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14 December 2016

Tis the season

Two students walk across a bridge on campus at Royal Holloway

Join the festivities this December

In the UK, the Christmas season is the time towards the end of the year when we celebrate Christmas and the New Year. Many other cultures also celebrate during this festive season, including Chanukah and Yuletide. Here are just a few of the ways you can experience the festive celebrations this season.

Head to a Christmas market

The history of the Christmas market originates in Germany, where small markets would pop-up in the weeks before Christmas. Often selling traditional Christmas gifts including nutcrackers and handmade toys, these annual markets are a great place to experience the Christmas atmosphere. With music, lots of stalls and a choice of world foods for sale, you are bound to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts.

  • Christmas Market at Tate Modern - Opposite Tate Modern a lively Christmas Market emerges for its third year. The traditional market is free to guests and features traditional music, unique gifts and culinary specialities from local creators. The market will be open until 23 December.
  • Southbank Centre Winter Festival - Sparkling entertainment lines the Thames riverbank in London for this annual event. Featuring live performances, a vintage New Year’s Eve party, lots of food and a winter market, there is lots to see and do. Stroll Southbank, grab some food and spot the Gonks! Free to enter with some ticketed events, open to 25 January.
  • Christmas in Leicester Square - A traditional Christmas market and grotto take over at Christmas in Leicester Square. Explore the shops and catch a live programme while snacking on warm food and drink. Entry is free with some ticketed events. The Christmas market will be open until 8 January 2017.

See the lights

Displays of lights line buildings and streets to celebrate the holiday season. Your favourite local shops might even have lights and special displays in the shop windows. London is a great place to experience the festive lights, with large displays in many of the popular shopping areas.

  • Covent Garden - The cobbled markets of Covent Garden twinkle in thousands of lights and mistletoe chandeliers lining the streets and buildings. Be sure to take in all the sights including a Christmas tree, a Lego Santa Express train made with over 700.000 LEGO and magnificent silver reindeer.
  • Christmas Tree at Trafalgar Square - The magnificent, giant Norwegian spruce in Trafalgar Square has been an annual gift to London from the people of Norway since 1947. The 22-metre tree is illuminated with over 770 lights.
  • Menorah at Trafalgar Square - On 24 December, the tree comes down and the giant menorah goes up. On display for Chanukah, the eight day Jewish festival of lights, the menorah will be on display until 1 January 2017.

Enjoy ice skating

Ice skating is a favourite winter past time in the UK. Join the festivities at one of the many ice skating rinks popping up around the city.

  • Ice Skating at Windsor - All levels of skaters are welcome at the annual ice rink in Alexandra Gardens featuring a festive food court and covered ice rink for skating in all weather. Book tickets in advance for the best experience. Open until 2 January 2017.
  • Natural History Museum Ice Rink - For an ice skating adventure in a forest of twinkling lights head to the Natural History Museum to experience their annual rink. Book in advance to secure your spot. Open until 8 January 2017.

The holidays are about spending quality time with the people you care about, so grab some friends and check out the many festive celebrations happening across the city.

06 December 2016

Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development

ISC student on Royal Holloway campus

Times Higher Education Awards Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development

The Times Higher Education Awards 2016 presents Royal Holloway, University of London with the distinguished Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development award. To be considered for the award, universities must demonstrate efforts to implement imaginative schemes that foster development and leadership amongst management staff.

In 2012, Royal Holloway recognized a fairly even amount of male and female lecturers, but a disproportionate amount of male professors to female professors. This was a disheartening realisation, as Royal Holloway is proud to be one of the first UK universities to have offered higher education to women. In response, the University launched in 2014 the “Enabling Women Academics Through the Promotion Process” initiative seeking to increase the percentage of female professors. Female academics were offered coaching, workshops and variable schedules to assist through the promotion process and teaching schedules. A total of 26 women participated in the first two cohorts of the scheme, 16 of which have since been promoted to heads of departments and chairs in their subject area.

Winning the Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development demonstrates the commitment at Royal Holloway to diverse leadership and academics.

Read the full list of award winners.

14 November 2016

International outlook ranks high for Royal Holloway

Students in a lab at Royal Holloway

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017

Royal Holloway scores 93 out of 100 for international outlook in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017. These results are a testimony to the global impact of our research, as well as the diversity of staff and students on campus. Further for international outlook, the university ranks 10th in the UK and 32nd in the world.

