Other routes to entry for Scottish students

There are a number of types of students who may qualify for an adjusted, or contextual offer or even a guaranteed offer under our Fair Access Policy for widening participation students. For more information look at our widening participation pages to find out if you are eligible and what additional support you might be eligible for.

We know that not everyone who applies to us will have had the same educational opportunities. If you don't have the entry qualifications for one of our degree programmes, we might still be able to make you an offer depending on your circumstances.

Combining your school, college and work qualifications

You may be able to use your combined secondary school, college and work qualifications or experience to get into the programme of your choice at Heriot-Watt University.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) compares the levels of Scottish qualifications – including Highers, SVQs and HNDs – on the same scale, so you can see how your qualifications measure up against the type of programme and point of entry you are seeking. In addition to this, you need to check with the University whether the content of what you have studied has adequately prepared you for entry. .

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) also has information and advice about qualifications.

Mature students

If you are 21 or over in the year you want to start your degree, you will be classed as a mature student. Our entry requirements may be relaxed for you if you didn't gain formal qualifications at school but you can show that you have gained relevant work experience and have successfully completed studies recently.

Heriot-Watt University is an active member of the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) who run access courses for mature students with few or no formal qualifications and who have been out of education for a number of years. 

Mature students also use HNC/HND qualifications run at local colleges to gain entry to our degree programmes as, in certain subjects, this can reduce the amount of time it takes you to gain a degree.

The university will also consider a range of other qualifications including Open University modules.

For advice on which route would best suit you get in touch with our widening participation team. There is also information on our college and mature student  pages.

Key information