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Teaching & Support Team

Pauline Riley


Following an early career in fashion design with her own successful label, Pauline’s passion for interior design developed from extensive business interests in property development, using interior design as an effective way of making buildings more attractive.

Having investigated other training opportunities at that time, she set up the Academy to ensure that training was available to all. She has steered the Academy expertly, ensuring that all courses have academic rigour and are recognised internationally whilst remaining relevant to the practical application of modern interior design.

She is adamant that learning should be fun. Her design skills have been applied to a multi-award-winning high-quality apartment complex close to the Academy.

Andrea Bedworth-Cook


Andrea’s professional career began in the creative industries with the study of fashion and accessory design and manufacture, followed by a short time employed in the footwear industry alongside designing and creating leather goods to commission.

Now with many years’ experience in post-compulsory education, having fulfilled a diverse range of technical, teaching and management roles, she has been involved in the development, delivery and quality assurance of a wide range of courses at Further and Higher Education level, and encompassing Adult and Community Learning. Subject areas have included the Arts, Design, Social Science and Engineering.

Andrea is a qualified teacher and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and in addition to a variety of creative qualification, she holds a Master of Business Administration Degree (MBA).

Having personally benefited from the availability of alternative non-traditional study, Andrea is an advocate for widening participation in education and is committed to helping students to reach their full potential through access to high-quality, flexible and stimulating courses.

Dr Anthony Rayworth RCA


Dr Anthony Rayworth RCA holds a PhD from Staffordshire University, a Master of Design Degree from the Royal College of Art, London and is Director of Design Studies at the National Design Academy. He has over 30 years of international experience in interior design and garden design education, exhibition curating, decorative arts management and design practice.

Anthony is a Freeman of the City of London, an Educator Member of the British Institute of Interior Design and a Member of the European Academy of Design, previously sitting on the Education Committee of the Society of Garden Designers and the Education and Membership Committees of the British Institute of Interior Design. He is an Accredited Lecturer for The Arts Society with extensive experience in lecturing and speaking to a broad range of audiences.

Anthony’s PhD thesis “Investigating the phenomenology of design objects within a specific environment” is located at the confluence of interior design, curatorial practice and phenomenology; extending and applying phenomenology as a tool for interrogating the presentation of objects, examining how such presentations may change the meaning of both object and context, and articulating considerations initiated as a result of such investigation. A virtual exhibition was developed to accompany and visually communicate propositions raised within the thesis.

Meet The Tutor Team

Every NDA student has a Personal Tutor to guide them through their qualification. You have unlimited access to your tutor and can contact them by email, telephone, Skype or in-person as often as you wish.
Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm UK Time.

Simone Haley

Senior Tutor

Simone graduated from Birmingham City University with a BA (Hons) and a Masters in Interior Design. She then went on to study at Derby University and gained her Graduate Professional Diploma Teaching in the Life Long Learning Sector. Since then she has worked within Residential and Hospitality interiors and taught interior design within college and adult education.

She also enjoys developing her creative skill set and has completed projects in branding and advertising. Her personal interests in Interior Design include micro-living and multifunctional spaces as well as keeping up to date with the latest designs across the discipline. Simone currently teaches on the BA Degree and Masters in Interior Design.

Amy Payler-Carpenter

Senior Tutor

Amy graduated from NTU with a BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture and Design. Before joining the NDA she was the sole interior designer at a Nottingham practise that specialised in residential and commercial projects. Amy later gained an MA in Art History which has allowed her to combine her passion for interior design with her love of art and heritage. Throughout her time in industry, Amy has developed a strong skill set including CAD, freehand drawing and presentation. Having worked at the Academy since 2013, Amy has become increasingly passionate about the student journey, and is proud to be part of the lives of those starting in the industry.

Sarah Yazji

Senior Tutor

Sarah graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture & Design and went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Art & Design from the University of Wolverhampton.

After graduating, for the next ten years, Sarah moved to Dubai and worked as an Interior Designer in several Interior Design Studios. During this time she worked on a variety of projects in the hospitality, residential and commercial sectors, covering parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

She is fluent in AutoCAD and Photoshop and currently teaches NDA students on the BA (Hons) and Master’s degree in Interior Design.

