• Bronze Athena SWAN Award

    We're committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment.

  • 2nd

    in the UK for audiology

    We've been ranked second in the UK for our audiology courses, and first in England.
    Source: Complete University Guide

  • Accredited degree in acoustical engineering

    Our acoustical engineering degree has both Institute of Acoustics and Institute of Mechanical Engineers accreditation.


About the Institute

The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) is a world renowned research centre with close to 40 staff dedicated to research, consultancy and education in all aspects of sound and vibration. We cover topics from fundamental theoretical research to many areas that directly impact on human health and wellbeing.

Our staff teach courses at all levels in acoustic engineering, audiology and closely related subjects. Our research informs our teaching.

Our researchers and students can use our facilities, including wind tunnels, large anechoic and reverberation chambers. Our students also benefit from our close links with the enterprise unit ISVR Consulting, which includes opportunities for mentoring and work experience.

A student uses a mannequin as part of his research in the large anechoic chamber
A researcher takes acoustic measurements in our large anechoic chamber.

Our research culture

The Institute offers a supportive, inclusive environment for interdisciplinary research. 

Our staff have developed an extensive and strong network for collaboration with other faculties at the University, other academic institutions and with industry. Our School leads initiatives to remove obstacles for women and people with caring responsibilities.

We share new knowledge by housing the editorial office for the Journal of Sound and Vibration.

The majority of our research is carried out by 3 research groups:

  • Acoustics.
  • Dynamics.
  • Signal process, audio and hearing.


Our group explores the science and real-world application of acoustics, including underwater acoustics, aeroacoustics, and virtual acoustics.


We research a wide range of interests in the modelling, measurement and control of structural vibrations.

Signal process, audio and hearing

We research the processing, perception and control of complex signals.

Our teaching

The Institute was one of the first UK institutions to offer degrees in acoustical engineering and audiology. We offer undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research degrees in both subjects.

We’ve been ranked first in England for our audiology courses by the Complete University Guide. Our acoustical engineering degrees are accredited by both the Institute of Acoustics and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Our courses are enriched by insights from the latest research, with many courses taught by staff who are also involved in groundbreaking research in sound and vibration. Students enjoy the dedicated facilities that our acoustics and audiology teaching labs offer.

We share our noise analysis expertise with professionals with experience of reducing noise on our advanced courses.

  • Audiology student looking into a persons ear and showing it on a big screen

    Hear from an audiology student

    Rabiat Garba shares her experience of studying audiology at Southampton in this 2-minute YouTube video.

  • Discover our MSc in Acoustical and Vibration Engineering

    Hear from graduates and staff about our master's course in Acoustical and Vibration Engineering in this 3-minute YouTube video.


The Institute has invested in a range of advanced research and testing facilities to make its researchers’ work possible and, in some cases, to enable specialised services to industry partners.

Large anechoic chamber

One of the UK's largest rooms ‘without echoes’ for carrying out acoustical tests. Find out about the anechoic chamber.

The Anechoic Doak Laboratory

A lab to analyse jet and valve noise that is equipped with an air supply that can achieve up to 20bar pressure.

Audio Lab

A lab with an array of 40 loudspeakers that can be repositioned on a flexible grid structure. The acoustic is designed for multichannel listening.

AB Wood Underwater Test Tank

A lab with one large, 5m deep and several small tanks of fresh water and a suite of acoustic sources, sensors and underwater video cameras.

Human Factors Research Unit lab facilities

A range of facilities for experimental studies of human responses to whole-body vibration, hand-transmitted vibration, and low frequency oscillation. Find out about the facilities to study human responses.

Low noise open air wind tunnel

Our open jet wind tunnel allows for the self-noise of air foils and other objects to be measured under free field anechoic conditions.

Listening Room

The listening room is a general-purpose room for conducting experiments that includes a projector and curtains to modify the acoustics.

Reverberation chambers

We have a large and a small reverberation chamber for acoustic testing.

Our courses

Research and enterprise

Learn about our partner consultancy’s work for clients and our School’s research across industries.

Our research groups

Find out about the research groups that conduct the ISVR’s research, including their projects, publications and impact.


ISVR has been at the forefront of sound and vibration research and education since its inception nearly 60 years ago.
Head of Department
At the ISVR, we take immense pride in extensively covering most major branches of acoustics, both in our research as well as in our teaching.

Work with us

  • Audiology student looking into a persons ear and showing it on a big screen

    Jobs at Southampton

    Check employment opportunities at the University of Southampton, including any current jobs at the Institute.

Contact us

Talk to us, we’re happy to help

You can contact us by:
Room 4101, Building 13, University of Southampton, University RoadSouthampton SO17 1BJ
We’re open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm UK time