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Admissions policy and procedures

A fair, transparent and professional admissions process


At Royal Holloway we’re committed to operating a fair, transparent and professional admissions process, with all applications considered on an equal basis by a trained admissions team. 

In support of fair admissions, Royal Holloway strives to:

  • ensure admissions decisions are based on achievements and potential
  • make sure fair admissions processes are centrally based to ensure equality of educational opportunity, regardless of the social background of applicants
  • promote admissions processes that enable the fair treatment of each individual applicant without direct or indirect discrimination
  • give full consideration to applications
  • guarantee admissions decisions are consistent and each stage of the admissions process is carried out with honesty and integrity by staff with relevant and up-to-date knowledge and expertise
  • create parity of esteem between GCE A-level and other pre-HE qualification routes and fully recognise a wide range of international, access-based, and vocationally-related qualifications , and other indicators of potential
  • ensure the effective operation of the admissions process
  • make clear the criteria by which admissions decisions are made
  • encourage and support applicants from diverse backgrounds by minimising procedural and financial obstacles to entry
  • clearly document admissions decisions.

The Admissions Policy (2023, 2024) sets out the position of Royal Holloway on key matters relating to the recruitment and admissions to all undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research) programmes of study. It is strongly recommended that you download and read a copy.

When you accept an offer of a place to study at Royal Holloway, University of London a legal contract is formed between you and the university on the basis of the terms and conditions of the offer. This document summarises those terms and conditions. It contains important information and you need to read it carefully and ensure you understand its contents before accepting your offer.

We advise that you make yourself familiar with the general student regulations when you accept your offer.

The majority of students at Royal Holloway are 18 or above, and the academic life and social environment of the university reflect this. However, we recognise that some individuals who have already met the entry requirements for study can start at a younger age.

The university strongly recommends that applicants who will be under 17 years of age on entry consider carefully whether they would be able to benefit fully from the educational and social opportunities on offer. The university does not accept an in loco parentis responsibility for children (i.e. those under 18 years of age at entry). The university does however recognise it has a duty of care and is committed to protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm.

Applicants who will be under the age of 16 on entry are not permitted to enrol at the university. Any such applicants will, where appropriate, be offered a deferred entry place. If this is not possible the application will be rejected.

Applicants who will be under 18 years of age on the published start date of the programme, and their parents and guardians, must confirm to the university as a condition of registration:

  • that they understand the nature of the university and the programme, the circumstances in which the individual would be studying and living, and the limitations of the university’s supervisory role
  • that the contractual arrangements for the individual to study at the university are underwritten by a qualified person of adult status
  • that arrangements would be in place to support the individual in an emergency, including the existence of a qualified person in the UK willing to act as guardian
  • that the individual will obey the restrictions that English law places on minors.

If you are under 18 years of age, then you will need the consent of your parents or guardians in order to study here.

Find out more about our under 18s policy

A fully trained member of the Admissions team will assess your fee status questionnaire, once received. The Admissions Office follows guidelines suggested by the UK Council for International Student Advice (UKCISA).

The university seeks to make fair and accurate judgments at all times. Should we require further information, we will contact you in writing.

Please note:  we cannot enter into a discussion about fee status assessment over the telephone or email as we must have all the paperwork here.

Please also note: that if you do not submit the necessary documents, this will delay assessment and could delay your future enrolment.

View the outcome on the application portal.

Here you will need to input your personal student reference number at the top of your offer letter.

Should you wish to appeal the decision made, please contact us for further advice.

Alternatively, find out more at UKCISA

Some applicants will need to submit documentary evidence supporting their fee status questionnaire. Not all applicants will need to submit these documents.

Typically, this would apply to students who have not always lived in the UK, are not British citizens, or have been absent from the UK for a significant period of time.

This would also apply to non-EU International students who wish to claim Home / EU status for fees. The documents may be one or more of the following:

  • Photocopies of your passport or proof of citizenship
  • Proof of Indefinite Leave to Remain / Right of Abode
  • Proof of Exceptional Leave to Remain / Enter / Humanitarian Protection / Discretionary Leave or Proof of Refugee status
  • If your main residence has been outside of the EU then we would require proof that you have been regularly returning to your original EU country.  e.g. Flight itineraries.

In certain circumstances, we may also request a letter from your parents' employer, should your parents' work have taken you out of the UK on a temporary basis.

Where photocopies of documents have been provided, applicants will be expected to show the original documents at enrolment.

UKCISA publish comprehensive guidance notes on fee status.

Take a look for further information before completing the fee assessment questionnaire.

What is the deadline for submitting a fee status questionnaire?

We recommend that if you disagree with our fee assessment you should send in a fee status questionnaire before 31 July.

1. Transfers between courses at Royal Holloway 

1.1. The arrangements for transfers between courses at Royal Holloway is detailed in the Process to Change Degree Programme for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students. 

