Author ORCID Identifier


Document Type

Theses, Masters


5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, *pedagogy, Other social sciences, 6.4 ART

Publication Details

A thesis submitted to Dublin Institute of Technology in part fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Masters (M.A.) in Higher Education by Michelle Lalor August 2017.


This research focuses on how students with dyslexia experience and manage their situation on the BA Visual Merchandising and Display (VM&D) programme in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Dyslexia is an issue of growing importance for higher education with increasing numbers disclosing a specific learning difficulty. Under Irish law, Higher Education Institutes are legally responsible for providing an inclusive and accommodated environment for students learning with disabilities. One in every ten students in higher education is learning with dyslexia. Despite a lot of research on the effects of dyslexia, there is limited research on students’ feelings and experiences in higher education learning and particularly in the art and design field. This research addresses the gap in the literature by putting forth views and perspectives of students with dyslexia on the VM&D programme. This case study investigation is to discover effective strategies which will empower dyslexic students on the VM&D programme in their learning. It examines five dyslexic visual merchandising degree students’ experiences in DIT by using semi-structured interviews. The dyslexic students interviewed all provided different accounts of their learning on the VM&D programme.

I set out three questions in my research aims which underpinned my interview questions. These were:

  • What are the academic impacts of dyslexia?
  • What are the emotional impacts of dyslexia?
  • What strategies can the students see as ways to help/improve their learning experience on the VM&D programme?

The findings that I present reveal how students experienced school and higher education. The emotional impact of dyslexia was prevalent throughout the interview. The experiences of supports throughout their learning journey in school and higher education factored heavily.



No funding was received for this work.