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About us

Welcome to the Department of Health Studies

As a young department, we’re excited to build on established world-class research and interdisciplinary collaborations at Royal Holloway and develop new areas of growth with leading experts in health and environmental sectors. These include Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Harvard-led Planetary Health Alliance, Northern European Hub. Our focus is on the wellbeing of people and the environment, engaging with fundamental challenges and building healthy and resilient communities. We aim to deliver a portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees with flexible, student-led provision and opportunities to experience real life, challenge led placements.

Our students will develop their knowledge, networks and transferable skills to become leaders, innovators and influencers across boundaries. As graduates they will be equipped with a robust understanding of the links between healthy environments and healthy people, and the value of good health to national and global economies.


Royal Holloway, University of London announced the appointment of Professor Alex Palombi as Head of the new Department of Health Studies.

Professor Alex Palombi is closely involved with all aspects of development, and brings considerable experience from her previous appointments in health and social wellbeing at the University of the West of England.

Alex Palombi commented on her appointment,

“I am delighted, proud and honoured to be joining Royal Holloway as Head of the new Department of Health Studies.  We have a unique opportunity to address the equity issues in our global community by creating an interdisciplinary learning environment which promotes the value of good health. Our vision is to develop an ambitious department which is well connected and integrated into close and far communities. Our students will become leaders, innovators and influencers across boundaries to build healthy and resilient societies. I look forward to working with colleagues and students from the university and hopefully soon meeting up face to face.”

Our new department welcomed its first postgraduate students in September 2022, and first undergraduate students from 2023.

For BSc Health Studies please contact Dr Barbara Herring

For MSc Global Health: Food Security, Sustainability and Biodiversity please contact Dr Mark Lee

For MSc Global Health: Human Health and the Environment  please contact Dr Jenni Cole

For MA Global Health: Society, Culture and Behaviour please contact Dr Jenni Cole

*New for 2024: MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration)* please contact Samita Kirve
(*new course under development)

For general enquiries, please contact

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