1.2. Students who wish to change their degree programme must meet the standard entry requirements of the programme that they wish to transfer to and may also be asked to write a statement as to why they wish to change degree. The Department/School and Student Administration approve changes to degree programmes and making the request does not mean that it will be approved. Some students may not be able to change degree programme, for example, students with a Tier 4 Visa sponsored by the College may not be able to change programme due to visa restrictions. Continuing students can request to change degree programme after results have been published in the summer up to the end of the third week of teaching. After the third week of teaching, only a Change of Pathway request or a Change in Award or Progression request can be made.

1.3. This guidance does not apply to students who have not yet started their first year of study or who are studying a Pre-Sessional English Language Programme (PELP), who should email the Admissions team 

2. Transfers to Royal Holloway from another Higher Education provider

For undergraduate study 

2.1. Our approach is detailed in the Admissions Policy under Accreditation of Prior Learning paragraph 8.36.

2.2. 'The College will consider undergraduate applicants for second year entry on an individual basis. Vacancies for second year entry are extremely limited and may not be available in all departments. Applicants wishing to apply for second year entry should demonstrate a strong academic performance in their current course and will normally be required to meet the first year entry requirements for the course they are applying for. In addition, applicants need to meet the required progression requirements. Any applicants wishing to apply for second year entry must do so via UCAS.'

For postgraduate taught study

2.3. Our approach is detailed in the Postgraduate Academic Regulation in Section 2: Recognition of Prior Learning. The most relevant paragraph is copied below:

2.4. 'Applicants with accredited prior learning deemed acceptable to the College may be admitted with advanced standing to postgraduate study only in up to two thirds of the programme. The College will consider the recognition of accredited prior learning and the recording of such learning as exemption from part of the programme subject to the following conditions: (a) credit will be recognised only for learning which has been verified through reliable and valid assessment, unless otherwise specified as part of an institutional agreement; (b) the College will only consider for the purposes of recognition of prior learning and exemption information on courses and examination results provided and certified by the appropriate officer at the institution responsible for the delivery of those courses.'

2.5. Postgraduate taught courses at Royal Holloway are one year in duration, so requests for transfer are very rare. In order to transfer onto a postgraduate taught course, students are required to meet our minimum entry requirements for postgraduate study (as detailed on our website), and the modules they have already studied at another institution must be deemed to be of similar academic context to the modules they will have missed at Royal Holloway. Due to the structure of modules, students can only transfer to start in January.

For postgraduate research study

2.6. Our approach is detailed in our Research Degree Regulations under Arrangements for admissions, registration and enrolment paragraph 3.2. The most relevant paragraph is copied below:

2.7. An applicant who has followed a programme of postgraduate research of at least twelve months of full-time study, or 24 months of part-time study at another institution may be considered for exemption from part of a an MPhil or PhD programme at the College. A student who started a Masters by Research with the College and wishes to transfer to an MPhil or PhD programme may be considered for exemption from part of an MPhil or PhD programme at the College.

2.8. In order to transfer onto a postgraduate research study, students are are required to meet our minimum entry requirements for postgraduate study (as detailed on our website), and the department will need to confirm the availability of a relevant supervisor. Once these requirements are confirmed, an application to study can be made via our website. The department will advise regarding when enrolment can take place.

3. Transfers from Royal Holloway to another Higher Education provider

3.1.Students who wish to transfer from Royal Holloway to another Higher Education provider are considered in the same way as students who withdraw.

3.2. Students who wish to withdraw are required to submit one of the following forms:

3.3. Students who wish to withdraw must arrange an appointment with their Personal Advisor, Academic Co-ordinator or Head of Department to discuss the details of their withdrawal request before the form is completed and signed by the student and the academic department.

Cancelling acceptance within 14 days

Applicants have the right to withdraw their application within 14 days of accepting an offer of a place to study at Royal Holloway. Any deposits or part of any tuition fees will be refunded according to the below table:


within 14 days

        more than 14 days



Pre-sessional language tuition fee

Full refund


(minus £100 pounds where a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter has been issued)


Full refund minus a £350 administration charge


International Deposit (£3,000)

Full refund


(minus £100 where a CAS has been issued)

No refund


except in the below circumstances



Home/EU Deposit


Full refund

No refund


except in the below circumstances

After the 14 day cooling off period, deposits are non-transferable and non-refundable except in the following circumstances where:

  • Applicant fails to meet the academic conditions of their conditional offer and is rejected from the course. The applicant must provide an original transcript and degree certificate to verify their final results.
  • Applicant fails to meet the English language requirements stipulated in their offer. The applicant must provide proof that they have taken a recognised English language test within five months of their course start date. If they have not previously taken an appropriate English language test and fail to do so prior to 31 August, they will not qualify for a refund.
  • Applicant is attending a pre-sessional English Language programme at Royal Holloway and fails to meet progression requirements to the main degree. Please note that the applicant must show evidence that they have made every effort to complete it successfully, i.e. attended classes and submitted any required assessments.
  • A Student Visa application has been refused. A copy of the visa refusal document must be sent to the College.
  • Applicant has applied for funding from a recognised funding body for the full year’s tuition fees and is unsuccessful in securing the funding necessary for their studies. Documentary proof must be provided.
  • The College cancels the course to which the applicant has applied.
  • Sympathetic consideration will be given in cases of exceptional circumstances, such as serious illness, or a death in the immediate family. Please note documentary evidence of such circumstances will need to be provided. Decisions on refunding the deposit in such cases will be made solely at the College's discretion.

If the applicant meets any of the above criteria they need to send an email to the Admissions Office which includes all of the following details:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • student reference number
  • a scanned copy of all documentary evidence.

All requests for deposit refunds need to be submitted no later than 30 days after the official start date of the course.

Important notes:

  1. Applicants will not qualify for a deposit refund if:
    • their offer from the College is withdrawn due to fraudulent documentation or false information in the application at any point in the application stage.
    • their Student Visa is refused due to fraudulent documentation.
    • their study plans have changed, for example they have decided to study elsewhere or are no longer planning to study abroad, except when the College has been informed of this decision within 14 days of making a deposit payment.   
  2. If an applicant has paid more towards their tuition fee than the required deposit, any money paid over and above the deposit will be refundable in all circumstances. i.e. only the required deposit amount would be retained if the applicant does not meet the requirements for a deposit refund.
  3. A deposit paid to the College will be counted as a payment towards course tuition fee.
  4. Any deposit refund agreed by the College will only be made to the person who made the original payment.

Find out how to make an application complaint

In the first instance, please contact Admissions below informally at;

Admissions Office

Royal Holloway, University of London
TW20 0EX

Telephone: +44 (0)1784 414944


Fax: +44 (0)1784 473662

If you have applied via an agent supported by our strategic partner, Study Group, please send your complaint to

Student Protection Plan

  • What is the Student Protection Plan?

The plan tells you, as a student or applicant, what actions will be taken if a course, the campus or the whole institution closes. The plan outlines our assessment of the risk of these things happening and the measures we have in place to protect you as our students in the event one of these risks actually takes place and impacts on the continuation of your studies. Royal Holloway has a clear commitment to preserving the continuation of study for all students. Any issues that arise relating to this are brought to the attention of the Executive Board. If this plan needs to be triggered, then this document explains how we will support you to continue or complete your studies or compensate you if this was not possible. This Student Protection Plan is reviewed annually by the Executive Board, Council (the Universities governing body), and the Students Union.

  • Who is covered by the plan?

All current students and applicants who have firmly accepted the offer of a place at Royal Holloway are covered by the plan.

  • What are the risks to the continuation of my studies?

The key risks to the Universities’ ability to deliver courses are as follows:

  • Permanent closure of the whole university
  • Temporary shutdown of the whole, or part of campus
  • Permanent closure of a campus location
  • Course closure and/or changes to material components of courses of study Loss of UKVI Sponsor Licence
  • Closure of collaborative partners
  • University of London closure
  • Loss of UKVI Sponsor Licence
  • Industrial action


  • What would happen if one or more of the risks actually happened that meant my course was closed?

The University would trigger the Student Protection Plan and in the first instance would strive to support you to complete your studies (this is often referred to as ‘teaching out’). If we were unable to continue your studies then we would assist you to transfer to a related alternative course within the university, or if appropriate, to another institution. In the unlikely event that you had to transfer to an alternative provider then consideration would be given to ensure the alternative course was ‘comparable’, in terms of graduate prospects and student satisfaction levels.

If we were unable to support you to continue your studies then the university will consider reimbursing and compensating you in line with Student Fee Regulations.

  • What reassurance can the University give to me in terms of its ability to deliver my course?

The Student Protection Plan is intended to offer you reassurance that we have appropriate measures in place to offer you protection. We work hard to ensure the measures in place greatly reduce the need for the plan to be triggered. For example we have robust financial sustainability, we take CMA guidance very seriously, we ensure we provide good quality degrees and we have good governance systems. Our business continuity plans ensure that we can continue to deliver courses and assessment during any temporary campus closure, while ensuring that academic standards are met. Academic and Student Support services all have the ability to continue to provide delivery of services online to support your needs.  Through the plan, Royal Holloway offers a clear commitment to preserving the continuation of study for all current and potential students. We worked with the Student Union to develop this plan and we will continue to collaborate with students each time this plan is updated. The Student Protection Plan is a requirement for registration with the Office for Students who are the regulators of Higher Education.

The Student Protection Plan can be read in full here.

Here you can read our Access and Participation plan (2020/21- 2024/25) document and summary

Our 2019/20 APP monitoring – provider impact report can be found here.

Information on our fee limits can be found below:

2021-22 fee information summary

2022-23 fee information summary

2023-24 fee information summary

2024-25 fee information summary

Here you can read our application analysis document and HESA submission.

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