Financial support

Your living costs while a student will vary depending on your situation, but you should expect to spend around £8,500 on living expenses during each academic year (9 months). This is only a guide figure and, of course, the amount you actually do spend is very much down to lifestyle choice.

Heriot-Watt University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to help you pay for your education and other living costs while you are studying at university.

In addition, there may be other forms of financial support available to you from UK governments, depending on your circumstances and eligibility.

Financial support for students from Scotland

Students from Scotland may be eligible for a Student Loan, a Young Students' Bursary, an Independent Students' Bursary, an Additional Loan and Supplementary grants from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

Tuition fee and living cost loans

Tuition fee loans of £5,500 are available to Scottish distance learning students on taught postgraduate courses. Full-time distance learning postgraduate students will also be able to access a £4,500 living cost loan for the first time. Find out more from the Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

Financial support for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

Government loans and grants are available to help cover the costs of tuition fees and living costs. The types of loan and the amount of financial support that you are eligible to receive will vary depending on your circumstances.

You can find the latest information on what financial support is available to you from these organisations:

It is important to note that:

  • No tuition fees are paid upfront or while you are studying.
  • Student loans for tuition fees are available for all eligible students.
  • If eligible, the Government will lend you the money to cover the full cost of tuition fees for every year of study. The loan is known as the Tuition Fee Loan.
  • The Tuition Fee Loan is paid directly to the University by the government.
  • You only start to pay back the loan when you are earning over £27,295 a year (England and Wales) or £19,895 (Northern Ireland).
  • Repayment is based on what you earn not what you owe.
  • All outstanding debt is written off after 30 years (England and Wales) or 25 years (Northern Ireland).
  • You only pay back loans; you don't need to pay back grants, scholarships or bursaries.

Students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales may also be eligible for scholarships and bursaries from Heriot-Watt University.

The UK Government has a useful student finance calculator that shows you how the Tuition Fee Loan repayment system works for students from England.

Funding for part-time undergraduate students

Students studying an eligible part-time undergraduate course should note that the Fee Waiver Scheme no longer exists and all eligible students should apply for fee support under the Part-time Fee Grant Scheme.

Discretionary hardship fund

Undergraduate students who have taken out the maximum student loan they are entitled to, and who are experiencing financial difficulties due to exceptional circumstances or an unexpected crisis, can apply for a discretionary hardship fund. Part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students are also eligible to apply

Childcare fund

Full-time undergraduate students who are eligible for student loan support can apply for assistance with the cost of formal registered childcare, so long as they have applied for the maximum student loan they are entitled to.

Other forms of financial support

Student Support can offer more advice on what financial support options may be available to you.

Applications now open for Small Project Grants

The student experience at Heriot-Watt University is one which is of great importance. Funding is available to our student body from money which has been donated by our generous alumni and staff community. Small grants from varying pots of money listed below help support travel, accommodation, additional academic study and projects to which any of our students are engaged in, which will be of benefit to the student and the University as a whole. Students, Clubs, Teams and Societies as well as academics leading on student projects are all eligible to apply for funding.

The Disbursements Group guidance is for projects to be viewed favourably when match funding is in place. Applications are advised to note the following recommendation: Projects requesting up to £500 to secure 50% match funding, projects requesting up to £5,000 to secure 35% match funding, and projects requesting above £5000 to secure 25% match funding.

Please note: Closing date for applications is 23:59 (GMT) on Tuesday 9 April 2024. Decisions will be communicated by the end of 19 April 2024.

Mary Burton

A fund for female students studying STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Awards can be used to pay for a variety of costs:

  • Conference fees
  • Travel
  • Accommodation
  • Childcare
  • Career development

Read our guidance and apply to the Mary Burton Fund using our online application.

Annual Fund

  • Projects submitted for consideration must have an extra-curricular quality, they must not be an expected element of academic study.
  • Applications should clearly demonstrate the benefit which will be delivered by the project, in the case of project grants this should be a benefit to the University and/or the wider community.
  • Within the finance section, applicants should include all expenses related to the project
  • Efforts to fund part of a project from other sources (e.g., fundraising activities or applications to other grant-making bodies) will be recognised by the Committee in ensuring that the project is viable. These should be reported in the finance section stating the source of funding and whether it is secured under the appropriate headings.

Read our guidance and apply to the Annual Fund using our online application.

Historical Alumni Funds

If you do not fit the criteria for the funds above, however, feel that your application will benefit and add value to the overall student experience, please apply and be specific in your reasoning and the impact that your application will have if it is successful.

If you wish to discuss any part of your application or if you have any questions or require further guidance, please email

Key information

Student Support

Key fact

Our generous bursaries combined with the flexibility to enter your honours degree programme directly into Year 2 makes Heriot-Watt an attractive option for A-Level and other entrants from England, Northern Ireland or Wales.