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Applicant FAQs

Applicant FAQs

Please find a collection of our frequently asked questions below.

Postgraduate (Taught) applications, offers and acceptances

A small number of our postgraduate courses have a start date in January 2022, and are open for new applications. These courses are:

  • 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 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.

If you will be starting a course with us in January 2022, you can apply for university accommodation from 2 November 2021. Rooms will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability. We will let you know whether your application has been successful from 7 December onwards.

Otherwise, at this stage you can apply to start a course with us in September 2022. Please check our coursefinder to find the course you are interested in.

* Please note that there is no January start option for Distance Learning students.

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.

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 address 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.

Teaching, student life and Covid-19 restrictions for courses starting in January 2022

We are excited to be able to plan for the majority of students to study on campus for courses starting in January 2022*

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 and Students’ Union run a full programme of social events and experiences throughout the year, with a number of events taking place online. There are also 110+ clubs, societies and media outlets that you can get involved with during your time at Royal Holloway. Our full range of student support services are available in-person and virtually, and our Library, gym, cafes and bars are all open across campus.

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 (18 October 2021)

We are excited to be able to plan for the majority of students to study on campus for courses starting in January 2022*. 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 still 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 (18 October 2021)

We are excited to be able to plan for the majority of students to study on campus for courses starting in January 2022*.

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 still 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.

* Based on the information available to us now (18 October 2021)

For students starting a course with us in January, it is possible that outward travel restrictions in specific countries may mean 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 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 been allocated 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 for courses starting in January 2022*. 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 still 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 (18 October 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 in summer 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.

The UK Government is keeping travel restrictions under regular review.

At present*, the UK Government is designating some countries as ‘red list’. You will find the current list of ‘red list’ countries here.

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.

If you are travelling from a country which is not red-listed, UK Government requirements will depend on your vaccination status. Details are provided here. If you are fully vaccinated, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test on or before day two. You must book this test before you travel. If you are not fully vaccinated, you will be required to take additional tests. You will also need to self-isolate for 10 days after arrival in the UK but will not be required to use Government-designated quarantine hotels.

University accommodation for those starting a course in January 2022 will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis. If you have been allocated a place in our accommodation, are travelling from a country that is not red-listed and need to self-isolate on your arrival you will be able to do this in your allocated accommodation.  It is important that you tell us you are self-isolating so we can offer you support: please note you will not be able to move rooms whilst you are self-isolating. Your accommodation contract start date will be 2 January 2022.  If you need to arrive before your contract start date, the earliest you can arrive on campus is Monday 20 December 2021. For early arrivals we will endeavour to support you and this may mean moving you into temporary accommodation. Please be aware you may not be able to access all university facilities until you have completed enrolment in January, and many facilities will be closed over the Christmas and New Year break.

*Based on information available to us now (18 October 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. Terms and conditions apply.

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 (18 October 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.

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. 

If you know that you will be able to travel to the UK in January 2022 and have firmly accepted an unconditional offer, please request your CAS as soon as possible. This will give you enough time to get your CAS, apply for your visa and make your travel arrangements.

If you are not yet sure when in January 2022 you will be able to travel to the UK, we suggest that you delay your CAS request until your travel plan is clearer. We will continue to issue CASes on an ongoing basis. 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.

If you have questions about CAS issue, 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.  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. After that date, the UKVI will expect you to be able to continue your studies on campus.

Paying my deposit

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).

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.

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