Course Title: Graphic Design Research (Honours) A

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Graphic Design Research (Honours) A

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2009


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2010

Course Coordinator: Russell Kerr

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1243

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: B9, L1, R7

Course Coordinator Availability: by Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This course is offered in conjunction with Graphic Design Major (Honours) A. To undertake this course you must also be enrolled in GRAP2195 Graphic Design Major (Honours) A.

Course Description

This course is the research project component of the honours program and is structured as an introduction to post-graduate design research. It utilises contemporary theories of the role of research in design and will encourage you to engage in critical thinking and dialogue with your fellow students. The research project is project based and takes the position that, as an iterative process, design can be both a research activity and a research outcome.

You will undertake the research project over two semesters. This course in semester one is focused on theory and critical evaluation of a topic. You will use the first semester to undertake research which will form the theoretical basis of the physical project to be completed in second semester.

You will build on your knowledge and skills in research, writing and referencing throughout this courses you investigate a topic of interest and present critical opinions in the form of a thesis.It is assumed that students have a thorough knowledge of the Harvard referencing system and are able to write fluently in the English language. Students are expected to investigate a topic of interest and present critical opinions in the form of a thesis.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

• To engage in debate over the public function and place of Communication Design.
• To gain a broader understanding of contemporary Communication Design and Communication Design practice internationally

Upon the successful completion of this course you will be able to:
• identify and analyse key questions, debates and concerns in your discipline related to the social, cultural and cognitive impacts of Communication Design in the context of a research project;
• describe and justify explore a range of applied design research methods activities relevant to a design research project;
• undertake independent research using design as an iterative process of investigation in the field of Communication Design.

The following program capabilities are developed in this course:
• apply research skills and practices to address complex problems;
• develop deep knowledge of your field and its relevance to the contemporary practice of Communication Design;
• undertake sophisticated, self directed research; and
• explain why your research matters and to whom, and express your research in relevant ways.

Overview of Learning Activities

As well as lectures, tutorial and workshops, you will be engaged in a range of research activities including using library resources to locate and gather references and relevant material, viewing relevant works and projects, reading key literature that is related to your individual project, compiling notes; and maintaining a bibliography. You can also expect to be involved in ongoing critical dialogue both in class and online.The key activities you will undertake are different forms of research, using library resources to gather relevant material, viewing other relevant works and projects, and reading the key literature that is related to your individual project. The main activities will be finding references and resources; reading, viewing or listening to them; compiling notes; and maintaining a bibliography.

Overview of Learning Resources

This course is based in ‘The Works’ studio.

The key resources you will use are in the University library (and other research libraries), and other collecting institutions that may contain material relevant to your project (other libraries, galleries, archives). In addition, you will utilise a bibliographic management tool such as EndNote, and a variety of online resources to document and store your research activities, including a research blog, citation manager, and a social bookmarking service.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice. Assessment will occur during the course and at the end of the course. Methods may include any combination of assessment tasks such as reports, reflective papers, group work, campaign specifications, presentations, or portfolio.