FAQs and tips
During an Applicant Visit Day event you'll have the opportunity to meet some of our staff and current students who will share how exciting and rewarding the student experience is at Heriot-Watt University.
We have provided some FAQs and tips to help you make the most of your visit.
Plan your journey
Travelling by car?
Please note, parking is free but extremely limited at our Edinburgh Campus so we strongly recommend that you arrive by public transport.
Visitors should use car parks A or H – please follow the directions on arrival.
Disabled visitors can use the accessible car park at Gait 10 next to the Centre for Sport & Exercise. Additional accessible parking spaces are available throughout the campus; you can contact us to reserve one.
Travelling by bus?
Lothian Buses offers local bus services 25, X25, 34, 45 and N25/N34 (night bus) to the Edinburgh Campus. Service 25 is the most frequent, leaving the city centre every 10 minutes during the day, and every 15 minutes after 8pm. The journey takes about 30–40 minutes from the city centre, depending on what time of day you’re travelling. Fares from the city cost £1.60 single/£4 day ticket. Note that exact money is required for Lothian Buses (with the exception of Airlink) but you can pay for tickets using your mobile phone, if preferred. Remember to stay on the bus until it reaches the terminal at the Main Entrance of Heriot-Watt University.
Travelling by rail?
The mainline rail network serves the centre of Edinburgh well. Edinburgh Waverley is at the east end of Princes Street and Haymarket Station is at the west end. Curriehill Station, one mile from the University, offers a frequent service to Edinburgh Waverley and a service to Glasgow Central Station.
We do not recommend alighting at either Edinburgh Park or Curriehill as there is no direct transport link to the campus from these stations. Proceed to Haymarket and catch a number 25 bus from Dalry Road (terminating at the Main Entrance of the University).
Rail timetables can be found on the National Rail website.
Travelling by taxi?
A number of taxi services, such as Central Taxis, are available at taxi ranks in the centre of Edinburgh, including Waverley and Haymarket rail stations and St Andrew Square bus station, as well as at Edinburgh airport. The journey to Heriot-Watt University takes about 20–30 minutes from the city centre, and about 10 minutes from Edinburgh airport. A return journey to the city centre costs about £30.
You can request an outbound taxi from the Edinburgh Campus at the main reception desk.
Travelling by bike?
There are safe cycle routes to the Edinburgh Campus from the city centre, Edinburgh Park and the west. These either follow the main roads or the cycle paths along the Union Canal. You can plan your journey on the CycleStreets website.
Travelling by air?
Edinburgh International Airport is served by scheduled national and international flights. The airport is on the west side of the city, just three miles from the Edinburgh Campus.
The bus journey from the airport takes about an hour. The Airlink bus takes you to the city centre (£9 return), then you can take a Lothian Buses service 25, X25, 34, 45 or N25 (night bus) from the city centre to the campus.
The taxi journey from the airport to the campus takes about 10 minutes and costs about £25 return.
Find out more about getting around Edinburgh.
If you are planning to stay overnight in Edinburgh to make the most of your visit then you may find the Visit Scotland website helpful.
What happens on the day?
Once you arrive at the Edinburgh Campus, please make your way to the James Watt Conference Centre where staff and student helpers (who will be easy to spot in their red t-shirts) will be on hand to greet you.
The morning session will commence promptly at 10.30am and is based in the James Watt Conference Centre. This session will include a Welcome from the Principal as well as various general information presentations about student life and support at Heriot-Watt University.
At 12 noon, you will be escorted to your academic department to find out more about your chosen degree programme. You will also be provided with lunch at this stage. Please let us know in advance if you have any specific dietary requirements by emailing email@example.com. Remember to state your name, the date of the event you are planning to attend plus your chosen subject area along with the dietary information.
Depending on your subject, the academic sessions usually last around 2-3 hours, so from 2.30pm until 5pm you will then have the opportunity to join an optional campus tour (duration: approx. one hour visiting sports, union, and library facilities) or an optional accommodation tour (duration: approx. 30mins visiting 3 different types of accommodation).
