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Royal Holloway - good or bad?

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    I know Royal Holloway is a good university, but can anyone who goes there tell me if they like it or not?
    I havn't really heard anything bad said about the teaching but I have heard the area can be quite boring as there is not much to do. I'm not sure whether to make it my firm or insurance as I also like Kent.
    Any comments about it would be helpful
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    There's lots of opinions about Royal Holloway on this thread here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=879472.

    You seem to be talking in very broad terms, though. Like, for example, judging teaching across an entire university isn't a particularly wise thing to do, just because something like that can vary massively between departments. What did you apply for? It's definitely worth judging between Kent and Royal Holloway in terms of your subject, too; it's once you start studying at university that you realise how much of a difference a good department can make.

    As for the area being boring, this is an issue that unfortunately comes up time and time again. The answer is, in short: it depends on what you want to do. If you want to be able to go clubbing every night of the week without going to London or Winsdor, then Egham is not the best place. However, there is no end to activities and things to do on campus, especially if you're willing to put the effort in, for example by joining a club or society. I don't find Royal Holloway and my life here boring- Egham is a different kettle of fish entirely, and it's true there's not much here, but if you want to do some proper shopping it's not far from other cities which have more to offer.

    I love Royal Holloway, but there are people who don't particularly like it for whatever reason. It's more up to you as an individual and what you're looking for as to whether you'll have a good time here or not.

    One of my best friends goes to Kent, so I've been to visit several times, and I very much enjoyed my time spent there. Canterbury has a lot more to offer in terms of restaurants and nightlife (though it's still not a complete rave-up city) but, once again, it's all down to what you're looking for.

    Hope that helps a bit!
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    (Original post by llacerta)
    There's lots of opinions about Royal Holloway on this thread here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=879472.

    You seem to be talking in very broad terms, though. Like, for example, judging teaching across an entire university isn't a particularly wise thing to do, just because something like that can vary massively between departments. What did you apply for? It's definitely worth judging between Kent and Royal Holloway in terms of your subject, too; it's once you start studying at university that you realise how much of a difference a good department can make.

    As for the area being boring, this is an issue that unfortunately comes up time and time again. The answer is, in short: it depends on what you want to do. If you want to be able to go clubbing every night of the week without going to London or Winsdor, then Egham is not the best place. However, there is no end to activities and things to do on campus, especially if you're willing to put the effort in, for example by joining a club or society. I don't find Royal Holloway and my life here boring- Egham is a different kettle of fish entirely, and it's true there's not much here, but if you want to do some proper shopping it's not far from other cities which have more to offer.

    I love Royal Holloway, but there are people who don't particularly like it for whatever reason. It's more up to you as an individual and what you're looking for as to whether you'll have a good time here or not.

    One of my best friends goes to Kent, so I've been to visit several times, and I very much enjoyed my time spent there. Canterbury has a lot more to offer in terms of restaurants and nightlife (though it's still not a complete rave-up city) but, once again, it's all down to what you're looking for.

    Hope that helps a bit!
    thanks for the reply yeh i forgot to mention what subject... i want to do psychology, do you know anyone who does it, what subject do you do?
    im not really bothered about not being able to go clubbing every night but i did look round the area when i went to the open day and it did seem there was much less to do than in canterbury. but if you say that theres a lot to do on campus then that's good! hows the accomodation, founders looks lovely but what about self-catered?
    ohh and thanks for the link btw.
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    (Original post by maz :))
    thanks for the reply yeh i forgot to mention what subject... i want to do psychology, do you know anyone who does it, what subject do you do?
    im not really bothered about not being able to go clubbing every night but i did look round the area when i went to the open day and it did seem there was much less to do than in canterbury. but if you say that theres a lot to do on campus then that's good! hows the accomodation, founders looks lovely but what about self-catered?
    ohh and thanks for the link btw.
    Good choice of subject! I'm a psychology student myself. All I'll say is that you shouldn't be worried about teaching in our department- it's generally of a high standard. I think I made a few specific posts about it in the last few pages of that thread I linked you to.

