Royal Holloway vs Lancaster?

(32 Posts)
boatashore Thu 11-Feb-16 19:34:29

It's decision time again and my DC is trying to choose between Lancaster and Royal Holloway for Literature. Does anyone have a DC at either? The courses at both look excellent, but I imagine the student experience would be quite different. All thoughts welcome!

OP’s posts: |
1234Littleham Fri 12-Feb-16 14:20:48

My dd put Royal Holloway as her reserve (for History). She really liked it but ended up at her firm choice. I might be able to help with general questions as I have been for open / offer holder days.

Best for your dc to go in person if possible.

bojorojo Fri 12-Feb-16 15:55:42

I don't think the student experience will be markedly different. They are both campus. Neither is in a major university city. Lancaster and Egham. Both are very similar in terms of league table position for this subject but Lancaster has slightly better employment prospects.

I would, however, do some research on cost of living for 2nd and 3rd years because around Egham is not cheap. Where do students live off campus? Egham has trains into London so that is accessible. If your DC needs a p/t job, what are the prospects of getting one? London is handier for internships etc when the time comes. Do go and have a detailed look if you haven't already.

GloriaHotcakes Fri 12-Feb-16 18:32:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bojorojo Fri 12-Feb-16 19:03:24

Yes, I heard that too about RH. however if RH is near home, then that may be an advantage!

RandomMess Fri 12-Feb-16 19:14:54

Completely different places!!!!!

There is nothing going on in Egham - it's kind of like a village

Lancaster is notable student city...

I used to live near one and I now live near the other!

NapoleonsNose Fri 12-Feb-16 19:20:23

DD applied to RH for History and whilst the campus is beautiful, and they are currently building a brand new library, Egham itself was just dreary and that really put her off. The exam to coursework ratio was quite high and that doesn't really suit her. She firmed Reading in the end.


doleritedinosaur Fri 12-Feb-16 19:23:55

I went to RoHo & it's a good uni but there's only what's on campus.
Off campus accommodation is expensive but it was handy being so close to London & you definitely do make good friends there as you're stuck together!

There was a lot of societies there which helped, just very, very expensive.

sugar21 Fri 12-Feb-16 19:29:04

I went to RH its a great uni but not much going on socially. I used to go home because I lived 20 mins drive away and my Father had bought me a car for my 18th.

RandomMess Fri 12-Feb-16 19:31:04

I just mentioned this to DH is the most anti social stay at home person ever.

"dear God I'd ever suggest to go there it's just dead"

Fine if you are local enough to go home and don't want that uni experience. Egham has charity shops, Tesco, cheapo shops and not a lot else...

Andfaraway Sat 13-Feb-16 09:23:58

OK, I have close experience with both as an academic in the humanities. In terms of departments - they're both excellent, and your DC will get an excellent education at either. But the feel of each course is different, so your DC needs to have a good look at each department's website to look at the core compulsory courses, and the range of options. Although don't count on each & every option being available - it's dependent on staff availability & numbers etc. See what's on offer as a student there - not just Open Day stuff, but delve into the actual website. See what the staff specialisms are, and what is taught, and how it is taught. You can usually get a lot of information that's used everyday by students on the course now - a lot of info is not password protected.

So ... in my view, the big difference will be the places and the campuses. Both are green field, slightly out of town campuses. Both a little like villages. Both spectacularly beautiful in different ways.

Lancaster has close connections to the North and Scotland. I always notice that there are a lot more students who consciously identify as northern fine by me I'm a northerner Frankly, from the point of view of an academic, the students are far less entitled and whiny.

Royal Holloway students tend to be from the south, and like it because it's near London, but not in London. Students are much more 'yah' I'm afraid - but that's from an outsider's point of view as a tutor, I'm an observer butt an outsider to student life! grin Although Egham's very pleasant, frankly there's not much going on there but I'm an exiled northerner But, there is the easy access to London.

But Lancaster is 40 minutes from Manchester <homesick> and an hour from Liverpool, and two hours to Leeds. Fantastic cities and then there's the Lake District & Scotland.

Both are very safe campuses and towns. Lancaster of course much cheaper, but if your DC's friends & family are in the south, the trainfares are more expensive.

LIZS Sat 13-Feb-16 09:29:44

There's an applicant day at RH on Wednesday , ds is going and dh and I really to have a nose at how it has changed since we went there. The benefit of RH is access to wider London Uni facilities and lectures /courses at other London colleges.

circular Sat 13-Feb-16 13:55:03

RH was one of DD's offers last year, was very highly regarded for her course but had a firm favourite elsewhere. Nearly had it as insurance choice but was put off by stories of the accommodation difficulties unless firming.