Alison Grace-Gahan

Senior Tutor

Qualified & experienced in Art/Design, Interior Design and Project management. Involved in a number of architectural and design fields including, residential, commercial, hotel, leisure, medical, aged care, conservation, retail and correctional facilities.

Along with a wealth of experience, Alison has gained International exposure working on projects in Ireland, UK, Europe, Australia & Dubai thus strengthening her understanding of the industry, design trends and developments.

Alison strengths are not only in design but in the sociology of people and how they work, live and learn. Alison is passionate about introducing, nurturing, and encouraging creativity through design projects, design writing and design tutoring.

Stephen Matthewman-Knowles


Stephen graduated from Teesside University with a BA (Hons) Degree in Interior Architecture and Design, and before joining the NDA, Stephen spent 15 years working in the design industry. His experience covers a number of different design disciplines, but having spent a number of years working for luxury brand Clive Christian, he specialises in high-end residential projects. Stephen continues to work on projects as a freelance consultant, challenging others to achieve results that go beyond expectation.

Throughout his time in the industry, Stephen has gained a proficient knowledge base that includes CAD, Photoshop and both technical and freehand drawing. He has also developed a strong understanding of genres within both historical and contemporary design.

Stephen has always been passionate about design and relishes in sharing his enthusiasm with others. Whatever level of experience someone has with design, Stephen is committed to helping them to improve and facilitating them reaching their full potential.

Sarah Watts


Sarah has come from a retail training background with over 10 years experience in management. During this time she was responsible for training and developing teams with in-depth product knowledge while providing excellent customer service. Sarah completed both the Diploma in Professional Interior Design and the Diploma in Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings. Following her outstanding performance, she became a tutor at the NDA. She graduated from the Foundation Degree in Interior Design in 2010 – with a Distinction – which gives her excellent insight into her role, heading the Diploma in Interior Design course.

Andreia Vidas


Andreia graduated with a BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design from Nottingham Trent University after completing a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Previous studies also encompass a Foundation Diploma in Conservation and Restoration of Paintings which widen her interest in art history and heritage design.

Since graduating, Andreia has worked on a variety of projects in the workplace, healthcare and heritage sectors in the UK, working in both architectural and interior design studios in London and Lincoln. Her experience and passion for traditional and contemporary designs prompt her to pass on that knowledge to future designers and help them strive in their studies and grow in the design industry. Andreia is fluent in AutoCAD, Sketchup, Revit, Indesign and Photoshop.

She currently tutors students in both Foundation and BA Degrees in Interior Design, Retail Design and Heritage Design.

Gill Lotter


Graduating from the English Gardening School (EGS) with Distinction and 3rd prize in 1999, Gill has a solid background in garden design and education. In addition to tutoring the distance learning courses at EGS, she delivered HNC Garden Design and Level 2 Horticulture at Pershore College and Moreton Morrell for a number of years.

In private practice, she has worked on a wide range of projects, from large rural gardens of several acres to small town courtyards. Her passion is for Garden Design Consultation, thereby rendering good design accessible to all.

Dalia Hanno


Dalia graduated from Alexandria University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture. Her passion for Design resulted in her involving herself in various Architectural projects as well as being part of the Interior Design team. Projects covered most parts of the Middle East and both residential and commercial sectors for over ten years.

During this time, she developed a great passion for teaching, specializing in the commercial side of the Interior Design process and conducting Design Software workshops. Her other interests include Art painting with both oil and acrylic, which complements her Interior Design work and adds to its creativity.

Molly Johnson


As a BA (Hons) graduate in Interior Architecture & Design from Nottingham Trent University, Molly has since gained valuable, creative experience as an Assistant Designer for a commercial interiors and product design company, as well as working as a Stylist prior to being an Interior Design Tutor with The National Design Academy.

With a personal minimalist design approach and an advocate of “less is more”, Molly is a conceptual and contemporary thinker. She strives to encourage students and future designers to identify their individual design style, ensuring distinctiveness within their work.

