Heriot-Watt University

  • Entry Standards Entry Standards

    The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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  • Student Satisfaction Student Satisfaction

    A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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    4.12 / 5.00
  • Research Quality Research Quality

    A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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    3.06 / 4.00
  • Research Intensity Research Intensity

    A measure of the proportion of staff involved in research in the University.

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    0.82 / 1.00
  • Graduate Prospects Graduate Prospects

    A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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    77.9 / 100.0
  • Student-Staff Ratio Student-Staff Ratio

    The average staffing levels at the University.

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  • Academic Services Spend Academic Services Spend

    A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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  • Facilities Spend 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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  • Good Honours 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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    75.5 / 100.0
  • Degree Completion Degree Completion

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

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    84.5 / 100.0


  • 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. Celebrating our 50th anniversary, we 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. The Go Global programme offers students an unrivalled opportunity to transfer between campuses for part of their courses, obtaining 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 and 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 has recently opened, providing rail access from Galashiels to Edinburgh.
  • The International Centre for Island Technology is based at the Orkney Campus in Stromness.
  • 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 Requirements

  • 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 will accept a wide range of international qualifications at the level equivalent to our standard Scottish Highers/A levels/IB qualifications.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Student Mix

The 10,705 students enrolled in the academic year 2014/15 comprise:

Level of study

  • Undergraduate 66%
  • Postgraduate 34%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 81%
  • Part Time 19%


  • UK 66%
  • EU 10%
  • Other 25%

Student gender

  • Male 56%
  • Female 44%
  • Heriot-Watt consistently outperforms its national benchmarks for percentage of entrants from state schools and areas of low HE participation.
  • The university also recruits internationally, with over 30% of students studying in Scotland coming from outside the UK.

Course Flexibility

  • Through the Go Global programme, Heriot-Watt offers Inter-Campus Transfers, Exchanges and Erasmus +.
  • Inter-campus transfers offer students the unique opportunity to take advantage of our international campus locations in the UK, Dubai and Malaysia. If their programme is being taught at one of the overseas campuses, a student can transfer there to study for a semester or academic year.
  • Many programmes also offer the opportunity of study abroad through our Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes. We have exchange agreements with a number of institutions around the world and are continually expanding our range of exchange partners.
  • Some programmes have a high proportion of common material in their group of degree programmes, making transfers between programmes possible in levels 1 and 2.
  • Heriot-Watt's Foundation Pathways provide an opportunity for international students who meet the subject specific entry requirements for entry to stage 1 but have not yet met the required level in English language to begin their studies. This offers a one year programme of study at the Edinburgh Campus, at an equivalent level to stage 1 of a university undergraduate programme. Foundation Programmes are also offered at the Dubai and Malaysia campuses, which offer tailored pathways to undergraduate programmes.

Teaching Standards

  • In the National Student Survey 2015, 89% of our students said they were satisfied overall with their experience at Heriot-Watt, placing us joint third in Scotland and 28th in the UK.
  • In addition, we had the highest overall satisfaction rates in Scotland for Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, European Languages and Building.
  • Gained best possible result in the 2015 QAA Enhancement Led Institutional Review with QAA noting particularly the university’s diverse range of learning opportunities worldwide and the close partnership between the university and Student Union.
  • A large number of our degrees are accredited by the professional bodies which gives strong links into relevant employment.

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.
  • Heriot-Watt strongly supports research commercialisation activity through technology licensing, company creation as spinout / start-up and provides enterprise / entrepreneurial training to all undergraduate, post-graduates and staff.

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.

Undergraduate Courses

Type of Qualification:

Mode of study:

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. WiFi is available throughout the campuses.
  • There is a full catering service at both the Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Campus.
  • The unrivaled facilities at the Scottish Borders Campus are the deciding factor for many students in choosing the School of Textiles and 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 that students with disabilities achieve their potential.
  • The Disability Service provides advice, information and support to address any support needs or adjustments that may be required to overcome barriers to learning.

Students' Union

  • Heriot-Watt University Student Union is run by students, for students. We aim to promote, defend and extend students’ rights, provide advice and support, empower student activities, and provide an environment where students can feel safe and free to participate.
  • We welcome every student that wants to get involved - whether by becoming part of a liberation group, starting a society, helping one of our many campaigns, or even standing for election.
  • As well as this, we have a range of services to help you unwind during your day. We regularly host events such as club nights, Open Mic, movie marathons and a pub quizzes, and our bar and cafe serve hot meals daily. Come for the great atmosphere – stay for the wi-fi, pool tables and broad selection of tasty refreshments.
  • We also have our very own Advice Hub which provides support on all aspects of student life, including financial advice, counselling, and advocacy throughout academic, disciplinary and financial issues. No problem is too big and no enquiry is too small, we are here to help you make the most of your time at Heriot-Watt.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • The city of Edinburgh generally has a good supply of vacancies.
  • The university Careers Service canvasses employers for suitable vacancies and advertises these on its online Job Station.
  • There are also some part-time posts available on-campus.
  • The Careers Service can advise where and how to find part-time work including help with CVs and interviews.

Careers Guidance

  • The university’s Careers Service delivers a comprehensive programme of careers talks in every degree subject complimented by a series of interactive workshops.
  • This is backed up by individual guidance on career choice, gaining work experience and making successful job or postgraduate applications.
  • The university has excellent links with employers and is able to run a careers fair/insight event for 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.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s purpose-built campus opened recently in Putrajaya. The £35m 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 £20m Lyell Centre, scheduled for opening at the university’s Edinburgh Campus in 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.
  • ORIAM (formerly the National Performance Centre for Sport) will open on the Edinburgh Campus in summer 2016 and will offer a range of modern sports facilities which will be available for use by students.
  • In 2016 a second phase of brand new student residences will open on the Edinburgh Campus providing 450 bedrooms of modern, contemporary accommodation.
  • A significant programme of work to provide additional and upgraded modern Learning and Teaching and Study space commences in 2016.

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 105,000 alumni in over 180 countries. Lifetime membership is automatic upon graduation from Heriot-Watt, and is free to all graduates of the university.

  • Adam Crozie – 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)
  • Greg Wise – actor (BA architecture, 1988)

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.

Further Details

Address Heriot-Watt University,
EH14 4AS
UCAS Code H24