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Heriot-Watt University

2016 League Table Ranking 37
2016 Overall Score 753
View the 2016 league tables
Entry Standards 411 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 16.9 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Quality 3.06 Help
Research Quality
A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,084 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 4.15 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 686 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 73.2 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 87.4 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 72.0 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 47.2 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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  • Originating from the School of Arts of Edinburgh, founded in 1821 as the world's first Mechanics Institute, Heriot-Watt is one of the oldest higher education institutions in the UK, and gained university status by Royal Charter in 1966.
  • Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made us one of the top UK universities for business and industry.
  • International campuses opened in Dubai in 2005 and in Malaysia in 2013, offering students the unrivalled opportunity to transfer between campuses and obtain a truly global education.

Location and Transport

  • Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK - Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney - one in Dubai and one in Malaysia.
  • The Edinburgh Campus combines a beautiful parkland site with all the attractions offered by one of the world's great cities. With Scotland's busiest airport and the UK’s largest train station outside of London, Edinburgh is easily accessible from both within the UK and internationally.
  • Home to the School of Textiles & Design our Scottish Borders Campus is located in the town of Galashiels. The Campus is an hour's drive from Edinburgh and there is a twice-daily shuttle bus between the Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Campuses. A new Scottish Borders rail route will open in September 2015, providing rail access from Galashiels to Edinburgh.
  • The International Centre for Island Technology is based at the Orkney Campus in Stromness. This is part of Heriot-Watt's School of Life Sciences.
  • Heriot-Watt University’s Dubai Campus is located in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), approximately 20 minutes from the Dubai business district.
  • Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s Campus is based in Putrajaya. The campus sits on 4.8 acres in a stunning lakeside location, close to the Putrajaya marina and its modern leisure and sports facilities.

Entry Standards

  • Entry requirements vary by course and each application is considered on an individual basis. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate that they have the necessary personal and social skills required for successful performance at University. Applicants with particularly good grades may be eligible for second year entry into our degree courses.
  • The University operates a policy on contextual admissions to support its widening access strategy. Further details are available online.
  • Up-to-date information on the minimum requirements for each course can be found on our website.

A-Level and GCSE Requirements

  • The University makes offers on A2 A Level qualifications only and not on A1, AS Levels.
  • For some courses A Level General Studies is not included in the assessment of three A Levels required.
  • Applicants with particularly good grades may be eligible for second year entry into our 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
  • Heriot-Watt consistently outperforms its national benchmarks for percentage of entrants from state schools and areas of low HE participation.
  • Over 34% of students studying in Scotland come from outside the UK, the largest proportion in Scotland.
  • Each year Heriot-Watt University disburses over £6 million in the form of fee and stipend scholarships to more than 400 undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Places are in demand with around a 20% overall conversion rate of applications to places for first degree programmes. The ratio of applications to places varies for different disciplines.

Course Flexibility

  • As a student at Heriot-Watt you have a unique opportunity to take advantage of our international campus locations in Dubai and Malaysia. Students who transfer between campuses benefit from a much wider learning experience. A year abroad will help develop a global outlook and multi-cultural understanding that is essential for employment in the 21st century.
  • Flexible modular teaching with opportunities for transfer between courses and programmes.
  • 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

  • On average, 82% of students said they were satisfied overall with experience at Heriot-Watt, placing it third in Scotland and 39th in the UK, out of a total of 124 institutions taking part (NSS 2014).

Research Standards

  • Heriot-Watt University is a research-led university specialising in science and engineering, business and management, languages and design.
  • 82% of Heriot-Watt’s research was rated as world leading or internationally excellent in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  • Our research covers the full spectrum from fundamental and theoretical studies, through research of immediate relevance to industry and commerce, to practice-based studies. High quality research can be found in each of our seven main Schools, which are configured to provide the maximum of opportunities for multi- and inter-disciplinary programmes.

Academic Strengths

  • Heriot-Watt degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of business and industry, with many programmes accredited by professional bodies.
  • The University will help you to meet some of the top employers, from the UK and across the world, through the excellent links with business and industry that it has developed, and through its programme of employer presentations, careers fairs and skills development events.