Molly currently teaches on both the Diploma and Degree courses and is software proficient in Rhino3D, SketchUp, AutoCAD, and the entirety of the Adobe Creative Suite.

Ellie Langlands


Ellie graduated from De Monfort University with a BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture and Spatial Design. During the 4 year degree she completed a year in industry, specialising in Office fit out, commercial design and refurbishments. Being involved in projects ranging from large scale office HQ’s to Schools and Academies. Ellie then went on to complete a Master’s Degree at Nottingham Trent University in Interior Architecture where she discovered her interest for teaching.

Her strengths lie in CAD software, being efficient in the Adobe Suite, AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp and rendering software such as V-Ray, Enscape and Lumion. She has a strong passion for graphic design and presentational layout.

Ellie realised she had a passion for teaching when she would often be asked to help support classmates in assignments, offering much needed support and guidance. Following through with her interest Ellie joined us at the NDA fulfilling her teaching passion and is looking forward to guiding new students through their studies.

Carla Newman


Carla graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a 1st Class BA (Hons) Degree in Interior Architecture and Design. Throughout the 4-year sandwich program, Carla gained invaluable industry experience when working for an award-winning design agency in London, which also earned her a Diploma in Professional Practice.

After graduation, Carla further expanded her industry knowledge by becoming a Designer for Brand Environments, specialising in the retail sector. It was during this time that Carla discovered her passion for branding, eventually leading her to become a freelance graphic designer where she created visual identities for small retail and e-commerce businesses.

A passion for teaching sparked when Carla worked as an Assistant Teacher for younger students. Carla loved the idea of mentoring students and unlocking their creative potential. Pursuing her interest for advising students, Carla has blended her Interior Design industry knowledge with her love for teaching by joining us at NDA as a tutor.

Carla is software proficient in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Vectorworks 2D & 3D and Cinema 4D.

Martin Nealon


Martin originally trained as a technical illustrator but early on in his career decided to follow his passion for interior design; he built a successful business specialising in high end domestic and commercial projects in the UK, France and Switzerland.

To bring his skillset up to date Martin has recently completed a BA (Hons) in Interior Design in London. He specialised in 3D interior and architectural rendering and went on to complete a BA (Hons) Design for Outdoor Living with the NDA.

Based on his experience within the interior design industry spanning almost thirty years and more recent study within the University environment, he has an extensive knowledge of practical design and application and also the academic requirements of a University setting.

Martin has a passion for interior and exterior design and wants to encourage and support students to learn and progress to achieve their full potential.

Marc Hagerty


Marc graduated from De Montfort University in Leicester with a First Class BA (Hons) Degree in Interior Architecture and Design. Marc’s experience covers a number of different disciplines including restaurant, office, retail, exhibition and residential design.

Specialising in Multi – Generational design at University, Marc has a strong passion for helping people with varying abilities, impairments and aging to become more equalised by using the strengths of interior design to support their daily activities.

Before setting up his own business 20 years ago, Marc managed a multi-disciplined design studio in the Lace market in Nottingham. Marc now provides tutoring for Interior Design students at the Diploma level.

Emma Ashton


Emma graduated Middlesex University, London with a BA (Hons) in Interior Design, followed by an MA in Interiors (Architecture and Design) – pushing the boundaries of experience through exploring contradicting themes.  

Before that, Emma completed an Extended Diploma in Art and Design gaining skills and knowledge surrounding photography, printmaking, textiles and graphics. Over the years she has gained experience with using software programmes such as Vector works, SketchUp, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.   

She loves the idea of pushing design thinking forward by exploring the limits to a design in a conceptual and factual manner. Understanding the theory and interpretations behind something before manifesting this in a physical and practical sense.  

Emma currently tutors students at a range of levels from Diploma to Degree. With the aim to help unlock creativity, originality and confidence within a student’s approach and experience of the design world.

