Our rankings

Where we rank

Heriot-Watt University is consistently ranked at a high level across a number of key university league tables.

From our research performance to student satisfaction, graduate employability and the quality of our teaching, Heriot-Watt's status as a world-class university is independently confirmed.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

REF 2021 classed 86.8% of our research and 88.6% of our research outputs as 'world-leading' (4*) and 'internationally excellent' (3*). Heriot-Watt University was recognised for world-leading research in Physics; Mathematical Sciences; Engineering; and Architecture, Built Environment and Planning.

Find out more about our REF 2021 results.

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

By subject area:

  • First in Scotland for Building, and 2nd in the UK
  • First in Scotland for General Engineering, and 9th in the UK.
  • First in Scotland for Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering, and 7th in the UK.
  • Second in Scotland for Chemical Engineering, and 6th in the UK.
  • Second in Scotland for Town and Country Planning and Landscape, and 7th in the UK
  • Second in Scotland for Mathematics, and 7th in the UK.

Graduate prospects:

Top 50 UK (36th)

View The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 rankings (Note: behind a paywall)

QS World University Rankings 2023

The QS World University Rankings table has been published annually since 2004. It features more than 1,000 universities with each measured on a variety of factors including academic reputation and employer reputation.

  • Heriot-Watt rank 281th in the world, 33rd in UK and 5th in Scotland.

View the QS World University Rankings 2023.

The Complete University Guide 2023
  • Overall we ranked 34th in the UK and 5th in Scotland.
  • We are ranked in the top ten in the UK for a total of 1 of our 20 subject areas – Building (7th).
  • We are ranked in the top two in Scotland for Building (1st), Chemical Engineering (2nd), Mathematics (2nd) and Town & Country Planning (2nd).
  • We are ranked 3rd in the UK and are top in Scotland for the amount spent on student facilities.

View the Complete University Guide league table 2023.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings use 13 performance indicators to examine universities across all of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

  • Ranked in the top 250 universities worldwide (201-250) for Arts and Humanities
  • Ranked in the top 300 universities worldwide (201-250) for Engineering, and Computer Science
  • Ranked in the top 25 UK universities for Computer Science
  • Ranked in the top 30 UK universities for Engineering.

View the Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Guardian University Guide 2023

View the Guardian University league table

  • Ranked 45th in the UK and 7th in Scotland.
  • Top 10 in UK in Computer Science & Information Systems, Construction, Surveying & Planning, and Economics
  • First in Scotland in Construction, Surveying & Planning
  • Second in Scotland in Chemical Engineering.
National Student Survey 2021

The National Student Survey (NSS) is a survey which gathers honest feedback from final year undergraduates studying full-time.

  • We are in the UK top 30 for overall satisfaction.
  • 1st in Scotland and 5th in the UK for Chemical, Process & Energy Engineering, based on overall satisfaction.
  • 1st in Scotland for Physics, based on overall average.
  • 1st in Scotland and 2nd in the the UK for Statistics, based on overall satisfaction.
  • 1st in Scotland and 12th in UK for Management Studies, based on overall satisfaction.
  • 2nd in Scotland for Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional), based on overall satisfaction.
  • 2nd in Scotland and 12th in UK for Applied Psychology, based on average across all questions.
  • 3rd in Scotland for Civil Engineering, based on overall satisfaction.
  • 3rd in Scotland and 12th in UK for Mathematics, based on overall satisfaction.
  • 3rd in Scotland for Design Studies, based on overall satisfaction.

All NSS data is included on the course pages of the Discover Uni website.

Times Higher Education Golden Age Rankings 2020

THE's Golden Age University Rankings measures universities established between 1945 and 1967 for their teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income.

  • Heriot-Watt is ranked 47th out of 308 institutions.

View the Times Higher Education Golden Age Rankings

Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020

We are ranked in the top 800 in the world (ranked 701-800) and in the UK top 55 (ranked 46-54) by the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020.

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022
  • We are ranked 13th in the world and 3rd in the UK for Petroleum Engineering
  • We are ranked in the top 200 worldwide for 5 subjects: Mathematics, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering
  • We are ranked in the top 10 in the UK for employer reputation for three subjects: 1st in UK for Petroleum Engineering, 4th for Civil & Structural Engineering, and 10th for Electrical & Electronic Engineering

View the QS Top University Rankings by Subject 2022.

Times Higher Education - '100 Under 50' World University Ranking 2015
  • 77th in the world, 10th the UK
  • 11th in the world and first in Scotland, based on the 'international outlook' indicator from THE World University Rankings. This indicator examines a university’s international student numbers, its percentage of international staff and the proportion of its research papers published with a co-author from at least one other country.

View the THE 100 under 50 universities 2015 rankings

Times Higher Education 'Table of Tables'

THE's 'Table of Tables' is the combined results of the three main UK university league tables - the Good University Guide (published by The Times and The Sunday Times), The Guardian and The Complete University Guide.

  • In the Table of Tables 2015: Heriot-Watt is placed 27th in the UK and 3rd in Scotland

View the Times Higher Education Table of Tables

QS Top 50 under 50 2015

A ranking of the world's top 50 universities established within the last 50 years.

  • 34th in the world, 3rd in the UK and 1st in Scotland.

View the QS Top 50 under 50 2015

Employability

The Times / Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 ranked Heriot-Watt joint 17th in the UK and 1st in Scotland for graduate salaries 6 months after graduation.

95% of Heriot-Watt students are in employment or further study within six months of graduation

The Economist: British university rankings

In 2017, The Economist released a league table which considers how much people earn five years after they graduate.  Heriot-Watt ranked sixteenth of 125 UK universities.

View The Economist rankings.