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Royal Holloway, University of London

United Kingdom


Located amongst 135 acres of beautiful Surrey parkland, Royal Holloway, University of London is a world-class research institution.

Founded in 1849, over 11,124 students from more than 130 countries study on its campus. Recently ranked 21st in the UK for its international outlook (THE World University Rankings 2020), over a third of its student community are from outside the UK.

The university has 21 academic schools and departments, offering a range of courses. Its expert faculty of 1,770 staff members come from across the globe to work across its academic, administrative and support areas. Students also benefit from external teachers, interns and supportive staff who visit the university's campus.

Providing teaching excellence across disciplines, Royal Holloway was recently ranked 34th in the UK and within the top 300 worldwide by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. In addition to this, the university was also recently ranked 22nd in the UK (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021) and 24th by The Complete University Guide 2021.

Ranked in the top 25 per cent of UK universities by the Research Excellence Framework, its research is also recognised as being world-leading and internationally excellent.

The university has a history of successful alumni, including acclaimed novelist George Eliot, suffragette Emily Davison, the first woman doctor in the west Dr Elizabeth Blackwell, actor Mark Strong, EU Foreign Minister Baroness Cathy Ashton, broadcaster and scientist David Bellamy and Paralympic triple gold medallist Sophie Christiansen.

Its campus is frequently named as one of the most beautiful campuses in the world and is well connected to other exciting locations. It is 19 miles from central London, (where there is also a university base in Bloomsbury), and just seven miles from Heathrow airport.

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What's new

What's new

New centre

In September 2021, Royal Holloway will launch a new interdisciplinary Centre for the Politics of Feelings.

The centre will explore how emotions and feelings can cause, and be targets of, political behaviour within socio-political environments. The university wants this centre to become an established, world-leading hub for reasoning and social passions within politics.

It will be staffed by research fellows across several disciplines, including life sciences, humanities, and social sciences, as well as creating partnerships with external specialists.

The centre marks a new partnership between the university and its School of Advanced Study, with the Warburg Institute and the Institute of Philosophy, at University of London and the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway.

Online courses

The university is offering a variety of free online courses to help employers fill digital skills gaps.

Part of a group of universities involved in this new online platform, the Innovation South Virtual Campus will provide access to work-focused training in digital areas. A combination of vocational and online learning, it will offer a range of short programs which can either upskill or reskill employees.

Course material has been chosen based on research that highlighted the most in-demand digital skills in the workplace. This includes cyber security, digital marketing, IT skills and software development.


The university has risen 10 places in the latest Guardian University League Table 2021. Now ranking 32nd in the UK, the league table factors in teaching, student satisfaction and employability. Royal Holloway received 86 per cent student satisfaction with teaching and 88 per cent satisfaction with courses.

In addition to this, the university also rose five places to become a top 20 university in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

Royal Holloway is well-renowned and recognised for its high teaching quality and research excellence.

Its faculty is made up of professors, teaching fellows, post-doctoral researchers, and PhD students. Students are taught by enthusiastic experts in their field through a combination of large-group lectures, small class seminars, workshops, practical classes, and field trips.

Providing a unique educational experience, the university offers flexibility within degrees so students can make the most of what Royal Holloway has to offer. Students can take a voluntary placement year, where they can study abroad or carry out charitable work for a minimum of three months.

The university's research is placed within the top 25 per cent of UK universities by the Research Excellence Framework. The university's research work is considered world-leading and internationally excellent by this prestigious ranking.

Ranked 34th out of UK universities by Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, its other impressive UK league table rankings include:

  • 22nd in the UK (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021)
  • 24th in the UK (The Complete University Guide 2021)
  • 32nd in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2021)
  • 1st in the UK for research intensity in music (Complete University Guide, 2020)
  • 2nd in the UK for research quality in geography (Complete University Guide, 2020)

Royal Holloway also placed 21st in the UK for its international outlook by Times Higher Education University Rankings.

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Department structure

Department structure

Royal Holloway is made up of 25 academic departments and schools. These are:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature and Culture
  • Computer Science
  • Criminology
  • Drama, Theatre and Dance
  • Earth Sciences
  • Economics
  • Electronic Engineering
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Information Security
  • Languages, Literature and Cultures
  • Law
  • Liberal Arts
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Media Arts
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Social Work

The university offers both undergraduate and graduate programs across multiple disciplines. Most of its undergraduate courses last three years, and students can choose from the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
  • Bachelor of Law (LLB)
  • Bachelor of Music (BMus)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Bachelor of Science (Economics) (BSc Economics)

The university also offers master's courses in engineering and science. Students who study undergraduate modern languages or a master's in science or engineering will study for four years, as these courses incorporate a year either in industry or studying abroad.

