Key facts about Heriot-Watt University

The University

  • Our 190-year history began in 1821, when we established the world's first Mechanics Institute (the School of Arts of Edinburgh). Find out about the history of Heriot-Watt.
  • We have 1,737 members of staff, including 480 academic and 180 research staff. Find out about careers at Heriot-Watt.
  • We offer over 400 programmes through our 6 academic schools and 2 postgraduate institutes. See our Schools & Institutes.

Our international reach

  • Approximately 25,000 Heriot-Watt students studying globally. Find out about studying in your own country.
  • 35% (2,742) of students on our UK campuses come from 123 countries outside the UK. Find out about studying in the UK.
  • We have 152 exchange and visiting students. Find out about our exchange student and visiting student programmes. 
  • There are 13,000 students studying Heriot-Watt programmes through 43 approved learning partners in 35 countries around the world. See our Approved Learning Partner network.

Our research

Heriot-Watt University delivers globally relevant and pioneering research with real impact. Our research informs policy, changes the world we live in and solves real problems for business and industry. In the REF 2014 survey of all UK universities:

  • 82% of our research was found to be world-class
  • we were 1st in the UK for General Engineering (joint submission with Edinburgh University)
  • we were 2nd in the UK for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning (joint submission with Edinburgh University)
  • we were 5th in the UK for Mathematical Sciences (joint submission with Edinburgh University).

Our students

  • 7,880 students on our UK campuses, including 5,800 undergraduates and 2,080 postgraduates. See our UK student profiles.
  • 3,181 students at our Dubai Campus, including 2,181 undergraduates and 1,000 postgraduates. See our student profiles. See our Dubai student profiles.
  • The Watt Club, our alumni association, was founded in 1854 making it the oldest graduate club in the UK. The Club connects over 88,000 of our alumni.

Our campuses

  • We have 5 campuses: 3 in the UK - Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney - 1 in Dubai and 1 in Malaysia. Find out about campus life.
  • 12 halls of residence on our Edinburgh Campus, accommodating over 1,600 students. See the accommodation on our Edinburgh Campus.
  • £34 million investment underway to build new residences at Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Campuses and to improve student experience. Find out about the new residences project.
  • £35 million invested in the Dubai Campus which will treble capacity to accommodate up to 6,000 students. Find out about the new Dubai Campus development.

Rankings & league tables


Our culture

  • We hold the Bronze Award from the Athena SWAN Charter recognising excellence in championing employment of women in the fields of science and technology, engineering and mathematics. Read more about our culture.