Image Credit: Dan - James Watt Geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons
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Based in the outskirts of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt was established as the world's first mechanics institute in 1821. It's ranked highly both in the UK and in the world, and is known for the strong prospects of its students and ranked top in Scotland and 17th in the UK for graduate salaries six months after graduation by The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.
The university boasts the oldest alumni organisation in the UK, The Watt Club, founded in 1854.
Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, is amongst one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world.. Home to the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it is a focal point for art, culture, comedy and drama. From medieval lanes to modern architecture, museums to nightlife, there is plenty to do when you choose to study at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh.
QS World Ranking (2021)
Times Higher Education (2020)
Shanghai Ranking (2020)
Complete University Guide (2021)
Guardian League Table (2021)
Teaching Excellence Framework
Green Credentials (2019)
Young vs Mature
Male vs Female
Heriot-Watt was established as the School of Arts of Edinburgh in 1821, the first mechanic's institute, and later encompassed the names of inventor and engineer, James Watt, and philanthropist George Heriot, who both helped to raise funds for the institution. The institute received its Royal Charter in 1966 to become Heriot-Watt University.
In 1969, the Riccarton estate was gifted to the University by Midlothian Council and the relocation of the University to the Edinburgh campus at Riccarton was complete in 1992. In 1998 the Scottish College of Textiles merged with the University to create the Scottish Borders Campus. In 2005 and 2014, saw Heriot- Watt expanded globally to include the Dubai Campus and Malaysia Campus respectively.
The university currently has three campuses in Scotland and two abroad:
- located to the south west of Edinburgh on 380 acres of parkland the Edinburgh Campus offers a unique environment for studying and learning. Over 10,500 staff and students are based at the campus, with around a third of them coming from outside the UK. Inside the campus, there are about 2000 residential self-catering accommodation places available. It also boasts shops, a library, sports facilities, a museum, and Europe’s oldest research park.
The Edinburgh campus is the home to Scotland's new £33m national Sports Performance Centre, Oriam.
- located in the town of Galashiels, the campus houses the University’s School of Textile and Design, and is the gateway to an exciting world of fashion and design, with strong industry partnerships and links to the worldwide textile industry.
The Campus offers integrated learning facilities, specialised workshops, computer aided design suites, museum and library and gallery. It's an hour's drive or train journey from Edinburgh and there is a shuttle bus between the Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Campuses.
- is based in Stromness and is home to the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT), part of our prestigious School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society. Orkney is one of the UK's most stunning university locations and provides a living laboratory which has supported a broad range of research, teaching and consultancy activities within the marine, oil and gas, and fisheries sectors for over 25 years.
- founded in 2005, the purpose-built campus in the heart of Dubai International Academic City offers a wide range of degree programmes. The campus includes a library, catering, and shops, and you'll gain a degree that is taught and examined to the same exacting standards as the UK campus, with high quality teaching and learning, established links to potential employers, modern facilities and excellent support services.
- the £35m campus opened to students in Putrajaya in September 2014 and sits on a 4.8 acre site in a stunning lakeside location providing exceptional education facilities in an excellent environment, close to the Putrajaya marina and its modern leisure and sports facilities.
The Campus is a state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment, reflecting the University status as a leading provider of high-quality, professionally orientated education, knowledge transfer and research.
- Edinburgh Business School
- The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society
- The School of Engineering & Physical Sciences
- The School of Mathematical & Computer Sciences
- The School of Social Sciences
- The School of Textile & Design
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) Heriot-Watt research quality was assessed in the 'Units of Assessment', namely General Engineering (joint submission with the University of Edinburgh), Physics and Chemistry.
With improvements in all three subjects, their ‘research outputs’ were particularly highly rated, with >91% rated as internationally excellent or world leading, and showed particularly strong performances of 95% on this measure for both Physics and Chemistry. In General Engineering, 60% of research Impact was rated as world leading and on a measure of 'research power', General Engineering was first in the UK.
The university focuses on innovation in science, engineering, technology and business. Some of their areas of expertise/aims include the uncovering the secrets of carbon transport, revolutionising the construction industry, spearheading sustainable energy for all, a systems approach to floods and drought and more.
International & Industrial Opportunities
At Heriot-Watt, you have the opportunity to become a global student by taking part in an Inter-Campus Transfer, Erasmus+ or Exchange. Studying abroad is a unique opportunity and likely to provide some of your most memorable life experiences.
Erasmus+ enables you to study or work in Europe as part of your degree programme, usually for a full academic year. Most mobility opportunities operate as an exchange and Heriot-Watt University has links with a wide range of institutions across Europe. The Exchange programme enables you to study outside of Europe as part of your degree programme in one of their 150 learning partners throughout the world.
You can take advantage of Heriot -Watt international campus locations by transferring to another location for a semester, a year or longer.
Some undergraduate courses offer 10 month industrial placement/work experience, possibly abroad, which will take place before the final year of their course.
Rest of UK Students (2020/2021)
Note: Scottish and European Students should check with the Student Awards Agency For Scotland (SAAS).
