Kay Patterson

MA Religious Studies

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your current career 

After New College, I worked for 6 months in a supermarket, saving some money. Then, I went out to Malawi and worked as a volunteer teacher.

My placement was on a compound with a primary school, a secondary school and an orphanage. My main duties were teaching at the secondary school, where I taught History, Bible Knowledge and English. I was also able to spend time assisting at the primary school and I spent most evenings and weekends at the orphanage.

I am now applying to be a primary school teacher


Why did you choose to attend the University of Edinburgh and the subject with which you graduated?

My first impression of New College was that it was a friendly and welcoming place. After four years I was very sad to leave. It was a very supportive environment in which to study.


What did you enjoy most about your subject?

I started New College straight from school with no idea what I wanted to do in terms of a career. I had studied Religious Studies at school and enjoyed it and so decided to study it at university.

I loved the Religious Studies degree because it was so flexible. The variety of courses on offer within the degree discipline was huge. My friends studying different degrees didn't seem to have the same amount of flexibility and variety in their studies.

What specific skills did you develop whilst attending the University of Edinburgh?

My time at New College was fantastic. I got to study a huge variety of subjects, including Theology and Modern Judaism. I also gained a number of skills such as how to think critically, listen and process information. More importantly, I gained a number of very close friends.


How did your experience at Edinburgh help you get where you are today?

New College was instrumental in me having the courage to go to Africa. My time there gave me confidence in myself, as well as the necessary skills to stand up in front of 50 or so students and teach.