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Applicant FAQs

Applicant FAQs

Please find a collection of our frequently asked questions below.

Entry qualifications (undergraduate and postgraduate)

If you are an A-level applicant, don’t worry. The UK Government has confirmed that you will still receive A-level grades. These will be based on your teachers’ assessment of your work and will be sent to universities in August in the usual way. Similar arrangements are in place for some other qualifications too. 

Where this is not the case, we will make a decision on your application in August 2021, using the information available to us at the time. If exam boards are unable to provide you with certificated grades, this is likely to mean that our final decision is based on your GCSE grades and/or the academic reference provided on your UCAS application.

If your offer is conditional on international qualifications which will not now be certificated, please contact the Admissions team to discuss alternative options. We may be able to make a decision based on any transcripts or course assessments you can provide. All transcripts will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Admissions team, and decisions will be made in accordance with the university’s policy, alongside UKVI VISA requirements where applicable.

If you know that you will be unable to receive your results as planned, please contact the Admissions team quoting your UCAS ID number.

We know that your education has been disrupted during the pandemic and that you might be worried about the impact that will have on your ability to meet our entry requirements.

To reassure you, we have made the following guarantee. If you hold an offer to start a course at Royal Holloway in September 2021, or for deferred entry in September 2022, when this year’s A-level results are published in August 2021 we will confirm your place even if one of your final A-level grades is one grade below those you have received in the offer we’ve made to you through UCAS.

If your offer is based on a different qualification such as IB, BTETCs, Scottish Highers, Welsh Baccalaureate, or other international qualifications, we will give you the equivalent flexibility to students taking A-levels.

More detail on specific qualification requirements is provided here.

Please note that if your course requires you to achieve a subject-specific result, you will still need to achieve that grade, and (if relevant) your original English language requirements will still apply. The guarantee excludes our Integrated Foundation Year and International Foundation Year courses.

We also have a standard process for taking extenuating circumstances into account.  If you think there are additional circumstances we need to be aware of (for example, if there are no arrangements in place in your country for your qualifications to be certificated) you need to provide us with a letter from your school or university confirming the disruption you have experienced, and we will take this into account when we consider your results. Please send your letter to the Head of Admissions and Applicant Services before your results are published. We are not usually able to consider requests after results are published. 

The UK Government has adjusted the timetable for publication of A-level results to allow more time for any appeals that need to be considered. Your school should be able to advise you on the appeals process. You have until 31 August 2021 to meet the conditions of your offer of a place at Royal Holloway. We anticipate that the outcomes of any appeals will be available before this date.

This summer's arrangement for private A-level candidates this summer vary according to where you live. There is a helpful summary of current plans on the UCAS website. We will make a decision on your application in August 2021, using the information available to us at the time. If exam boards are unable to provide you with certificated grade, this is likely to mean that our final decision is based on your GCSE grades and/or the academic reference provided on your UCAS application. If you know that you will be unable to receive your results as planned, please contact the Admissions team quoting your UCAS ID number.

If you think you won’t be able to meet your offer requirements with certificated degree results, please contact the Admissions team to discuss alternative options. If you’re able to provide evidence of attendance and transcripts, showing an average GPA in line with your offer requirements, we may be able to make special arrangements for you. All transcripts and proof of attendance will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Admissions team, and decisions will be made in accordance with the university’s policy, alongside UKVI VISA requirements where applicable.

Undergraduate applications, offers and acceptances

Yes – the vast majority of our courses are still open for 2021/22 entry. Please check our coursefinder to find the course you are interested in. You can apply through UCAS in the normal way.

Our applicants do occasionally decide to defer, and we have a standard process for considering deferral requests. People choose to take gap years for a wide variety of reasons, and we hope that you will consider all the facts before making this important decision. 

We are not currently offering a January start option for any of our undergraduate courses in 2021/22. If this changes we will let you know.

