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Heriot Watt University


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Edinburgh, Scottish Borders, Orkney, Dubai

Main Campus:


Student Population:

10 500

Website details



Built Environment, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Management and Languages, Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Textiles and Design, Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Edinburgh Business School

Why Choose Heriot-Watt University?

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry.

A vibrant, forward-looking university, with a well-equipped and inclusive campus just outside Edinburgh city centre, Heriot-Watt is well known for the quality of its degrees with employers who actively seek out its graduates.

Heriot-Watt has campuses in Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, Orkney and Dubai where it strives to provide stimulating, supportive environments conducive to effective learning and research, and where staff and students can excel.

Heriot-Watt is one of the most culturally diverse centres of study in the UK and has a long tradition of welcoming students from all over the world, and is the largest international student cohort of any Scottish University.


Teaching Quality

Heriot Watt is one of the top UK universities for business and industry with a vibrant forward-looking approach and an established reputation for world class teaching and applied research.

  • Heriot-Watt provides a distinctive education. Focused on quality, committed to teaching innovation with programmes that are highly regarded and relevant to the needs of business and industry. Students learn from expert teachers and world class researchers who are focused on providing a first rate education and preparing students for a professional career.
  • Heriot-Watt is competing strongly against other Scottish and UK universities – a great achievement and positive reinforcement that Heriot-Watt is an attractive option for students from all over the world. Its international reach is one of its most distinctive features. This is reflected in both its world-wide research collaborations and position at the vanguard of transnational education.
  • Heriot-Watt University improved its ranking in several national league tables during 2010. In the Independent, the University moved up five places to 34th position.
  • Heriot-Watt was ranked 6th in the UK and 1st in Scotland for Building subjects in the School of the Built Environment, and 6th in the UK and 2nd in Scotland for Art and Design.
  • The University also performed well in the Times league tables - featuring in the UK top 10 in these subject areas.
  • Heriot-Watt’s Art and Design, Civil Engineering and Sports Science subjects made it into the Guardian’s UK top 10, with Civil Engineering ranked top in Scotland. Other subjects which featured in the UK first quartile were Business Management (including Accountancy and Finance), and Psychology.
  • Chemistry and Economics programmes ranked 1st in Scotland in the 2012 Guardian University Guide.
  • Mathematics and Art & Design programmes ranked 2nd in Scotland in the 2012 Independent Complete University Guide.
  • Heriot-Watt was named runner-up in this year’s Sunday Times Scottish University of the Year award. Judges commented on Heriot-Watt’s expansion plans in Dubai and Galashiels, excellent employment track record, NSS scores, drop-out rates, links with business and industry, widening access, centres of excellence and physical infrastructure.
  • Heriot-Watt has created an environment that nurtures innovation and leadership - where researchers, staff and students can realise their potential and develop their ambitions.


Research Quality

Heriot-Watt University is renowned for its leadership on critical global issues and is recognised throughout the world for the quality of its teaching and applied research capability.

  • Heriot-Watt University offers a superb environment for postgraduate study and top-level research. The University is one of the UK’s leading universities, recognised internationally for excellent teaching and research in its specialist areas of science, engineering, business management, languages and textile design.
  • Heriot-Watt is committed to continuous improvement and development in all its activity. Its focus is on responding to the changing needs of business, industry and society and finding solutions to the global challenges of the 21st century.
  • The University has a reputation for conducting research which is relevant to industry and business, and the excellent results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) demonstrates the current strength of the research being undertaken by the University. Heriot-Watt moved up nine places in The Times Higher Education ranking of the RAE results and is now in the top 35 universities in the UK.
  • Building on established expertise in key, specialist areas, the University aim is to produce the next generation of leaders and thinkers who make a difference in the world.
  • Heriot-Watt University has been recognised by the European Commission for its commitment to supporting the career management of its researchers. As a result, researchers working at Heriot-Watt will benefit from more concise guidelines on their role and career progression opportunities within their field.



Heriot-Watt is Scotland’s ‘International University’ reflected in the multicultural makeup of the students. Students came from as many as 31 countries spread over six different continents.

  • Heriot-Watt is competing strongly against other Scottish and UK universities – a great achievement and positive reinforcement that Heriot-Watt is an attractive option for students from all over the world. Its international reach is one of its most distinctive features. This is reflected in both its world-wide research collaborations and position at the vanguard of transnational education. The University has 20,000 Heriot-Watt students studying globally.
  • Heriot-Watt’s dynamic international focus provides opportunities for students to make contacts around the world.
  • Heriot-Watt is Scotland’s most international university with an unsurpassed international in-country presence. The University delivers degree programmes to 11,800 students in 150 countries around the world, has a campus in Dubai and boasts the largest international student cohort in Scotland. The University also has 150 exchange and visiting students.
  • There is a cosmopolitan mix of students and the University is often referred to as Scotland's International University, as one in three of the University’s on-campus students come from outside the UK.
  • Heriot-Watt also has a campus in Dubai. £35 million of investment in the Dubai Campus will treble capacity to accommodate up to 6,000 students. A quarter of the Campus’ total investment is being supported through the partnership with Eikon International Holding, which collaboratively works with select universities to advance graduate and under-graduate programmes.