Scholarships & Bursaries
Each year, hundreds of students enhance their educational experience through a variety of Heriot-Watt and externally funded scholarships.
The Heriot-Watt Academic Scholarship (RUK – Rest of UK) seeks to encourage and reward talent and hard working students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales who have achieved the specified grades, applied and been accepted to the relevant programme, and subsequently take up the place. The Scholarship comprises: £1,000 cash bursary per year and is additional to any other bursaries for which the students may be eligible.
The Heriot-Watt Academic Bursary (RUK – Rest of UK) is an income-related bursary of up to £3,100 a year available to eligible full-time students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, payable in years 1, 2, 3 and 4 (year 5 not eligible). There are three levels of support depending on household income as assessed by Student Finance.
Please visit the University's website for the complete list of scholarships.
- £9 million was invested in refurbishing the Library and Learning Commons areas, Heriot-Watt boasts an on-campus library that opens 24/7 during term time and exam times. Within the library, there are over 600 individual and group study spaces, wireless access and networked computers, printers and a cafe. Computers are also available in academic schools and some halls of residence. In addition, the Heriot-Watt Virtual Private Network (HWVPN) allows staff and students to access the University network and, where authorised, home directories and file sharing when off campus.
Heriot-Watt University offers a wide range of skills development opportunities on campus, and online. These opportunities can help you develop your digital, information literacy, IT and study skills - to help you to work, research and study more effectively and to support your continuing professional development. Skills development workshops are held regularly at the Library.
GRID- the University new global research, innovation and discovery facility has been designed to create cohesion between academic disciplines, industry partners and the global community, providing an innovative teaching and learning environment for mathematics, engineering, physical sciences and computer science students and staff.
Scottish Borders Campus
- boasts a library with over 100 individual and group study places, with plenty of books, journals and other material. Open 66 hours a week during term time, Heriot-Watt's network of PCs are available from academic schools, libraries, and some halls of residence, giving you access to University-licensed software, databases and journals, as well as other online resources. Wireless networked laptops can be borrowed to use for group work.
The University Archive, Records Management and Museum Service (ARMMS) houses a rich collection of fabrics, documents and costumes from around the world. The collection reflects the Scottish Borders’ position as one of the centres of the global textile industry from the 18th century to the present day. The University's unrivalled facilities at the Scottish Borders Campus range from craft through industrial to cutting-edge advanced technologies, and includes the largest knit and weave studios and longest screen-print table in Europe.
- consists of a library and the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) laboratory. The library has individual study spaces as well as a small area for group work with comfortable low level seating. Networked PCs give access to University-licensed software, databases and journals and other online resources. Wireless access is also available.
- offers facilities including a library with academic textbooks, databases, e-journals and resource guides, and a computer lab with over 40 computers. The library has a total seating capacity of 220 with 35 PCs available for student use. The library also has 48 quiet study areas for individual study, 3 small and 1 large room for group discussion.
All students have access to VISION, the University's virtual learning environment, a web-based integrated teaching and learning environment. Many programme courses are taught through the system, and lecture notes and assignments are available on it.
- the Library offers a wide range of traditional and electronic resources and has a total seating capacity of 595, with 12 PCs available for students to use. Quiet study rooms are available for individual study, and there are discussion areas for collaborative learning. A range of software is available in the PC lab.
The Edinburgh Campus is the home to Oriam, Scotland's Sports Performance Centre, and is recognised as one of the best university sports centres in the UK. Facilities in Oriam include sports halls, playing pitches, squash courts, gyms and fitness classes. There are also physiotherapy, podiatry, sports massage, and sports science testing services available.
Oriam also houses Heriot-Watt's own Sports Union, which manages the student sport offering. With over 30 active sports clubs, the Sports Union and Oriam give you the ideal environment to participate in and compete in your chosen sport at higher education level. It also creates the perfect opportunity for you to both train and socialise with your team mates and other Sports Union members.
Students at the Scottish Borders campus can take advantage of sporting opportunities locally. They can get discounted membership rates for TriFitness, the new sports centre next to the campus. TriFitness offers a huge range of gym and cardio equipment, as well as fitness and dance classes, and is run by the Borders Sport & Leisure Trust in partnership with Heriot-Watt University and Borders College.
Other sports facilities in Galashiels include a swimming pool, athletics track and all-weather pitches. The surrounding countryside has golf courses and opportunities for fishing and horse riding.
Heriot-Watt University Student Union is run by students, for students. It is dedicated to ensuring that the student experience at Heriot-Watt is rewarding, and involves activities that are fun, while helping to develop a whole range of skills and abilities.
The Union encourages as many students as possible to get involved in the work and services they provide. There are about 60 societies for you to join, but if you have a unique interest, you can also set up your own society.
At the Student Union you will find a full programme of weekly entertainments including live music, stand-up comedy, club nights and their infamous Monday night pub quiz. There are a bar and a cafe, where you can hang out with Wi-Fi access, a great selection of food, pool tables.
