Leading Design School in Spain for International Students

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Marbella Design Academy:
Founded in 1995, Marbella Design Academy is a leading international design school in Spain, state-recognised by the Ministry of Education. Our students can choose between 3-year academic studies, a 3-month foundation course, and short intensive summer courses in a range of creative arts and design subjects, taught entirely in English. We offer 3-year Bachelor of Arts - BA (Hons) degree programmes in Interior Architecture, Graphic Design & Fashion Design, awarded by the University of Bedfordshire, UK (These BA degree titles are state-recognised in the UK).

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An Awesome Place to Study:

Photo of Leading Design School in Spain for International StudentsMarbella Design Academy is located in a stunning purpose-built facility in Monda, only 15km from famous Marbella on the Costa del Sol in the South of Spain.

This is a great opportunity for students interested in these career fields to study in English in sunny Spain, at a lower cost than in the UK.

Top Design Education with Quality Job Opportunties: 
•  Our graduates have a near 100% employment rate, and come from all over the world. Many companies contact our college with job offers for 2nd year, 3rd year and graduate students.

•  Marbella Design Academy provide scholarships for up to 30% of the yearly tuition fee. Students can also arrange a payment plan with the Finance Department.

•  We offer an academic level that competes with the best design institutions in the world. Our students also benefit from the family-like atmosphere among students and staff who come from all over the world.

•  Our students graduate as accomplished professional designers, with training in cutting-edge professional procedures, as well as intense IT training in computer programmes used in industrial settings.

•  All tutors are professionals within their respective fields. In addition, the Academy invites specialist designers and guest artists to lecture on a regular basis.

•  We are constantly expanding and improving our curriculum to the latest market demands.

•  Students are prepared for the high level of achievement demanded by the market in any design environment, in terms of presentational quality, aesthetic sensibility and project management.

•  We aim to preserve and foster your individual creativity as well as enhance your artistic and technical skills. The maximum number of places available is 230, so each student receives a great deal of personal attention and one-to-one tuition from their teachers.

3-Year BA (Honours) Degree Courses - Awarded by the University of Bedfordshire, UK:

Image of Leading Design School in Spain for International StudentsThe curricular contents of our 3-year design programmes are designed to meet Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Bologna Process standards for BA level.

Commencing twice a year, in September and January, the programmes are delivered and assessed by Marbella Design Academy, and have been approved and validated by the University of Bedfordshire, UK.

• Interior Architecture & Design
• Graphic Design & Media
• Fashion Design & Manufacture

On successful completion of our Fashion Design, Interior Architecture, or Graphic Design course, you will be awarded an Official BA (Hons) Degree by the University of Bedfordshire, UK. Your degree is worth 360CP in the U.K. = 180 ECTS points.

Classes are held in small groups, thus allowing plenty of teacher-student interaction.

3- Month Intensive Foundation Course - Starts in June & September:
Providing an excellent introduction to the world of Art & Design, our foundation course is primarily designed for students who do not fulfil the entry requirements for the validated programmes in Interior Architecture, Graphic Design or Fashion Design.

All the basic design tools are taught at beginner level in order to prepare you to enter the 3-year validated design programme. International students can enter on a Tourist Visa, which is valid for 3 months.

Our foundation course is held twice a year, starting in June and September.

Free Spanish Classes:
Students have the option of learning Spanish alongside their design course. Spanish classes are held 2 times per week after tuition hours during the academic year in all 3 years. The Spanish classes are voluntary.

It is great to be able to speak Spanish. It is also a lifetime investment and far easier to learn while you are here in Spain.

Exhibition to Showcase Your Talent:

Twice per year, in June and in December, we hold an EXPO and graduation party that showcases the students’ work produced during the academic year. The exhibited projects are judged by the press and media, as well as by seasoned industry professionals.

The standard of the students’ work is extremely high and the students are often headhunted for interesting employment positions by local and international companies.

Intensive Summer Courses:
Our 2, 3 or 5 week summer courses include: 3D MAX; AutoCad; Illustrator; Photoshop; InDesign; Photography; 3D Printing; Screen Print; Fashion Design, Interior Decoration & more. 

Some courses have been created to include a combination of these aforementioned skills (for example ‘Photoshop + Indesign’ or ‘Photography + Photoshop’).

State-Recognized Design School:

Marbella Design Academy is state-recognized by the Ministry of Education - Junta de Andalucia in Spain. Our 3-year validated design programmes lead to BA (Hons) degrees that are approved and validated by the University of Bedfordshire, UK. 

The Marbella Design Academy was awarded the Costa del Sol Business Award 2009, for being the best integrated foreign institution in Andalucia.

As the Marbella Design Academy is state-recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Education, students from most countries offering grant schemes can obtain grants to study at our Academy.

Our Mission:

Photos of Marbella Design Academy•  At Marbella Design Academy, we are committed to providing a stimulating and complete design education that can meet the latest market demands, leading to a well sought after and rewarding profession. 

•  We aim to develop and support individual creativity and nurture artistic skills, in a friendly and relaxed learning environment that is challenging yet supportive of your personal and academic needs during your studies.

•  We help you to develop all the necessary skills you need to solve the wide variety of real-life design challenges that are faced by professional designers today. 

•  In addition, we prepare you for the ever-increasing demands of the market, with regard to quality of presentation, style, ergonomics, aesthetics, and psychology relating to the design environment.

• The Academy is dedicated to fostering individual success of its students and their development as responsible and well-informed citizens of the world and professionals of their chosen fields.

•  Graduates have a near 100% employment rate, a clear indication of the quality of education they have received.

