IDEA Dissertation (IDEA9303)


The research project/dissertation offers students the opportunity to work on an individual research project exploring current problems and issues in a wide range of application areas that would benefit from an inter-disciplinary design research approach to design, technology and human-computer interaction. Students can choose to follow one of the primary types of design research: design (a fundamental component of the research is the design and implementation of an artefact/system); empirical (empirical data gathering is required to understand a phenomenon); model (a computational model is generated to understand a phenomenon); and studio-based (creative/experimental design or artform is produced for exhibition).
Students must prepare a research proposal outlining the research objectives and questions, a brief literature review, the research methodology and a timeline. At completion, students must submit a written dissertation and documentation of any designed/built artefacts produced during the research. A research dissertation should be 8,000 to 10,000 words in length.
The designed/built artefacts will be assessed on the merits of their underlying design rationale or original conceptual thinking, and their implementation in the form of software, hardware, theoretical discourse or other physical manifestation. The dissertation is assessed on its design methodology/rationale, empirical evaluation, analysis or description within related theories or critical reflection, and the presentation, using appropriate visual, written, verbal and multimedia presentation techniques. IDEA9302 IDEA Research Project and IDEA9303 IDEA Dissertation are not assessed separately. A single result is given for the combined project and dissertation.

Further unit of study information


Group Supervision 2hrs/wk


Proposal and presentation (10%); Dissertation and built work (80%); Mixed media documentation and final presentation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.