Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Life at Schumacher College

Life at Schumacher College

We hope that the following will help to paint a picture of life at Schumacher and give you an idea of what it means to join the Schumacher community for a short course.

From September to the end of April the college is home to a group of post-graduate students who are studying either the MSc in Holistic Science or MA in Economics for Transition. From January onwards they are joined by the MA, PG Dip, PG Cert in Ecological Design Thinking. Many come from overseas and Schumacher is their only home whilst in the UK. You will be sharing this home with them during your stay at the college.

Form April until October we also have Horticulture Apprentices working in the garden and providing many of the organic vegetables used to cook our vegetarian meals.

Activities at the college are co-ordinated by about 25 staff members and a team of resident volunteer helpers. The latter are a mix of post-graduate and short course alumni and are a very important part of the college family.

This sample timetable will give you a more detailed idea of a typical short course day at college. 

Morning Meetings

Every morning at 8.30am we come together and set the scene for the coming day. We usually start with a reading and end with a stretching exercise or song. You are welcome to contribute to either of these!

Community Groups

Working together to look after the college is an important aspect of life here and our community groups are made up of post-graduate students, short course participants, helpers and staff. You will find that embedding intellectual discussions in the everyday business of taking care of the college, and each other, will help you to ground the course content. During this time we join together in community groups to help prepare food, clean the Old Postern, accommodation blocks and Craft Education building, as well as clearing up after meals and working in the garden.


  • Library – over 5000 books are available on a wide range of subjects.
  • On-line – you will have access to recorded talks by past Schumacher College teachers.
  • Art and Craft Room – you are welcome to enjoy this creative space.
  • Laundry – we have washing, drying and ironing facilities for your personal laundry.
  • College Bar – The Edge of Chaos is usually open once the evening sessions have finished.
  • Book Shop – in the college reception area, it sells books written by resident tutors and some visiting lecturers.


The college is exceptionally fortunate to have a team of dedicated vegetarian chefs leading in the creation of its famously delicious, nutritionally balanced, vegetarian food- which increasingly includes freshly harvested vegetables from our own garden. Your palate will be treated to a feast of flavours for lunch and supper. All our food is vegetarian, organic and locally sourced where possible. Most diets are happily catered for and snacks are available in between meals.


Mobiles - we ask everyone to respect the mobile-free area inside the main college buildings and other communal areas, where you might disturb your fellow residents.

Internet – there are 3 on-line computers in the lecture room for participant’s use and a wifi network. You will find wifi information in your room.

Post – there is a post office and general store in Dartington village 5 minutes walk from the college. You will find cash machines in the post office, local garage and the Cider Press shops.


At the Old Postern site we have 3 accommodation blocks with simple single rooms on 2 floors with wash basins, cupboards and a desk in them. There are shared bathrooms on each floor with shower and bath facilities. All bed linen and towels are provided by the college. wifi is available in all student rooms.

Each block has a small kitchenette with a fridge, sink and tea/coffee making facilities.

Those on the Elmhirst Programme courses will be accommodated in similar facilities at Higher Close, 15 minute walk away in the beautiful grounds and gardens of Dartington Hall.


We are unable to take responsibility for the safety of your personal possessions whilst you are at the college. You may wish to take out insurance cover yourself – although there have been very few problems with security in the past.

If you are coming from overseas we suggest you consider taking out health insurance. Some countries have reciprocal health agreements with the UK National Health Service (NHS), but many do not. We advise you to check whether the arrangements are adequate for you.

You may wish to consider insurance against loss of air fares and the course fees in case you have to cancel for any reason.

We ask you to respect our no smoking rule in all of the college buildings.

So what do you need to bring?

  • Your own stationery
  • Toiletries
  • Walking shoes and waterproof clothing
  • Day sack
  • Water bottle

The Local Area

Schumacher is very close to:

Dartmoor National Park – open moorland with many lovely walks!

Buckfast Abbey

Miles of very accessible and beautiful coastline for walking and swimming

The Eden Project is just over an hour’s drive away, but also very accessible by train.

Last updated February 2016