School qualifications

These school qualifications can be counted towards the entry requirements for the programme you want to study at Heriot-Watt University.

English and Mathematics requirements

National 5 / GCSE

Although entry requirements to the University are set for Highers and Advanced Highers, it is also a requirement of every applicant to have English at a minimum of National 5 Grade C or GCSE Grade C or 4 for all courses.

It is also a requirement that applicants hold Mathematics at a minimum of National 5 Grade C or GCSE Grade C or 4 for all courses (with the exception of Language and Fashion programmes).

Scottish School Qualifications

Highers and Advanced Highers

An offer of a place will generally be based on a combination of passes in Highers and Advanced Highers. Admissions Tutors often ask for certain grades in specific subjects in order to ensure that students have the background knowledge and general ability to cope with the demands of their chosen programme. Entry may be from fifth or sixth year.

The University is also pleased to consider applicants who may take one or two of their Highers in S4. Highers taken in S5 following a two-year course in S4 and S5, or in S6 following a two-year course in S5 and S6, are considered equally alongside Highers taken in S5 and in S6 following a one-year course. Please note that in the context of competition for a limited number of places, Admissions Tutors may increase entry requirements for applicants taking Highers over more than one sitting in S5 and S6, especially if they are re-sitting more than one subject. However, we welcome advice from schools via the UCAS Reference on patterns of delivery of qualifications in schools which encourage pupils to take lower numbers of Highers alongside other qualifications over more than one sitting in S5 and S6 and will consider applying the standard offer in such cases. We welcome applications for direct entry to Level 2 from applicants with good Highers who are taking the required Advanced Highers.

The Heriot-Watt SCHOLAR programme has been designed to ensure smooth progression directly into Level 2.

Scottish Baccalaureate

We welcome applications from holders of the new Scottish Baccalaureates. Offers will normally be based on the Highers and Advanced Highers within the qualification.

Other UK School Qualifications

A Levels

Admissions Tutors commonly look for specific grades and specific relevant subjects in A-Levels. Good GCE A-Level grades also enable entry to Level 2 of most programmes. The VCE Double Award is welcomed by the University.

Welsh Baccalaureate

We welcome applicants presenting the Welsh Baccalaureate in combination with an additional A Level.


We welcome applicants presenting 14-19 Diplomas for entry to our Undergraduate programmes in relevant subject areas. Certain programmes may have specific subject requirements.