    There is lots to do on campus here, but once again, you do have to make fun for yourself- do you have any sporting interests? Any societies you might like the sound of? When you start getting into these things it's amazing how many friends you make and how much fun you can have. But yes, I do know of people who have been bored at Royal Holloway because they'd rather the fun came to them, so to speak.

    Once again, that's a very broad question about accommodation. I haven't lived in Founder's myself but it's apparently a lot of fun, and it's also the cheapest accommodation. There's a stickied thread at the top of this forum about accommodation at Royal Holloway, so best to look there for general advice, though if you have any specific questions let me know. Basically all of the stickied threads at the top should be able to answer your more general questions, though.
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    (Original post by llacerta)
    Good choice of subject! I'm a psychology student myself. All I'll say is that you shouldn't be worried about teaching in our department- it's generally of a high standard. I think I made a few specific posts about it in the last few pages of that thread I linked you to.

    There is lots to do on campus here, but once again, you do have to make fun for yourself- do you have any sporting interests? Any societies you might like the sound of? When you start getting into these things it's amazing how many friends you make and how much fun you can have. But yes, I do know of people who have been bored at Royal Holloway because they'd rather the fun came to them, so to speak.

    Once again, that's a very broad question about accommodation. I haven't lived in Founder's myself but it's apparently a lot of fun, and it's also the cheapest accommodation. There's a stickied thread at the top of this forum about accommodation at Royal Holloway, so best to look there for general advice, though if you have any specific questions let me know. Basically all of the stickied threads at the top should be able to answer your more general questions, though.

    haha coincidence on the subject do they do one on one tutorials? cos i heard they did and i think that sounds good as well as the other things aswell as its the only uni ive applied for that does (i think anyway) and is there a lot of choice of modules? I like badminton and climbing which i think they have, and art cos i do it for A level now, so I would quite like to continue it. i will look for your posts on the thread aswell, thanks! which accomodation did you stay in, do you think its better to be catered or self-catered?
    sorry about all the questions im just trying to decide what to firm cos we have like 2 weeks to decide!
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    (Original post by maz :))
    haha coincidence on the subject do they do one on one tutorials? cos i heard they did and i think that sounds good as well as the other things aswell as its the only uni ive applied for that does (i think anyway) and is there a lot of choice of modules? I like badminton and climbing which i think they have, and art cos i do it for A level now, so I would quite like to continue it. i will look for your posts on the thread aswell, thanks! which accomodation did you stay in, do you think its better to be catered or self-catered?
    sorry about all the questions im just trying to decide what to firm cos we have like 2 weeks to decide!
    There are lots of psychology students about- I often get comments like, "ANOTHER one?!" when I say what subject I do, haha.

    I'll number my answers just to make it an easier read.

    1. Yes, there are one-on-one tutorials (called Personal Advisor Meetings) but only at the end of every term, more as a progress thing to see how you're doing and if there's anything you're struggling or unhappy with. Tutorials in the strictest sense are the (usually) fortnightly meeting you have with around six to nine other students who have the same tutor as you and can be about academic stuff or work experience or whatever else the tutor decides the meeting should be about. (The system has changed recently, and I know it's different for people in my year in comparison to those in the year below, so I'm hesitating in answering exactly how the system works, but I'm sure you get the idea.)

    2. There is no choice of modules for the first two years of study. As far as I can remember, in first year you study Self and Society, Abnormal, Biological, Sensation and Perception, Developmental, Research Methods, Statistics, and Learning and Memory. In second year, you study Brain and Behaviour, Conceptual Issues, Developmental, Personality and Individual Differences, Cognitive, Statistics, Research Methods, and Social. So quite a varied course.

    In third year, you have a choice of courses from three different blocks. The first block is the 'popular' one, so they have stuff like Abnormal and Social, the second block is basically neuroscience, and the third block has a mix of stuff such as Gender and Language. You have to choose a minimum number of modules from each block.

