Heriot-Watt University is a truly global university; its five campuses include sites in Malaysia, with over 1,200 students, and Dubai, with nearly 4,000 students. With a proud history of quality teaching and practical research dating back to 1821, it develops industry-ready graduates thanks to strong links with business and industry, and distinctive courses in science, engineering, design, business and languages.


On the outskirts of a city or town


The university (including student accommodation, teaching, and leisure facilities) is located on one site

UCAS Code: H24

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Silver is awarded to institutions that deliver high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for their students, and consistently exceed "rigorous national quality requirements" for higher education in the UK. Find out more about TEF.

Student Statistics

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 70%
  • Postgraduate 30%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 85%
  • Part Time 15%

Where students come from

  • UK 71%
  • EU 9%
  • Other 20%

Student gender

  • Male 59%
  • Female 41%

Student Services and Facilities

Libraries and Information Services

  • All campuses have libraries with PCs and printers enabling students to access university-licensed software, online databases and journals, as well as other Internet resources. Wi-Fi is available across the campuses.
  • A major refurbishment project for the Cameron Smail Library (Edinburgh campus) and learning commons is to be completed later in 2019, transforming it into a modern, flexible and comfortable environment for all to use.

Student jobs

  • The city of Edinburgh generally has a good supply of vacancies; and some part-time posts are available on-campus.
  • The university Careers Service canvasses employers for suitable vacancies, advertised via its online job vacancy database.
  • The Careers Service can advise where and how to find part-time work, and helps with CVs and interviews.

Careers advice

  • The university's Careers Service delivers a comprehensive programme of careers talks in every degree subject complimented by a series of interactive workshops. Students are helped with individual guidance on career choice, gaining work experience, and to make successful job or postgraduate applications.
  • The university has excellent links with employers and runs a series of careers fair/insight events across every relevant industrial sector.
  • Students also have the option of getting expert advice from a practising professional by participating in the university's career mentoring programme.

Health services

  • Riccarton Medical Practice is based on campus and provides the full range of general medical services under the NHS. The practice provides a high quality, caring service to improve the health and well-being of all patients.
  • All students who live on campus are encouraged to register with the practice to ensure that any ongoing medical or health issues are brought to the attention of the GPs.

Counselling and Mental Health Support

  • Student counselling is available within the Well-being Centre, and any student can refer themselves for support.
  • There are a range of well-being activities, and students can also access groups, online support, mental health advice or mentoring. The services are confidential, free to contact, and easily accessible.
  • Online support is available through the Big White Wall, 24/7.

Disability support

  • Disability support and guidance is available within the Well-being Centre; any student who has a disability or impairment that impacts on their ability to study is encouraged to get in contact.
  • With students' agreement, the service can liaise with the university's schools regarding reasonable adjustments.
  • The service is experienced in supporting students with a wide range of disabilities, and can provide assessments, study skills support, assistive technology training and Disabled Students' Allowance funding advice.

Other services and facilities

  • Student Well-being Services also include support for students who are worrying about their course and want advice about making changes. There is a Thinking of Leaving drop-in service and a daily Well-being drop-in session, so that students can always access help.
  • GRID is a new ground-breaking facility located in the heart of the Edinburgh campus. GRID is designed to advance the university's global research, innovation and discovery, and create cohesion between academic disciplines, industry partners and the global community. It provides a globally networked space where students can learn, tackle and immerse their curiosity and intellectual passions.

Students' Union

  • Heriot-Watt University Students' Union is an independent, student-led organisation that works in partnership with the university to improve the student experience. Its Advice Hub provides help and guidance on all aspects of student life, as well as independent support and advocacy for academic, disciplinary, and financial issues.
  • The union is home to over 60 student societies including a medieval society, the renowned brewing society, and many others. Students can also get involved with volunteering opportunities, campaigns for both local and social change, and special interest and faith groups – or even get elected to help run the union.
  • The Students' Union also provides social space and entertainment. In Edinburgh there is a bar, events venue, and café that provides good, cheap, and ethically sourced food. There are quiz nights, live music, and club nights throughout the year. Events include Global Day, to celebrate the university's international students, and the charity Beer Festival in March. The Scottish Borders Campus has The Thread for students to relax with friends and runs events throughout the year, and it also provides free studio space.


  • 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. It gained university status by Royal Charter in 1966.
  • International campuses opened in Dubai in 2005 and in Malaysia in 2013, with Go Global enabling students to transfer between campuses for part of their courses.
  • Comprised of five academic schools, these cover the main subject areas of Business, Engineering, Design and the Physical, Social and Life Sciences.

Fascinating Fact

  • Heriot Watt University combines the names of two renowned Scotsmen. George Heriot was an Edinburgh goldsmith who became jeweller, becoming so wealthy he earned the nickname 'Jingling Geordie'. He created a hospital funded by his investments; in time these grew enough to establish educational institutions. James Watt is commonly known as the father of the industrial revolution, his name since used for the unit of power – the Watt.

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • Adam Crozier – chief executive officer of ITV.
  • Tammy Kane – co-founder of the fashion label Christopher Kane.
  • Irvine Welsh – author.
  • Jock Clear – F1 engineering giant.
  • Gary Younge – editor and journalist.
  • Martin Dickie – co-founder of Brewdog.
  • Sir Geoff Palmer – human rights activist and pre-eminent grain scientist.
  • Freya Ross – Olympian distance runner.


Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS