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World-class research that expands minds and changes lives

Royal Holloway, University of London

World-class research that expands minds and changes lives

Royal Holloway, University of London, is ranked in the top 25 universities in the UK and the top 300 universities in the world. Through world-class research that expands minds and changes lives, the dedication of our supervisors and the feel of the Royal Holloway experience, ours is a community that inspires individuals to succeed academically, socially and personally.

Our position as one of the UK’s leading research intensive institutions is confirmed by the results of the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), 2014. Royal Holloway sits among the top 25% of universities in the UK for research rated ‘world-leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*), with 81% of all our research within those categories.

We’re acknowledged worldwide for pioneering work across all sectors of the arts, humanities and sciences. We continue to invest in first-class academic staff and facilities, with innovative partnerships in Higher Education, Government and industry in the UK and abroad. Our research helps tackle real-world problems, seeking creative solutions to complex challenges and throwing new light on the world we live in.

We’re home to some of the brightest minds across the globe - academics who are collaborating with businesses, government bodies and charities to understand environmental changes, find treatments for diseases and alleviate poverty.

Our research community is also highly regarded. The Information Security Group is recognised as one of only four GCHQ-recognised centres. Our particle physics team helped find the Higgs boson, and we are developing artificial chromosomes to reverse Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy.

World-class research that expands minds and changes lives

Research environment

Royal Holloway has a vibrant community of over 600 postgraduate researchers undertaking research in all areas of academic disciplines. Alongside expert support from their supervisors, students have access to central facilities (see below).

Our Doctoral School brings students together from all departments to stage interdisciplinary research symposia and social events.

Funding and support

Royal Holloway is a member of several Research Council doctoral training partnerships and centres which offer full funding and training programmes, as well as offering over £4m of funding from the university itself.

We offer a series of short courses to help research students develop broader, transferable skills alongside their research, and training in teaching for research students who wish to pursue this avenue – completion of this leads to Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Our Research & Enterprise team supports all our researchers, providing information and advice on sources of research funding, costing of grant applications, intellectual property rights and starting new business ventures.

Join a unique community

The university was founded by two social reformers who pioneered the ideal of education and knowledge for all who could benefit. Their vision lives on today. We are strengthened by diversity, and welcome students and academics who travel from all over the world to study and work here, ensuring an international and multicultural perspective within a close-knit and historic campus.

How to apply

Contact our Directors of Graduate Studies

Fees and funding

Apply Online

World-class research that expands minds and changes lives

Academic Units

Founded in 1995, the Department of Economics at Royal Holloway, is among the top in the UK for research excellence and focuses on high quality teaching given by specialist staff that are active in their research field. The department offers a variety of single and joint honours undergraduate courses, as well as taught and research postgraduate courses. It is currently home to approximately 600 undergraduate students and 80 postgraduate students.

The department’s track record is excellent, as it has established itself as one of the three major economics research and teaching departments in the London area. We pride ourselves on our location (providing the best of semi-rural Surrey and easy central London access), our open-door education policy and our insistence on small group teaching.

The Department of Economics is among the top departments in the UK for Research Excellence. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) the Department of Economics was ranked 9th in the UK, and 3rd in the London area for research quality.

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The Physics Department at Royal Holloway is one of the five major centres for physics teaching and research in the University of London. Its research strengths include many pioneering studies ranging from the fundamental properties of matter at the lowest of temperatures and on nanometre scales, to elementary particles at the highest attainable energies. Experimental research is carried out at the Department’s Tolansky and Wilson Laboratories, as well as at major international centres such as CERN (Geneva), Stanford (California) and ESRF (Grenoble). At the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) the department was rated 5, placing it amongst the top physics departments in the UK.

The research is generously supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), by the European Union, the Royal Society, and the National Physical Laboratory and by industry. UK and EU postgraduate students are funded by research council awards and by College studentships. Overseas students may be funded by Overseas Research Studentships (ORS awards), College studentships and funding from a variety of external sponsors. Much of the research is carried out in collaboration with other universities in Europe and worldwide, and there is a pleasant international atmosphere in the Department.

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The School of Biological Sciences is involved in research across a wide range of topics, from molecular cell biology through to whole organism studies and modelling of ecosystems. The School provides a vibrant, internationally-competitive research environment, in which 76%of our work is classified as internationally excellent or world-leading . Our research is organised into three centres: Biomedical Sciences, Environmental and Evolutionary Biology and Plant Molecular Sciences. Research collaborations and the sharing of technical expertise take place across the whole School. There is also active collaboration with other Departments at Royal Holloway, and with many other universities and organisations, both in the UK and overseas. There are 32 permanent members of academic staff in the School, together with some 69 Postdoctoral Research Fellows and Assistants, and over 70 postgraduate students. All are housed in well-equipped, up to date laboratories in a single building in the centre of the campus.
The School has extensive facilities and equipment for research in molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, physiology and ecology. This includes marine and freshwater aquaria, containment suites for genetic manipulation, environmentally-controlled plant growth rooms, electrophysiology suite, fluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopes, electron microscopes, and a state-of-the-art mass spectrometry facility with MALDI-TOF, LC-MS/MS and GC-MS systems for proteomics and metabolomics.
As well as receiving training in skills and techniques specific to their research project, students also benefit from our formal training programme which includes seminar presentation, writing skills, teaching skills and commercial exploitation of research.
Funding for our research and PhD studentships comes from the European Commission, Research Councils (BBSRC, MRC, and NERC), medical research charities, wildlife and environmental organisations, commercial organisations and government agencies.
Students first register for an MPhil and then transfer to a PhD subject to satisfactory progress in their first year.
Prospective applicants should visit our research webpage:-
and follow the links there to see details of the research interests of our staff. Potential supervisors working in areas relevant to your interests should then be emailed directly.
Current PhD studentship vacancies are advertised on the School homepage:-

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