In overall rankings, Royal Holloway ranks an impressive 27th in the UK, 82nd in Europe and 173rd in the world.

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017

The dedication to excellence continues to be shown in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 where Royal Holloway ranks 34th in the UK, gaining two spot from 36th in 2016.

Individual subject rankings:

  • 12th Geography and Environmental Science
  • 22th Psychology
  • 24th Communication and Media Studies
  • 30th Economics
  • 33rd Physics and Astronomy
  • 36th Mathematics (rising 8 spots from 44th)
  • 37th Politics
  • 49th Sociology

The university is proud to also boast ranking 18th for graduate completion rate with a score of 93.8 out of 100. Royal Holloway also scored well for teaching quality coming in 44th, and research quality ranking in 30th.


23 August 2016

Royal Holloway rankings continue to confirm a top university

The Guardian University Guide and Complete University Guide have both released their annual league table rankings for 2017, featuring Royal Holloway, University of London well ranked in both.

Students in a classroom

What are league table rankings?

League table rankings are lists of universities ordered, or ranked, according to various criteria. These rankings are released every year and usually created by newspapers, governments or academics. Each ranking calculates their table with specific requirements, but all look at similar qualities. Student satisfaction, graduate prospects and grades are just a few of the qualities rankings look at. Some rankings only look at universities in the UK, while others evaluate universities worldwide.

League table rankings are a reliable way of comparing universities to help you identify the best options for you.

The Guardian University Guide 2017

The Guardian University Guide ranks Royal Holloway 45th in the UK. Royal Holloway also appeared in the top 20 for 7 subjects:

  • 7th Music
  • 8th Psychology
  • 11th Classics and Ancient History
  • 12th Criminology
  • 15th Geography & Environmental Studies
  • 17th Physics
  • 18th Earth and Marine Sciences

The Complete University Guide 2017 

The Complete University Guide 2017 ranks Royal Holloway 37th in the UK. Royal Holloway also appeared in the top 10 for 4 subjects:

  • 4th Marketing
  • 7th Music
  • 8th Creative Writing
  • 8th Geography


19 August 2016

Tips for your September arrival at Royal Holloway University of London International Study Centre

Royal Holloway (RHUL) ISC students walking together on campus near the Founder’s Building

Here are some tips to help you get ready to study in London.

With September just about the corner, now is the time to start preparing for your exciting journey to London! If you’re feeling a little nervous, take a breath and relax. We have gathered some tips to help you prepare and settle into life abroad.

At Royal Holloway International Study Centre, term starts Monday 19th September. Be sure to arrive on time for induction at 10am.

Be prepared

Before catching your flight to London, you’re going to want to be sure that you have everything you need. You’ll be able to buy most things you need once you arrive, but there are some things you will need to bring from home.

Before you leave:

  • Confirm your accommodation
  • Book your flights
  • Complete the pre-arrival form
  • Book your taxi transfer

It is really important that you make copies of all your documents. Different documents will be needed throughout your journey to London and during your first week.

What to bring with you on your first day:

  • Evidence of your Secure English language test
  • Passport and visa
  • Sponsor letter (if you are being sponsored)

Make sure you’ve downloaded our pre-arrival guide. This guide covers what else you will need and the documents you will want to carry with you while traveling.

Get involved

After you’ve arrived and settled in, take this opportunity to meet your classmates and say hello to your new neighbours. The other students will be feeling many of the same things you are. Talking to each other will help to ease any nerves.

During your first week you will have a complete introduction to the University, London and the International Study Centre. This week is often called “induction”. Throughout the week there will be a range of fun activities for new students. Be sure you arrive on time and prepared for induction. After induction you will have the opportunity to find scheduled events on campus and clubs or societies to join.


After you’ve met your neighbours and attended induction, you might you have some extra time to explore your new home city. London is a multi-cultural city with lots of great food and entertainment. With a world-famous literary and art history, the city is host to dozens of free museums and historic landmarks.

For first time visitors, guided city tours can be a great way to learn the layout of your new home. London has a great transportation system, including buses and the tube. There are even city bikes you can rent for an hour or the whole day to tour the city.

This is an exciting time to head to London, with a lot of annual events and festivals taking place.

Happening in September & October:

  • London Wonderground – A fantastic and magical festival at Southbank Centre, featuring circus, cabaret, and family entertainment.
  • The London Design Festival – This annual event promotes innovative design work by local and international, new and established exhibitors. With shows across London, there will be commissioned installations, immersive experiences and sensory experiments.
  • London Literature Festival – Renowned writers, futurologists and transhumanists gather for a range of family events, poetry readings and talks on how the imagination can give us access to other worlds.

