If you have any queries about studying by Online Learning, you may find the answers here. For queries about specific programmes, please contact the programme leader, and for general queries contact egis-idl-enquiries@hw.ac.uk.

Is there a deadline for applications?

Yes, for the September intake the deadline is 31st July and for January intake the deadline is 31st October. For a small number of programmes we also offer a May intake and the deadline for these programmes is the 15th April. Applications received after these dates will still be considered but we cannot guarantee for the upcoming intake, therefore the offer of a place to study may be made for the following intake.

Can I start my studies at any time?

No, there are specific entry points (intakes) in mid-September and early January each year. Some online programmes also offer a May intake.

How many courses can I study per semester?

We recommend studying a maximum of 2 courses per semester, the same as a part-time student on campus. If you wish to, you can take just 1 course per semester, or if you need to, you can take a break and study no courses in a particular semester, but you should bear in mind that you must complete your studies within 8 years on an MSc programme and 6 years on a PgDip programme.

How long do I have to complete an Online Learning programme?

An Online Learning programme - whether at PGDip or MSc level - can be completed in no less than two years as a rule. On average, our PGDip programmes are completed in 2-3 years, while MSc programmes are completed in 2.5-7 years. Our Online Learning programmes are designed with flexibility in mind, but you must complete your studies within 8 years (as an MSc student) or 6 years (if a Postgraduate Diploma student).

Can I access course material before I register for a course?

Please note that access to course material cannot be made available unless course registration has been completed.

Can I register for courses in the next academic year?

Students should only register for courses for the current academic year (which runs from September to August).

How long do I have to complete a course?

You will have up to two years to complete an assessment after you register for a course.

How many times can I sit an assessment for a course?

Students have a maximum of TWO opportunities (one first attempt and one resit opportunity) for each assessment within a six-assessment diet period from registering, for a maximum of three courses. Where re-assessment is required, this must be completed at the next opportunity. This is often in the July/August of the same academic year as the first attempt. Exceptions include courses which are provided by other schools within the University or by a partner institution.

Students are entitled to one re-assessment opportunity in a maximum of three courses.

Can I cancel a course after I have registered?

Students have until the end of week three of each semester to notify the Online Student Support Team if they want to cancel a course that they are enrolled for during that semester. After the end of week, three students are committed to completing all parts of the assessment and they will be marked as absent for any parts of assessment not completed and may lose a re-assessment opportunity.

As students cannot cancel a course beyond the end of week three they should carefully consider at the beginning of each semester how much time they will have available for their studies.

Where can I access information about online course and assessment fees?

A table outlining Heriot-Watt’s most up-to-date online tuition & assessment fees is summarised in section A5.2.3 of the HW Online Student Handbook.

Are assessment fees included in course fees?

The taught course fee includes the course and assessment fee. A table outlining Heriot-Watt’s most up-to-date online tuition & assessment fees is summarised in section A5.2.3 of the HW Online Student Handbook.

What are the minimum grade requirements to pass a course at MSc level?

To pass a taught course at MSc level, all of the following is required:

  • Grade D or above
  • An overall average of Grade C (50%) or above over all qualifying courses
  • Grade C (50%) or above for all dissertations/projects.

N.B. In addition to the above, students studying MSc Petroleum Engineering and MSc Applied Petroleum Geoscience are required to gain a Grade C or above for a minimum of 6 taught courses and no less than a Grade D for a maximum of 2 taught courses.

What are the minimum grade requirements to pass a course at PG Diploma level?

To pass a taught course at PG Diploma level, the following is required:

  • Grade E or above
  • An overall average of Grade D (40%) or above over all qualifying courses.

N.B. In addition to the above, students studying a PG Diploma Petroleum Engineering and PG Diploma Applied Petroleum Geoscience are required to gain a Grade D for a minimum of 6 taught courses and a Grade E for a maximum of 2 taught courses.

Is an Online Learning qualification equivalent to an on-campus qualification?

Yes, any programme you complete as an Online Learning student gives you the exact same qualification as your on-campus peers. For example, if you undertake an MSc in Construction Project Management as an Online Learning student, you will be equally as qualified as someone who undertakes an MSc in Construction Project Management at our Edinburgh or Dubai campuses.

Will it state Online Learning or Distance Learning on my certificate?

No, your certificate will only state the qualification you have achieved, i.e. ‘Postgraduate Diploma in Civil Engineering' or ‘Master of Science in Real Estate Investment & Finance'.

How do I pay for my programme?

Your programme consists of a number of courses (modules) and research projects or a dissertation and you pay for each one as and when you register. The methods of payment are credit or debit card, banker’s draft, UK cheque or bank transfer. Please note that bank transfers can take several weeks to be allocated within the University, especially near the beginning of each semester so we recommend using the online payment system as the quickest and simplest method.

Do you offer scholarships to Online Learning students?

The university does not currently offer any scholarships for distance learning students, however please visit the scholarships and bursaries page for the most up to date information on external scholarships.

If I begin studying a course can I cancel it if something comes up?

Students have until the end of week three of each semester to notify the Online Learning administrative team if they want to cancel a course that they are enrolled for during that semester. After the end of week three students are committed to completing all parts of the assessment and they will be marked as absent for any parts of assessment not completed and may lose a re-assessment opportunity.

As students cannot cancel a course beyond the end of week three they should carefully consider at the beginning of each semester how much time they will have available for their studies.

When and where do graduation ceremonies take place?

Heriot-Watt University holds graduation ceremonies twice each year at our campuses in Scotland, Dubai and Malaysia. Students also have the option to graduate in absentia (not attend a ceremony but receive their degree certificate by post).