Skip to main content

Applicant FAQs

Applicant FAQs

Please find a collection of our frequently asked questions below.

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 mainly 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. We’ll be maintaining 1m+ social distancing in our teaching spaces, so some lectures will be face-to-face and some, with very large numbers of students, will be online. 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.

Although Government restrictions have now been lifted, the health and safety of our community remains a top priority. Many of the effective measures we have had in place over the past 18 months will remain, to help protect you, and everyone on campus.  The university, 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 (24 August 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*. 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. As part of the enrolment process, you’ll be able to let us know your personal circumstances.

* Based on the information available to us now (24 August 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*. 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.  As part of the enrolment process, you’ll be able to let us know your personal circumstances. As a result of recent changes to UK visa requirements it should be possible for you to start your course and begin to engage with your tutors and classmates remotely from wherever you are. You should continue to plan to travel to campus as soon as you are able to.

When you do arrive on campus, you can be confident that as long as you have kept up with the work of the class online, you will be able to join the class in person and carry on with your course without interruption.

UK visa regulations mean that if you are unable to start your course on campus and need to start your course online, you must arrive on campus in the UK by 6 April 2022 at the latest.

If you have booked university accommodation, please note that this can be held until 1 December 2021 to accommodate late arrival. After this date, you will need to re-apply once your arrival date is known.

If you have booked university accommodation and know that you will starting your course online, and therefore will be arriving on campus later than the start of term, you must let us know. When you do this as part of the enrolment process, the Accommodation team will be automatically notified. Please note that your accommodation can only be held until 1 December 2021 to allow for late arrival. After this date, you will need to re-apply once your arrival date is known.

* Based on the information available to us now (24 August 2021)

For courses starting in September, we are aware that currently, outward travel restrictions in specific countries (for instance, China), mean that it’s probable you will not be able to join us on campus at the start of term.  It is important that you let us know so that we can support you. As part of the enrolment process, you’ll be able to let us know your personal circumstances. As a result of recent changes to UK visa requirements it should be possible for you to start your course and begin to engage with your tutors and classmates remotely from wherever you are.

When you do arrive on campus, you can be confident that as long as you have kept up with the work of the class online, you will be able to join the class in person and carry on with your course without interruption.

You should continue to plan to travel to campus as soon as you are able to and, once you arrive, we expect you to attend timetabled on campus, teaching in person (subject to any quarantine/self-isolation requirements). 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.

UK visa regulations mean that if you are unable to start your course on campus and need to start your course online, you must arrive on campus in the UK by 6 April 2022 at the latest.

If you have already requested a CAS: please do not request a withdrawal of your CAS, please contact us at least a month before you intend to travel to the UK to request a reissue of your CAS. You will still need to arrive on campus before 6 April 2022 at the latest.

If you have yet to request a CAS: please request this when you know you will be travelling to the UK, to commence studies on campus. We would recommend requesting this at least a month before you intend to travel to the UK.  

If you have booked university accommodation, please note that this can be held until 1 December 2021 to accommodate late arrival. After this date, you will need to re-apply once your arrival date is known.

If you have booked university accommodation and know that you will starting your course online, and therefore will be arriving on campus later than the start of term, you must let us know. When you do this as part of the enrolment process, the Accommodation team will be automatically notified. Please note that your accommodation can only be held until 1 December 2021 to allow for late arrival. After this date, you will need to re-apply once your arrival date is known.

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 mainly 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. As part of the enrolment process, you’ll be able to let us know your personal circumstances.

* Based on the information available to us now (24 August 2021)

The UK Government has advised that the legal requirement to wear a face covering in shops, on public transport and other enclosed spaces has ended. 

The pandemic has made life unpredictable and we cannot anticipate the measures the UK Government might introduce to manage any changes in infection rates or the impact of those infection rates.  Our priority, as it has been throughout the pandemic, is to play our part in helping to manage the impact of Covid-19 across our community.

Although Government restrictions have now been lifted, the health and safety of our community remains a top priority. Many of the effective measures we have had in place over the past 18 months will remain, to help protect you, and everyone on campus. We will continue to strongly encourage the wearing of face coverings when moving around inside buildings, however they won’t be required outside or when you’re sitting down.

The UK Government lifted all legal restrictions on 19 July 2021. We expect the pandemic to continue to make life unpredictable and therefore maintaining a Covid-secure campus for our community also remains a priority. Some social distancing measures will remain in place, including organising your teaching so that students can spread out and maintain a 1m+ gap for all timetabled sessions, including lectures. This means that, if guidance or rules change, we can support you to continue with your studies.

If you or your household need to self-isolate, we will support you, whether you live on or off campus. The NHS (National Health Service) guidance for self-isolation if, you test positive, have symptoms or live with someone who has tested positive, can be found here.

