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Why choose us for postgraduate study?

One of the largest multi-faculty colleges in the University of London, Royal Holloway has a distinguished history and reputation for academic innovation.

Ranked in the top research-intensive universities in the UK

  • We’re a research leader and acknowledged worldwide for our high quality research across all sectors of the arts, humanities and sciences.
  • We continue to attract first-class academics with new perspectives and expertise. Their cutting-edge research makes our courses compelling and enables us to make a greater impact on society.
  • The results of the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) confirmed our position as one of the top research-intensive universities in the UK.
  • The RAE measures research quality in four categories – the top score of 4* indicates quality that is world-leading and of the highest standards in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
  • We’re ranked 16th in the UK for research of 4* standard and 18th for 3* and 4*.
  • 60 per cent of our research profile is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent, above the national average of 50 per cent.
  • The Department of Music is the top department in the UK, further recognition of its world-leading research excellence. It was recently awarded a Regius Professorship in recognition of this.
  • A further eight departments are in the top 10 ranked by proportion of 3* and 4* research: Biological Sciences (joint third), Drama (joint ninth), Earth Sciences (joint seventh), Economics (joint ninth), Geography (joint ninth), German (joint fifth), Media Arts (joint sixth) and Psychology (joint fifth).
  • Our students join a research-led environment in which academic staff are working at the frontiers of their subjects.
  • This means our postgraduate programmes reflect the latest thinking and offer exciting intellectual challenges.
  • Royal Holloway generates original research of national and international importance fuelled by a global network of collaboration, which garners media attention from the likes of the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and the Independent, to name just a few.
  • Find out more about our research degrees if you're interested in taking a PhD at Royal Holloway.

"The teaching expertise at Royal Holloway was the main reason I chose to complete my MA in History at the College, as well as its outstanding reputation in research. I hope that following completion of my MA a variety of additional career options will be available to me."

Daniel Hampton, MA in History

Strong research collaborations with external organisations

  • We have strong links with London and the South East regional business community thanks to our research expertise. We also have research partnerships with many national and multinational companies and the creative sector.
  • For example, the world-leading Information Security Group (ISG) has numerous high-profile industrial partnerships supporting its research and consultancy including Vodafone, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
  • ISG has received recognition as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, one of only eight in the UK.
  • Research income at Royal Holloway has increased in recent years through the development of thriving partnerships with business, industry and arts organisations.
  • Several departments have also worked with the Government, including the Media Arts department – Sue Clayton’s film Hamedullah: The Road Home was presented to a Select Committee hoping to change the law that deports young people to war zones.
  • We’re also a founding partner of the Surrey Enterprise Hub, offering a wide range of support services to local businesses.

“Royal Holloway has something for everyone: it has world class facilities; top research departments; and a great mix of people from different backgrounds.”

  Michael Cheesman, Physics

Top-quality teaching informed by research

  • Teaching at all levels is undertaken by staff with a real command of their subject so you’ll be taught by an expert in the field – sometimes the leading expert – and share in his or her knowledge and enthusiasm.
  • The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) evaluates the quality and standards of all higher education institutions through a review process.  
  • In our most recent review, the QAA expressed confidence in our management of the academic standards of our awards and the quality of learning opportunities available to our students.

"I think that coming to Royal Holloway gives you a certain sense of confidence because you are mixing with such talented people as well as some truly brilliant lecturers.”

Gareth Davies, Music and Drama

High student satisfaction

  • Royal Holloway students have given us a big vote of confidence in each successive National Student Survey, conducted independently with final year students.
  • In the 2013 NSS, we achieved an 89 per cent satisfaction rating from our students. 
  • This means we’re in the top tier of universities for students’ overall satisfaction with the quality of their academic experience.

"I was looking at other universities but overall the combination of the campus life and the department’s reputation won out for me.”

