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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 us one of the top UK universities for business and industry.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university with an unsurpassed international in-country presence. We deliver degree programmes to 11,800 students in 150 countries around the world, have a campus in Dubai, a new one opening in Malaysia and boast the largest international student cohort in Scotland. We are proud to consistently achieve across a number of key university league tables. For example, we are ranked number 9th in the UK overall (Sunday Times University Guide 2013), ranked 18th in the UK and 2nd in Scotland (Guardian University Guide 2014).

The University's name commemorates George Heriot, the 16th century philanthropist and financier to King James, and James Watt, the great 18th century inventor and engineer: two successful, leading edge professionals of their time, whose skills and attitudes are still reflected in the ethos of the University today.

Our history began in 1821 when the School of Arts of Edinburgh was established, the world's first Mechanics Institute, which revolutionised access to education in science and technology for ordinary people. In 1852, the name changed to the Watt Institution & School of Arts, and again in 1855, to Heriot-Watt College. We finally became Heriot-Watt University in 1966 by Royal Charter.

  • Year established
  • Location
    Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders
  • Registered students
  • Students satisfaction

Academic specialism

Heriot-Watt’s distinctive brand of learning and teaching nurtures leadership. Our aim is to develop the leaders of tomorrow, equipping our graduates with the skills to achieve their ambitions and perform at a high level.

Our degrees are career focused and relevant to the needs of business and industry, which is why employers actively seek out our graduates. We ensure transferable skills are embedded in our specialist degrees and offer integrated work experience and placements to enhance students’ learning.

The same high calibre staff are responsible for both education and research, so our teaching is informed by the latest research and uses research methods as a style of learning.

Heriot-Watt now provides more graduates per year across the physical sciences, mathematics, engineering and the built environment than any other Scottish university.


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Heriot-Watt University
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Edinburgh, Dubai, Malaysia