Staying on campus

Our Edinburgh and Borders campuses are currently in Level 3. This means;

  • The student shop on the Edinburgh campus will remain open as scheduled, as an essential service for those living on campus. 
  • On our Edinburgh and Borders campuses, only the Library will be open for study, via the booking system. All other study spaces will be closed until then.
  • The Student Service Centre is open and you can book an appointment via the student portal
  • Our catering facilities will be offering take-away only services

I live on Campus, can I form an extended household or bubble with someone/another household?

You are not allowed to form an extended household or bubble with another household while living on Campus unless you have express written permission from the University. Extended households/bubbles can only apply if you live alone, and the majority of the households on campus are multi-person households, so in order to protect the Heriot-Watt Community extended households/bubbles are only permitted in certain circumstances and with the agreement of the University.

Our Orkney Campus is currently in Level 3, with travel restrictions. However, travelling for education is permitted.

Covid-19 is unpredictable and we’re doing everything we can to keep you, our staff and our community safe.  Please follow the social distancing requirements and reduce your contact with others as much as possible for a week before travelling. 

  • All students who travelled over Christmas, or who remained on campus, are being strongly encouraged to take the two rapid Covid tests available on our Edinburgh and Borders campuses from 11 January, ahead of any on-campus teaching. Bookings can be made via the Student portal.
  • Students travelling back from a UK ‘hot-spot’, particularly where the number of cases of the new strain of Covid is prevalent, are encouraged to take a Covid test BEFORE travelling
  • Students on our Orkney campus will receive testing via NHS Orkney as in December.

This information may change so please keep checking your HW email account. We will update this page with any new information that may be given by the Scottish Government over the break.

Study Space

We are able to provide limited space within the library at both the Edinburgh and Galashiels campus. This is however only available for students living off campus where there are extreme problems for studying at home, such as no online access, problems with computing, or where there is no suitable study space.   

It is now a Scottish Government requirement that you will need to book a space in advance of travel to campus.  Bookings should be made through the resource booker app available on the student portal. This will show what spaces are available prior to you travelling to campus. You will then receive an e-mail confirming your booking – which would be proof of reason for travel.

Library Services

All Library opening hours are subject to change at short notice due to the current situation and the need to comply with government and university guidelines.  The information on the website is being updated regularly.

Please check the Information Services social media channels - we will update our twitter and facebook pages daily.

For enquiries and the latest opening hours, contact the Library Service Desk 0131 451 3577 or email

  • Students must book study spaces through ResourceBooker in advance of coming to the Library.
  • Only individual study is supported due to current guidelines.
  • 2m social distancing must be observed including when coming in and out of the Library building
  • Study spaces are clearly marked with green YES or red NO and are numbered – see floor plans
  • Face-coverings are mandatory at all times.
  • In Resource Booker, you can filter to locate a study space with a PC and can filter on available times
  • Please confirm your booking at the Service Desk on arrival at the library - bookings are provisional until confirmed
  • Please only book for the times you need for essential study
  • If for any reasons you do not intend to use your booking, please cancel via the booking email – don’t be a ‘no show’
  • Be considerate of other students and help us make best use of the available space.
  • Staff are always happy to help with any booking enquiries

Support for students required to self-isolate

  • Report to SafeGuarding
  • Students who are symptomatic, or positive for Covid, will be supported by the H&S team (both on and off campus)
  • Students who are self-isolating due to contact tracing are flagged via the SafeGuarding/H&S team and Res Life will support on-campus residents with welfare checks and groceries etc.  Support for students staying away from home in City Centre accommodation and with no support network will be co-ordinated by the Deputy Registrar