Student Facilities

  • There are excellent services to ensure you feel fully supported while studying at Heriot-Watt, including the Student Support and Accommodation Service, International Student Advisors, an award-winning Careers Service, the Disability Service, a Health Centre and the Chaplaincy.
  • All campuses have libraries with individual and group study places and networked PCs and printers to allow you to access University-licensed software, online databases and journals, as well as other internet resources. Wireless is available throughout the campuses.
  • There is a full catering service at both the Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Campus. The Edinburgh Campus also has a Blackwells bookshop and a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • The unrivalled facilities at the Scottish Borders Campus are the deciding factor for many students in choosing the School of Textiles & Design. The School's facilities 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.

Disability Services

  • Heriot-Watt is committed to ensuring disability does not provide a barrier to existing and prospective students.
  • The Disability Service provides advice and guidance, to discuss the support that you require and the steps that the University needs to take to enable you to access this support.
  • Further information and contact details of Disability Advisors can be found at:

Students' Union

  • Heriot-Watt University Student Union is run by students, for students. It aims to promote, defend and extend students’ rights, provide advice and support, empower student social and voluntary activity as well as providing a range of services in an environment where individuals can feel safe and able to participate.
  • The Student Union welcomes any student who wants to get involved, whether running events, counselling, campaigning or sound engineering. The list is endless: there is something in the Student Union for everyone.
  • Some of your most important experiences of University happen outside of study. At the Student Union you will find a full programme of weekly entertainments including live music, stand-up comedy, club nights and the infamous Monday night pub quiz. There is a bar and cafe where you can hang out with wi-fi access, a great selection of food, pool tables, games machines and TV.
  • 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 Sports Union, with almost 30 active sports clubs, gives 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 socialise with your team mates and other Sports Union members.
  • Heriot-Watt's first-class facilities include international-standard pitches, a football astrodome, championship squash courts, Scotland’s only indoor Golf Academy, and a whole range of facilities for team and racket sports.
  • In 2016, the Edinburgh Campus will become the home of the National Performance Centre for Sport (NPCS), Scotland’s new world-class sporting centre. This cutting-edge development will see Heriot-Watt become the training hub for, among others, Scotland’s national football and rugby squads.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s purpose-built campus opened in Putrajaya in September 2014. The £35-million campus sits on 4.8 acres in a stunning lakeside location providing exceptional educational facilities in an excellent environment, close to the Putrajaya marina and its modern leisure and sports facilities.
  • The new £20-million Lyell Centre, scheduled for opening at the University’s Edinburgh Campus in early 2016, will be a major joint British Geological Survey (BGS)/Heriot-Watt University research centre for geological, petroleum and marine sciences, as well as the Scottish headquarters for BGS.
  • The National Performance Centre for Sport (NPCS) will open on the Edinburgh Campus in summer 2016.
  • In 2016 a second phase of brand new student residences will open on the Edinburgh Campus providing modern, contemporary accommodation.

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

Careers Guidance

  • Students receive a series of talks on key career topics, in most cases as part of their course, including whole or part career development modules. This is backed up by individual guidance through booked interviews or a drop-in service.
  • The Careers Service organises eight careers fairs/insight events covering all key relevant industrial sectors as well as providing an online vacancy service.
  • There is also a mentoring scheme which partners relevant industry professionals with students to assist with the latter's career planning.

Notable Alumni

The Watt Club is the alumni (graduate) association of Heriot-Watt University – founded in 1854, it is the oldest alumni association in the UK. There are over 96,000 alumni in over 180 countries. Lifetime membership is automatic upon graduation from Heriot-Watt, and is free to all graduates of the University.

  • 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)
  • Bob Keiller, Chief Executive of Wood Group plc (MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 1986)
  • Jock Clear, Senior Performance Engineer at Mercedes, recently announced move to Ferrari F1 (BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering, 1987)
  • Gary Younge, Guardian journalist (BA Language & Translation – Russian, 1992)
  • Martin Dickie, Co-founder of Brewdog (BSc Brewing & Distilling, 2004)
  • David Milne, Founder and former CEO Wolfson Microelectronics (BSc Physics, 1965)
  • Henry McLeish, the second First Minister of Scotland (BSc Town Planning, 1973)
  • Baroness Alison Suttie, previous Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Advisor to Nick Clegg (BA Languages (Interpreting & Translating), 1990)
  • Freya Ross, Olympian distance runner (BEng Structural Engineering, 2005)

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

  • +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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