Writing a Graphic Design Dissertation

Graphic designing is a creative field which deals with a combination of symbols, images and words to convey a meaningful message. Also called Visual Communication or Communication Design, the research in this field is not just an ordinary research either.

However, the general rules for writing a graphic design dissertation are the same as any other dissertation. The students who undertake research in this field are either students of computer science or belong to the fine arts field.

Students of computer science normally undertake applied research and students of fine arts go for basic research. For instance, a computer science student will research on some image manipulation software or choose artificial imagery as a research area, while a fine arts student will research on the significance of design in communication.

Choosing to undertake research in this field may appear to be a tough job, but once you get the right guidance, it will become quite easy for you to carry it out and write your final dissertation.

To help you with the steps on the way, we have put together this guide you can follow.


  • 1

    Choose the right topic

    First you need to pick a topic, and ideally it must be one that inspires you and gives you new ideas. Moreover, you need to try and be innovative & unique while choosing the topic so that you can stand out while delivering your dissertation defense.

    After you have sorted out the area of interest, narrow it down to a specific area. Remember, if the topic of your dissertation is current and according to market trends, you are much more likely to receive a better grade and even a great job offer.

    Some areas you can choose your topics from include direction and design, new media, marketing communication, communication design, desktop publishing, copywriting, web graphic design, image manipulation software, artificial imagery, testing the elements of secondary color illusion and graphic art.

  • 2

    Preparing a Graphic Design Dissertation Proposal

    After choosing a topic you need to prepare a proposal and get it approved by the dissertation committee of the concerned department.

    The dissertation proposal will include the title, the background, problem and thesis statement, research methodology and the importance of the research. You also need to mention how long it will take for you to complete your dissertation.

    Remember, innovation is the key to a successful graphic design dissertation and will help you to get your proposal approved.

  • 3

    Title Page

    The title page of the dissertation consists of the topic of the dissertation, your name, reason for undertaking the dissertation (the candidature of obtaining a degree) and the name of the department and university.

  • 4


    In the acknowledgement section, appreciate all those who assisted you in your research. This may include your parents, your supervisor, your siblings, your friends or any other person who helped you during the completion of this dissertation.

  • 5


    In the abstract section you need to discuss everything that you have included in the report, from the research statement, aims and objectives to the methodology adopted in carrying out the research and the results and findings.

    However, you need to carefully pack all of this in a summary of about 120 to 150 words.

  • 6

    Table of Contents

    Like a typical table of contents, this will be an index of all the content in your dissertation and is aimed at helping readers and reviewers navigate through your work easily.

  • 7


    In the introduction, include what the problem is and why it should be solved. Then move onto how you intend to solve it and how your research will benefit and affect others.

  • 8

    Literature Review

    In the literature review section you need to discuss all the previous work done in this field up till now and discuss how you will take it to the next level. Also make sure that the sources of information are reliable and dependable.

  • 9


    Now this part of the dissertation calls for serious attention because it is very critical in nature. Here you will discuss how the research was actually carried out and provide details like the size of the population, how you gathered the data and steps to took to ensure that it is consistent and reliable.

  • 10


    In this part of the dissertation discuss the research results you obtained, how you verified them and ensured that they are reliable.

  • 11

    Conclusion and Recommendations

    Now in the conclusion and recommendation part, state the answer to the main question of your research and then give recommendations and suggestions in light of the research you carried out.

  • 12


    In the bibliography give all the sources of information that you have referred to during the dissertation. This may include all the books, periodicals and published books.

  • 13


    In the appendices, you will include all the questionnaires that you have used and any tables or figures that are included in the dissertation.

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