Heriot-Watt University

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Heriot-Watt University was founded in 1821 as the Edinburgh School of Arts (the world’s first Mechanics Institute), a college for working people. It became a university in 1966, and has close links with industry, commerce and the professions.

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK – Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, where textile courses are taught, and Orkney – and campuses in Dubai and Malaysia.

Courses and students

Around 400 course are taught through five academic schools and one business school:

The university has around 11,600 students in its UK campuses. Over 29,000 students study globally across all campuses and online through distance learning. One third of students are from outside the UK, making Heriot-Watt one of the most internationally diversified of any UK university.

Facilities and Services

The main campus is set in the Edinburgh suburb of Riccarton. Oriam, the £33 million state-of-the-art National Performance Centre for Sports (NPCS) is located here, featuring indoor and outdoor football pitches, rugby pitches, sports hall, climbing wall, squash courts, fitness suite and excellent facilities for sports science and medicine students. Over £9 million is being invested in refurbishing the library and learning common areas.

The Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels specialises in textiles, fashion, and design. Courses are offered in conjunction with Glasgow Clyde College and there is also a partnership with Borders College delivering higher and further education, and sharing new campus facilities.

The Orkney Campus in Stromness is the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) and offers postgraduate courses in renewable energy and marine resources.

The Dubai Campus specialises in Architecture and Built Environment, Computer Science, Engineering and Finance. It offers excellent facilities including a well equipped library, IT and audio-visual facilities, a 700-seat auditorium and student apartments situated close to shops and local amenities.

The Malaysian Campus is the country’s first ‘green campus’ and offers degrees in science, engineering and business. Situated in the stunning lakeside city of Putrajaya, it has state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities and express links to Kuala Lumpur.


In the Complete University Guide 2024, Heriot-Watt University is ranked 6th in the UK and 1st in Scotland for the subject area of Building, and 9th in the UK and 2nd in Scotland for Town and Country Planning and Landscape Design.

In the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023, the university ranks 1st in Scotland for Building, General Engineering and Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering.

In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, the university ranks in the top ten in the UK for employer reputation in three subjects: Petroleum Engineering, Civil and Structural Engineering, and Agriculture and Forestry (including Brewing and Distilling).


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Contact Details

EH14 4AS

Edinburgh Campus

EH14 4AS

Orkney Campus

Franklin Road
KW16 3AN

Scottish Borders Campus