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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. If you are thinking about postgradaute study, why not come and visit us

Ranked in the top research-intensive universities in the UK

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF), published on Thursday 18 December 2014, it was confirmed that we sit within the top 25 per cent of UK universities for research which is rated as ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’.

Our successes include:

  • 81 per cent of our research is within the world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) categories: an increase of more than 20 per cent from RAE 2008.
  • In addition, 30 per cent of our research is classed as 4*, the highest category.
  • Geography is ranked the top Geography department in England for 4* and 3* research.
  • Six of our departments are in the top 10 for 4* and 3* research, including Earth Sciences (second), Psychology (fourth), Mathematics (fifth), Music (fifth), Media Arts (ninth) and Drama and Theatre (10th).

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 2014 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

The deadline for all postgraduate applications has now passed. There has been an extremely high demand for postgraduate accommodation and, as a result, it is unlikely that we will be able to offer postgraduate accommodation in halls to many people who requested it.

To avoid disappointment, we strongly recommend that postgraduate applicants secure private sector accommodation in time for the start of term. Further information about private sector accommodation can be found here.

If you have any questions about postgraduate accommodation, please contact Student Accommodation.

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 a multi-award winning Careers & Employability service in the heart of campus, offering tailored support to help you boost your employability and prepare for the choices ahead. The Careers & Employability service is part of The Careers Group, which is the largest and most comprehensive Careers Service in Europe, with careers services across the University of London and beyond.
  • We offer numerous training events and opportunities for you to network with the hundreds of alumni and employers who return to campus every year.
  • If you want to talk over your options one-to-one, our careers consultants, many of them in possession of postgraduate qualifications themselves, can provide insights and advice in a personal appointment.

“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.
  • Masters students commencing their studies in September 2015 could be eligible for one of our Postgraduate Student Support Scholarships, which are worth £10,000 and non-repayable.
  • The following awards are also available:  Trust Masters Scholarships, Alumni Bursaries, International Excellence Scholarships and Computer Science Scholarships to name just a few.

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

James Lambert, Economics, 2003

Postgraduate Student Blogs

See what our current postgraduate students shave to say about studying at Royal Holloway in one of our Postgraduate Student Blogs




Need more info?



Visit Steps to Postgraduate Study: The official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course.



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