About Us

About The Design Ecademy

The Design Ecademy is the brainchild of Maria Flynn, an innovative interior architect / design consultant who specialises in colour & design psychology. Maria’s designs have been showcased in several of Europe’s leading magazines and newspapers, she is author of “Colour Your World” [Rotovision 2001] and she has been featured on TV and radio in the UK and Ireland, where she was the resident “Design Expert” for 6 months (TV3). Maria has also been involved in training and education for over 20 years and she is particularly passionate about Adult Education and E-Learning.


Maria started The Design Ecademy because she was responsible for establishing professional interior design courses in several leading colleges in Ireland. She enjoyed working with Adult Learners and found they were often responsible for producing the best quality work. However, she found that most  traditional colleges focus their efforts and resources on full-time students and merely see adult education as a “side-line”. Adult learners have different needs and mindsets to full-time students and tutors would commonly agree that the teaching and learning experience needed to be re-structured accordingly, but no-one was investing the time and effort to do so. Maria decided to address this by developing courses specifically for Adult Learners to be delivered entirely by E-learning. Hear what she has to say below…

Over the years Maria brought together a group of people with professional experience in a variety of design fields, higher education, writing and even business systems – to create The Design Ecademy. The two things everyone has in common is a passion for design and a desire to positively impact the industry by helping to shape the designers of the future. We all believe that “Nobody becomes excellent overnight, excellence is a habit, and one that can be learnt! Quality training programs should be carefully designed so that they enable students to acquire new skills & knowledge and begin to build the habits of excellence.”


Our first courses became available in 2002 and since then thousands of students have successfully trained to become interior designers, image & fashion stylists, landscape & garden designers and more. We specialise in design courses delivered online by E-learning. If you want to become a designer without going to college full-time, we believe this is THE BEST alternative. So what are you waiting for?

The Design Ecademy is an approved Pearson Edexcel centre and ALL OF OUR COURSES are accredited BTEC qualifications (read further and watch the videos on this page to find out why this is important and what it means to YOU). 


The Design Ecademy is currently the ONLY COLLEGE IN THE WORLD approved to offer BTEC Art & Design qualifications entirely by E-Learning (or distance learning).



At The Design Ecademy, we have invested HUGE amounts of time and resources to have our college and our qualifications accredited by Pearson Edexcel for the following reasons:


REASON 1 - Pearson Edexcel is one of the oldest and one of the largest accrediting bodies in the world. It is regulated by the UK Government and offers qualifications in over 70 countries worldwide – so your qualification will be well known and respected in most countries.


REASON 2 - BTEC qualifications are unique to Edexcel – they are rare qualifications that have been deliberately designed to meet vocational and academic standards:

  • Vocational - BTEC awards are technnical, work related professional qualifications that specifically prepare students to work in a particular industry. For that reason they are highly valued by employers.
  • Academic - BTEC awards also meet all academic accreditation standards so they carry transferable university credits and demonstrate a high level of academic achievement at university/college level.


REASON 3 - BTEC qualifications offer maximum flexibility to colleges and their students. By following very specific, stringent guidelines (as we have done) it is possible to construct courses so that they naturally progress from one level to the next. This means that you can enrol on a HNC course today and if you decide to continue your studies you can immediately progress onto the 2nd stage of a HND without starting again. Similarly, you can progress from a HND and achieve a full BA (Honours) Degree with just one additional year of college.

  • You DO NOT NEED to decide at the outset which path to take – you can build your qualifications as you build your confidence and experience.
  • Furthermore, with our courses you DO NOT NEED any previous experience or qualifications to get started. This is practically unheard of for courses at this level.


Watch the videos below to get a better explanation of what the credit values for HNC and HNC courses mean…


Below we have provided pdf copies of the documents shown in this video for you to download and review:




Below we have provided pdf copies of the documents shown in this video for you to download and review:



At The Design Ecademy we have gone to great lengths to ensure that we are a fully accredited E-Learning college and we are one of a handful of colleges that have been approved to offer Higher Level qualifications entirely online. Each of our online courses is also accredited and has a transferable university credit value that is recognised worldwide. This is the only assurance that your achievements will be recognised academically and professionally (ie. by employers and professional / industry organisations). It’s also vital if you ever want to transfer your credits to another college or if you want your qualifications to be valid in another country. When you are investing your time, money and effort in education, you need to ask the following questions:

  • Is the college itself approved?
  • Is the particular course that you want to study accredited?
  • If so, what is the university credit value?
  • AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, does that accreditation still apply if you are studying by E-Learning?


If you have any questions regarding our credentials or our courses, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Our mission is simple:


Wherever you are in the world, whatever your ambition, whatever your background…if you want to be a designer and you are willing to do the work, we guarantee that we will help you to become one.

At The Design Ecademy we all share a common goal – want to give everyone with a passion for design the opportunity to learn the skills and gain the qualifications necessary to fulfil both their dreams and their potential. We specialise and focus on E-learning because we believe it is THE BEST way for anyone to learn in the 21st century. Training people successfully by E-learning courses requires a totally different approach than that of traditional colleges and we are experts at it.  But we don’t want you to take our word for it – see  what some of our past students have to say below….

What is E-Learning & why are we so passionate about it?


E-Learning stands for Electronic Learning. It is simply a way of learning that uses digital technology to deliver learning materials and tutorials directly to YOU so that you don’t need to go to a classroom at a designated time. E-Learning is the fastest growing method of study in the world today for many reasons, including the following:

  • Never miss a class or lecture & learn at your own pace
  • Get a new career without giving up your existing work or family commitments
  • Benefit from a genuine Equal Opportunity because the lower costs and accessibility make it possible for you to achieve your goals regardless of your education, experience or background


If you want to become a Professional Designer without going to college full-time, we GUARANTEE that you will not find a better option.