Got the impression not much going on, regular jaunts into London which DD is used to anyway. We visited a couple of times, seemed exclusively Southerners. Guessing as quite expensive, though not as expensive as 'proper London' and they still get the extra loan.

bojorojo Sat 13-Feb-16 18:28:35

The extra loan in London is peanuts really though if you are talking about travelling into London regularly. Many wonderful things in London but they often cost money (exhibitions, theatre, restaurants, bars) and transport is not cheap. Do students really go to lectures elsewhere in London? Do students in Lancaster regularly travel into Manchester for a night out? If they want that, would they not be better off at Manchester in the first place?

I was referring, earlier, to the fact they are both campus. Lancaster university is clearly not in the city like Durham or Bristol. Neither is Lancaster offering a city experience like Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester etc. It is positively small fry when compared to those university cities. Students rarely care about being near the countryside. I can totally see the difference is more of a North/South thing.

mudandmayhem01 Sat 13-Feb-16 18:33:55

Lancaster is fantastic if you are sporty, outdoorsy, near the lakes lots of climbers, mountain bikers, fell runners if these things interest her at all.

serin Sat 13-Feb-16 20:07:02

DD looked at both last year.

Didn't like the halls set up at RH at all. No kitchens to prepare snacks so lots of talk of living off pot noodles for a year!

RandomMess Sat 13-Feb-16 20:10:25

Lancaster is a small city with a big student night life, very regular bus service to the city centre and the student bus passes are cheap if you want to live off campus in 2nd/3rd years.

Lancaster has theatres, lots of restaurants, bars, shops are ok -

Egham has nothing to compare to it and tbh London is an expensive and considerable longer trek from RH IYSWIM. So if you say from RH you can go to London it's the same as saying you can to Manchester from Lancaster. Not to mention the train into London is so bl**dy slow as it's a stop train service into Waterloo...

Anyway I really think you'd need to visit to compare IMHO.

boatashore Sat 13-Feb-16 20:18:28

Thanks for all the replies! She loves the great outdoors but has good friends and family in London, so that's a draw too. She's not much for tripping the light fantastic, so I don't think a quieter setting will be a problem. Will see if we can figure out a way to get over for the offer holder days.

Andfaraway thanks for the suggestion of digging into the websites. The courses seem very different, and I guess part of the decision will come down to how much she wants the extra flexility of Lancaster. Is there some way to find out how much teaching/contact time there is in the first year? Also, do you have any idea of what the international kids are like at either? We live abroad, so both southern and northern are likely to feel alien to her.

LIZS would be curious to know what you and DS think after applicant day. Did you and your dh use the wider London Uni facilities when you were there?

OP’s posts: |
sparechange Sat 13-Feb-16 20:24:22

RH is much more highly regarded by employers than Lancaster...
A lot of RH students go out in Kingston if they don't want to go out in London proper. It's 20 mins away and another student town.
Reading is also close and a good student town..

lapsedorienteerer Sat 13-Feb-16 20:31:36

Chalk and cheese in my opinion. We live close to RH (stunning building, but Egham and Staines...urgh) but I can see that Lancaster might give a better student experience.

doleritedinosaur Sat 13-Feb-16 20:40:15

RoHo has a large mix of international students as they do a high mix of study abroad & exchanges.

I had American, Australian & Canadian students in my halls, was great as I learnt to play beer pong & learnt new meals.

There was also a lot of international clubs there but if you go on the website & student's Union pages as well should give you more up to date information.

doleritedinosaur Sat 13-Feb-16 20:41:17

Just remembered there was 10 international students out of 40 in my degree year.

RandomMess Sat 13-Feb-16 20:42:30

LOL indeed laps RH itself stunning if you can spend your life just on campus in a little bubble type of thing. Sort of the very old fashioned traditional type of student experience.

I'm curious about 20 mins to Kingston - presumably that would be driving on a quiet evening? I remember many times taking 30 minutes stuck on the dual carriage by RH trying to get past...

Certainly a very close look at what active clubs and societies exist on campus that your DD would be interested in as apart from Church there isn't anything off campus locally to do/be involved in as far as I'm aware?

bojorojo Sat 13-Feb-16 21:26:43

So Lancaster must be the new Newcastle then! Wow!

Andfaraway Sun 14-Feb-16 10:10:18

bojorojo have you ever been to Lancaster? It is charming and unlike the large northern cities. It's also quite a centre for the arts & culture for north Lancashire & Cumbria, and not in a cheesy way at all - some really interesting underground sort of stuff. It is a very compact little city with a strong identity, and the students feel that too (or so they used to tell me). In contrast, Egham can feel very suburban and generic.

I think you need to be careful about making assumptions if you've never been there. It's a very under-rated city but just gets on doing its own thing.

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