Remember, no matter how you choose to spend your free time, your fellow students are feeling nervous too. It can be hard being far from home. Take some friends with you to explore! Keep in mind, our International Study Centre staff are always available to help.

Other useful websites for planning your time in London:

Find us online:

6 May 2016

Exciting new opportunities at Royal Holloway 

Royal Holloway will be offering a new BEng in Electronic Engineering from September 2017. This means that students joining the Royal Holloway International Study Centre in September 2016 will be able to progress onto this new degree through the existing Sciences International Foundation Year.

Electronic engineering is at the heart of many systems we use on a daily basis, including mobile communications, music devices, computers, transport, and gaming devices. Studying this subject will put students at the forefront of an innovative industry that will shape the future of technology.

The Department of Electronic Engineering is Royal Holloway’s newest department, offering a great balance between the theoretical and practical skills needed in today’s industry. The University’s reputation across fields provides opportunities to combine your studies with other subjects and become a specialist.

19 April 2016

Become a business leader at Royal Holloway

Students in a lecture hall

Royal Holloway, University of London has been discovered to be one of the nine UK universities that produce the most CEOs.

Data was analysed from 26,000 former students to find the universities with the highest ratio of graduates to chief executives, chief technology officers or partners. It was found that 2.6% of students graduating from Royal Holloway are now business leaders.

Royal Holloway runs the Passport Points programme, where students can earn points through taking online courses and gaining skills for their careers. Advice is available from the Careers and Employability office too so there’s always guidance for students who plan to run their own business.

22 December 2015

Joining us in January?

The start of the new term is on 4 January 2016 - that’s less than a month away. To help plan your exciting student journey to the UK, we have put together some useful tips.

Before you start packing

  • Arrange your accommodation 

If you haven’t already done so, please complete, sign and return your tenancy agreement to Once everything has been processed, you will receive confirmation and details of your new room. You can find out more on our accommodation page.

  • Book your flights
  • Complete the online Pre-Arrival form
  • Make document copies and take four passport-sized photos. 

You will need to bring paper copies with you as you may need to show them at the UK border.

What you need to pack

You’ll be able to buy most things you need to live comfortably in one of the shops nearby. The International Study Centre (ISC) has an informal dress code and friendly atmosphere, so you can bring your comfortable clothes, such as trainers, jeans and t-shirts. It's also worth packing a coat for the winter months.

Most of your personal items, such as clothes, books, travel adaptors and laptops can be packed away in your suitcase, but don't forget to leave the essentials for your hand luggage.

Things to pack in your hand luggage

  • Passport
  • Visa/Home Office letter
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Study letter (CAS)
  • Offer letter
  • Accommodation documents (including your signed tenancy agreement)
  • Academic qualification certificate
  • Sponsor letter (if you are being sponsored)
  • Four passport-sized photographs
  • Essential toiletries
  • If you are under the age of 18, a copy of your UK Guardian details 
  • A copy of your Arrivals/ Transfer Confirmation letter 
  • Up to £150 (British Pounds Sterling) in cash. Please do not bring £50 notes.

TOP TIP: Check with your airline which items (specifically food and liquids) you can bring on the flight with you and the maximum hand luggage size allowed.

Get to know your new home

You can start making friends before you arrive by getting involved with our student community on Facebook. We've also listed some websites to help you discover your new home from home.

Your first day

Please arrive on time and report to the ISC at 10:00 on Monday 4 January 2016 for registration.

Things to bring with you on your first day:

  • Passport 
  • UKVI Decision Letter 
  • Sponsor letter (if you are being sponsored) 
  • If you are under the age of 18, a copy of your UK Guardian’s details

First day nerves? 

Many students feel a little nervous on the first day – don't worry, this is perfectly natural. Other students at the ISC will be feeling the same, so talking to them will help you feel more confident and you will soon make new friends. Our staff will also be there to support you every step of the way.

Your first week

As part of induction you will receive information about your course, such as timetables and academic information, and meet your tutors.

You will also learn about: 

  • Obtaining your Biometric Residence Permit 
  • Opening a bank account 
  • UK laws and culture 
  • Registering with the health service and the police (if necessary) 
  • Registering with the University and receiving your student card 
  • Getting set up and logged on to the University internet network 
  • Getting information about the University sports facilities and gym memberships.

