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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 21/07/2022 11:40:42

Title of Module: Acoustics and Sound Reinforcement

Code: COMP07052 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Derek  Turner

Summary of Module

An introduction to sound propagation and to the principles of acoustics will be presented and will lead to quantitative calculations using the decibel scale. 

Students will develop an understanding of the characteristics of reverberation and acoustical considerations in relation to reflected sound and the effect of enclosed spaces on sound system design and music reproduction. This will conclude with simple calculations of reverb time RT60. 

From presentations and guided reading, students will gain an understanding of the range and type of equipment elements and associated relevant specifications found within sound reinforcement systems. This will include microphones, mixing consoles, signal processing equipment, amplification and speaker systems. 

Practical demonstrations of audio signal path from stage input to mixing console, processing, and amplification will provide students with the opportunity to practice sound reinforcement equipment connection and operation. 

All relevant aspects of health and safety associated with live sound, including manual handling, will be discussed and implemented. 

Problem Based Learning (PBL) will take place in group work scenarios where the development of cognitive load theory (CLT) will be encouraged. 

  • This module embeds the key “I am UWS” graduate attributes and in particular:Work Ready: Knowledgeable, Digitally Literate and Problem-solver, Potential Leader Successful: Autonomous, Incisive and Innovative Work Ready: Effective communicator, Influential and Motivated Professional

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate knowledge that is embedded in the main theories, concepts, and principles of acoustics in relation to sound reinforcement

L2. Demonstrate an overall appreciation of the body of knowledge that constitutes relevant health and safety issues concerning live sound systems

L3. Present information routine to live sound systems in the specification of a small sound system to meet a brief.

L4. Apply knowledge skills and understanding to a routine context through the set-up and usage of a live sound system.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 7.

• Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the principles of acoustics.

• Demonstrate a broad knowledge of P.A. equipment.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 7.

• Apply acoustic principles to the configuration of P.A systems

• Employ safe working practices in a professional environment.

• Practice use of P.A. in both isolated and in situ contexts

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

• Make aesthetic judgements in a technical environment.

• Think clearly under pressure in situations which may be unpredictable

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

• Convey complex ideas in well-structured and coherent written format.

• Communicate clearly with peers in a live situation.

• Interpret graphical diagrams of mixing consoles and P.A. systems.

• Deal with numerate aspects of acoustics

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

• Work within a small team sharing responsibilities in a live situation.

• Work with supervision under pressure of time.

• Take account of the safety of self and others at all times in a live situation.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module develops knowledge and practice through video presentations synchronous tutorials and hands-on practice.

Students will gain initial experience of working in the context of a music venue
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop36
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Access to a modern audio mixing console and PA system is required.

Key texts are:

Loar, J. (2019). The sound system design primer. New York, Ny: Routledge.

Everest, F. Alton (2021) Master Handbook of Acoustics. S.L., Mcgraw-Hill Education.

Consultation of the following extension references will also be useful:

Boyce, T. (2020) Introduction to Live Sound Reinforcement: the science, the art, and the practice. Friessen Press

Eargle,J and Foreman, C (2002) JBL Audio Engineering for Sound Reinforcement, Kendrick Books

JBL Sound System Design Manual, JBL (2009)

Biederman, B and Pattison P (2013) Basic Live Sound Reinforcement: A Practical Guide for Starting Live Audio, Routledge.

Reference to the following websites and others linked via Aula will provide extension resources.

Sound Advice
Noise at work in music and entertainment (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 21/03/2022)

Health and Safety Executive
Sound Advice (2008) Available at: (Accessed: 21/03/2022)

Health and Safety Executive
Manual Handling at work (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 21/03/2022)

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Engagement for this module equates to submission of CW 1 and CW2, attendance at training in the safe handling and operation of live sound equipment and submission of CW3.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardComputing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelCreative Computing
ModeratorColin Grassie
External ExaminerJ Paterson
Accreditation DetailsThis module is accredited by JAMES as part of BSc (Hons) Music Technology.
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
CW 1 (25%) has one element: Class Test A Formative class test preceding CW1 will provide student performance feedback
CW 2 (25%) has one element: Written Assignment
CW 3 (50%)has one element: Practical Assessment (50%)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck mark  252

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Design/ Diagram/ Drawing/ Photograph/ Sketch  check mark 250

Component 3
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Clinical/ Fieldwork/ Practical skills assessment/ Debate/ Interview/ Viva voce/ Oral   check mark508
Combined Total For All Components100% 10 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The University policies on equality and diversity will apply to this module.

In order for the student to complete this module the student will be required to :

• Work within a small group to check, move, connect and operate live sound equipment.
• Work with an awareness of health and safety issues.

Students must have the facility to discern the audio quality of the P.A output (with an aid if required) and make appropriate adjustments in a timely manner.

This module is designed to provide equal opportunities for all students irrespective of their age, additional support requirements, gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, or sexual orientation. Students may take differing viewpoints with respect to their cultural, religious or family backgrounds. Reasonable adjustments can be made if related issues arise.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.