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Unit of study_

DESC9134: Audio and Acoustics Seminar

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit introduces students to a broad range of current research in audio and acoustics, and gives them experience in research. It consists of a series of seminars on current research projects presented by active researchers in audio and acoustics, together with individual or small-group supervision of small-scale research projects. By completing this unit students will gain an understanding of the research process, and receive some modest experience in research. They will appreciate a range of research methods and subject areas at the forefront of audio and acoustics. They will be in a good position to assess their interest in undertaking further academic research.

Unit details and rules

Unit code DESC9134
Academic unit Architectural and Design Science
Credit points 6
DESC9090 or DESC9133
Assumed knowledge

DESC9138 and DESC9011

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Densil Cabrera,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment group assignment First draft
Written report
25% Week 09 2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment Peer review
Written report
10% Week 10 200 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment group assignment Final paper
Written report
40% Week 12 2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Presentation group assignment Paper presentation
Oral presentation
25% Week 13 10-15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • First draft: This should be a reasonably complete write-up of the project, following the report template that is provided on Canvas.
  • Peer review: Students write reviews of selected first draft papers submitted by other DESC9134 students.
  • Final paper: These should be greatly improved versions of the first draft reports.
  • Paper presentation: Working in the same group of students that collaborated to produce the written final paper, a presentation should be prepared by the team, and each team member makes some portion of the presentation.
Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Work of outstanding quality, demonstrating mastery of the learning outcomes assessed. The work shows significant innovation, experimentation, critical analysis, synthesis, insight, creativity, and/or exceptional skill.


75 - 84

Work of excellent quality, demonstrating a sound grasp of the learning outcomes assessed. The work shows innovation, experimentation, critical analysis, synthesis, insight, creativity, and/or superior skill.


65 - 74

Work of good quality, demonstrating more than satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes assessed, or work of excellent quality for a majority of the learning outcomes assessed.


50 - 64

Work demonstrating satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes assessed.


0 - 49

Work that does not demonstrate satisfactory achievement of one or more of the learning outcomes assessed.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Overview of this unit and suggested project directions Seminar (3 hr) LO2
Week 02 Introduction to general room acoustics approaches Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Introduction to voice support in rooms Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 04 Introduction to designing and testing reflectors Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 05 Project proposals, discussion, and planning the rest of the semester Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 06 Project work and consultation Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 09 Project work and consultation Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 10 Project work and consultation Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 11 Project work and consultation Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 12 Project work and consultation Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 13 Seminar oral presentations of nearly completed work Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2

Attendance and class requirements

The School’s requirement of 90% attendance is waived. Participation in this unit is required via online components.

Please refer to the Resolutions of the University School:

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate through both written and oral reports an understanding of the research process, including the formulation of good research questions and appropriate methods by which those questions may be answered
  • LO2. exhibit an appreciation of a wide range of research methods and subject areas at the forefront of audio and acoustics.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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