Shaw Academy Review

Want to learn coding, marketing, or understand the basics of photography? Today there are many options of how to get such skills online and your task is to find the best source to get the information. One of the popular online platforms is Shaw Academy. 

So, if you are wondering whether this company is a good provider of online courses or if you haven’t heard at all about them, keep reading this Shaw Academy review.

4Expert Score
Better to avoid

Deceptive canceling membership policy makes it an untrustworthy learning provider.

  • Having some good courses (especially on marketing and photography)
  • Mobile app
  • The membership cancelation process is quite hard
  • Classes are pre-recorded with no option to pause, rewind, skip etc.
  • No practical exercises to hone your skills or get feedback
  • Customer service doesn’t properly respond

Best Shaw Academy Alternatives

Best alternative to learn Digital Photography
Best alternative to learn Web development
Best alternative to learn Marketing

What is Shaw Academy?

It is an online company that started its business in 2012. It has headquarters in Dublin and offices in the US, South Africa, and India. Today, the company offers more than 100 courses in 7 languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese).

How Does Shaw Academy work?

On the website, you can choose a course which you like to complete, and then, you sign up and pay for it. This company has a pricing model when a customer buys a monthly subscription and gets access to all courses.

Each course has 4 modules of approximately 4 weeks to finish. After enrolling to a course, you will need to attend online classes (2 interactive classes per week at the time you choose) and complete weekly assignments. After the completion of all modules, you will have a final assignment and after passing it, you can get your certificate.

Shaw Academy Courses

The company has a diverse list of topics you can learn. Among them are language learning, marketing, design, technology, and even health wellness.

Shaw Academy Marketing Courses

On the website, you can find courses on digital marketing, creative writing, SEO, and social media marketing, content marketing, and viral marketing.

The most popular one is the Shaw Academy Digital Marketing course with almost 500,000 graduates. 

This course covers different online marketing channels like content marketing, SMM, SEO, email marketing, paid advertising, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, and more. It also reveals basic topics like defying the target audience and KPIs, and creating a digital marketing strategy.

What makes this course worth considering, is that they also explain how to do marketing for an eCommerce business which is not so widespread among marketing courses.

The course consists of 4 modules, from beginner to advanced topics with a total duration of 16 weeks.

Shaw Academy Business & Analytics Courses

Under this category, you can find quite diverse courses like Leadership & Management, How To Start A Business, Diploma In Project Management, Data Analytics, Probability & Statistical Analysis, Excel and some others.

Leadership & Management

This is the most popular course under the Business & Analytics category. It is focused on building soft skills like better communication, team building, strategic thinking, management during a crisis.

This course might be good for people who have just become managers or for those who are not managers but what to improve some communication and planning skills.

Data Analytics Course 

Big Data and Data Analytics Training Course

This is a short 4-week class covering the main topics of working with data. This course is a brief overview of R as one of the main programming languages for data analysis and Tableau as a widespread tool for data visualization.

This course covers basic statistical concepts like probability, explains such concepts as linear and logistic regression. It also provides an introduction to R for data cleaning and visualization and Tableau (functions, segmentation, what-if scenarios) to build basic dashboards for visualizing business data; also, it shows how to integrate R and Tableau. It also includes basic Excel-related topics.

Shaw Academy Technology Courses

This category includes basic and more narrowed-down topics on software development. Here, you can find such courses as Coding & Computer Science, Web Design, Web Development, Python Programming, React JS, and even Coding For Kids.

Shaw Academy Web Design

This is the most popular course on the platform with over 500,000 graduates. It includes a number of introductory topics and then, it explains such topics as HTML, CSS and mobile-first design principles, working with WordPress. The central part of the course is creating websites with Boostrap.

The duration is 16 weeks while consisting of 4 modules.

Shaw Academy Web Development

This is also a popular course under the Technology category with almost 200,000 graduates.

It covers both front-end and back-end development topics and shows the basics of JavaScript, PHP, Bootstrap, JQuery, and AJAX. The course also explains what is object-oriented programing (on PHP and JS), how to work with a server, relational database management systems (SQL) and some other topics.

The course takes 16 weeks to complete.

Shaw Academy Photography 

This is the main category of this e-learning provider with the highest number of graduates. It includes such courses, as general Photography course, iPhone & Android Photography, Video Editing And Production, Wedding Photography, Adobe Lightroom, and Online Photoshop.

The central general 16-week course on Photography begins with the basics: how to control the camera, what composition, apertures, shutter speeds, etc are. Then, the course proceeds to such topics as phototypes (portraits, landscapes and so on). Finally, it explains how to edit photos and how to create a portfolio.

This course has over 1,500,000 and is the most popular among users of Shaw Academy.