    Third year also involves doing a group project (which counts for 25% of your third year marks) which is basically running and writing up an experiment- the stuff you learn in research methods and statistics in the first two years goes towards that. You also have the choice of doing a dissertation if you so wish- it replaces one of the other modules.

    3. I lived in Tuke, and I will be living in Reid next year. I liked having very 'comfortable' halls for first year- en suite, double bed, etc., but it depends on your budget too (though if you don't live too far away, you could go for a 30 week let in Tuke and it saves about £1000- not bad if you don't mind moving out at Christmas and Easter, as I did). I enjoyed being self-catered, the kitchen is a great socialising space too, and it was a lot of fun.

    However, when I put down my choices for third year accommodation, I went completely the opposite way and put Founder's as my first choice and Reid as my second (so basically the cheap, catered halls). The novelty of cooking for myself has worn off and I've realised that I'm rubbish at looking after myself when I have lots of other things to do, so catered next year will work out best for me. Reid is good if you want to be catered but want a bit more luxury than Founder's, and it's an often overlooked choice.

    An aside point (as it's a question lot of people ask): ALL of the halls are sociable. There is not one type of accommodation that is more sociable than others. In the self-catered flats, you typically have 7 other people to hang out with, and more people on the same floor- I had an amazing social life in Tuke, despite what everyone says about it being a 'less sociable' hall. Likewise, in Founder's, you get your corridor parties and people make a lot of friends all over the place.

    So my advice when it comes to halls is to pick:
    1. What fits your budget.
    2. What suits your needs cooking-wise- do you like to cook your own food? Do you tend to eat at 3am or at random times of the day?
    3. Whether you want an en suite.
    4. Whether you're happy to move out at Christmas and Easter.

    Hope that helps a bit!
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    (Original post by llacerta)
    There are lots of psychology students about- I often get comments like, "ANOTHER one?!" when I say what subject I do, haha.

    I'll number my answers just to make it an easier read.

    1. Yes, there are one-on-one tutorials (called Personal Advisor Meetings) but only at the end of every term, more as a progress thing to see how you're doing and if there's anything you're struggling or unhappy with. Tutorials in the strictest sense are the (usually) fortnightly meeting you have with around six to nine other students who have the same tutor as you and can be about academic stuff or work experience or whatever else the tutor decides the meeting should be about. (The system has changed recently, and I know it's different for people in my year in comparison to those in the year below, so I'm hesitating in answering exactly how the system works, but I'm sure you get the idea.)

    2. There is no choice of modules for the first two years of study. As far as I can remember, in first year you study Self and Society, Abnormal, Biological, Sensation and Perception, Developmental, Research Methods, Statistics, and Learning and Memory. In second year, you study Brain and Behaviour, Conceptual Issues, Developmental, Personality and Individual Differences, Cognitive, Statistics, Research Methods, and Social. So quite a varied course.

    In third year, you have a choice of courses from three different blocks. The first block is the 'popular' one, so they have stuff like Abnormal and Social, the second block is basically neuroscience, and the third block has a mix of stuff such as Gender and Language. You have to choose a minimum number of modules from each block.

    Third year also involves doing a group project (which counts for 25% of your third year marks) which is basically running and writing up an experiment- the stuff you learn in research methods and statistics in the first two years goes towards that. You also have the choice of doing a dissertation if you so wish- it replaces one of the other modules.

    3. I lived in Tuke, and I will be living in Reid next year. I liked having very 'comfortable' halls for first year- en suite, double bed, etc., but it depends on your budget too (though if you don't live too far away, you could go for a 30 week let in Tuke and it saves about £1000- not bad if you don't mind moving out at Christmas and Easter, as I did). I enjoyed being self-catered, the kitchen is a great socialising space too, and it was a lot of fun.

