Image Credit: Marktollerman, Royal Holloway Building, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
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Royal Holloway is a constituent college of the University of London and one of the UK's leading research-intensive universities. Its 19 academic departments span the arts and humanities, sciences, social sciences, management and economics. It's especially known for its international outlook, combining world-class research with a global perspective, yet at the same time, the campus has an intimate, human scale. This means that students learn from internationally renowned academics and researchers whilst also being known by name themselves. Royal Holloway offers that rare opportunity to join a friendly tight-knit community without compromising on the diversity, ambition and brilliance of the company you keep.
Royal Holloway has a unique best-of-both-worlds location; a safe, leafy campus in Egham, Surrey – less than 40 minutes by train from central London and just seven miles from Heathrow airport.
QS World Ranking (2022)
Times Higher Education (2021)
Complete University Guide (2022)
Guardian League Table (2021)
Teaching Excellence Framework
Green Credentials (2019)
Young vs Mature
Male vs Female
Since Queen Victoria presided over the grand opening of Royal Holloway on 30 June 1886, the College has continued to grow in size and status to become one of the top research-led institutions in the country. Royal Holloway’s founder Thomas Holloway was a self-made multi-millionaire who, in 1879, initiated a public debate inviting suggestions as to ‘How best to spend a quarter of a million pounds or more’. It was his wife Jane who suggested a college for women as the means by which Holloway’s money might create the ‘greatest public good’. Royal Holloway was born.
Similarly, Bedford College was founded in 1849 by Elisabeth Jesser Reid, a pioneering social reformer as the first college in Great Britain for the higher education of women. In 1900, both Bedford and Royal Holloway were admitted as Schools of the University of London, when it was constituted as a teaching university. Both establishments admitted male undergraduates for the first time in 1965 becoming fully co-educational, although their commitment to women’s education remained. In 1982, a partnership agreement between Bedford and Royal Holloway was signed as a result of severe cuts in government spending on higher education, paving the way for the merger in 1985. The newly merged Royal Holloway and Bedford new College was inaugurated in 1986 by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony in the College Chapel.
Royal Holloway is surrounded by Surrey’s beautiful countryside with the campus situated between Engleﬁeld Green village and the town of Egham. At the same time the campus is just 40 minutes by train from central London and just seven miles from London Heathrow Airport. Most teaching and social activity takes place right on campus and, with the exception of Kingswood Hall which is just a mile away, this is where most undergraduates live in their ﬁrst year. It's a friendly place, with a strong sense of community and has all the facilities and amenities you would expect – shops, cafes, bars, a bank, a sports centre and playing ﬁelds.
The Founder’s Building is home to the famous Picture Gallery containing Thomas Holloway’s ﬁne collection of Victorian paintings and a beautiful chapel. It also houses a dining hall and library and provides a quite remarkable home for 500 Royal Holloway students.
Faculties & Departments
Faculty of Arts & Social Science
- Department of Classics
- Department of Comparative Literature & Culture
- Department of English
- Department of European Studies
- Department of History
- Department of Media Arts
- School of Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures
- Department of Music
- Department of Philosophy
- Department of Politics & International Relations
- Department of Social Work
Faculty of Management & Economics
- Centre for Criminology & Sociology
- Department of Economics
- School of Management
Faculty of Science
- Department of Biological Sciences
- Department of Computer Science
- Department of Earth Sciences
- Department of Geography
- Department of Mathematics
- Department of Physics
- Department of Psychology
- Information Security Group
In the 2014 REF 81% of the University's research was judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent, which is an increase of more than 20% from the 2008 RAE. Their top performing deparments include Geography, which was ranked as top in England, and Drama, Earth Sciences, Psychology, Maths and Music which were all ranked in the top five in the UK.
Royal Holloway has opportunities for its own students to study abroad as part of their degree. Students studying a Language or Geoscience with a year of International Study, International Theatre or History with an International Year will be required to go abroad as part of their degree, but all students in their ﬁrst or second year are able to apply to go on an International Exchange to one of the University’s partner universities abroad. Erasmus provides opportunities for Royal Holloway students to spend a year at another European university and the University has a number of other partner universities worldwide in countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand or Singapore. There is a Study Abroad Fair which is held annually on campus to provide further advice on additional and integral exchange placements, as well as other useful information about taking part in student exchanges.