Student Satisfaction

At Heriot-Watt students join a friendly, close community and experience the highest quality teaching and learning.

  • Heriot-Watt was a runner up in 2010 Sunday Times Scottish University of the Year Award.
  • The University had a strong performance in the UK-wide 2010 National Student Survey, which examines final year undergraduate students on their experience. The results moved the University up 59 places in the league table to 54th out of more than 120 institutions.
  • Psychology degree programme came top against 102 other institutions offering the subject.
  • A range of other Heriot-Watt degree programmes were also rated in the top 25%: Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Business Studies and Economics, which gained a score of 100% overall student satisfaction.
  • Newspaper league tables provide evidence that the School of Textiles and Design is performing strongly on a national basis. This year the Sunday Times ranked the School top in Scotland for Art and Design provision.
  • The University is investing £34 million to build new residences at Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Campuses and to improve student experience.


Employable Graduates

At Heriot-Watt students will enjoy a first class educational experience that equips them for their chosen career.

  • Studying at Heriot-Watt is a career-boosting experience. Its superb teaching and research facilities coupled with the practical, forward thinking programmes will help to prepare for career success.
  • Heriot-Watt degrees are career focused and relevant to the needs of business and industry, which is why employers actively seek out its graduates.
  • Heriot-Watt boasts first-rate links with business and industry. These important links are established through the Schools and the University generally, and will contribute to each student’s educational experience.
  • The University’s focus on careers delivers results; it has an excellent reputation for graduate employability. The Guardian newspaper ranked Heriot-Watt very highly for graduate employment.
  • Students enjoy a distinctive, high quality academic experience focused on developing skills and knowledge to help the smooth transition into the world of work at the end of their studies.
  • Heriot-Watt offers many specialist programmes and all of its degrees are structured so that its students can, as far as possible, customise them to suit their specific interests and career aspirations.
  • Heriot-Watt is well known for its excellent industrial placements and companies often approach the University directly seeking students for work placements or employment.
  • The University will actively support students to launch their career. The University’s award winning Careers Advisory Service provides one of the most extensive and comprehensive careers education and professional development programmes of any higher education institution in the UK.


Variety of Courses

Heriot-Watt is currently a leading institution in science and aims to ensure that its programmes meet the needs of all students and prepare them for professional leadership roles in the global environment.

  • Heriot-Watt offers over 400 programmes through the 6 academic schools and 2 postgraduate institutes.
  • The School of Built Environment is a multidisciplinary school teaching across all disciplines relevant to the construction industry. Research is user focused and delivers solutions of practical value to industry and society.
  • The School of Engineering and Physical Sciences is a research-intensive school, with exceptional RAE results and a range of specialist and innovative interdisciplinary degree courses bringing together specialisations from different engineering and science subjects.
  • The School of Life Sciences is a substantial cross-discipline collaboration, external industry input and a focus on commercialisation of research developments combined with a friendly approach to learning make the School vibrant and relevant.
  • The School of Management and Languages is an interdisciplinary School providing cutting-edge business and languages education and research with a portfolio of programmes and services that meets the needs of students, business, industry and society today.
  • The School of Textile and Design is an international centre of education, innovation and research in textiles, fashion and design with unrivalled facilities and an inspirational location.
  • The Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE) is a specialist postgraduate centre in teaching, training and research with the largest PE research programme in the UK.
  • The Edinburgh Business School offers the world’s most flexible MBA programme. Students can start and finish when they like. Study from home or study on campus. At EBS, the courses are designed to fit round the student.
  • Also, as an international student studying in the UK, there is access and benefit to Heriot-Watt's comprehensive English language programmes, which will support a student in developing and improving both their English language and academic study skills before embarking on a degree programme.



Edinburgh is one of the world's great cities and renowned as a centre of learning and discovery; studying here is a stimulating and inspirational experience. As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh offers a unique city environment. It's culturally diverse, historically significant, socially alive, environmentally aware, politically central and visually stunning.

The Edinburgh campus offers an enclosed space for students within the city. It is home to a range of student services such as accommodation, shops, sports and health facilities, places to eat and drink and a dedicated prayer room. Students then have everything they could need on hand, as well as well as the city of Edinburgh on their doorstep.

The centre of Edinburgh has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in recognition of its stunning urban landscape in the medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town. In addition, the city encompasses some striking modern architecture including the parliament building and the Museum of Scotland.

Edinburgh is a great city for student life. Students make up one fifth of the city's population, so there’s a huge choice of places to hang out with friends and meet new people, and plenty of amenities catering for diverse interests and tastes.

The city boasts excellent shops, including independent retailers, retro and second-hand stores and there's a wide range of theatres, galleries and museums.

There's also wide range of live music, a diverse club scene with something on every night and numerous bars and cafes for socialising.

Edinburgh is also world-famous for its festivals, devoted to theatre, film, books, music, science and politics, which attract 1.4 million visitors to the city each year.

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