Overview of Heriot-Watt University

  • Heriot-Watt University he is highly respected around the world, with a strong emphasis on business, engineering, design and the physical and life sciences
  • Culturally diverse, warm and welcoming, Heriot-Watt University is one of the most modern universities in Scotland with a global footprint. It received the Times Higher Education ‘International University of the Year’ 2018 award.
  • Within six months of graduation, 95 per cent of Heriot-Watt first degree graduates were in jobs or further studies and it is the number 1 university in Scotland with the highest-paid salaries (Times Higher Education). Due to the essence of the university’s research-informed education, multinational corporations actively seek out Heriot-Watt graduates.

History of Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University is the UK’s eighth oldest higher education institution and was founded in 1821 as the Edinburgh School of Arts, the world’s first institute of mechanics. By Royal Charter, it became a university in 1966. The University has a tradition of quality teaching and practical study. A truly global university with five campuses, including locations in Malaysia with over 1,200 students and Dubai with nearly 4,000 students.

The Heriot-Watt University has state-of-the-art campuses in Edinburgh, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai that provide a unique educational environment. In Edinburgh, the main campus occupies an area of 380 acres with residential buildings, student residences, libraries, health and sports facilities and the office of the student union. Exchange programs between the Emirates and the UK are supported by the Dubai campus. The purpose-built campus is considered to be the first ‘green campus’ in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Student statistics

  • Undergraduate – 73%

  • Postgraduate – 27%

  • Full-time students – 86%

  • Part-time students – 14%

  • UK students – 71%

  • EU students – 9%

  • International students – 20%

  • Female – 40%

  • Male – 60%

  • Total student population – 10,000 – 25,000

Student Life

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, voted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and a perfect place to live and study. It’s a unique city, renowned for its splendid architecture and world renowned festivals.

Edinburgh is a beautiful place with hundreds of restaurants, cafés, pubs and clubs that can be visited by students, some rooted in tradition and others chic and contemporary. From Edinburgh Castle to Edinburgh Zoo, as well as many museums and galleries, there are a wide number of attractions. You can also go outside to ascend the Seat of Arthur or visit Portobello Beach. Festivals in Edinburgh draw millions of visitors per year. They include the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the arts celebration, and science and film festivals.

At the Herriot Watt Student Union, over 60 student societies, including a medieval society, a renowned brewing society and faith groups. There are quiz nights in Edinburgh, live music and club nights, a pub and a café. The Scottish Borders Campus at the Thread runs activities.

Students and change campaigns are also represented by the SU. The Advice Center offers guidance and support with all elements of student life, the Advice Center offers feedba and support.

Student Support

The International Students Advice Office of Heriot-Watt University offers guidance and support for international students. They will assist with practical advice, such as setting up a UK bank account, driving in the UK, applying for visa renewal with the police, local travel plans, Edinburgh embassy and consulate information, and much more. Useful data before departure is also provided by the International Student Guide. At the beginning of each term, the International Student Advice Office at Heriot-Watt also offers airport pickups, accompanied by a series of welcome and orientation activities.

A variety of NHS medical and dental facilities can be accessed by students. Counselling is accessible via the student health team for all students. Groups, online resources, mental health counseling or mentoring can be easily accessed by students. Support for settling into university life, money, housing and protection are also available while online support through the Big White Wall is available 24/7.

Breakdown of fee structure

Fees for International students range from £13,500-17,440


The Heriot-Watt University offers international students a number of jointly funded and externally funded scholarships (e.g. Saltire, Commonwealth, Chevening).

Living Accommodation

The Heriot-Watt University accommodation service allocates campus locations and, if necessary, allows students to find off-campus accommodation. The Edinburgh Campus has over 1,600 spaces, with shared rooms and en suite facilities available. On the Scottish Borders Campus, there are 200 self-catered rooms and apartments, and the Heriot-Watt University also rents off-campus and city center flats.

For all students in their first year of study, the Heriot-Watt University guarantees an offer of accommodation, either on or off campus. Self-catering apartments or rooms with broadband, Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen and a communal lounge are options for accommodation.

Accommodation costs 2020/2021 at Heriot-Watt University

SELF-CATERED: £118- £179 per week


There are excellent travel links to Heriot-Edinburgh Watt’s and Scottish Borders Campuses. Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, so there are well established national and international travel connections.

Edinburgh Airport is only a five-minute drive from Edinburgh Campus, with frequent direct flights to, among others, London (just an hour), Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, Zurich and New York.

A network of on and off road bike routes, including from the city center to the campus, runs through the city. Buses also leave the campus for the city. The two main train stations in Edinburgh have links through Scotland and to England, reaching London in about 4.5 hours.

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