    However, when I put down my choices for third year accommodation, I went completely the opposite way and put Founder's as my first choice and Reid as my second (so basically the cheap, catered halls). The novelty of cooking for myself has worn off and I've realised that I'm rubbish at looking after myself when I have lots of other things to do, so catered next year will work out best for me. Reid is good if you want to be catered but want a bit more luxury than Founder's, and it's an often overlooked choice.

    An aside point (as it's a question lot of people ask): ALL of the halls are sociable. There is not one type of accommodation that is more sociable than others. In the self-catered flats, you typically have 7 other people to hang out with, and more people on the same floor- I had an amazing social life in Tuke, despite what everyone says about it being a 'less sociable' hall. Likewise, in Founder's, you get your corridor parties and people make a lot of friends all over the place.

    So my advice when it comes to halls is to pick:
    1. What fits your budget.
    2. What suits your needs cooking-wise- do you like to cook your own food? Do you tend to eat at 3am or at random times of the day?
    3. Whether you want an en suite.
    4. Whether you're happy to move out at Christmas and Easter.

    Hope that helps a bit!
    Thank you! this is really helpful the modules sound interesting and i read your comment in the other thread about the lecturers and you made it sound so good so i am now thinking maybe i should make RHUL as my firm! thanks for the reply in the other thread and i will definitely take your advice about choosing accomodation
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    (Original post by maz :))
    Thank you! this is really helpful the modules sound interesting and i read your comment in the other thread about the lecturers and you made it sound so good so i am now thinking maybe i should make RHUL as my firm! thanks for the reply in the other thread and i will definitely take your advice about choosing accomodation
    I'm glad I've helped. Yes, the modules are (on the whole) very interesting!

    I'm glad you're starting to come to a decision, but do make sure to get the same sort of information I've provided you with here about Kent, too, just so you get a balanced taste of what both universities have to offer.

    Let me know if you go for Royal Holloway in the end!
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    RHUL. is it good for Biological Sciences??
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    (Original post by abhayveer02)
    RHUL. is it good for Biological Sciences??

    Well for Biosciences (apologies if that's not the same thing), the Guardian rank it 71st in the UK.
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    (Original post by swarfliam)
    Well for Biosciences (apologies if that's not the same thing), the Guardian rank it 71st in the UK.
    wow, it pretty bad Actually I am applylng for Biologial Scinces, and I had a talk with scientist about project, also I got an offer from Newcastle University, so I am confused about these two.
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    (Original post by abhayveer02)
    RHUL. is it good for Biological Sciences??
    yes it is fairly good. Especially in terms of research, it makes the most money out of any department at RHUL. One of the lecturers is working on 1.5 Million pound grant. So there is always a lot of active research going on and in lectures its great to speak to lecturers about this and there is the opportunity to work in the lab too over summer for example. Overall, I think it depends on what degree stream you are talking about: do you mean Biology or Molecular Biology? There is a small range of courses, that's one thing I find annoying across all degree streams. Overall, I would say it is an average department. IIt isn't amazing - obviously - and isn't particularly great to have such few options. Also one thing that bugs me is that the Biology building is absolutely disgusting! It is revoltingly old and doesn't have ceilings! It is the epitome of crappy 60s architecture - the complete antithesis of Founders!!!

    PS we are third in the country for Bioscience research! And 12th overall in the UK as a university as a whole. And The Guardian is the least reliable league table. Trust QS or the Times more but even those should be taken with a pinch of salt!
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    (Original post by abhayveer02)
    wow, it pretty bad Actually I am applylng for Biologial Scinces, and I had a talk with scientist about project, also I got an offer from Newcastle University, so I am confused about these two.
    What scientist did you speak to at RHUL? I am studying Biosciences so can tell you if they are any good?
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    (Original post by Feartheunknown)
    What scientist did you speak to at RHUL? I am studying Biosciences so can tell you if they are any good?
    ,now feeling good, at least I got some replies, anyways I had a talk with Proff. George Dickson. He is working on muscular dystrophy,i.e. duchene.
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    (Original post by abhayveer02)
    ,now feeling good, at least I got some replies, anyways I had a talk with Proff. George Dickson. He is working on muscular dystrophy,i.e. duchene.
    Yeah Professor George Dickson is pretty good and he does know people in high places (he organises visits from people from Oxford University) and is getting a lot of money for grants because his research is pretty cool. I have not had lectures with him but he is nice (I think he is Scottish or Welsh).
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    (Original post by Feartheunknown)
    Yeah Professor George Dickson is pretty good and he does know people in high places (he organises visits from people from Oxford University) and is getting a lot of money for grants because his research is pretty cool. I have not had lectures with him but he is nice (I think he is Scottish or Welsh).

