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Heriot-Watt University

2015 League Table Ranking 33
2015 Overall Score 759
View the 2015 league tables
Entry Standards 422 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 16.4 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Assessment 2.48 Help
Research Assessment
The average quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 937 Help
Academic Services Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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Student Satisfaction 4.17 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 572 Help
Facilities Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting facilities such as the careers service, health and counselling services and sport facilities.

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Graduate Prospects 77.7 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 82.3 Help
Degree Completion
The proportion of students expected to successfully complete their studies and gain a degree from the University.

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Good Honours 70.5 Help
Good Honours
The percentage of graduates achieving a first or upper second class honours degree – the class of degree achieved can impact a graduate’s employment prospects.

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Green Score 26.5 Help
Green Score
This environmental & ethical ranking of the University is provided courtesy of the People & Planet Green League - the only comprehensive and independent green ranking of every UK university. Choosing a greener university can reduce your carbon footprint and improve your job prospects in a global low-carbon economy.

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  • Heriot-Watt is one of the oldest higher education institution in the UK, and gained university status by Royal Charter in 1966.
  • The university originated as the School of Arts of Edinburgh, founded in 1821 as the world's first Mechanics Institute.
  • Named after George Heriot, 16th Century financier to King James, and James Watt, the great 18th Century inventor and engineer.

Location and Transport

  • Campuses in Edinburgh and in the Scottish Borders at Galashiels, with the International Centre for Island Technology Campus in Orkney.
  • The Edinburgh Campus combines a beautiful parkland site with all the attractions offered by one of the world's great cities.
  • The university has a further growing campus in Dubai based at the purpose-built Academic City with over 3,000 students.
  • Heriot-Watt University's first premises in Putrajaya, Malaysia opened to students in January 2013 when it launched their global MBA programme from the Edinburgh Business School. Heriot-Watt University Malaysia will open in 2014 with a purpose-built campus.

Entry Standards

  • Admission to courses is by individual assessment where experience and skills are valued alongside formal qualifications.
  • Guidance on undergraduate entry requirements is available online.
  • Students with particularly good grades may be offered the opportunity for second year entry into degree courses.

Student Mix

The 10,895 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of study
Mode of study
Full Time
Part Time
Student gender

Course Flexibility

  • Flexible modular teaching with opportunities for transfer between courses and learning modes.
  • Teaching is supported by virtual learning environments which add value to the student learning experience.
  • The Virtual Campus is exemplified by the popular SCHOLAR programme, a learning resource for first year courses.

Teaching Standards

  • The Enhancement-Led Institutional Review held in 2011 awarded Heriot-Watt the highest possible assessment.
  • A well developed Learning and Teaching Strategy focuses on employability and professional career readiness, and the student learning experience.
  • Student representation is included on key strategy/policy making committees which set the standards for learning and teaching and student support.

Research Standards

  • The university offers the advantages of a research-led teaching environment where advances in relevant fields are reflected in the syllabus.
  • In the 2008 RAE, 50% of the University's research was rated as internationally excellent. Heriot-Watt had one of the highest RAE staff submission rates among Scottish universities.
  • The University plays a leading role in a number of Scottish research pooling initiatives including in the areas of Engineering (Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering), Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics and Marine Science.
  • The University has an extensive portfolio of research collaborations and is expanding this through the development of strategic alliances with key industry partners.

Academic Strengths

  • Close relationships with business and industry ensure that courses are up-to-date and accredited by all the relevant professional bodies.
  • Flexible learning programmes internationally, with 13,000 students studying off-campus in 150 countries world-wide.

Disability Services

  • Heriot-Watt campuses are modern and well equipped to accommodate students with disabilities or special needs. If you have disclosed a disability prior to the start of your course, staff in the Disability Service will meet with you to provide ongoing professional advice and support throughout your time at University.
  • Visit the website for more information about the disability services at Heriot-Watt University.

Students' Union

  • Supports a student-orientated approach to every aspect of university life and an environment in which students feel safe and able to participate.
  • Provides an extensive programme of entertainments each week, including comedy and club nights and live music. On-site bars and café.
  • Supports a variety of student societies catering for all sorts of tastes, run by students for students.


  • The multi-million pound Sports Academy includes a sports science and sports medicine centre with premier league quality pitches.
  • Sports halls, floodlit tennis courts, golf Academy, climbing wall, squash courts, cardiovascular suite, strength and conditioning centre and more.
  • Heriot-Watt's Sports Union is run by and for students with over 30 clubs from football to fencing and snow-sports to archery.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • Heriot-Watt University's first premises in Putrajaya, Malaysia opened to students in January 2013 when it launch their global MBA programme from the Edinburgh Business School.
  • Heriot-Watt University Malaysia purpose-built flagship campus will open in 2014
  • Work was completed in autumn 2012 on new £34-m project for new student accommodation at Heriot-Watt’s Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Campuses.
  • Heriot-Watt University’s £35-m new purpose built campus in Dubai was opened by the First Minister in November 2011 at Dubai International Academic City. The new 28,000 sq.m state-of-the-art campus has been designed to be modern and eco-friendly and doubles the level of provision to 4,500 students. Bespoke fashion labs, design studios, welll-equipped engineering labs and ICT labs with video-conferencing facilities have all been incorporated into the new facility.
  • A new Student Service Centre has recently opened at the Edinburgh Campus. The facility provides student facing services for Academic Registry, Finance and Hospitality Services, demonstrating the University’s commitment to further enhance the Heriot-Watt student experience.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • The Careers Advisory Service advertises jobs on behalf of employers who notify Heriot-Watt of their vacancies.
  • Students are asked to register with Jobs Direct and set their profile for the type of work they are looking for.
  • When any suitable new vacancy or employer presentation is made available to the Careers Advisory Service students receive an automatic e-mail alert.

Notable Alumni

  • Adam Crozier – CEO ITV (BA Business Organisation 1984).
  • Richard Tait – Founder of Cranium (BSc Computer Science 1986).
  • Tammy Kane – Co-Founder of the fashion label Christopher Kane (BSc Textile Science 2000).
  • Irvine Welsh – Author (MBA 1991).

Student facilities (including Library and Computing)

  • Campus facilities are designed to accommodate everyone's requirements, be they academic, social, sporting, cultural, religious or welfare.
  • Libraries at the Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Dubai campuses, each of which has a Subject Librarian who specialises in each subject area.
  • The main computer network encompasses Edinburgh and Borders campuses, accessible from Schools, Libraries, Computer Centres and Halls of Residence.

For further information

  • www.hw.ac.uk
  • enquiries@hw.ac.uk
  • +44 (0)131 449 5111
  • Heriot-Watt University,
    EH14 4AS
UCAS Code H24

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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