School of Divinity

Marc Livingstone

"What is it like to be a student at New College? This was one of the biggest questions I had before going to university."

Divinity students in a computer lab with Marc Livingstone in the forground
Marc Livingstone

I was the only person from my school who had applied to do religious studies and I didn’t know anyone else in the same position. I was quite nervous about going to university but after a few weeks I really felt like I had settled in.

There are a lot of great things about studying at New College and it’s a fantastic school to be a part of!

Interesting courses

There are so many interesting courses that you can take, that you can really follow your own interests. For example, I’m a religious studies student but I’ve really enjoyed taking courses in biblical studies and theology, as well as courses like Scottish Literature and religion.  

The School of Divinity also has one of the biggest library collections of theology and religious studies in the UK. This means there is a lot of materials available to help with essays and research!

Community feel

As the School is one of the smaller schools in the university, there is more of a community feel to New College.  As well as academic events throughout the year there are also social events to bring students together, usually including a ceilidh during welcome week and a ball at the end of the second semester (which is the best event of the year!). There are also weekly communion services in which all are welcome. We have a great social space called Rainy Hall (which looks like the Great Hall in Harry Potter!) where students can eat, do work and catch up with friends.

One of the biggest aspects of being a New College student is inclusion.  Although the subject content of New College is focused on religion, there is no requirement that students hold religious beliefs. Staff and students of New College come from various religious and non-religious beliefs, cultures and backgrounds. Additionally, the school has been working hard to ensure that everyone feels welcome and valued and this is highlighted in our Athena Swan silver award for gender equality in 2018, as well as a greater emphasis on LGBT+ students with meetings and lunches being organised throughout the year.

Amazing location

Being a student at New College means studying in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city!  You can’t help but smile when you enter the quad and have to duck past the tourists taking their snaps of the architecture (or the statue of John Knox). Studying in such an amazing location makes you feel like you are truly part of something special!

Starting university can be a really daunting time but joining the School of Divinity will be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. I hope any prospective student looks forward to their studies and joining the school!      


Marc Livingstone, Year 4, Religious Studies MA Hons