Particle reinforced metal matrix composite (MMC) coatings have been developed due to property combinations such as increased hardness, high creep/fatigue resistance as well as superior wear and oxidation resistance. MMC coatings can be produced by various techniques, which include powder metallurgy (plasma spray and HVOF processes), liquid metal processes and electrodeposition. This paper presents the development of the electrodeposition process to obtain nickel-alumina composites. The process conditions were optimized and based on these gradient nickel-alumina composites were prepared. Microstructural characterization and hardness determinations were carried out. The effect of process parameters on the amount and distribution of alumina particles as well as morphology of the deposits with and without alumina gradients are presented and discussed.