The Student Union Advice and Support Centre provides support on all aspects of student life, including financial advice, counselling and advocacy throughout academic, disciplinary and financial issues.
The Union provides plenty of volunteering opportunities, including the RAG (Raise and Giving) activities which students can take part in. Volunteering with the Student Union is more than just a line you can add to your CV. Your volunteering hours will be accredited by the Saltire Awards and displayed on your academic record when you graduate, alongside your grades, helping you to stand out from the crowd!
Religion & Spirituality
The Chaplaincy on the Edinburgh Campus exists to promote spiritual and social wellbeing. It is open to people of all faiths and no religious faith, and to both students and staff.
The Chaplaincy hosts a variety of student faith groups, as well as being home to the Global Church on Campus. It is located in its own building. All students are welcome to use its facilities, which include a lounge, dining room and kitchen, with table tennis, pool and table football, as well as the Chapel. The Chaplaincy also holds many social and cultural events and trips to the Scottish countryside.
On the Edinburgh Campus there is a Muslim prayer room, complete with ablution areas for both male and female students.
Please see the University's website for the Religion and Spirituality support in the other campuses.
Health & Wellbeing
The university has an on-campus Medical Centre and Dental Practice, offering medical, nursing, dental and ancillary health care, including physiotherapy.
The University’s Student Wellbeing Services provides a range of support, guidance, activities, and advice to help students to be their best, and get the most from their university experience. The support they provide includes: mental health mentoring, wellbeing support, counselling, coaching, disability, and more.
The University's Disability Service provide ongoing professional advice and support to students including those with mobility difficulties, deaf or hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted, students with mental health problems and students with Asperger Syndrome. They can provide support and advice with study skills if students have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia in addition to assistive technology to help students overcome any barriers to learning. They can also provide information about additional funding such as Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) and offer a dyslexia screening and diagnostic service.
Please see the University’s website for the Health & Wellbeing support in the other campuses.
The Careers Service at Heriot-Watt provides a wide range of information, advice and guidance services. These are delivered in a variety of ways, including a comprehensive online careers library, individual careers advice and guidance, a career planning programme of talks, (most of which are delivered in Schools) and the organisation of Careers Fairs and events. It also provides support to students who are considering starting their own business.
The Career Mentoring Programme connects professionals working in a wide variety of industries with current Heriot-Watt students to support their long-term career planning.
Jobs Direct is the University's main vacancy database where students will find up to date information about the latest Graduate Jobs, Part-time Jobs, Vacation Jobs. Online resources linked to external job websites are also available to students.
Please see the University's website for the Career Facilities support in the other campuses.
Self-catered (per week) (2020/2021)
Self-catered (per week) (2020/2021)
The University guarantees to make an offer of accommodation to all eligible students in their first year.
The accommodation at the Edinburgh Campus is conveniently located within easy reach of the teaching buildings, sport facilities, catering venues and the Student Union. There are about 2000 residential places available at the Edinburgh Campus with a range of room types and prices. All of the accommodation is self catered and single occupancy. There are a number of catering facilities on campus. The Halls of Residence also have shared kitchens and shared lounge.
Students will have their own study bedroom, the majority of which have en-suite bathrooms, and access to broadband and laundry facilities. There is a warden in each Hall of Residence who is there to help you settle in and sort out any problems you might encounter.
In the Scottish Borders Campus there is the brand new, state-of-the-art Jean Muir Student Village. Here you can find study bedrooms, each with a private bathroom or deluxe rooms which are larger than the study bedrooms. In addition to the private bathroom, deluxe rooms also have a double bed, a larger study area, more storage and two armchairs and a coffee table in each room.
For the Orkney Campus, there are support staff in Orkney that can provide detailed information on accommodation within Stromness and Orkney and have up to-date details for over 50 local estate agents and landlords who are interested in leasing to students for a 12 month period.
Please see the Universit's website for the accommodation at the Dubai and Malaysia Campuses.
English Language Requirements
If your first language is not English, you have to demonstrate that your English language ability is strong enough to succeed on your programme. The table below shows the acceptable qualifications and grades for undergraduate courses.
|Cambridge (old)||FCE with a B grade overall|
*Students for all Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics programmes must have IELTS 6.5. Students for the Interpreting and Translating language programmes must have IELTS 7.5
Heriot-Watt awards scholarship and fee discount to students studying at the Dubai Campus. A range of scholarships and other financial assistance is available to help support the cost of studying at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.
Please see the University's website to view the list of scholarships available at the Dubai and Malaysia campus.
Heriot-Watt has a large overseas population, with a third of their students from countries outside the UK. The university has an International Student Advisor’s Office which provides advice and support to all international students on their campus. Advice includes help with visa and immigration, and help with adapting to life in the UK.
If you are arriving in Edinburgh by plane, the Global Student Office organises a taxi transfer service from Edinburgh Airport to the Edinburgh Campus at the start of Welcome Week in September. There will be Student Ambassadors from Heriot-Watt University at the airport to direct you to the pick-up point for taxis to your accommodation – this service is not free and you will have to pay for the taxi yourself.