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A ranking of study spots in town

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

With multiple libraries and innumerable cafes, St Andrews is not lacking in potential study spots – but where are the best places to go? Lucky for you, I have compiled the definitive list so that you don’t have to spend the rest of term visiting different spaces to test them out. Here are some of the best spots to study in St Andrews! 

5) Byre Theatre

Ranking at number five, we have the Byre Theatre. You are probably an Arts degree student if you study here – if not, you certainly wish you were. This is a great space to come with friends if you have group projects to do, or if you want some company whilst you study. I’ve previously been there with friends from my language class to practice vocab and grammar. Anyone who gives you a glare for speaking can back off; the Byre is a good place to discuss, albeit quietly. The lighting can sometimes be dark and the music distracting, so if you like silent study, this isn’t the place for you. But overall, the Byre has great vibes for studying.

4) Main Library

Perhaps a little cruel to place the Main Library at only number four, but hey, it still made the list. The Library has the great advantage of providing a variety of different spaces for a variety of needs. Whether you want to speak or study in peace and quiet, the Library can give you both. It also has a café which is a great place to get a coffee, study amongst a buzz of chatter, or take a break from coursework. I also recommend greeting and getting to know the staff who work at the Library, whether it be for guidance or just a general chat; they are all lovely.

3) Friend’s House

Okay, so I’ve cheated a little here because this isn’t an official study space in St Andrews. However, if you have friends who also have a looming deadline or are also way behind on their reading for the week, it’s good to study in solidarity. Get a cup of tea, and a biscuit and get to work! Fairy lights and candles are also recommended for the ultimate experience. Perks include breaks to gossip and procrastinate by watching Gilmore Girls. Seriously though, with the right people, studying at a friend’s house can be a great way to get some actual work done whilst sharing in the stress, which, funnily enough, often helps relieve it too!

2) Rector’s Café

I used to be someone who couldn’t study in cafes at all because I would always tune into the noise around me, whether it be conversations or the background music. To some extent, this is still true, but Rector’s has made me reconsider this position. With various study spaces, multiple plug sockets and an entertaining, even erratic playlist, Rector’s provides a cosy yet productive atmosphere. Plus, who doesn’t like studying alongside a slice of rocky road? I would also like to give an honourable mention to Zest who also provide a relaxing atmosphere alongside an amazing selection of tea and coffee.

1) St Mary’s/King James Library

We have arrived at my favourite St Andrews study spot: St Mary’s/King James Library. Located in the beautiful St Mary’s Quad, nothing makes me feel more like a St Andrews student than studying here. I love the desks, the upper staircase, everything about this library makes me feel productive (or at least like I want to be productive). Despite the rare silence-cutting ringtone, the King James Library is the perfect spot for those who want no distractions while studying. It’s also a stone’s throw away from both Zest (more than deserving of another mention) and Combini Cafe (their hot chocolate is the best ever) for when you need a quick study break.

I hope this has served as some inspiration for your next study session, but remember to take lots of breaks and enjoy your relaxation time too!

Emma Gatrell

St Andrews '24

Hi, I'm Emma! I'm studying History at St Andrews. Things I love include good books, cats, and drinking lots of tea.
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