Azad Zangana, Economics

Outstanding campus

  • It’s the people who bring the campus to life and we're renowned for having a particularly friendly ambience. Our size means you cannot move far without seeing a familiar face and this creates a safe, relaxed environment. 
  • There is also a cosmopolitan atmosphere; you will meet people of many nationalities, hear many different languages and interact with a vibrant range of cultures during your time here.
  • We have a beautiful campus set in 135 acres of parkland plus central London study facilities are just a train journey away.
  • You’ll be part of a friendly and supportive environment while living in high-quality student accommodation.
  • On campus, you can join one of our vast range of clubs and societies, become a student journalist, join a band or sing with a choir, perform in musical theatre or in a classical play, attend a lecture outside of your field of study, help teach and become a volunteer.
  • You can also become an entrepreneur, find a part-time job on campus or in the local area, join a committee or represent your fellow students at a national conference, enjoy a night out such as a pub quiz, live music or film screening and be active with one of our 60 sports teams or by working out at the gym. Find out more about the top things to do on campus.

“The feel of the campus environment is electric at times and you get such a brilliant sense of community across all of the departments.”

Kit Wisdom, Geography

Postgraduate accommodation

  • We understand that finding a suitable place to live is important to all our students. We offer a range of Royal Holloway owned properties – some of which are postgraduate only while others cater for both postgraduates and undergraduates – close to all the campus facilities.
  • If you prefer to live off campus, Student Accommodation can advise on private sector housing in the local area.
  • Full-time postgraduate students have the opportunity to spend their first year in Royal Holloway accommodation if they wish, while research students can also spend their second and third year in halls if they submit an application.
  • Postgraduates are eligible to live in Highfield Court, Runnymede Hall, Penrose Court, the Victorian Houses and Gowar Hall. Mixed undergraduate and postgraduate halls are usually subdivided by floor.
  • Each postgraduate hall is self-catered and WiFi is available so you have internet access for your studies.

“All my friends are rather jealous when they see photos of my student days. While I was lounging around in the Founder’s quad with some rather glamorous, cosmopolitan people in what seemed like eternal sunshine, other friends of mine were battling it out in squalid student digs.”

Niki McMorrough, European Studies

The University of London

  • You’ll obtain a University of London degree; a qualification recognised the world over leading to first-rate career opportunities.
  • Membership of the University of London has important advantages for postgraduate students.
  • They can make use of the University of London Library at Senate House and access other libraries in other colleges.
  • Some Masters degrees operate on a federal basis, with courses available in several colleges.
  • Research collaboration between colleges and shared research seminars are very common, bringing added diversity and expertise to our programmes.

"You have the best of both worlds: a London university that’s based on a campus in the countryside but within 40 minutes you are in central London.”

Mike Perera, Management

Job prospects

  • You’ll have access to the largest and most comprehensive Careers Service in Europe in the heart of campus, offering tailored support to help you boost your employability and prepare for the choices ahead.
  • We offer a PhD Careers Cafe, which helps postgraduate students find out more about careers in different topics covering the arts, sciences and management and economics.
  • The Careers Service also runs PhD specific workshops where you can improve your job-hunting and application skills helping you find employment when you graduate.
  • Royal Holloway offers a full platform of  generic skills training helping you develop transferable skills that are not specific to your own research.
  • Postgraduate taught students will also have access to interactive e-learning modules for self-directed study, covering topics from critical thinking to note-taking and referencing.
  • Each department also runs its own subject-specific training programme to help you make the most of your postgraduate degree and achieve the best mark you can to impress future employers.
“I knew I wanted to go to a prestigious university that would help with my career.”

Bronwen Foster-Butler, European Studies

Broad portfolio of bursaries and scholarships

  • We offer a broad portfolio of bursaries and scholarships to support both taught and research postgraduate students.
  • Royal Holloway works with a number of external scholarship providers to ensure you have a wide range of funding options open to you.
  • In fact, we offered over 100 doctoral scholarships and awards worth more than £3 million to our postgraduate students who commenced their studies in September 2012. 
  • We invested £4 million infunding for postgraduate students starting in September 2013.
  • The following awards are available: Thomas Holloway Research Scholarships, College Research Scholarships, College Masters Scholarships, Crossland Scholarship and Reid Scholarship, to name just a few.

“I wanted to take advantage of the range of scholarships and teaching assistant opportunities available.”

James Lambert, Economics, 2003



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