We wish you the best of luck in your studies, we know you'll have an amazing time at Royal Holloway ISC!

27 November 2015

THE Awards 2015 success for Royal Holloway

The Times Higher Education Awards 2015 have been announced, with Royal Holloway, University of London winning the title of ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’.

This achievement was awarded to Royal Holloway following their support during the serious floods in Surrey last year. The University’s volunteer programme, registering more than 3,000 volunteers ensured that students and staff were first on the scene, helping their local community as much as possible.

Click here to read more.

18 August 2015

Royal Holloway top for student satisfaction in London in the National Student Survey 2015


Maintaining top place for London universities for the second year in a row with 89%, Royal Holloway is proud to have made many improvements for students over the last year. Whilst the UK average satisfaction score remained at 86% overall, Royal Holloway achieved 100% overall satisfaction in Classics and Physical Geography.

Professor Paul Layzell, Principal of Royal Holloway, said: “We value the feedback we receive from our students and use it to inform how we develop the University. This year we are embarking on an exciting programme which begins with the construction of a brand new library and student services building, which will complement our iconic, Grade 1 listed Founder’s building."

The National Student Survey is compiled annually by market research agency, Ipsos MORI on behalf of funding bodies for UK higher education. The responses are given by final year students anonymously to encourage honest opinions and reliable results.


8 July 2015

Summer at Royal Holloway

Summer has arrived in the UK. We thought we would share with you our favourite pictures of Royal Holloway in the sun taken over the last year. The Founder's Building is even more beautiful in the sunshine...


Royal Holloway in the sun

Royal Holloway in the sun

Royal Holloway in the sun

Royal Holloway in the sun

5 June 2015

Royal Holloway celebrates 800th anniversary of Magna Carta with a series of events

Royal Holloway celebrates 800th anniversary of Magna Carta with a series of events

The Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215, in Runnymede, which is just a short journey from where Royal Holloway now stands.  Although renewed and revised several times since, the signing of the Magna Carta symbolises the beginning of civil liberties in the UK.

To celebrate this anniversary, Royal Holloway have organised a series of events. These include an art exhibition, which runs until 19th June in the Picture Gallery. The exhibition traces human rights to the modern era and focuses on attitudes in the Victorian period in Britain.

In addition to the exhibition, the University is also hosting the Great Charter Festival on 14th June. The Festival is a summer fair featuring music, theatre, comedy, food and drink as well as workshops and talks where visitors can learn more about the Magna Carta.

Diana Edmunds, Magna Carta Festival Manager, said: “At Royal Holloway we’re very excited to be celebrating 800 years of Magna Carta which was sealed just a few miles away. Our experts are working at the forefront of today’s threats to freedom and liberty, ensuring that the ideas of Magna Carta continue for a new generation.

“The Great Charter Festival is one of the ways we hope to achieve this. The festival promises to be a fun and hands on way for visitors of all ages to discover and celebrate the principles behind Magna Carta.”  

7 May 2015

The Founder’s Building stars in the new Avengers film, ‘Age of Ultron’

If you’ve seen the latest instalment from the Marvel universe you will have noticed a familiar sight. Royal Holloway appears as itself, with a caption showing the location, with Thor, played by actor Chris Hemsworth, pulling up in a car outside and walking towards the west side of the Founder’s Building, where he meets the character Erik Slevig (Stellan Skarsgård).

On Twitter you could see the reactions of some of the students who have seen the film already:

Avengers: Age of Ultron is the sequel to the 2012 film The Avengers and also stars Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans.

4 November 2014

Autumn celebrations in the UK

Bonfire night in the UKAutumn is a colourful and lively season of the year in the UK. As the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, the trees start to shed their leaves, turning towns and countryside beautiful shades of yellow, auburn and red. There are many things to see and do, including taking part in fun celebrations such as Bonfire Night.

Remember, remember the 5th of November

Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, is an annual celebration that started in the early 17th century. The story begins back in 1605 when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested for planning to blow up the House of Lords in London and King James I along with it. To celebrate the failed attempt on the King's life, people of London lit bonfires. This practice soon became an annual celebration. Today, Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated with stunning firework displays across the UK, simulating the explosive gunpowder Fawkes intended to use in his plot. You can join in with the celebrations by going along to your local bonfire or fireworks night – don't forget your sparklers!