At present*, the UK Government is designating countries as red, amber or green. You will find more information about this system, including information about the category assigned to your country here. Categories are reviewed regularly so please check the list before you travel.  This categorisation will determine whether or not you need to self-isolate.

If you are travelling from a green-listed country, no self-isolation is required.

If you are travelling from or through an amber-listed country, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, but will not be required to use Government designated quarantine hotels. You are encouraged to arrive early, so you can complete your self-isolation before the start of term.  On-campus self-isolation accommodation and support will be available from Monday 23 August for students arriving in the UK before term starts. You will be able to book a 10-day self-isolation package. Students booking this package will be given a self-catering, en-suite room in a flat with other students completing their self-isolation. The cost of the package is £250 and will be available between Monday 23 August and Friday 10 September (the 10 days must be completed by 10 September). At the end of the period of self-isolation, you will move into your allocated room in our halls of residence. Full details of the support package and booking arrangements can be found here.

On 8 July, the UK Government announced that, from 19 July 2021, if you have previously been fully vaccinated with an NHS-administered vaccine in the UK (plus 14 days), the above does not apply.

If you are travelling from or through a red-listed country, you will be required to quarantine for 10 days in a Government-designated hotel. Royal Holloway is not able to offer quarantine hotel facilities and you will need to book into a designated quarantine hotel. You will not be required to self-isolate on campus after you have completed your quarantine hotel stay. 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. More details of this financial support package are provided below.

All UK and international students must take a Covid test before travelling and will be required to show a negative test on arrival to campus to check into their room. Students who test positive should not travel to campus until after their self-isolation period has ended. If a student arrives and is unable to show a negative test they will be referred to a testing area on campus, where they can take a test. If a student tests positive they will not be permitted to check into our halls of residence, and if practical they will be asked to return home to self-isolate. If this is not practical, they will be referred to accommodation where they will be able to self-isolate, which may be off-campus.

*Based on information available to us now (24 August 2021)

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. Terms and conditions apply. Full details of eligibility and the claims process can be found here.

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 (5 August 2021) the UK Government has not made the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory. If, when you arrive on campus, you have not yet been vaccinated (or have only received the first of two vaccinations), we expect to be able to support you to achieve this. You will find more information on the UK Government website here.

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.

The Student Visa rules state that in order to apply for a Student Visa inside the UK, the start date of your new course cannot be more than 28 days after the day your current visa expires.

However, the UKVI have now stated that they will show discretion in cases where the following apply and allow you to make an application for a further Student Visa in the UK:

  • you already have Student or Tier 4 visa; and
  • the course start date given on the CAS for your new course is no later than 27 September 2021; or
  • you are in the UK under exceptional assurance and the start date of your course is no later than 27 September 2021. Please contact the International Student Support Office if this applies to you.

You must still submit your visa application before your current visa expires.

Updates from the UK Home Office can be found here

To apply for a Student visa, you will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), which will be valid for a period of six months from the date of issue. 

We have begun issuing CASes for students starting their studies this September. If you have not yet received yours, you can be confident that we are processing these and one of our Admissions advisors will be in touch shortly. If you haven’t received your CAS within four weeks, please get in contact and we can provide an update. Please contact our Admissions team by phone: +44 (0)1784 414944 , or email our international student recruitment team.

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 prior to the start of teaching. Recent changes to UK visa regulations mean that it should be possible for you to start your course and meet your tutors and classmates remotely from wherever you are.  From 25 August, CAS numbers will be issued with a latest arrival date of 6 April 2022, allowing you to begin your course online if your circumstances mean you cannot travel to campus for the start of term, and join us in-person when you can.

If you know that you will be able to travel to the UK in September 2021 and have firmly accepted an unconditional offer, paid your deposit and uploaded a copy of your passport, then we will currently aim to issue your CAS within two weeks. If this timing changes, we will update this here.

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.

Entry qualifications (postgraduate)

If you think you won’t be able to meet your offer requirements with certificated degree results, please contact the Admissions team, using the email on your offer letter, 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

Applications have now closed for 2021/2022 entry.  Please check our coursefinder for courses available for 2022/2023 entry.

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

Applications have now closed for 2021/2022 entry.  Please check our coursefinder for courses available for 2022/2023 entry.

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, you select the ‘January 2022 start’ version of your chosen course.

Please note that applications for these courses close on 15 November 2021, and any tuition fee deposits due must be paid by 15 December 2021.

Teaching for all of these courses will begin on 10 January 2022 but you must also be available to participate in an online induction week, starting on 3 January 2022.

* 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 for courses starting in September 2021.

For postgraduate courses starting in January 2022, the deadline to pay your deposit is 15 December 2021.

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 have begun issuing CASes for students starting their studies in September 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. 

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. The next course starts on 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.

Full details about our pre-sessional English Language Programmes (PELP) can be found hereWe are accepting the same English language tests listed here for applying to our pre-sessional programmes.

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.

Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help

Discover more about our 21 departments and schools

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

They say the two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today