Shaw Academy Pricing

The company has only one pricing option when you pay a fixed fee per month. The cost is $69.99/mo.

If you are new, you can start a free 4-week trial before paying for the courses. However, you can do this only after filling in your payment information.

Right now, Shaw Academy doesn’t offer any discounts for their subscription.

Shaw Academy Reviews

After some online research on websites like Quora, Reddit, and Trustpilot, you may found tons of negative reviews. The main reason is their cancelation process which is very hard and customers often found that after a 4-week free trial they have been charged without prior notice. There is positive feedback on the content itself but the cancelation issues make using Shaw Academy quite a negative experience.

Here are some of negative Shaw Academy reviews just to back up what has been mentioned above.

“I got scammed by Shaw Academy for two month’s worth of subscription charges I NEVER SIGNED UP FOR and in the process of trying to get my $ back. Flagged the charges as unauthorized with PayPal and emailed them.”

“I had a terrible experience with Shaw Academy. The day after I signed up for the free trial, I checked my bank account and they had made FOUR unauthorized transactions from my bank account. I emailed about the transactions, and the company stated I signed up for the “premium membership” when I only singed up for the trial After three emails with offers from the company (six months free membership, worth “$399″, etc.).”

“The content that they provide seems like it would be of a decent quality and that’s what initially prompted me to investigate further by signing up for the free trial. Having said that, the confusing nature of their subscription structures, the fact that it seems to be designed to trap and trick people into paying for things they didn’t intend to, and the manner in which their customer service team deals with customers, all add up to a fairly unpleasant experience.”

Additionally, you can read this article about Shaw Academy by The Guardian.

Tips How to Sign up for a Free Trial Safely

Since Shaw Academy has some decent content to offer, you still might want to try it at no cost. Thus, here are tips on how to stay safe when signing up for Shaw Academy:

  1. Use a debit/prepaid card with no money on it (just $1-5 for card verification) when subscribing for a free trial.
  2. To cancel the subscription, you have to call them (since it can be hard to get to them, try the US number as it seems to accept more calls than the UK one).
  3. Keep the email with proof of cancellation.
  4. Upon cancellation, ask them to remove your email address from all marketing lists (they can be really annoying with advertising).

How Good is Shaw Academy?


  • They offer good courses visually appealing, clear, and informative, especially on marketing and photography
  • Mobile app


  • The membership cancelation process is quite hard
  • Classes are recorded while you need to book them in advance. Also, there is no option to pause, rewind, skip etc, you have to watch the entire session all at once.
  • Courses are not free while they can be claimed so in advertising (and are quite pricey)
  • There are no practical exercises to hone your skills or get feedback
  • Customer service doesn’t respond to customers properly


Is Shaw Academy accredited?

Upon completing a Shaw Academy diploma, students will be certified and recognized by three organizations: CPD (continued Professional Development), IAO (The International Accreditation Organisation), and ICSOC (The International Council of Specialised Online Certifications).

How to cancel membership?

Click on “My Profile” -> “Memberships & Payments” -> “Cancel and Pause Membership and Benefits”. Then, you need to follow the On-Screen instructions to finish the cancellation process. 
When you reach the final step, make sure to check if there is a number you should call to confirm the cancellation and do that. 

Is Shaw Academy a scam?

It is not a scam as a company provides services for the money paid. However, they have such a subscription model which makes it really hard to cancel membership and get a refund.

How to contact Shaw academy?

You can contact the company via this page.

Is Shaw Academy worth it?

Their courses are of decent quality; however, they have a deceptive canceling membership and refund policy which makes this company not competitive in terms of service offered. There are many e-learning providers which have courses of the same or even better quality and where you would not experience such trouble with canceling a subscription.

Good Shaw Academy Alternatives

Alternatives for Web Design: Udemy, Coursera

Alternatives for Web Development: Pluralsight, Udacity

Check out our list of the best web development courses.

Alternatives for Python Programming: DataCamp, Udacity

Check out our list of the best Python courses.

Alternatives for Data Analytics: Datacamp, Dataquest

Alternatives for Digital Marketing: Coursera, Udemy, FutureLearn

Alternatives for Photography: Udemy, GetSmarter, Masterclass

I am a marketer and a coach who loves to share my knowledge with those who are only starting their career path.

Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. I registered with Shaw academy for a free 4-week course. Then on their website, a lot of information, offering you courses. I made a mistake in clicking something thinking that it was the free course. It turned out to be an automatic subscription and my credit card was charged. I tried to communicate with them; at first, they were not responding. They finally communicate with me; I explained all that happened and I requested for cancellation and asked for a refund, but they insist on not refunding because they said that in my subscription there is no option for a refund.

    My final thought is that, be careful when you are inside their website. Don’t just click anything, and don’t give your Credit card info. That’s what happened to me, they said they will need the credit card info but will not charge me. But what happened to me, I was charged.

