Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences - Acoustics and Audio Technology
Master of Science (Technology).
Field of Study:
Technology and Engineering
2 years, full-time
An appropriate Bachelor´s degree or an equivalent qualification.
Tuition fees & scholarships:
Yes, for non-EU citizens.
Language of Instruction:
The major in Acoustics and Audio Technology gives fundamental knowledge about acoustical phenomena, human hearing and audio technologies, and also facilitates students to apply this knowledge in practice. Acoustics and Audio Technology is one of the eight majors offered in the Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences (CCIS).
The goal of the major is that students can use their learning outcome flexibly in different tasks in industry and in academia. For example, students should know why and how modern lossy audio codecs (mp3, AAC) work, or they should be able to measure, understand the perceptual aspects, and design the acoustics of a classroom or a noise barrier. Some exemplar fields where the students are expected to be competent are sound recording and reproduction, audio coding, music technology, acoustic measurements, active noise cancellation, audio signal processing, room and building acoustics, and environmental noise.
We are looking for students who are interested in music, hearing, aided hearing, sound reproduction, or sound in general. To succeed in our curriculum, your Bachelor studies should contain basic university physics, mathematics and digital signal processing.
The studies (120 ECTS credits) consist of the major subject studies, the Master´s thesis (30 ECTS) and elective studies (25-35 ECTS). The Acoustics and Audio Technolog major can be taken either as a long (55-65 ECTS) or a compact (40-45 ECTS) major. Learn more >>
Communication acoustics: developing techniques for human listeners
The course is a very broad introduction to all other courses in the major. How do we hear sounds, and which properties of the surrounding world do we decode by listening? How to design audio reproduction so that it best suites human hearing? Can we measure the intelligibility of public address in a metro station? Can we estimate how “sharp” a sound is perceived? The lectures and the book cover answers to these questions. In the project work students get hands-on experience in a simplified but broad and practical task.
The groups will collect interesting sounds from their environment, and arrange formal listening test to quantify their perception. A simple computational model of hearing is built, which is then used to explain the listening test results.
Audio signal processing: Manipulating sound with maths!
The audio signal processing course provides a broad understanding of the technical and creative aspects behind digital signal processing in the fields of audio, acoustics, and music technology. The course covers a wide range of topics ranging from electronic musical instruments to the theory behind celebrated vintage and state-of-the-art audio effects. By means of open-ended assignments, students will be able to get hands-on experience and explore the fantastic possibilities of digital processing of sound.
Learning electroacoustics by doing: hi-fi loudspeakers from lo-fi materials?
The electroacoustics course gives a wide view to the working and design principles of loudspeakers and microphones. Introductory lectures and homework are followed by presentations from industry experts. Students also get a chance to design and build as good loudspeakers as possible from elements commonly used in industry. The solutions can be creative, and students learn how to tackle practical problems when transforming electric signals into acoustic waves.
- Audio DSP engineer in a big international companies, such as Nokia, Huawei, Microsoft, Apple, or Dolby
- Acoustical consultant working in the field of environmental noise or building acoustics
- Acoustics/noise expert in heavy industry, such as ABB, Kone or Wartsila
- Product development in small-scale firms and startup companies
Non-EU/EEA students selected in the application round 2018 will be charged tuition fees. Further information on the tuition fees and scholarships offered can be found here.
General admission requirements
Eligible applications are then sent for the academic evaluation described in more detail below.
Programme-specific admission requirements
Applicants to the programme must first meet the general eligibility and language requirements that are common to all Master’s programmes in Science and Technology.
Admission criteria to the CCIS programme is a high quality Bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, communications engineering, or electrical engineering. Excellent candidates with degrees in other fields such as information systems, engineering, natural sciences, mathematics or physics will be considered if they have sufficient studies and proven skills and knowledge in the required areas.
• mathematics (linear algebra, Fourier analysis, probability theory, and statistics)
• physics (classical physics and mechanics)
• digital signal processing
• applied signal processing (audio and speech processing)
• programming skills
Knowledge in the following areas is considered an advantage:
• music or musical instruments
• recording, mixing, and reproduction of sound
• design and building of audio equipment
Learn more about the evaluation of applications
The student selection process is competitive and the best applicants are selected according to the following evaluation criteria:
1. Content of the previous degree(s)
2. Recognition and quality of the applicant’s home university
3. Study success: grades achieved and pace of studies
4. Motivation and commitment to studies in the programme
5. Other relevant achievements (work experience, publications, etc.)
7. Language proficiency
The selection process is paper-based.
During the evaluation of eligible applications, the applicants’ previous study success and contents of the previous degree(s) are checked first. Only those applications that pass this preliminary evaluation will be evaluated against the full set of criteria listed above.
The applicant’s study success will be evaluated based on the grade point average (GPA) and results in key courses. Very good previous study success is expected. Recognition of the applicant’s home university affects the final interpretation of the academic performance. The minimum GPA for applicants from Finnish universities of applied science is 4.0. Applicants with a GPA below this limit will not be admitted unless they have other exceptional qualifications. Programme’s courses or equivalent courses completed in open university or as non-degree studies with excellent grades may support the application.
The contents of the applicant’s previous degree(s) are evaluated based on the courses listed in the official transcript of records and the course descriptions submitted. The applicant is expected to have completed a sufficient amount of studies in the major-specific subject areas (see above). Relevant work experience, professional certificates and/or online courses are judged case-by-case, but they do not, in general, compensate for the university level studies that include also the theoretical foundations of the required subjects.
In the final phase of the academic evaluation, the applicants who pass the preliminary evaluation are ranked, and the best applicants are selected. The programme does not have a minimum quota to be filled, and not all eligible applicants will necessarily be admitted.
Studies in the Master’s programme should provide genuinely new knowledge for the applicant. If the applicant already has a Master’s degree, the motivation letter should clearly indicate why another Master’s degree is necessary. In most cases, non-degree or, e.g., open university studies are recommended instead of degree studies to complement the earlier degree or to improve one’s professional skills.
In addition to the compulsory application documents, applicants are requested to provide the following, additional documents:
- at least one original recommendation letter (preferably academic)
- course descriptions of courses taken in relevant subject areas (see the subject list above)
- work certificates and certificates of other relevant achievements
- copies of any publications
- the official transcript of records for other university studies that are not included in the mandatory part of the application
- GRE or GMAT test results, if available
The application should provide the full educational history of the applicant.
The applicant’s motivation letter (a compulsory part of the online application form) should be written in English. For purposes of study guidance, applicants are asked to indicate already on the motivation letter the track they wish to follow.
Also, the supplementary application documents described above (recommendations letter(s), course descriptions, work or other certificates, and publications) should preferably be submitted in English. If a language other than English, Finnish or Swedish is used in them, the applicant must provide precise, word-for-word translations.
Location: Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering, Otaniemi Campus, Espoo
- For enquiries regarding the application process, application documents and language requirements, please read the instructions first. If you cannot find an answer to your question, contact Aalto University Admission Services at admissions [at] aalto [dot] fi.
- For enquiries regarding the contents of studies in Acoustics and Audio Technology, please contact Master Admissions at the School of Electrical Engineering at masters-sci [at] aalto [dot] fi (firstname.lastname@example.org).