Heriot-Watt University is committed to equal opportunities for all, regardless of disability, as stated in the Equal Opportunities Policy, and is committed to the principles of:

  • The Equality Act 2010
  • Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

We're constantly working to make as accessible and usable as possible.

Accessibility statement for

This accessibility statement applies to the and websites.

This website is run by Heriot-Watt University. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver).

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website aren't fully accessible:

  • some text doesn't have enough of a contrast against the background
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some text some images don't have a suitable text equivalent
  • most videos don't have captions
  • some forms don't have autocomplete tokens
  • some of our links do not have clear or unique link text.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please contact the Disability Service:

We'll consider your request and get back to you as soon as we can.

If you cannot view the map on our 'contact us' page, call or email us for directions.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren't listed on this page or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, please let us know.

You can use our contact form to report a problem with accessibility.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the 'accessibility regulations'). If you're not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Contacting us

You can contact us through the following methods:

Visiting us

Let us know what your needs are in advance of your visit. Some examples of help we provide:

  • Offering accessibility information through AccessAble
  • Arranging a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter
  • Hearing loops in reception areas, lecture theatres and some classrooms (as well as portable loops)
  • Manual wheelchair
  • Supporting orientation around the campus
  • Accessible accommodation
  • Accessible toilets
  • Accessible parking.

Studying with us

Heriot-Watt University welcomes diversity. Our objective is to anticipate the needs of our diverse community and make reasonable adjustments to the physical, teaching and learning, and the attitudinal environment of the University, to create inclusive, accessible living and learning conditions.  

Contact us, in advance if possible, and we will assess your individual needs in relation to your studies at Heriot-Watt University.

Technical information about this website's accessibility

Heriot-Watt University is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exceptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Tables not tagged (PDF)

Some PDF documents contain tables without appropriate tagging, such as row and column titles. This means users who rely on assistive technologies like screen readers may not be able to understand the correct information. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships.

We plan to add tagging support for tables in affected PDFs by December 2023. We will also ensure new PDFs after this date contain appropriate table tagging.

Image without a text alternative (PDF)

Some PDF images don't have a text alternative, so the information in them isn't available to people using a screen reader. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content.

We plan to add text support for images to affected PDFs by December 2023. We will also ensure new PDFs after this date contain alternative image text.

Content that's not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don't meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they're accessible to a screen reader. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By September 2023, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our services. For example, we don't plan to fix school departmental newsletters.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Pre-recorded video

Most pre-recorded videos don't have captions. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.2 (captions - prerecorded).

The accessibility regulations don't require us to add captions to pre-recorded video published before 23 September 2020.

Any new videos we publish after this date will meet accessibility standards.

What we're doing to improve accessibility

Our accessibility roadmap shows how and when we plan to improve accessibility on this website.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on . It was last reviewed on .

This website was last tested in . The test was carried out by Mediaworks and internally using multiple third-party accessibility testing tools, including Siteimprove and Funnelback accessibility auditor.

We used this approach to deciding on a sample of pages to test:

  • our main website platform, available at
    • Landing/gateway page
    • Programme page
    • News article
    • Event page
    • Staff profile page
    • Standard content page
    • A number of other pages which utilised third-party components, such as video and live chat.
  • web forms - a service based on a different technical platform but 'skinned' to look like our website.

Key information

Disability Service