Megan Howells


Starting from a Business & Administration background working as an office manager for an engineering company Meg started to develop her career within the interior design industry when completing her interior design diploma with the NDA. This then progress to Meg graduating with a BA (Hons) Heritage Interior Design and is now undertaking her Masters Interior Design degree with NDA.

Alongside her interior design studies, Meg has completed social media and digital marketing courses to enhance her knowledge and skills in business brand design and marketing and her Level 3 Award in Education and Training (RQF) to allow her to develop a career within the academic area of interior design to share her passion with for both education and design with students.

Meg is a freelance interior designer with a specialised area in Heritage Interior design. With over 15 years of experience, Meg also designs and makes bespoke soft furnishings including small upholstery projects. Meg has a passion for creativity and arts and crafts including creative writing with 5 pieces of her work published across 5 books of anthologies.

Through her own academic and career-changing journey, Meg understands the student journey of online learning while sustaining a work and family life alongside its challenges and is passionate about inspiring students to develop and grow with their own passion.

Ruth Abela


Lucy Cullen


Lucy studied foreign languages at Brighton University and then pursued a career in international banking, enjoying a variety of roles including Client Experience Manager where she was responsible for analysing complaints and running customer satisfaction surveys and focus groups.

This role has left Lucy with a strong understanding of customer journeys and a passion for delivering outstanding customer service.

When an opportunity arose for Lucy to leave the corporate world behind she embraced the chance of a complete change and commenced her studies with the NDA, completing the Diploma in Professional Interior Design before moving on to the BA Hons Degree.

Lucy now tutors on the Diploma course and enjoys engaging with the students throughout their studies. Lucy is passionate about reducing waste in the interiors industry & loves to include vintage pieces in her designs, encouraging clients to mix old and new to create their own unique style.

Bilquees Nestor


Bilquees graduated from Kingston University with a BA Hons in Interior Design. Bilquees has had experience in retail and pop up Interior Design. She was a part of a small team who were asked by a charity called the Young Foundation to design and fabricate a pop up ‘mobile’ interior for one of their ventures called The “U”- A citizen’s university. The design and finished product were successful in that it featured in Blueprint magazine and won the ‘Best Pavilion’ title at the 2012 Free Range exhibition in London.

She is fluent in Photoshop Indesign and Vectorworks 2d and 3d. She very much enjoys Design in Detail, photography and producing excellent presentations. Bilquees tutors students on the Interior design Diploma course.

Odette Maine


Odette began as a Visual Merchandiser and Interior Stylist working with one of the UK’S leading retailers. She has a BA in Graphic Design and a Master of Interior Design Degree from Suffolk University, Boston, USA.

Odette worked for several years as a Designer and Project Coordinator for design firms in the UK and USA. Her design experience covers Retail Design, Residential, Hospitality and Workplace Interiors. Odette’s interest includes Universal Design and the design issue of ageing in place.

She has previously taught workshops covering Sketchup, Artlantis and AutoCAD. Odette tutors students on the Masters, BA and Diploma courses.

Caroline Walsh


Caroline Graduated with a BA honours in Interior Architecture and Design from Nottingham Trent University which combines interior design and Architecture in the repurposing of existing buildings.

Caroline has worked for several companies including architect’s practices as an interior designer. Whilst studying at Nottingham Trent University for her Certificate In Education and working at a local college as a design teacher Caroline set up her own craft textile business which she runs in evenings and weekends.

She has an interest in photography, craft, sustainable design and using contemporary architecture to enhance old buildings. She is fluent in AutoCAD, Sketchup, Photoshop, illustrator and Indesign.

Meet The Student Services Team

We also have a dedicated Student Support and Administration Team to help deal with any other queries such as payments, student loans advice and anything else you may need a helping hand with.
Our Student Helpline is available Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm UK Time.

Kelly Rawson

Student Services Manager

Christine Shaw

Senior Admissions Officer

Carl Oxborough

Admissions Officer

Julie Woodhouse

Customer Service Officer

Elaine Murray

Student Support Advisor

Frances Pearson

Student Support Advisor

Wendy McBain

Student Services Advisor

Emma Boultby

Student Finance Advisor

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