If you’re unable to commit to spending a year abroad, a summer school could provide a useful alternative. Through its network of partners, the Royal Holloway offers summer school opportunities to all students, providing a taste of what it’s like to study at an institution overseas.
UK Students (2022/2023)
Royal Holloway recognises the excellence of high performing students with a range of scholarships. These include the Future Leader Scholarship which covers full tuition fees for three years of undergraduate study to students with at least AAA at A-level or equivalent, a strong scholarship statement and outstanding leadershp skills. There are also further scholarships available to those on specific courses. Please see the University website for more information.
Royal Holloway offers bursaries worth £1,500 for each year of undergraduate study for students from England with a family income of less than £25,000 a year. For those whose family income is between £25,000 and £42,600 per year, the University offer bursaries worth £500 for each year of undergraduate study for students from England.
Royal Holloway Library has a stock of more than 600,000 volumes, including a growing collection of e-books, DVDs and CDs, all made accessible via the online search tool, LibrarySearch. The University also subscribes to over 38,000 journals. These resources are housed in the two campus libraries; Founder’s Library and Bedford Library, which offer 846 workspaces between them. Both libraries have long opening hours and Bedford library stays open 24/7 prior to and during exams. Royal Holloway is keen to make sure that stock remains accessible by, for example, buying multiple copies of texts wherever possible and ensuring that the most in-demand material is placed in the Short Loan Collections. At the same time the library team is also involved in digitising the most widely sought course material. These course packs or ‘e-packs’ can be accessed via Moodle and read online, or downloaded and printed. You will also have access to the College archives; a signiﬁcant resource documenting the history of women’s education at Royal Holloway’s founding Colleges – Bedford and Royal Holloway.
Royal Holloway has 16 PC labs, many of which have 24-hour access, including the campus Computer Centre. There is also a PC Lab for Royal Holloway students at the London base in Bedford Square. CampusNet is Royal Holloway’s wireless network and can be accessed from all buildings throughout the campus including lecture theatres, libraries and the halls of residence. Moodle is Royal Holloway’s Virtual Learning Environment which provides interactive access to a wide range of learning resources, including course material, on and off campus. There is also a student portal called Campus Connect which enables students to access a wide range of services, including College email, course details and course registration and payment options. There are always Student IT Advisors on hand in the Bedford Library every day to help with any queries or problems and there is also a Helpdesk in the Founder’s Library. Royal Holloway wants to make sure that the services they provide are meeting student needs effectively and therefore encourage feedback through staff-student committees, user forums and periodic surveys.
At Royal Holloway, sport is embraced at every level, from encouraging recreational sport to supporting world class athletes. The campus offers substantial playing ﬁelds, squash, tennis and netball courts, as well as a multi-use sports centre, complete with a 46-station ﬁtness suite, weights room and aerobics area. The sports centre also offers a wide range of services including personal training, ﬁtness classes and a children’s holiday play scheme.
Students’ Union sports clubs are run by students, for students, with support from the SU’s Students Activities department. There are around 60 clubs ranging from football and lacrosse to Ninjutsu and Ultimate Frisbee. Joining these clubs gives you a chance to get active, to make friends and to get invited to some of the campus’ best social events. Royal Holloway clubs compete at the highest levels in local and national competitions. For example, the Student Activities supports teams who compete in weekly British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS), London Universities Sports Leagues (LUSL) and one-off competitions. In 2009, the University launched Performance Packages which gave extra support for teams with the potential to excel in BUCS leagues and contribute to the overall national rankings of Royal Holloway. However, many clubs also offer sport on a recreational level, with taster sessions perfect for beginners. The be.active recreational sports programme aims to widen opportunities for students to stay active in a relaxed and fun environment. It works in partnership with many clubs to make sports such as badminton, basketball, cricket, dance, football, touch rugby and table tennis accessible to all. Activities range from exercise classes led by professional instructors or students, to drop-in sessions where students can pitch up and play with no prior or on-going commitment. Weekly leagues between halls and departments add a touch of friendly competition.
