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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 21/07/2022 11:19:11

Title of Module: Sound System Design

Code: COMP08102 SCQF Level: 8
(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

The theoretical basis of sound summation which leads to the generation of patterns of sound pressure levels across audience areas will be discussed and patterns from standard speaker configurations will be presented.

The operation of a line array will be investigated and the effect of array size, curvature, graded delays, and level offsets to elements on the distribution of sound pressure level within an audience area will be considered.

The application of design software from various manufacturers to the selection and placement of speakers within a specified venue will be discussed and implemented.  The transfer of the design data into systems for live performance will be noted.

  • The purpose of the module is to introduce students to the professional practices applied to the design of sound system installations for music venues and outdoor concerts.

  • • This module embeds the key “I am UWS” graduate attributes and in particular: Universal(analytical: able to identify appropriate hardware use in a scenario), Work Ready(problem-solver: able to apply software to solve design problems) and Successful (creative: working creatively with resources to produce an optimised solution)

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 1check markTerm 2


Term 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 a knowledge of the scope, defining features, and main areas to the specification of sound (reinforcement) system components and electroacoustic device parameters.

L2. Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in using a few techniques and practices that are specialised and advanced to the computer simulation of sound (reinforcement) systems design.

L3. Use a range of approaches to formulate and critically evaluate evidence-based solutions to routine problems and issues found in sound propagation and sound (reinforcement) system design.

L4. Use and evaluate numerical and graphical data and convey complex information to a range of audiences and for a range of purposes.

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 8.

Understanding of a broad range of acoustic principles

Have an awareness of current technologies used in the design of sound reinforcement systems

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Apply the principles of acoustics to the design of sound systems using software tools.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Develop an engineering mind-set in regard to the distribution of sound in a venue.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Interpret graphical representations of data and calculations.

Manage computer files and data with a professional approach to maintaining backup versions

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Exercise autonomy and initiative in some activities at a professional level

Manage resources within defined areas of work

Take continuing account of own and others’ roles, responsibilities, and contributions in carrying out and evaluating tasks

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Acoustics and Sound Reinforcement
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 synchronous presentations and demonstrations of audio system design software. Students will be able to use pre-installed design software available in a well-equipped computer lab. Some of this will require the set-up of free personal accounts with manufacturers.

Students will work towards a realistic assessment where they will design a sound system for a scenario and construct a report showing design decisions and detailed outcome.

Students’ interaction with industry representatives will be encouraged.

Although this will be a lab-based presentation, most of the software use will also be freely available for students to use at asynchronously.
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
Asynchronous Class Activity36
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: (n.d.). ArrayCalc | d&b audiotechnik. [online] Available at:

Anon, (n.d.). MAPP XT. [online] Available at:

Merlijn van Veen. (n.d.). S.A.D. (Subwoofer Array Designer). [online] Available at:

Ahnert, Wolfgang, et al. Sound Reinforcement for Audio Engineers. S.L., Routledge, 2022.

A useful reference text is: Mccarthy, B. (2016). Sound systems - design and optimization : modern techniques and tools for sound system design and alignment. New York: Focal Press.

(**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:
Students must engage in sharing and discussing their software simulation activities in-person or online as appropriate in preparation for submission.

Students should attend 75% of scheduled sessions (online or face to face as appropriate).

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardComputing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelCreative Computing
ModeratorColin Grassie
External ExaminerJ Paterson
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
CW1 Report on the design and simulation of a sound system for a specified venue description (100%)
(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
Creative output/ Audiotapes/ Videotapes/ Games/ Simulationscheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark1000
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 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
In order for the student to complete this module an element of computer simulation using sound design software will require to be undertaken.

This module is designed to provide equal opportunities for all students irrespective of their age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, or sexual orientation. 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.