  2. Before signing with Shaw Academy, Please do your research. Unfortunately, I signed up without reading reviews about them. They took money off my PayPal account without me even knowing it. I have been asking for a refund, but I ended up having to write and read a lot of emails which look like automated emails. Please do stay away from them, don’t even bother to go into the website. Or you are most likely to end up like me. Being cheated.

  3. I am in the middle of asking for a refund. They took money from my PayPal account without me even knowing it. When I signed up with them, I didn’t realise by doing that my PayPal was set to an automatic payment with them. One day Someone from Shaw called me on my phone, the phone line was so poor so the call was very brief. Then when the phone call got hung up, I receive an email right after that, telling me 99 USD was transferred to Shaw Academy. I immediately contacted PayPal and wrote many emails to Shaw for my 99USD back. After a lot of attempts talking to PayPal and to Shaw Academy, I had to just give up. I cannot help thinking that this company Shaw Academy has been set up to con people. It is sad that a company like this took advantage of people wanting to learn, and trick them into their trap. During this pandemic when people looking to gain new skills to survive this hardship, a company like this will take advantage of them.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree that Shaw Academy’s pricing model is confusing as well as deceptive. They advertise a free trial period of four weeks after entering your payment information, but be sure to read the fine print – because they do not ultimately honor the four week “free” trial. You WILL end up getting charged for at least the first month and you will NOT get a full refund when they charge you incorrectly.

  5. DO NOT SIGN UP WITH THIS COMPANY. I cancelled my free trial cookery course within 1 hour of signing up when I realised it was unsuitable. I was assured by the company that no money would be taken from my account. This was lies they did take money, promised to refund but now refuse the refund, a complete scam. DO NOT SIGN UP WITH THIS COMPANY

  6. They did the same thing to me. I canceled the $60 membership because it was extremely shady then they take two payments from my account. When I ask for a refund they tell me My accounts active. Which it shouldn’t have been. They deny my refund. One payment was takin out May 25th of $23.10 an another transaction on May 27th of $24.84. I never consented to any one of these transactions.

  7. Under any circumstances. DO NOT SIGN UP. Read before doing it, there are lots of stories. I found the add on Instagram and I wanted to sign in, but I was suspicious when they asked for the bank account. However I was curious , so I signed up with an inactive account-0 money on it. Then I decided to cancel my subscription and for one month I just kept receiving phone calls from numbers from UK, the Netherlands or even USA to sign up again. Kept refusing and asked them not to bother me. It stopped and after 3-4 I got called again . I really do hope that people will avoid these scammers.

  8. Scam, I received. Message that I got a free course after clicking to view the course boom R399 debited, I sent emails to dispute a month later again , nonsense

  9. Please do not use this company. THEY ARE NOT LEGIT AND SCAM YOU OUT OF YOUR MONEY!!!

  10. Do NOT sign up for this SCAM! The “classes” are prerecorded and of no substance or value. The make it IMPOSSIBLE to get a refund. They LIE about when they will get back with you and about refunding charges. Total scam. Do not fall for it,

  11. A lady called me today from this company saying that I didn’t complete my registration for Shaw Academy Design course and if I want to finish my registration by phone and I was like WTF? I never registered online with you guys, where did you get my information? This lady kept telling me that I filled out an online registration but I never did that… I hung up and immediately google it just to found out what I suspected… SCAM!!
    Be aware friends!! Do not enroll in here!!

  12. Try to avoid them, Shaw academy is scams, their one month free “Trial” subscription is a trap ,once you subscribe, the system will show you it’s cancelled but it is not, and they will charge your credit card after one month, and when you call them they will say the cancellation didn’t go through, sorry no refund.

    Please Avoid Them, don’ enroll with them

  13. This is a scam, they have been debiting money from my account for the past three months, even without subscription to them. I noticed the transaction on the third month, so I tried requesting for refund but their reply is that they will not refund my money. PLEASE AVOID SHAW ACADEMY!!!

  14. They are scammers 100 percent, they are not professional. I signed up for free trial, they called me and said I have 28 days to try it. They charged me on the very next day 99.99 3 month subscription. I was so shocked. Emailed them demanding return my money, they said that they won’t. Instead they will give me an access for all courses for 36 months. I agreed. But after 3 month paid subscription they closed an access to the courses. They forced me to use these 3 months, I lost my free trial, I have been lied to have free access to the courses. And I emailed them, they simply ignored all my emails. They are scammers, the company is nothing but fraud and headache. Stay away from them!!!

  15. Avoid these guys like the plague. They get way more money out of you then advertised through tricky cancellation provisions and hard to understand calls. Wish I’d gone elsewhere, which is a shame because the content is OK

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