If you are joining us from overseas, you may want to consider the International Year One (IY1) programme offered by our pathway provider, Study Group. The IY1 programme benefits from an additional focus on academic skills and will prepare you to progress on to year two of your Royal Holloway degree in September 2022 and you will graduate with a Royal Holloway degree. Computer Science; Business and Management; Economics and Electronics pathways are available.

If you are interested in this option, you will need to make a new application for the IY1 pathway but don’t worry - if you are holding an offer for a Royal Holloway degree starting in September 2021, we will keep your place open until you confirm your place on the International Year One January start course at the International Study Centre.

To find out more and apply, click here

You can ask to defer your place at any time before the start of term in September 2021. We will do our best to accommodate your request but may not always be able to – for example if we have already made a large number of deferred entry offers for your chosen course.

Postgraduate (Taught) applications, offers and acceptances

Yes – the vast majority of our courses are still open for 2021/22 entry. Please check our coursefinder to find the course you're interested in. Details of how to apply are provided here.

Our applicants do occasionally decide to defer, and we have a standard process for considering deferral requests. People choose to defer for a wide variety of reasons, and we hope that you will consider all the facts before making this important decision.

We are offering a January start option for the following full-time postgraduate courses:

  • MSc Data Science and Analytics
  • MSc Artificial Intelligence
  • MSc Information Security*
  • MSc Data Science and Analytics with a year in industry
  • MSc Artificial Intelligence with a year in industry
  • MSc Information Security with a year in industry*

If you have already applied to start one of these courses in September but would like to defer your proposed start date until January, simply log into your application portal here and use the My Enquiries section to submit a deferral request. The team will automatically be notified.

If you have not yet applied, you will find details of how to do so here. Simply make sure that, when you select the ‘January 2022 start’ version of your chosen course.

* Please note that there is no January start option for Distance Learning students.

Paying my deposit (undergraduate and postgraduate)

We do not have a fixed deadline for deposit payment.

If you are an international student and need a visa to come to the UK, you will need to ask us to issue a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). We will begin to issue CASes to students who are planning to start their course in September 2021 in mid June 2021.

You may be worried about paying your deposit because of uncertainties around world travel. Don't worry - if you are later unable to take up your place at Royal Holloway, for reasons relating to the coronavirus outbreak, we will refund your deposit. If you find yourself in this situation, you will need to speak to our Admissions and Applicant Services team to request a refund. Please note that requests must be made within 30 days of the official start date of your course. 

Visiting campus

If you have received an offer of a place at Royal Holloway, you will have had the opportunity to register for an Online Applicant Event. As legal restrictions ease, we are also hoping to be able to offer some opportunities to visit our campus during the summer and within the prevailing health and safety guidelines. You can find up-to-date details of our plans here. In the meantime, you might like to take a look at our Virtual Experience or chat to one of our current students or staff

We recognise how important it is to come to the campus so we are currently planning to offer opportunities to visit our campus during the summer, working within prevailing health and safety guidelines. You can find up-to-date details of our plans here. In the meantime, you might like to take a look at our Virtual Experience or chat to one of our current students or staff

If circumstances mean we can't offer these days on campus, we will offer Online Open Days as an alternative to all those who have booked, and other enquirers.

English language requirements

Yes. To help our applicants we are now accepting the following tests:

  • IELTS Indicator
  • OnCampus OCTOE
  • TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition

Full details of the specific scores you need to achieve to meet the conditions of your offer can be found here.

If you think that you will need additional teaching to achieve the required English language score, we recommend applying for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes. These programmes start on 17 June 2021 (twelve weeks), 15 July 2021 (eight weeks) and 12 August (four weeks). If you successfully complete one of these online programmes you can use it to qualify for entry on to Royal Holloway degrees which start in September 2021. All of these courses can be studied on campus or online.