    Thank you, you made my day. I was worrying about the course and the college. But, some guys were saying that RHUL was not as good as russel group universities, especially for biological sciences.Although I got an offer from University of Birmingham and Newcastle University. But RHUL is giving me enough research experience as the course in RHUL is research based rather the courses in these universities. Moreover,What is more important for doing PhD, University reputation, or The course background?.
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    (Original post by abhayveer02)
    Thank you, you made my day. I was worrying about the course and the college. But, some guys were saying that RHUL was not as good as russel group universities, especially for biological sciences.Although I got an offer from University of Birmingham and Newcastle University. But RHUL is giving me enough research experience as the course in RHUL is research based rather the courses in these universities. Moreover,What is more important for doing PhD, University reputation, or The course background?.
    Ideally the university, I mean when applying for a PhD the ideal candidate would have a first and would have graduated from Oxford or Cambridge. However, if you go to RHUL, it doesn't mean that you will be looked at less favourably. I mean work hard and get a first anywhere and you have a good shot. BUT - RHUL Biosciences is very strong in certain fields and working in these areas (be it through the curriculum or through your thesis) you will be a great candidate as it shows you have already shown dedication to PG study. For example, I know people who do Biology and their modules are all Biochemistry and don't really do much organismal biology so course content does play a large part - despite them having a biology degree they would be more suited to study something biochem based. So it does work both ways but I think experience (research , lab etc.) plays a bigger role!

    EDIT: ALSO!!! I forgot to mention that RHUL Biosciences is ranked 3rd in the UK in research at 4* and 3* standard!!! Pretty amazing for a non-Russel group university!
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    (Original post by Feartheunknown)
    Ideally the university, I mean when applying for a PhD the ideal candidate would have a first and would have graduated from Oxford or Cambridge. However, if you go to RHUL, it doesn't mean that you will be looked at less favourably. I mean work hard and get a first anywhere and you have a good shot. BUT - RHUL Biosciences is very strong in certain fields and working in these areas (be it through the curriculum or through your thesis) you will be a great candidate as it shows you have already shown dedication to PG study. For example, I know people who do Biology and their modules are all Biochemistry and don't really do much organismal biology so course content does play a large part - despite them having a biology degree they would be more suited to study something biochem based. So it does work both ways but I think experience (research , lab etc.) plays a bigger role!

    EDIT: ALSO!!! I forgot to mention that RHUL Biosciences is ranked 3rd in the UK in research at 4* and 3* standard!!! Pretty amazing for a non-Russel group university!
    Hey!! Could you please help me about the courses?, like If I do taught masters, will it be any hindrance in pursuing PhD afterwards. As, I don't have much research experience, so I don't want to go for research masters.
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    (Original post by abhayveer02)
    Hey!! Could you please help me about the courses?, like If I do taught masters, will it be any hindrance in pursuing PhD afterwards. As, I don't have much research experience, so I don't want to go for research masters.
    I've spoken to lecturers and they have said only do a MRes if you are 100% sure that you want a career in research. Otherwise, do a MSc if you may want to pursue other careers. In terms of doing a PhD, completing an MRes or MSc would be beneficial because you still get research experience with an MSc taught programme. To be honest most people will not have that much research experience when applying for their PhD unless they have worked in a research environment before applying - this could be an option perhaps. I'd recommend you get as much lab experience as you can - even if it is voluntary.
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    Is RH good for history???


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