I wouldn't presume to advise you on this and suggest instead that you speak to PhD programs that you are interested in. PhD programs vary so much that any information I could give you would just be anecdotal about the PhD admitting committee I was on and the students that I've advised. Some PhD programs care a lot about previous education. Other care only about your potential for research and don't much care what you've learned from others. Some will give you unit credit toward your PhD course requirements; other will give little. Some are more favorable to practical applications in industry and teaching. Others don't care about these at all. As a very general rule, the more prestigious the PhD program, the more they encourage students to enter it directly rather than taking a master's elsewhere. But the best PhD is one that suits your educational and occupational goals, as well as your abilities. Personally, I would not apply for a PhD from a school that does not have a predominantly Brick & Mortar existence. And, as I'm sure you know, an English PhD experience is quite different, and in my opinion, quite inferior, to the American. At most English universities, the PhD is an afterthought - - - something that was installed to keep up with the Yanks and the Jerries. Research students (PhD and MPhil) get little teaching and little guidance. This explains how even the really dire English universities (like London Met, East London, and Bolton) offer PhD degrees in almost every subject. It costs them nothing and provides research assistants. The program you're applying for is different. It is a taught masters not a research masters and is probably very good. Pity you can't go to Royal Holloway to do it live though. It's quite lovely. Some students it's a bit dull because it's in suburban Surrey rather than London proper.