used to investigate scientific theories, providing students with a solid understanding of theory that will inform future practical work in the recording studio and with the digital audio workstation.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 22
Private Study Hours: 128
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Experiment Portfolio and Write-up (1,000 words) – 60%
Group Presentation and Write-Up (10 minutes/500 words) – 40%

Reassessment methods


Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Everest, F. A., and Pohlmann, K. C. (2015). Master Handbook of Acoustics. New York: McGraw Hill.
Howard, D. M. and Angus, J. (2017). Acoustics and Psychoacoustics. London: Focal Press
Pohlmann, K. C. (2010). Principles of Digital Audio. New York: McGraw Hill.
Rossing, T. D. and Moore, R. F. (2013). The Science of Sound. London: Pearson.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of sound, including sound waves and acoustics and how these relate to audio;
2 Utilise and understand simple mathematical and graphical methods for analyzing and measuring sound;
3 Demonstrate an understanding of the physiology of human hearing and the perception of sound.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Generate, analyse and interpret appropriate data;
2 Demonstrate core skills such as problem solving and decoding information;
3 Use IT skills, computer technology and electronic information sources.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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