Smiling students on a balcony

Health advice

The Health Centre's top tips about staying healthy while at Royal Holloway

Nobody wants to have to see the doctor, but it pays to be prepared if you do. Here's some quick tips to help you be ready if you need to see one.

Register with a GP surgery

Being registered with a GP surgety means a quicker service, as well as better access to your medical records. Register with a surgery as soon as you arrive at the university, either with the NHS GP surgery (Clarence Medical Centre) on-site or with a local GP - don't leave registering until you become unwell.

Vaccinations and medications

Get any vaccinations you need before you arrive at Royal Holloway. If you are taking regular medication, including oral contraceptives, you should bring sufficient supplies to last for at least two months.

If you're an international student please also bring full details of all medicines (noting that some medications might not be available in the UK).

Make sure you know how to get help

Make yourself aware of the health services offered and the out of hours system.

Get a medical kit for your home

Buy some standard flu remedies such as paracetamol or Ibuprofen. There are a large number of over the counter remedies available from the pharmacist but by and large these are expensive and have not been shown to be significantly better at relieving symptoms than the cheaper options.

Help each other

Get to know your flat mates / house mates and agree to support each other if you are unwell - for example by collecting prescriptions or food supplies for each other.

Look after yourself!

Look after yourself!  Getting run down makes you vulnerable to Flu and other illnesses so take care of yourself by eating well, getting enough sleep and keeping alcohol consumption within reasonable limits.

The NHS website about student health has more tips about staying healthy while studying at university.

Woman thinking with lots of possible directions

Sexual health, contraception and consent


It's up to you whether you have a sexual relationship at university. If you do, it's very important that you practice safe sex and understand sexual health.

Everyone in a sexual relationship should take responsibility for their sexual health. It's important to have regular check-ups - especially if you have had unprotected sex.


One of the most important things to ensure is that contraception is always used to prevent sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy. Information on contraception can be found within the GP Surgery and the SU Advice Centre.

Our contraceptive nurse, Jane, can fit contraceptive implants and give contraception advice and support, including the oral contraceptive pill and long acting reversible contraception. Dr Dickinson is able to fit coils.

Condoms are widely available from shops and machines in toilets around campus, as well as free of charge from the SU Advice Centre - don't be afraid to ask. 

Sexual health and contraception clinic

 Contraception Clinic (appointment only)  Campus  01784  443131
 The Garden Sexual Health Clinic   Upton Hospital, Slough     01753  635302

Jays Pharmacy in Egham offer sexual health services for people under 25.  They provide:

  • Morning after pill
  • Gonorrhoea testing
  • Chlamydia testing and treatment
  • Condom supplies
  • Confidential sexual health advice

All services are free of charge and are available from either: 

  • Jays Pharmacy, High Street, Egham, TW20 9HN; 01784 435588
  • Jays Pharmacy, Pooley Green, Egham, TW20 8SA; 01784 452502

Sexual consent 

Consent means agreement to participate in any sexual activity, and is required for all sexual activity both in and outside of relationships.  Non-consensual sex is against the law.  If you choose to be sexually active please ensure all relationships are consensual and understand that every person has the right to say no at any time.  Also be aware that many people chose not to engage in sexual activity and you must respect their choice.


Talking therapies

Get help with anxiety, depression, stress and phobias

Talking Therapies is a friendly and approachable service that helps people with anxiety, depression, stress and phobias, and have a team of advisers and therapists who can help you to overcome life's difficulties and problems and manage them better. They compliment the College's Student Counselling Service.

Talking Therapies attend the GP Surgery on campus each week during term time and by arrangement during the vacation period. Read more in this Talking Therapies leaflet.

Seeing Talking Therapies

To see Talking Therapies, call 0300 365 2000 and inform them you are from Clarence Medical Centre, Windsor, but would like to be seen at the GP Surgery at Royal Holloway.

Alternatively, call in to the GP Surgery for more information on how to contact them. 

Sick woman in bed sneezing with medicine

Infections and illness

How to spot common infections and what to do about them

University students can be more vulnerable to infections because they live together in close social contact in halls of residence or communal housing. Students often come together from all over the world to live in one place, and so can be exposed to bacteria and viruses they have not come across before.

We've described some infections that are common amongst students here.

Colds and flu (influenza)

Outbreaks of flu tend to peak during the autumn and winter.

The symptoms are extremely high fever, aches and pains in the joints, headaches, loss of appetite and general weakness necessitating enforced bed rest. Many people think they have flu when they either have a bad cold or a flu-like illness which are characterised by only a low grade fever and the ability to carry on with every day life.

If you catch the flu, the general treatment is plenty of fluids and rest. You can also take painkillers such as paracetemol to help manage the symptoms.

The flu vaccine

We offer registered patients with certain underlying medical conditions (like asthma or diabetes) an influence vaccine in mid to late October. The vaccine protects against the flu virus but doesn't prevent other colds or sore throats and so on. We don't recommend the flu vaccine for otherwise healthy people.

Meningitis and septicaemia

Meningitis and associated septicaemia are rare, but are very serious conditions that you need to take action about straight away. Possible symptoms of meningitis are:

  • A rash - tiny spots or bruising under the skin, which does not fade when pressed under a glass
  • Vomiting
  • High temperature / fever
  • Cold hands / feet
  • Violent or severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • A dislike of bright lights
  • Drowsiness / difficult to wake
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Convulsions / seizures
  • Confusion

If you think either you or a friend has meningitis contact the GP Surgery or NHS Advice (111) immediately.

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