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Supporting academic success

Supporting every stage of your academic journey

Royal Holloway supports students to complete their programme of study and acquire the best possible degree. Our approach is holistic, with students receiving not just academic assistance, but also wellbeing, mental health and financial support which we know have an impact on students' ability to perform.

We also use technology to monitor our students' engagement and provide dedicated pastoral care so we may quickly identify challenges and provide intervention support. 

Student holding up a thank you sign

New students

Transition refers to the adjustment to university, which presents challenges for all students and can be steep for some. Royal Holloway addresses this through a standardised approach called the Academic Transition Framework which emphasises three objectives: belonging, confidence, and reinforcement.

Our Schools and departments develop activities to ensure students are properly on-boarded, provide adequate academic support throughout their first term, and help them to reflect and settle by the end of their second term.

There is also a centralised online hub for all new starters to access information as well as Welcome Week activities. Welcome Week is for both our UG and PGT starters in September and January, where we provide academic and other activities to ensure our students are fully supported in joining Royal Holloway.   

Welcome talk
A departmental Welcome talk for new students 


HeadStart is a transition programme designed for those who may need extra support transitioning to university such as students with contextual offers or those who may be the first in their families to attend university.

Held over two days prior to the start of term, HeadStart provides information about the cultural aspects of university life, as well as practical information and study skills. Started in 2021, this programme has already seen positive results in terms of retention rates and first year performance by participants versus students of similar profiles in the same or previous years.

The Big Read helps students foster a sense of belonging through the choice of a novel which all incoming new students are invited to read and discuss with peers through structured and unstructured sessions when they arrive on campus. Started by Kingston University, Royal Holloway first joined The Big Read in 2022-23, mailing the book to students prior to arrival.

The Big Read 2022 title 


Integrated Foundation Degrees are four-year degree programmes (versus the standard three) for students who may need to develop more skills or confidence to prepare for undergraduate study.

Those skills are developed in the first year of the programme, called an integrated foundation year, after which students progress throughout their degree course with the same curriculum as their peers. Introduced in academic year 2019-20, the programme has been a success, with students doing just as well and in some cases better than peers in standard three year programmes.


All students

The Centre for the Development of Academic Skills provides both one-to-one support for students as well as dedicated School support through Learning Developers. Through online and face to face workshops, tutorials and other activities, CEDAS helps all students with basic academic skills such as numeracy, communication, writing, etc.

Learning Developers also help each School tackle the specific needs of their student body through tailored programmes. CEDAS also manages the Pre-sessional English language programme for students who may need academic language help before starting their programme of study, as well as Contemporary Britain modules for visiting international students. 


The Engagement project is another intervention programme that uses data from online learning technologies and attendance reports to identify each student's engagement levels with a view to providing intervention support as needed.

Each School has an Engagement Panel which meets at least twice a term to review data, and quickly act to help students, with Personal Tutors and other services involved.  

All our students are assigned a personal tutor. Personal tutors are academic staff who teach within the same subject area being studied by their tutees but do not necessarily teach them directly.

They provide guidance and support for students through advice, signposting, and pastoral care. All students are provided with a range of different academic advising activities, focused around small group tutorials and 1:1 tutor/tutee meetings

In addition, each School has designated staff who provide academic advisory support, with educational resources for students and support for personal tutors.


Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones.

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start.

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help.

Discover more about our academic departments and schools.

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Royal Holloway is a research intensive university and our academics collaborate across disciplines to achieve excellence.

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway.

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future.

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today.

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable.

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today.