In response to the latest UKVI requirements, and in order to provide the best education for our students, we are also now offering the option of a 12-week Pre-sessional that starts online for 8 weeks and then completes on campus for the last 4 weeks. This gives students the benefits of learning both online and face to face whilst also experiencing the beautiful Royal Holloway campus. We are monitoring the UKVI rules closely and if they change we could open up the online only programmes however we feel it will be of benefit for students to join the 4 weeks on campus if possible. This is because, at present (21 May 2021), UKVI has removed the concession for online learning. If students still choose to take a fully online Pre-sessional programme, these UKVI changes could significantly impact on your ability to get a VISA in time to commence your degree at Royal Holloway. Full details about our pre-sessional English Language Programmes (PELP) can be found here.

We are accepting the same English language tests listed here for applying to our pre-sessional programmes.

Visa applications and CAS requests

The UK Home Office has published Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for visa applicants where you can find answers to most of your questions. Click here to see the full guidance for international students. You can also contact our International Student Support Office.

As the start date of your new course is longer than 28 days from your visa expiration date, the UKVI will require you to apply for a Student Route Visa from outside of the UK. Updates from the UK Home Office regarding this can be found here

 

To apply for a visa, you will need to ask us to issue a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance for Study) CASes are valid for a period of three months from the date of issue. 

We will start to issue CASes in mid June. Current UK Government visa regulations mean that your CAS will specify a ‘latest arrival date’ of October. We are aware that ongoing uncertainty about travel restrictions means that international students from some countries may be worried about their ability to travel to the UK by this date. We are monitoring the situation carefully and if visa restrictions change, we may be able to re-issue your CAS to enable you to begin your studies online and to travel to the UK later in the term.

If you know that you will be able to travel to the UK in September 2021 and have firmly accepted an unconditional offer, please request your CAS as soon as possible. This will give you enough time to get your CAS, apply for your visa and make your travel arrangements.

If you are not yet sure when in September 2021 you will be able to travel to the UK, we suggest that you delay your CAS request until your travel plan is clearer. We will continue to issue CASes on an on-going basis.

We may need up to a month to process a CAS request and you will also need to allow time for your visa application to be processed.

Teaching, student life and Covid-19 restrictions in the academic year 2021/22

We are excited to be able to plan for the majority of students to study on campus (Egham or London depending on your course) for courses starting September 2021*.

Your learning will be a mix of face-to-face, on campus, teaching and learning support, with some digital elements. This is building on the positive feedback around taking part in digital learning from students over the last year. 

We use a range of teaching techniques for blended delivery, for example,  the ‘flipped classroom’ which is when you’re introduced to the information before the class, perhaps via podcasts, videos, recorded micro-lectures or items to read online, and then you come together with your tutor and classmates to talk about the information. Large lectures can be delivered online or face to face, but we also use lecture-recording, which means that you can watch many lectures when it’s convenient to you. Our students really like this flexibility, and the ability to watch the lecture again and again.

We currently expect that all legal restrictions will be removed by September and so we, the Students’ Union and clubs and societies are planning a full programme of face-to-face events and experiences. We are also planning for facilities such as the library, gym, cafes and bars to be open and we will provide a full range of student support services.

Some online events and activities were very popular last year and so we are building an online programme too. While we are making plans for a full return to campus, we are also planning so that, if there are further legal restrictions, we’re prepared and can support you and your learning.

* Based on the information available to us now (2 June 2021)

We are excited to be able to plan for the majority of students to study on campus (Egham or London depending on your course) for courses starting September 2021*. 

If you are able to come to campus, we expect you to attend timetabled on campus teaching in person. Being in an educational environment, attending face-to-face classes, having access to the library, and being able to connect with your classmates will help you to succeed in your goals. 

However, we appreciate that the pandemic is making life unpredictable. If your circumstances mean that, for example for health reasons or because of travel restrictions, you are not able to start your course face-to-face, on campus, it is important that you let us know so that we can support you.

* Based on the information available to us now (2 June 2021)

We are excited to be able to plan for the majority of students to study on campus (Egham or London depending on your course) for courses starting Sept 2021*. We are also offering the alternative of a January start for a small number of full-time postgraduate taught programmes.  