The Students’ Union runs a huge variety of clubs and societies, giving you the chance to pursue your passions (and discover new ones), to meet like-minded people and to develop your skills in areas such as organization, leadership, ﬁnance and publicity. They are also responsible for supporting RAG; a dedicated group of students who raise money for various charities in wild and wonderful ways. The Students’ Union also offers training in radio broadcasting and journalism and regularly hosts free talks from industry professionals. You can get involved in the award-winning radio station, Insanity radio, try your hand at journalism, design or print production for The Orbital magazine and website.
The main Union building on campus includes a large function hall, with a capacity of over 1,200. This hosts an impressive array of themed club nights, bands and DJs, as well as comedians, cabarets and non-alcoholic slumber parties. The Union also operates three bars: The Union building, which hosts club nights every Wednesday and Friday; Medicine, a bar and games area designed by the creators of Ministry of Sound; and a campus pub, The Stumble Inn. Daytime events are also popular, with the Union hosting weekly Market Days selling a wide range of products from fresh fruit to fudge, and there are also frequent poster, clothing, book and plant sales throughout the year.
Health and Well-Being
When you come to Royal Holloway, you’ll be assigned to a member of staff in your own academic department, however there are also Volunteer Student Peer Guides who are allocated small groups of new students in their own department or faculty. They meet new students individually, and as a group, throughout the academic year and offer informal, non-judgmental support and advice about being a student at Royal Holloway.
The Educational Support Ofﬁce (ESO) is the ﬁrst point of contact for prospective and current disabled students, and can provide support for students with mobility difficulties, medical conditions, Specific Learning Difficulties or mental conditions. The ESO also supports students applying for the Disabled Students’ Allowance.
There is a Counselling service which provides students with free access to professionally-trained counsellors accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. The Residential Support Teams offer support and advice on issues such as sharing facilities, getting along with others and ﬁre safety awareness, and there are number of Residential Support Assistants (RSAs) who may visit if they are concerned about you. The Students’ Union’s Advice and Support Centre complements the College’s own student support services, by providing ‘open door’ advice and information on academic and welfare issues.
Royal Holloway’s Health Centre is a branch surgery of the Clarence Medical Centre in Windsor, located in Founder’s building.
Religion and Spirituality
There are two College Chaplains based along Founders West, alongside ‘Breathe’; a multi-faith space and meeting room, and a dedicated Muslim Prayer Room. There are many active faith groups and societies at Royal Holloway with Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism all well represented. The Chaplaincy encourages all Faith groups to work together, and also seeks to provide a reﬂective space for every student and staff member of all faiths and of none, by sponsoring a range of lectures and special services.
Royal Holloway students have access to the largest and most comprehensive careers service in Europe, The Careers Group, University of London, on hand in the heart of campus, offering tailored support to help you boost your employability and prepare for the choices ahead. The University is proactive in promoting its graduates to employers, with over 100 employers visiting the campus annually to speak to students about graduate career opportunities and to offer career coaching.
At Royal Holloway you can gain more than just a degree. The Royal Holloway Passport Award enables you to collect points for a range of co-curricular activities, and gain tangible recognition for your achievements and contribution. The Royal Holloway Passport is a great way to show employers that you have broad skills and experience beyond your degree subject. Furthermore, many students will have the opportunity to take up internships, either as an integral part of their course, or an optional extra. Royal Holloway students have worked in organisations including Apple, HSBC, Proctor & Gamble, NHS, The Daily Telegraph, The Globe Theatre and Mercedes-Benz. Students can also take part in volunteering with Community Action Volunteering (CAV) offering training and support for students who want to take up any of the 150 opportunities on offer, ranging from animal rescue to youth work.
Royal Holloway has a fantastic alumni network with over 40,000 alumni from more than 160 countries that are in touch with the University with many who are keen to open doors and steer recent graduates into their chosen careers. Alumni are of great benefit through volunteering themselves as alumni mentors, offering places for student placements, visiting the University as guest lectures or contributing to the Alumni Fund which each year disburses many thousands of pounds, some in the form of scholarships or hardship support, or to purchase equipment for student societies or support overseas experiences.
