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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 postgraduate study, why not come and visit us?

An outstanding research profile at a top-ranked UK university


In the Research Excellence Framework (REF), published in 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 collaborations with worldwide organisations

Our Research & Enterprise team, with strong and thriving links to the London and South-East regional business community, encourages, supports and promotes research and enterprise activities at Royal Holloway. The team provides information and advice to the academic community – students, staff and alumni – on a range of subjects from research funding and intellectual property rights, to starting new business ventures.

For example, our world-leading Information Security Group (ISG) has numerous highprofile industrial partners supporting its research and consultancy, including Vodafone, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. The ISG has received recognition as an academic centre of excellence in cyber security research, one of only eight in the UK.

“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 expert teaching

  • 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

Outstanding campus and study environment

  • It’s the people who bring the campus to life and we're renowned for having a particularly friendly ambience. Our size means you can't go far without seeing a familiar face which makes for 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, whether on campus or close by in the local area.
  • 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 many 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

A great place to live

  • Our Student Accommodation team are dedicated to helping you find the right place to live, whether on or off-campus.
  • All full-time postgraduates are welcome to apply to spend their first year living in our on-campus halls of residence, some of which are exclusively for postgraduates. We consider all applications, although International students are prioritised.
  • You’ll need to apply for accommodation by our deadlines and if you want to stay in halls after your first year, you’ll need to reapply.
  • Many of our halls include adapted rooms that are suitable for students with disabilities. Full-time carers can be housed in a room adjacent to the student’s room. If you’re interested in an adapted room, you should contact the Disability and Dyslexia Office for advice before submitting your application for accommodation.
  • We have a small amount of accommodation available for International postgraduates who would like to live with their partner and/or children while studying. The availability of this accommodation varies from year to year, so please contact us for current information.
  • Some postgraduate students choose to live near campus in private sector accommodation. We have our own private sector website listing flats, houses and lodgings available in the local area – from Englefield Green, Egham and Staines to Virginia Water, Ashford and Windsor. You’ll need to consider the requirements of your study programme and the commute, but help is at hand to establish where you choose to settle.
  • If your research involves work in London you may prefer to live in the capital. Royal Holloway has a small number of rooms for postgraduates in Intercollegiate Halls of Residence in central London, which are issued on a first-come first-served basis. The University of London Accommodation Office offers assistance to those looking for accommodation in London.

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

A University of London degree

  • 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 usually awarded for academic success, oe excellence in sport or music, to support taught 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.
  • Awards are available for both UK and overseas applicants.
  • And if you're a Royal Holloway graduate, you can take advantage of an automatic discount on your tuition fees, currently ten per cent off (at October 2015)

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

James Lambert, Economics, 2003

What do our postgraduates say?

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


If you are thinking about postgraduate study, why not come and visit us?


Read our prospectus for 2017 taught postgraduate students.


Need more info?



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



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