Students are supported by over 1,750 staff across academic, administrative and support services areas. In addition to this, the university has visiting teachers, student interns and student staff also working on campus.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Each program has individual entry requirements, and the university accepts a range of international qualifications from applicants.

If applicants don't meet the necessary entry requirements of their chosen undergraduate or postgraduate program, they can attend foundation programmes through the university's international study centre. Upon completion of a foundation course, students can progress onto their chosen program.

As most courses are taught in English, international applicants need to show English proficiency before commencing their studies. The university accepts the following English language tests:

  • PTE
  • Cambridge ESOL
  • Other accepted equivalents

English language proficiency score requirements differ depending on the course applied for.

If applicants don't meet the required English proficiency scores, they can attend a preparation English language programme. Run by the university's international study centre, it helps students improve their English skills and allows them to progress onto their chosen undergraduate course.

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Royal Holloway sits across over 135 acres of parkland. Regarded as one of the most beautiful UK campuses, students have access to numerous teaching and social spaces.


Campus accommodation offers single or shared rooms, private or shared facilities, as well as catered and self-catered options. Undergraduate students are guaranteed university accommodation if they accept an offer before the deadline.


Open 24/7 throughout the academic year, the university's modern library boasts a comprehensive collection of texts. It houses over 600,000 volumes, 40,000 print and online journals and 1,150 seats across silent and group study areas.

Students have easy access to computers, with PC labs located across the campus and in the university's computer centre. In addition to this, every academic department has its own study facilities.

A recent addition to campus is the Beatrice Shilling building. Home to state-of-the-art facilities and technical equipment for electronic engineering students. The new GBP 20 million building includes lecture theatre with interactive seating, 280-seat auditorium, computing and electronics labs, creative learning room, open plan office space and a field laboratory on the roof.


The university has multiple spaces where students can relax and socialise. The main social hub is the Students' Union Main Hall, which hosts at least two events a week.

The university's Sports Centre recently opened world-class outdoor pitches and courts that are floodlit with all-weather playing grounds. It also houses a multi-use sports hall, 60-station suite, aerobics area, eight tennis courts, five netball courts, two grass football pitches, as well as personal training and fitness classes.

Other facilities include:

  • 11 dining options
  • Bars and cafes
  • Chapel
  • Online bookshop
  • Picture Gallery
  • Union shop

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

The university offers a range of scholarships and bursaries for international students. To be eligible for consideration, most scholarships require applicants to have a conditional or unconditional offer from Royal Holloway.

Scholarship options for international students include:

Barbara Raw scholarship

Awards GBP 5,000 over three years to high-achieving undergraduate students undertaking an English course. With five scholarships available, applicants need to achieve high grades at A-Level (or equivalent) to be considered.

Donald Davies Computer Science scholarship

All new undergraduate computer science students are considered for this scholarship. It awards GBP 1,000 in the first year of study and can be renewed for a further GBP 500 for the next three years. To keep receiving the scholarship, students need to achieve an overall first-class mark at the end of year exams.

Electronic Engineering Creativity scholarship

Awarding GBP 1,000 in the first year of study, there are eight of these scholarships available. Eligible students need to be applicants of a BEng or MEng degree within the university's department of electronic engineering.

International Future Leaders Scholarship

Awarded to 30 first-year international students, this scholarship is a GBP 4,000 fee reduction. To be eligible, students need to meet minimum grades of GCE A-Level of ABB (or equivalent), and a scholarship statement that highlights outstanding leadership skills.

Physics scholarships

An unlimited number of scholarships available to undergraduate students enrolled in a physics course. Awarding GBP 2,000 over three years, applicants need to achieve AAA at A-Level (or equivalent), including maths and physics.

Reed Innovation Scholarship

This scholarship is worth GBP 15,000, with GBP 5,000 awarded each year. Given to undergraduate students from any discipline, applicants need a minimum of GCE A-Level of AAA (or equivalent) and a scholarship statement that showcases innovation and problem-solving skills.

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International students

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THE World ranking


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