Catered and self-catered
Catered (per week) (2021/2022)
Self-Catered (per week) (2021/2022)
There are just over 3,100 bed spaces within Royal Holloway’s 11 halls of residence. Halls vary greatly in size, appearance, age and atmosphere, from the unique character of the Victorian Founder’s Building to the most modern halls; Williamson and Tuke & Butler. But they all provide comfortable accommodation, good value for money and a friendly community. As most students ﬁnd it especially helpful being on campus while they settle in, Royal Holloway aims to guarantee a place in a hall for all new undergraduate students who ﬁrmly accept an offer, and apply for student housing by the UCAS and Student Housing Bureau deadline. There are a range of options to choose from with single rooms, double rooms, term-time lets, sessional lets and different bathroom facilities. You can also choose to go catered-pay-as-you-go or self-catered. Catered halls have pantries where you can make yourself hot drinks and snacks, but no kitchen. Instead, you can enjoy 50 per cent discount on meals in the Founder’s and Kingswood dining halls (and in the Hub on Saturdays, when the Founder’s dining hall is closed). Self-catered accommodation gives you access to a fully-equipped kitchen, so you can cater for yourself. There is an on-campus shop, allotment, and a weekly fruit and vegetable market in the Students’ Union.
The majority of second year and ﬁnal year students live off campus in private sector accommodation in the neighbouring areas of Engleﬁeld Green, Egham or Virginia Water, or a few miles away in Staines or Windsor. The Community Liaison Ofﬁce and Support Team offers support and advice to non-resident students, and also liaises with local residents and community partners to ensure Royal Holloway students are welcomed into the neighbourhood.
English Language Requirements
|Qualification/Subject||IELTS Academic module||TOEFL Internet-based test||PTE|
|Classics & Philosophy, Drama & Theatre, Media Arts, Music, Politics & International Relations, Social Work, Geography||
6.5 overall, with writing 7.0 and no other subscore lower than 5.5
|92 overall with the minimum subscores of 22 in reading, 21 in listening, 21 in speaking and 26 in writing||61 overall with writing 69 and no other subscore lower than 51|
7.0 overall, with writing 7.0 and no other subscore lower than 5.5
|100 overall with the minimum subscores of 22 in reading, 21 in listening, 21 in speaking and 26 in writing||69 overall with writing 69 and no other subscore lower than 51|
6.5 overall, with writing 6.5 and no other subscore lower than 5.5
|91 overall with the minimum subscores of 22 in reading, 21 in listening, 21 in speaking and 25 in writing||61 overall with writing 61 and no other subscore lower than 51|
|History, Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures, Criminology & Sociology, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Physics, Psychology||
6.5 overall, with no subscore lower than 5.5
|88 overall with the minimum subscores of 22 in reading, 21 in listening, 21 in speaking and 21 in writing||61 overall with no subscore lower than 51|
6.5 overall, with reading and writing 6.0 and no other subscore lower than 5.5
|90 overall with the minimum subscores of 24 in reading, 21 in listening, 21 in speaking and 24 in writing||61 overall with reading and writing 54 and no other subscore lower than 51|
6.0 overall, with no other subscore lower than 5.5
|81 overall with the minimum subscores of 22 in reading, 21 in listening, 21 in speaking and 21 in writing||54 overall with no other subscore lower than 51|
All students at Royal Holloway have access to extensive welfare support through the Student Support and Advisory Services, as well as academic support, however the University also offers specialised support to international students. The International Student Support team is a dedicated team who provide support and advice to all international students from the moment you arrive in the UK. They arrange a free airport collection service at the start of your course, and are on-hand to assist you throughout your time at Royal Holloway. The International Student Support Office works closely with Proscenium Tours enabling International Students to visit and explore places of interest and beauty both here in the UK and Europe. Furthermore, the International Student Support team can help you take part in HOST UK, an organisation that offers international students an opportunity to stay with an approved British host family in the UK and experience British culture first hand.