At the age of fifteen Royds won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy in London. However, she had her heart set on studying at the Slade School. After her time at the Slade, Royds moved to Paris and worked with the English painter, Walter Sickert, before travelling to Canada and teaching in Toronto. In 1911 she returned to the UK and began teaching at Edinburgh College of Art, working alongside S. J. Peploe. Royds is best known for her colourful woodcuts of flowers, along with Biblical and Indian scenes. Her technique was indebted to Japanese woodcuts.