The Academy

Our Academy

At the North West Academy, you will receive guidance on every aspect of your stay, from accommodation to English class, from work placement to induction.

Receive a personalised service from our staff members to ensure you make the most of your experience!

The NW Academy is accredited by the British Council, Accreditation UK, and ISO 9001 quality assurance scheme, and is an exam centre for Cambridge and Trinity exams. We also offer Secure English Language Test (SELT) preparation courses for students who require these qualifications for VISA purposes.

We are based in a large, modern building, close to the city centre. The building was designed by RIBA Awards 2015 Royal Gold Medal winners O’Donnell + Tuomey and was awarded the 2nd place in the 2011 Stirling Prize for Architecture. We are excited to offer a variety of campus-style amenities, such as an onsite café, student lounge, IT area, book-lending facility, and 9 fully equipped, modern classrooms. We also have access to a large hall which can be used for a range of events including theatre and dance performances, concerts and conferences. It can also be used as an assembly point for students, a facility for social activities, and a venue for student inductions and meetings. The building as a whole provides students with a comfortable, welcoming environment in which to study English, relax with friends or simply have a cup of coffee while listening to live Irish music.

The safety of your child is our top priority. To this end, we follow the safeguarding policies put in place by law and we have a friendly and reassuring environment where they feel safe and welcome. All staff have been police checked to ensure their suitability to work with children and vulnerable adults. Staff are also trained to the latest safeguarding requirements and key personnel are qualified to at least Level 2 Safeguarding Training.

We hope to see you here soon!


At the North West Academy, we recruit year-round for our Freelance Teacher Register. We require a minimum of a CELTA or equivalent from all our applicants, and experience is preferred but not essential. If you have the necessary qualifications and are interested in applying, or if you would like more information, please contact us using one of the methods listed below:

North West Academy of English, 37 Great James St., Derry, BT48 7DF
E: [email protected] T:+44 28 7137 0773

Meet the Staff

Find out about the staff at North West Academy

John McGowan
Managing Director

I meet new people every day and the buzz is fantastic. It’s the best job in the world, helping people learn a new language and sharing my culture

Francesca Giacomini
Director of Marketing and Operations

I love constantly feeling challenged by the thrill of sharing rewarding experiences with students from all around the world.

Clare Heaney
Director of Studies

In terms of my role, developing and implementing the educational philosophy of the school and promoting a culture of best practice provides me with the most satisfaction

Dan Dilgoci
Office Manager

The North West Academy is a great place to work. There is a dynamic atmosphere, and I really feel I can empathise with our students as I came here as a student myself. I understand the difficulties they might face and enjoy helping them to achieve great results.   Working here challenges me and allows me to develop my skills on many different levels.

Eleanor Ausenhus
Assistant Director of Studies

The thing I like most about my job is the variety it offers – every day brings new challenges and experiences, which means you never get bored!  I also love having the opportunity to meet people from other countries and learn more about their culture.

Konrad Radlak
Marketing and Project Coordinator

I started my adventure with North West Academy as a client, as I liked both the atmosphere of the school and the work carried out by a highly professional team, I decided to move to Derry and to become a part of the team. Luckily, they agreed to have me here! My job provides me with a lot of opportunities to meet new people from different countries, which I really enjoy. It is never boring here and I feel very privileged to be a member of NWA’s staff.

Marta Wawryn
Marketing Assistant

I’ve worked in the school since 2014. I am from Poland, but I have been living in Derry since 2007. I liked the idea of living close to the sea and the countryside with beautiful views. I enjoy meeting new people every day and I understand how daunting it is to come to a different country with a limited knowledge of the language. I believe that it is important to provide as much support as possible to our students to ensure they get the maximum possible out of their stay.

Joanne Murphy
Business Development Officer

My role at the North West Academy is great because it gives me the opportunity to build relationships with both local business in Derry and our international partners.  Every group of students is completely different and it always nice to meet new people who are enthusiastic about their time in Derry.  It’s also great to see how local businesses in Derry embrace our students and give them an opportunity to develop their skills while they are here

Chris McGowan
Accommodation and Logistics Officer

Working at the North West Academy is an amazing opportunity. Every day we have the privilege of interacting with people from all over the world and helping them to develop on a personal and professional level. The people I work with are helpful and friendly, and I am so proud to be part of a great team!

Noel Christy
Business Development Officer

The North West Academy is not only a great place to work but also study. My role here gives me the opportunity to be part of the development of the company by researching and identifying new markets and partners. It also allows me to be part of the development of the students’ skills and abilities. Having lived in Spain for a number of years I understand how important travel, meeting new people and experiencing other cultures is to your personal development and it’s great to be able to share in those experiences with others.

Michael McGowan
Business Development Officer

I began my journey with the NW Academy in 2015 when I worked as the Social Coordinator during the Summer School. In this role, I was lucky to work first hand with students from numerous different backgrounds and nationalities. Due to this experience I developed my professional abilities. After graduating from University I was happy to return to the school where I was offered a job as part of the Business Development team.  I am enjoying my role which provides me with both the opportunity to grow the business and to meet new clients.

Diane Divin
English Language Tutor

I really enjoy my job. I have a keen interest in the English language and I am fortunate to share this interest with the students who come to the Academy.  I enjoy helping the students improve and grow in confidence with the added advantage of learning about their culture too. My job is exciting, rewarding and challenging and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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