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.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

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 300 universities worldwide (251-300). 

View the Times Higher Education World University 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

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

The Complete University Guide 2021
  • 29th in the UK and 5th in Scotland
  • We are ranked in the top ten in the UK for three of our subject areas - Building (1st), Town and Country Planning and Landscape Design (9th), and Mathematics (10th).
  • We are ranked in the top three in Scotland for Building (1st), Art and Design (2nd), Chemical Engineering (2nd), Town and Country Planning (2nd), Mechanical Engineering (3rd), German (3rd) and Mathematics (3rd).
  • We are ranked 2nd in the UK and are top in Scotland for the amount spent on student facilities.

View the Complete University Guide league table 2021.

National Student Survey 2020

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

  • Ranked 45th in the UK for overall satisfaction.
  • At least 90% of students were satisfied overall with their course in 9 of our 24 subject areas.
  • 1st in the UK for Physics, with 100% of respondents satisfied overall.
  • 1st in the UK for Others in Engineering, with 100% of respondents satisfied overall.
  • 1st in Scotland and 2nd in the UK for Statistics, based on average score across all questions.
  • 1st in Scotland and 8th in the UK for Others in Languages and Areas Studies, based on overall satisfaction.
  • 1st in Scotalnd and 5th in the UK for Chemical, Process & Energy Engineering, based on overall satisfaction.
  • 1st in Scotland and 4th in the UK for Marketing, based on overall satisfaction
  • 2nd in Scotland and 7th in the UK for Civil Engineering, based on overall satisfaction.
  • 2nd in Scotland and 9th in the UK for Mathematics, based on overall satisfaction.

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

Guardian University Guide 2020

View the Guardian University league table

  • Ranked 61st in the UK and 8th in Scotland.
  • Top 10 in UK for Chemistry, Engineering: Civil and Engineering: Mechanical.
  • 1st in Scotland for Chemistry and Engineering-Mechanical.
  • 2nd in Scotland for Building and Town & Country Planning.
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

The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

In the UK:

  • Overall, 33rd out of 131 institutions in the UK, and 6th in Scotland.

By subject area:

  • First in Scotland – five years in a row – for Building, and 3rd in the UK.
  • Second in Scotland for General Engineering, and 7th in the UK.
  • Second in Scotland for Mechanical Engineering, and 7th in the UK.
  • Second in Scotland for Chemical Engineering.
  • Second in Scotland for Physics & Astronomy.
  • Second in Scotland for Town & Country Planning & Landscape, and 9th in the UK.
  • Third in Scotland for Chemistry, Civil Engineering, German and Mathematics.

Graduate salaries:

  • 17th in the UK for graduate salaries six months after starting work, with an average of £24,500 a year. 
QS World's University Rankings 2020

The QS World University Rankings table has been published annually since 2004. It features more than 1000 universities with each measured on a variety of factors including academic reputation and employer reputation.

  • We rank 301st in the world, 35th in UK and 6th in Scotland.

View the QS World University Rankings 2019/20.

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

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018
  • Top 150 worldwide for Chemical Engineering and Civil Engineering

  • Top 200 worldwide for Electrical Engineering

  • Ranked in the top universities worldwide for 12 subjects: Linguistics; Computer Science and Information Systems; Chemical Engineering; Civil and Structural Engineering; Economics; Electrical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Chemistry; Mathematics; Physics and Astronomy; Business and Management Studies; Statistics and Operational Research (Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics).  

View the QS Top University Rankings by Subject 2018.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

REF 2014 named Heriot-Watt in the top 25% of UK universities, with 82% of our research ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent. We ranked 9th university in the UK and 1st in Scotland for research impact.

Find out more about our REF 2014 results.


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

Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019

Heriot-Watt is ranked in the top 600 in the world (ranked 501-600) and in the UK top 50 (ranked 37-43) by the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019.

We have been listed for nine subjects in the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects:  

  • In the top 75 worldwide for Telecommunication Engineering.
  • In the top 150 for Mathematics
  • In the top 200 for Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
  • In the top 300 for Electrical & Electronic Engineering.
  • In the top 400 for Environmental Science & Engineering.
  • In the top 500 for Physics, Chemistry and Management.
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.