How to write a dissertation in architecture design

December 2, 2021


Writing is an art and dissertation writing in the field of architecture requires a lot of creative skills and appropriate structure. Students studying architecture have minds full of great thoughts and innovative ideas, and to craft an effective dissertation, they just need to put that creativity in words.

Building designs as done through drawings, models, and other visual representations, it will always be an essential component of your education as an architect student. Together with the architectural studio's workspace, design presentations followed by a demanding crit or panel, and the submission of an appropriately crafted portfolio - these are unquestionably the core parts of architectural education.

What is an architecture dissertation?

The architecture dissertation (or thesis) is a chance to exhibit the skills and information you have gained throughout your education. It highlights a specific topic of interest in which you are eager to analyse and evaluate.

The dissertation does not have to have an evident 'use.' Knowledge for the sake of understanding is absolutely legitimate. Architecture students appear to be more concerned with addressing the world's issues and improving things via design than thoroughly comprehending the problem through data collection and analysis. The intention here is not to stifle ambition or well-intentioned research but to conduct adequate analysis in the fields that are not so famous.

How to write a dissertation in architecture design

Dissertation writing can undoubtedly be a daunting job for students, but it's not something to stress about when you have a specific set of structure and skills.

The structure of a dissertation work will most likely fluctuate from person to person, depending on the nature of the undertaking. Several factors influence its structure, including location, purpose, discipline, and approach to the issue itself. On the other hand, the research must adhere to some fundamental principles that are anticipated of a work of academic writing. The sections may intersect or be reduced into a section based on individual needs, and they may also alter depending on the topic being reported.

The step-by-step guide below will assist you in efficiently structuring your dissertation as an architecture and design business student.

Title page

The dissertation's title, identity, faculty, institution, degree programme, submission date, student id, supervisor's name, and logo should all be included on the title page. For the title page, most universities have strict guidelines.


This section is dedicated to thanking instructors and friends who assisted with the project's completion. It is a pretty brief section and shouldn't exceed 100 words.

Table of contents

The table of contents includes a list of all subheadings as well as their page numbers. It can be automatically generated on Microsoft Word. The dissertation contents page provides the reader with an overview of your architectural framework and aids in document navigation.

List of figures and abbreviations

A numeric list of figures or tables used is required for the dissertation's graphical material to be itemised. It can be done automatically in MS Word by using the Insert Caption tool.

When utilising languages other than English, an alphabetised list of abbreviations is required.


Generally, a synopsis of the entire topic is written after completion to offer a start to finish description. The abstract should be designed in such a way that it entices the reader to go deeper into the research issue mentioned in the dissertation.


The introduction establishes the tone for the dissertation and gives the reader an idea of what to expect. The introduction must explain the topic and its background, outline the precise area of the investigation, and demonstrate a social link or the significance of the research into the topic of interest.

The research proposal is the most critical component of the dissertation since it serves as the foundation for the report's structure. The question, as well as the objectives to be covered, must be expressed in the introduction.

Literature review

The first method of analysis that should be undertaken at the start of any type of dissertation is a literature review of prior publications that have covered your particular subject. The study should consist of examining the current item in terms of parallels that may be drawn to construct a specific case, highlight topics that have been overlooked, and build on existing data.

You should not just summarise previous studies in the dissertation literature review chapter or section but rather build a logical framework and argument that contributes to a clear basis or explanation for your own analysis. It might, for example, try to demonstrate how your research:

  • It fills a literature gap
  • adopts a theoretical, conceptual, or methodological approach to the subject
  • Offers a solution to an unsolved issue
  • Contributes to an academic discussion
  • With new data, it enhances and reinforces old Knowledge.

The literature review is frequently used as the foundation for a theoretical framework, which defines and analyses the significant ideas, hypotheses, and models that outline your research. You can address descriptive research questions regarding the relationship between concepts or variables in this area.


This chapter explains how research is carried out. It describes where, when, and how information was collected in order to assess its research validity, the methodology to the subject, strategies of analysing the collected data, the various software used, a comprehensive review of the mechanisms involved, and obstacles encountered, and eventually a rationalisation of the data obtained.

The Methodology section is the most significant component of any dissertation and should include a complete overview of all the processes and procedures used during the research process. In this chapter, a persuasive argument should be created to persuade the reader that the methodologies used to conduct the study appropriately address the research questions in the best way feasible.

Results and Discussion

The results obtained from the study and methodologies used must be reported in this part most exactly and definitively possible. Using tables and figures to provide convincing evidence on how the hypothesis is validated may be a practical approach to this chapter. The results should be actual proof that cannot be speculated at.

This section's prerogative is to investigate the results collected in an exploratory perspective to see whether they successfully answer the research questions and integrate them into the framework of the overall dissertation. This part should also raise further concerns about the ramifications of the results and their consequences. It should also address the limitations of the research.


The conclusion should address the research question explicitly. As a result, the reader should have a thorough comprehension of the study conducted. It should begin with the overarching conclusion, which is then broken down into sections that interpret its significance. The concluding argument should leave the reader with a clear understanding of why this dissertation is essential, as well as provide light on the new material obtained.

References and appendices

In a reference list, you must give complete information about all sources you have referenced. It is critical to have a uniform referencing style. Each style has rigorous and specific standards for how your citations in the reference list should be formatted.

Harvard referencing and Vancouver referencing are the most often adopted styles at UK institutions. Your department will usually tell you the reference style to use. Check the criteria and consult with your supervisor if you are unclear.

Tips to craft effective architecture dissertation

Now that you know how to structure your dissertation, are you still struggling with crafting an architecture dissertation that will definitely get accepted? We will mention some writing tips to lighten your load.

Writing is essential

It may seem apparent for a literary endeavour, but many students put it off much too long. The goal is to get started as soon as possible. It takes time to acquire a new skill, especially if you've spent the previous six years designing rather than writing. Editing takes considerably longer than 'writing.' Do not conduct the research and then write about it. Write as you do your research; after all, there is no research or dissertation without writing.

Choose the topic that you are comfortable with

Consider domains in your field of study in which you are most comfortable. For instance, if you are primarily interested in and intrigued by complex infrastructure, you may begin there. On the other hand, if you are very interested in new technologies and software advances, you may start to consider those ideas.

The more familiar you are with your chosen topic, the more robust your writing will be, and you will be able to approach your architecture dissertation with greater confidence.

Ensure to address all the research questions

Once you've decided on a subject or topic, ensure that your data collecting and investigation will lead you to a conclusion or solution. It will be really frustrating if you are examining a problem that cannot be resolved or concluded. Check to see if you can ask the right questions to elicit information from people and if there are adequate articles on the topic. Is there any historical information that could be useful? What about photos and illustrations? Before deciding on a topic for your architecture dissertation, evaluate how you will do research.



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