This syllabus is live. Edits to this syllabus will need to go through review before they are made live.

You can download the module profile pdf.

View module history or Compare syllabuses for this module.

← Return to module list or Edit this syllabus in 201617.

Alternative you may want to edit this syllabus for the next academic year (201718).

If this document is inaccurate please contact the FEE CQA team at

Module title Basic Physics, Acoustics, Optics and Instrumentation
Module code AUDI1003
Module lead

Rachel Van Besouw

Module lead profile url:
External Examiner: Mrs Wendy Stevens, De Montfort University
Faculty Engineering & the Environment
Academic unit FEE Ed - Audiology
Academic session first offered 201516
Credit Points ECTS 7.5
Level Undergraduate
When will the module be taught Full Academic Year
Pre-requisite and/or co-requisite modules
Programmes in which the module is core
Programmes in which the module is compulsory MSci Healthcare Sci(Audiology) (year 1)
BSc Hearing Science (year 1)
MSci Hearing Science (year 1)
BSc Healthcare Sci (Audiology) (year 1)
Programmes in which the module is optional
Date of last edit 28th Oct 2016 - 11:52am

Module overview

The purpose of this module is to provide you with a foundation in physics that will underpin pysiological measurement.  In particular, this module will help you to learn basic mathematical principles and how these apply to neurosensory measurement, key concepts of mechanical, acoustical and electrical systems, the properties of sound and light, signal
analysis and representation. This module supports the year 1 Physiological and Psychophysical Measurement module.

Aims and learning outcomes


Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to:

  • Introduce you to fundamental physical and mathematical principles, with particular relevance to neurosensory function
  • Introduce you to the concepts of waves and electromagnetic fields
  • Introduce the principles of vibratory motion, simple and complex signals and time- and frequency-domain representations
  • Explain correct usage of relevant physical terms and quantities
  • Introduce methods for analysing mechanical, acoustical, optical and electrical systems
  • Enable you to develop your understanding and skills in the operation and calibration of instrumentation relevant to the human neurosensory system and according to recognised standards
  • Provide examples that link the material in this module to other programme modules

Disciplinary Specific

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to:

  • (A) Describe basic physical and mathematical principles relating to neurosensory function and stimuli
  • (B) Select and justify appropriate methods for representing and analysing signals
  • (C) Explain the operation of instrumentation relevant to the human neurosensory system and principles of calibration

Graduate Attributes

Graduate Attributes are the personal qualities, skills and understandings that University of Southampton students have the opportunity to develop. They include but extend beyond subject-specific knowledge of an academic discipline and its technical proficiencies. The Graduate Attributes are achieved through the successful attainment of the learning outcomes of the programmes, and successful engagement with the University’s co-curriculum e.g. the Graduate Passport.

A checklist for embedding the graduate attributes is available at:

Summary of syllabus content

  • Basic mathematical principles
  • Fundamental and derived physical quantities and their units
  • Simple vibratory motion and the sine wave
  • Transmission and propagation of light and sound
  • Electromagnetic waves and fields
  • Power and intensity, the decibel (logarithms)
  • Types of signal and time and frequency domain representation
  • Analogue and digital signals and systems
  • Principles of signal measurement, conditioning and analysis
  • Descriptions of mechanical, acoustical and electrical systems
  • Impedance and resonance
  • Reflection, refraction and absorption of waves
  • Linearity and nonlinearity, distortion
  • Operation and calibration of instrumentation relevant to neurosensory testing

Summary of teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include:

Lectures in a formal classroom setting. Typical class size is 30 students. During these lectures there may be small group work with four students per group discussing salient issues with feedback from each group to the whole class. 

You will need to work in your own time and in timetabled independent learning sessions in order to supplement lectures. In addition to the information resources available to you, you will be able to meet with the module staff for assistance as and when required. 

Learning activities include:

Working in small groups during the lecture and feeding back from those groups to the group as a whole.

Working in your own time and in timetabled independent learning sessions. You are expected to read supporting texts outlined in the book list and make reference to appropriate academic journals in order to support lectures.


Study time alloaction:

Contact hours: 30

Private study hours: 120

Total study time: 150 hours

Summary of assessment and Feedback methods

Assessment Method Number % contribution to final mark Final assessment (✔)
Exam      (Duration:120 minutes) 100%

Other Assessment Notes

Summative 2hr exam at end of Semester 2 addressing Learning Outcomes A,B & C. You
will receive a mark and will be able to meet with the module lead for additional feedback

Referral Method

By examination

Referral method is a summative exam (2 hours) which will be 100% of the final mark,
addressing Learning Outcomes A, B & C.

Method of Repeat Year

Repeat year internally

Repeat year externally

Learning Resources

Resource type: Other

provided separately

Appendix: KIS hours

Contact hours for Teaching:Hours
Seminars (including sessions with outside speakers)0
Practical Classes and Workshops (including Boat work)0
Project supervision0
Demonstration Sessions0
Supervised time in studios/workshops/laboratories0
External Visits0
Summer Workshops0
Work Based Learning0
Independent studyHours
Preparation for scheduled sessions15
Follow-up work15
Wider reading or practice-40
Completion of assessment task120
Placement Hours0
Year Placement0
6 Month Placement0