About the College

About the College

Schumacher College attracts students from over 90 different countries, of all ages and backgrounds, drawn by its reputation for cutting-edge learning based around ecology and sustainability.

We focus on interactive and experiential learning to develop the practical skills and strategic thinking required to face the ecological, economic and social challenges of the 21st Century.

We deliver a unique brand of small group experiences which embrace the learning principles of head, hand, heart. This takes place in the classroom, the gardens, the kitchen – it is part of everything we do.

Here you will discover things about yourself, develop a deep participatory relationship with nature, make new friendships with people from around the world and start a lifelong connection with the College.

Schumacher College is a very special place. As we try and figure out what on earth we’re going to do with this unraveling planet, it’s become a thinktank for hope, a battery for positive vision! Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org

Why should you come?

If you come to Schumacher College for a postgraduate programme, short course or vocational training, you will be part of our international learning community on the historic Dartington Hall Estate in South Devon.

The Dartington Experiment, as it was known, was founded in the 1920s by Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst,  two charismatic entrepreneurs who fused influences from east and west to create an experiment in rural regeneration. Their vision was based on progressive forms of education, art and agriculture – a legacy which we continue today.

All of our courses are grounded in an ecological and holistic worldview and offer the chance to transform the way you live and work in the world.  You will mix with like minded students, teachers and activists who are striving for positive change in the world. You will make friends and allies from all walks of life and from all parts of the globe, who share an interest and a passion about the planet we inhabit.

Schumacher College is simply one of the finest teaching and learning environments to be found anywhere in the World. David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous and Becoming Animal

What it’s like to be here

Community – living, working and learning together

Class sizes for our short courses and postgraduate programme are small and we employ a range of teaching methods and facilitated processes so that students get the maximum amount of learning opportunities.  We want our students to have a sense of co-creation and belonging regardless of the length of their stay at the College.

All students and staff are involved with cooking, cleaning and gardening which helps to foster a sense of community and is a great opportunity to mix with all members of the College.

We have regular open evenings for the public where our short course teachers give Earth Talks. We also make the most of our partnership with Transition Town Totnes – the home of the international Transition Movement – and regularly invite their members to give talks to our students.

Respect for all living systems – an ecological worldview

Everything we do is based on developing a deep participatory relationship with nature.  Our approach to learning uses the principles of holistic science as it's foundation - of respect for all living things. 

The upkeep and running of the College on the historic Dartington Hall Estate is not without challenges in terms of sustainability, but we aim to walk our talk on a day-to-day basis.

Our libraries are hugely valuable resources, containing books and archive footage going back through the College's 27 year history.  World-renowned experts, activists, teachers and practioners in sustainability and ecological living have spent time here. 

Healthy body – healthy mind

Our team of in-house chefs (with support from students and volunteers) prepare delicious vegetarian and vegan food.   A significant amount of the food is grown in the College’s three and a half acre grounds with the help of students and volunteers. This sits alongside areas set aside for wildlife and quiet contemplation. The gardens are managed on ecological and permaculture design approaches. Read more about the College gardens and the horticulture team >>

We have a special room for meditation and quiet reflection where you can choose to start the day with a facilitated mediation session before breakfast.

Beyond the College stretches the beautiful grounds of the Dartington Hall Estate. Visitors can take a walk through the mixed woodlands surrounding the College, along the River Dart which runs through the estate, or in the ornamental gardens of Dartington Hall which has a selction of cafes, shops, theatre and arts as well as a cinema.

The historic town of Totnes is a short walk or cycle ride from the College and has many independents shops, cafes, galleries and a regular market. The college sites between the rugged landscape of Dartmoor – a National Park of immense natural beauty and the sandy beaches of the breathtaking Devon coastline.