Your learning will be a mix of face-to-face, on campus, teaching and learning support, with some digital elements. This is building on the positive feedback around taking part in digital learning from students over the last year. 

If you are able to come to campus, we expect you to attend timetabled on campus, teaching in person. Being in an educational environment, attending face-to-face classes, having access to the library and being able to connect with your classmates will help you to succeed in your goals.

However, we appreciate that the pandemic is making life unpredictable. If your circumstances mean that, for example for health reasons or because of travel restrictions, you are not able to start your course face-to-face, on campus, it is important that you let us know so that we can support you.

* Based on the information available to us now (2 June 2021)

We are excited to be able to plan for the majority of students to study on campus (Egham or London depending on your course) for courses starting September 2021*. Your learning will be a mix of face-to-face, on campus, teaching and learning support, with some digital elements. This is building on the positive feedback around taking part in digital learning from students over the last year. 

If you are able to come to campus, we expect you to attend timetabled on campus, teaching in person. Being in an educational environment, attending face-to-face classes, having access to the library and being able to connect with your classmates will help you to succeed in your goals.

However, we appreciate that the pandemic is making life unpredictable. If your circumstances mean that, for example for health reasons or because of travel restrictions, you are not able to start your course face-to-face, on campus, it is important that you let us know so that we can support you.

* Based on the information available to us now (2 June 2021)

We currently require all students and staff, unless they are exempt, to wear face coverings when moving around inside our buildings, and our students and staff support this. 

The pandemic has made life unpredictable and we cannot anticipate the measures the UK Government might introduce to manage any changes in infection rates. If new measures are introduced, we will be required to follow them in order to play our part in helping to keep everyone safe.

We expect that all legal restrictions will be lifted by September however, we are planning in case social distancing is required. This means that, if measures are in place, or new ones are introduced, we can support you to continue with your studies.

The pandemic has made life unpredictable and we cannot anticipate the measures the UK Government might introduce to manage any changes in infection rates. If new measures are introduced, we will be required to follow them in order to play our part in helping to keep everyone safe. 

If you or your household need to self-isolate, we will support you, whether you live on or off campus.

We wish to support our international students who are travelling to Royal Holloway to start a course during the 2021/22 academic year. We are pleased to confirm that we will refund the cost, to a maximum level, of the requirements that may apply to you on arrival in the UK to begin your course, based on the UK Government’s current travel guidance. The current requirements and the maximum refund amounts are outlined below.

Travel Covid-19 tests (up to £150)

You can choose a provider from a list available on the UK Government website. Costs vary depending on the provider. We will refund the total cost of the Covid-19 tests you need to pay for, up to the value of £150. If you choose a provider or providers where the cost is more than £150, we will not cover the excess.

Quarantine hotel costs (up to £1,500)

If you are travelling from, or through, a country on the UK Government’s list of ‘red’ countries, you are currently required to undertake 10 full days of ‘managed quarantine’ in hotel accommodation on arrival in the UK. The cost of managed quarantine is shown on the Government website and we will refund up to £1,500 of this amount for eligible students. 

Please note:

Applies to students with international fee status, who are resident overseas and travelling to the UK to begin their course. Refunds will be available for the student only, not for partners, spouses or dependants. Only one refund is available during the 2021/22 academic year. You must submit your claim within three weeks of arriving in the UK. In order to be reimbursed, you will need a UK bank account, and provide proof of purchase. 

 

The pandemic has made life unpredictable, and we cannot anticipate the measures the UK Government might introduce to manage any changes in infection rates. Your learning will be a mix of face-to-face, on campus, teaching and learning support, with some digital elements. This means we can be flexible and adapt if Government restrictions change, helping you to continue your studies with as little interruption as possible.

We strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccination to be vaccinated. At this time (2 June 2021) the UK Government has not made the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory.

Adapted courses and student experience during 2020/21

In response to Covid-19, for 2020/21 we adapted all our courses to combine face and face and online teaching and for selected courses, introduced the option of a January start date. Hear from some of our students and staff on how they found the experience here.

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