Why study in our School?

Find out what makes our School of Divinity and Edinburgh an extraordinary place to study.

Divinity students Jasmine, Ellie, Esther and Alex chatting at a table in Rainy Hall

About our School

Our friendly community of 430 undergraduate and postgraduate students and nearly 40 full-time academic staff includes internationally respected scholars in a wide range of specialisms.

Our warm and inclusive college community offers a vibrant programme of social and academic events to help you settle in quickly. We welcome students from around the world, from religious and non-religious backgrounds, and we take pride in our status as a renowned research centre in a broad spectrum of subject areas.

Being one of the largest centres for the study of Theology and Religious Studies in the UK means we can offer a broad range of courses. We offer courses in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism; indigenous religions in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean; new religious movements or spiritualities; and atheism and non-religion.

We are the 10th best city for students in the world (QS Best Student Cities 2022) and our graduates are ranked 12th in Europe for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022).

Our Location 

Colour photo of the outside of the New College building

The School of Divinity is based at New College, an impressive neo-gothic building in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. It commands spectacular views over the city centre towards the sea and is a distinctive feature on the Edinburgh skyline, close to Edinburgh Castle.

Students benefit from a self-contained college setting just five minutes walk away from the main University campus.   We have our own library, study space and on-site café, situated in the grand Rainy Hall.  This provides a great place to meet friends and study and is also the venue for our whole School Christmas Dinner and Burns Supper!

Our Library 

New College Library has one of the largest collections for theology and religious studies in the UK. We hold more than a quarter of a million printed items, including many rare and historic books. We also have a large and rich manuscript collection, including the papers of Thomas Chalmers, John Baillie, J H Oldham and James S Stewart.

The University's libraries hold many treasures and total holdings of more than 2.25 million volumes.

Beyond the University – but located close to the School of Divinity – the National Library of Scotland holds more than 5 million volumes, including every book published since 1710 in the United Kingdom (and numerous volumes published in the United States in cooperation with British presses). Scotland’s National Archives are also nearby.

Why study in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is a UNESCO world heritage site. With a population of around 450,000, our city mixes architectural beauty and history with a lively and cosmopolitan environment. It is a safe and prosperous city with many parks and green spaces for recreation and reflection. It offers an exciting array of entertainment, arts, culture and sport, with the lush Scottish countryside and dramatic coastline just a few miles away.

A cultural capital

Edinburgh has an incredibly energetic and diverse cultural life. There are dozens of museums and galleries with unique collections and cinemas specialising in arthouse and world film. Apart from the renowned Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe Festival every August (the largest arts festival in the world), it hosts many other cultural events every year.

Edinburgh's surroundings

A short journey will take you to the old port of Leith and waterfront pubs and cafes, or the fishing villages of Fife, to the Pentland Hills or country parks and beaches. Further afield, Scotland’s magnificent scenery, its villages and coastlines, and other vibrant cities are all easily accessible. Edinburgh is also a haven for cyclists, with quiet and scenic routes crisscrossing the city.