To achieve this, Marbella Design Academy strives to:

•  Provide students with a programme designed to offer comprehensive and balanced knowledge incorporated within an intellectually demanding study scheme, allowing them to evolve towards assuming a professional position in continuous evolution within their chosen field of practice.

•  Provide students with well-honed practical capacities and in depth understanding of the realities of ever-changing technology within their discipline, assuring permanent growth of their resourcefulness and creativity.

•  To provide students with in depth training on the commercial aspects of their chosen profession, in order to allow them to exploit the acquired capacities and knowledge.

•  To provide students with the opportunity to develop transferable skills referring to communication, self-management, time management and problem solving, as well as a comprehension of the complexity of human relations both in a social and personal context within this and other professional fields.

Introductory Video to Marbella Design Academy:

Student Reviews / Testimonials:

Picture of Leading Design School in Spain for International Students•  Fashion Design Student:  Lauriane L'Eplattenier (Switzerland)
"I have learnt a lot about fashion, from the drawing classes to developing clothes collections to the actual sewing and finishing, but also all about Marketing, fashion show presentation and even jewellery making.

I really like studying at this school because we have no creative restrictions and the opportunity to experiment and create exactly what we want."

•  Graphic Design Student: Kate McLoughlin (USA)
"This school is very supportive of international students, the scenery is a great inspiration and Marbella Design Academy has really opened my eyes about being on your own and working hard to achieve your goals."

•  Interior Architecture Student:  Miriam (Sweden)
"My dream has always been to move to Spain and I have always been interested in interior design, so I wanted to combine my two interests.

The best thing about studying in Spain apart from the good weather is that you get to meet new people and learn a new culture."

•  Graphic Design Student:  Lana Yasmin Kaka (Spain / England)
"Marbella Design Academy is more than a place of education, it is an all-round experience. There is an amazing atmosphere surrounding you putting you into a creative place that inspires you to get on with your work.

As we are only a small number it´s easy to get to know every student and I have made friendships here that I know I will keep a long time into the future. To me Marbella Design Academy, is not just a college, we are a family."

•  Graphic Design Student:  Ricardo Abrantes (Portugal)
"I think that the Academy is great for those who want a friendly environment, and whether they are far from home you feel integrated with all students and teachers as everyone treats you equally.

The international students also influence each other and allow us to be more open in our creativity. The tranquility within the Academy creates all the inspirations you need."

•  Graphic Design Student:  Malin Stromblad (Sweden)
"I have learned a lot already. Sympathetic teachers! And an incredible study environment."

•  Interior Architecture Student:  Nicola Geldart (South Africa)
"Being in an international environment really provides the students with a dynamic atmosphere. I've really enjoyed learning things from other people's viewpoints. I'm excited to see what is coming next of projects and lectures for me as a new student at the Academy!"

•  Graphic Design Student with Special Needs:  Lisbeth (Denmark)
"I am 21 years old, have muscular dystrophy and am therefore permanently in a wheelchair. Just over a month ago I moved to southern Spain to study graphic design at the Marbella Design Academy.

The reason for choosing Marbella Design Academy was that I really wanted to travel and I would like to study something creative. In this way I can do both, simultaneously. Marbella Design Academy is a school where students and teachers are from around the world, but I am the first and only one sitting in a wheelchair.

We have different courses that challenge our creativity such as freehand drawing, photography and the various computer programs. The atmosphere at school is very open, all are friendly towards each other."

Modern Academy in the sunny South of Spain:

Images of Marbella Design AcademyThe Academy is located in our beautiful purpose-built facility in Monda, a charming, typically Spanish village, only 15km from Marbella, in the South of Spain. The academy is only a three-minute walk from the town centre.

Monda is surrounded by beautiful Spanish countryside and has many cosy restaurants and bars. It offers a variety of local leisure opportunities, such as hiking, horse riding, football, motor cross, basketball, Spanish guitar classes, and flamenco dancing to mention just a few. 

In nearby Coín and Marbella, you will find even more leisure facilities. There are regular buses to Marbella, a picturesque, lively and cosmopolitan city famous for its nightlife, jet-set living, beautiful beaches and mountains.

Public transport is also available from Monda to other nearby cities and villages. Southern Spain has the best weather in Europe with an average of more than 330 warm and sunny days a year.

Facilities & Support:
Marbella Design Academy offers a wide range of modern facilities to the students. The Academy helps and supports all students with accommodation and non-European students with their paperwork to obtain student visas.

Special needs students (individuals with a physical disability) are welcome. As the Marbella Design Academy building has been designed according to the latest requirements for a modern Design Academy, it fulfils all the needs of wheelchair users. Students can easily move around in the building and in the connected restaurant.

Accommodation & Living Costs:
The Academy works with students to assist them in finding suitable accommodation. Students mainly live in rented apartments in Marbella or Monda, where it is very easy to rent furnished accommodation.

It is cheaper to find accommodation in Monda (around 400€ per month for a house with 2 rooms/bathrooms, less than 5 minutes walk from the school). On other everyday expenses, you can live comfortably for around 300€ per month.

Entry Requirements:

The minimum age for application is 17 years old. Our students are between 17 and 40 years of age, with the average age being around 23 years old.

To be eligible for entry, you require a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification. However, an exception to this rule may be made if you have completed the Foundation Course offered by Marbella Design Academy.

Updated: 2023-11-27

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Address: Camino Hoyanca, Monda, Marbella, Spain
Some interested visitors submitting program inquiries to our school up to 2023-11-22 were from:

Italy; Sweden; and more.