Answers to some frequently asked questions about student accommodation options at our Edinburgh campus.

When should I apply?

Once you have accepted an unconditional offer, you can apply online for accommodation from 12:00 midday (GMT) on 7 March 2022. The closing date for guaranteed accommodation is 12:00 midday (BST) on 22 August 2022.

Please check that your offer status has been updated to Unconditional on UCAS and that you have firmly accepted this offer on UCAS. However, if you have a conditional offer, you will need to wait until the offer becomes unconditional (you have met the conditions/passed your exams).

Can I apply for accommodation as a part time student?

You must be a full time registered student to be eligible to apply for accommodation. Please see our off campus living pages for accommodation options as a part time student.

What is the accommodation guarantee?

Please see our Accommodation guarantee page for more information on this.

When will I receive my offer of accommodation?

Once you have applied, we will email you to confirm that we have received your application. If you don’t receive this, please email halls@hw.ac.uk (Edinburgh Campus) or bordershalls@hw.ac.uk (Scottish Borders Campus) to let us know.

We will process your application and aim to email you an offer within 10 working days. If you are an A-level student we aim to email your contract at least 7 days before the start date of the contract.

Accepting or declining offer of accommodation

You must accept the contract within 7 days of the date of your offer email. If you do not accept the offer it will not be valid and may be cancelled.

You can accept or decline your offer online by following the instructions in your offer email. Your contract is not valid until you have accepted your offer online.

We can only make one offer of accommodation. If the applicant chooses to decline the room offered to them their application shall be placed on the waiting list and another offer of accommodation will only be made subject to availability.

Advance rent payment

You are required to pay a 4-week advance rent payment within 7 days of accepting your offer of accommodation. This payment is deducted from your accommodation invoice once you have arrived and fully enrolled. 

How do I pay for my accommodation?

You will need to pay a 4-week advance rent payment within seven days of accepting your accommodation offer within the accommodation portal. You must accept your offer of accommodation online before paying the advance rent payment.

Find out more about how to pay for accommodation.

I am looking for short term/flexible accommodation. Do the University provide this?

The University offer fixed term contracts with a start and end date. We are unable to provide flexible contract dates or short term accommodation. Please see our off campus living pages for information on where to secure this type of accommodation in Edinburgh.

Where will I live? Who will I live with?

You will be asked to select your first and second room preference and we try our best to offer you these.  However, in some cases this is not possible if the room type is fully booked. Inevitably, some room types are more popular than others.

Please ensure any additional Information to support your allocation (e.g. male/female only living spaces, quieter area, higher floor etc) is noted on your application.

If you wish to live alongside a friend, you may add this as a preference on your application and if possible, we will do our best to accommodate.  Please make sure that your friend also consents to this as they will also need to enter your details on their own application, before we approve this request. Please note that requests are not guaranteed. 

Can I leave for the holidays? (contract length)

Yes. Once you receive your offer of accommodation and the terms and conditions, you are advised to read those carefully. The accommodation contract is still valid up until the end date of your contract. The room is yours until the end date regardless any holiday plans, so you do not need to remove your belongings when leaving for holidays, Christmas, etc.

What do I need to bring?

Please visit Watt-Living for help and advice on what you need to bring with you to campus.

Can my friends or family stay with me?

Guests are permitted on campus. You need to request permission least 24 hours before your guest arrives from our Residence Life team by e-mailing reslife@hw.ac.uk 

Only one overnight guest at a time in your room / flat, for a maximum of 3 days per calendar month. You also need to inform your flatmates of your guest and their behaviour and conduct is your responsibility.

Guests are not allowed to be in your bedroom/kitchen/flat while you are on holiday, returned home, or departed at the end of the year.

What is included in the rent?

The rent includes:

  • internet connection (100MB as standard)
  • heating
  • power
  • assisted clean of communal kitchen's and public areas only, which means you are expected to maintain cleaning standards in your own room/studio.
  • Basic room contents insurance is included with your on campus accommodation and is provided by Endsleigh. Enter in your policy number HH1074 to check your policy details.
Health and safety / Support services

There are extensive, experienced professional support services to offer advice and guidance. We have a Residence Life team to support you during your stay in University accommodation. Our advisors from Student Wellbeing services offer range of advice, from difficulties with settling in, your studies to counselling and disability support.

Parking, storage, pets, deliveries, bikes


The accommodation contract states that residents are not allowed to keep cars/vehicles overnight at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh Campus. If you have any further concerns regarding parking, please contact our Estates service:  CarParking@hw.ac.uk


You have a storage space in your bedroom. There are no additional storage facilities available in Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh Campus. Should you require storage, as an option, we recommend Big Yellow Self Storage Edinburgh or Flexistore.


There are no pets allowed in residences or academic buildings.


Deliveries work the same way as it would when you live at home. The address is on your contract and you need to be 'home' i.e. in your room, to get your delivery. There are Amazon lockers in the Student Union. We only handle Royal Mail parcels; there are collection points on campus from where you can pick up your parcels. You will be asked to provide your parcel slip and matriculation card as forms of identification.


You are not allowed to place or store either bicycles or any other similar possessions in the property, stairs, or shared areas of the building as they represent a hazard in the event of a fire.

There are bike sheds near all residences and across the campus with securing points. However, use a good padlock as the campus is open (we recommend Kryptonite bike locks). Also, SafeGuarding provides free bike marking that allows you to register your bike.

Thinking of leaving your accommodation

If you are thinking about leaving the University, please visit our leaving acccomodation advice page.

What happens if I decide not to take up my room on campus?

The accommodation contract is legally binding for the duration of the contract period. When you accept your contract online, you are accepting that you are liable for the rent for the full period of the contract and that you will abide by the terms and conditions. 

If your circumstances change and you no longer want to take up your place at the University, please let us know so that we can cancel your contract, otherwise you may not get your advance rent payment back and you may be charged for the rent on the room.

Please note:                                       

  • If you inform us that you wish to cancel your contract before the date of entry, your advance rent payment will be refunded.
  • If you do not inform us that you wish to cancel your contract before the date of entry and you do not arrive, your advance rent payment will not be refunded.
  • If you withdraw on or after the start date of the contract, your contract can only be cancelled if there is another student on our waiting list who wishes to take your room. A £75 administration charge will apply and be charged to your student account.