Remember, remember the 5th of November
Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, is an annual celebration that started in the early 17th century. The story begins back in 1605 when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested for planning to blow up the House of Lords in London and King James I along with it. To celebrate the failed attempt on the King's life, people of London lit bonfires. This practice soon became an annual celebration. Today, Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated with stunning firework displays across the UK, simulating the explosive gunpowder Fawkes intended to use in his plot. You can join in with the celebrations by going along to your local bonfire or fireworks night – don't forget your sparklers!
Find out about colourful and exciting fireworks displays taking place near Royal Holloway.

16 October 2014

League table success for Royal Holloway

Royal Holloway ranking success

The Guardian and The Times both released their annual rankings recently with Royal Holloway, University of London featuring highly in both

Latest rankings

The Guardian ranked Royal Holloway 36h in the UK, an increase of two places since last year. Royal Holloway also appeared in the top 20 for 7 subjects:

  • 6th Earth and Marine Sciences
  • 11th Classics and Ancient History 
  • 15th Music
  • 17th History
  • 18th Psychology
  • 19th Film Production and Photography
  • 19th Media and Film Studies

The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015 ranked Royal Holloway 34th in the UK overall, with three subjects featuring in the UK top 20:

  • 10th Geology
  • 13th Communication and Media Studies 
  • 13th Geography and Environmental Science

In addition to this, Royal Holloway was also named 118th in the world by Times Higher Education’s World University rankings 2014-15, which makes it 47th in Europe and 17th in the UK.

What are league table rankings?

League tables are lists of universities which are ordered, or ranked, according to various criteria. Rankings are usually compiled by magazines, newspapers, governments and academics, and released annually. Each calculates their league table differently, but they all look at student satisfaction, student to staff ration, graduate prospects and entry grades. Some rankings, such as The Times/Sunday Times, evaluate universities in the UK, while others assess institutions around the world to compile world university rankings. Rankings are a reliable way of comparing different institutions and identifying universities that are strong in the subject area you are interested in.

11 September 2014

Getting ready to join the International Study Centre

What you need to know before you arrive

Term starts on 22 September 2014 and we're looking forward to welcoming you. To help you prepare we have made a list of of what you need to bring:

Your pre-departure checklist

Before you depart, make sure you have:

  • Informed the Admissions Centre (AC) that you have received your visa
  • Informed the AC of your flight arrival details by emailing
  • Requested a taxi transfer with us, should you require this service, also by emailing
  • Booked your accommodation and received confirmation of your room allocation
  • Made a copy of your passport and other essential documents
  • Taken four passport-sized photos to bring with you.

What to pack/bring

Essential items to bring with you include:

  • Your passport*
  • Visa/Home Office letter*
  • CAS*
  • Offer letter*
  • Accommodation documents*
  • Your qualification certificates
  • A sponsor letter (if you are being sponsored)
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Essential toiletries and medications.

*These items should be packed in your hand luggage

Don’t forget to pack photographs of family and friends to help brighten up your new room. You may also wish to bring a towel as this is not supplied by your accommodation provider. (Bedding and towels can be bought in local shops after arrival if required, but these may not be open if you are arriving during the late evening/night.)
It is important that you have original copies of all documentation on paper not in electronic formats on smart phones, tablets or other electronic devices.
Before flying, check with your airline what you are allowed to bring onto the flight, particularly with reference to food products.

Please ensure you ring home to inform your parents or agent that you have arrived at your accommodation safely – they will be worried about you and will want to know as soon as possible.

Find out more information and tips by visiting our Before you arrive page.

3 September 2014 

A new website for a new academic year

Latets news about Royal Holloway International Study Centre

Welcome to the new Royal Holloway, University of London International Study Centre website. 

All the information you need is still here, but we have made some changes to make things easier to find.

Firstly, we have updated the design to reflect the University. The website is responsive so you can use it on a mobile device, tablet or desktop computer.  We have also improved the navigation and usability so you can find everything you need quickly.

We have listened to students to find out what information is important and will continue to update the website with any changes. This includes regular news updates and course changes.

Finally, we have an updated and comprehensive online application form so you can apply from the comfort of your own home.

Use the navigation bar to discover more and if you have any questions, complete our enquiry form and we will answer as soon as possible.

What our students say...

“The style of the education is completely different.  For example, during the class, the tutors are more focused on what you think and what your opinion is. There is a lot of opportunity for you to express yourself.”

Xyuing (Shelly) from China studied the Art, Media, Film and Music pathway