If you wish to join an optional tour then please return to the James Watt Conference Centre once your academic session has finished and staff will arrange this for you.
Staff will also be on hand in the James Watt Conference Centre throughout the event to answer any other questions you may have.
Once you have been made an offer you will be invited to register on the Edinburgh Applicant Day webpage. You can do this by clicking on the relevant subject, selecting a date and registering through Eventbrite.
Frequently asked questions
Is it compulsory to attend an Applicant Visit Day? If I don’t attend, will it affect my offer?
No, but it is very much to your benefit to get a feel for student life at Heriot-Watt and an understanding of our degree programmes so that you can make a fully informed decision on your final choices.
I cannot attend any of the Applicant Visit Day event dates. Can I arrange to visit on a different day?
Yes you can. We would be very happy to arrange an individual visit for you on an alternative date. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I bring family or friend supporters with me?
Yes, provided there are spaces available. Please make sure you pre-book for everyone who wishes to attend.
How do I cancel or amend a booking?
Since spaces are limited please contact us at email@example.com if you wish to cancel or amend any of your bookings. Please do not make duplicate bookings.
Do I need to bring my Eventbrite ticket with me?
No, you do not need to bring your booking confirmation/ticket with you on the day.
Do I need to bring anything else with me?
Remember to bring enthusiasm and an enquiring mind but a comfortable pair of shoes would also be useful so you can explore our campus! Some visitors may find it helpful to bring a notepad and pen to take notes, but this is not compulsory!
I’m lost, what should I do?
For directions or information our student ambassadors (in red t-shirts) will be happy to assist you. Just ask! Alternatively please visit the James Watt Conference Centre to find staff on hand to help with any other questions you may have during your visit.
Is there somewhere to eat on campus?
Remember, lunch will be provided at this event, but if you are still feeling peckish then there are lots of options on campus for somewhere to eat or drink - feel free to explore!
Please just ask our catering staff if you have any vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, halal, gluten-free or lactose intolerant requirements.
We also have ATMs on the campus.
Is there Wi-Fi access?
Free Wi-Fi access will be available inside the James Watt Centre during your visit and details will be provided on arrival.
Is Heriot-Watt University disability friendly?
Disability is not a barrier to studying and enjoying every aspect of student life at Heriot-Watt. Our campus is well equipped for those of you who have a disability or special need. Please contact us as early as possible so that we have time to put any required support in place for you. You can chat to our Disability Service staff at the Student Support and Accommodation stand in the Information Zone between 9.30am and 10.30am.
Accessible information can be made available in alternative formats if required. Please contact the Disability Service on 0131 451 3509 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will there be any filming and/or photography taking place during the Applicant Day?
Yes. A full copy of the University’s image capture policy is available at: /documents/data-protection-obtaining-consent.pdf
What if I require first aid?
Please contact a member of staff in the James Watt Conference Centre or any other member of staff for assistance.
There is a Medical Centre on the Campus and trained First Aiders will be on hand.
Can you store luggage for me?
You can store large items of luggage securely at our Main Entrance Reception but space is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Please note, you must collect luggage by 5pm – unfortunately we cannot store it overnight.
Top 5 things to do in Edinburgh
Planning to turn your visit into a weekend trip? Here are some suggestions to make the most of your stay...
Visit Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle has played a pivotal role in Scottish history, both as a royal residence and as a military stronghold. The Castle last saw military action in 1745. It then served as the British army's main base in Scotland until the 1920s.
Today Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland's most atmospheric and popular tourist attractions. It's definitely worth a visit while you're in the city. There are fantastic panoramic views of Edinburgh in all directions.
Top tip: In order to avoid massive queues, go to the Castle in the morning or book your tickets in advance online.
Go in the morning or book your tickets in advance online. This way you'll avoid the massive queues of tourists standing in line to get in. There are always loads of tour bus groups arriving later in the day and it can take a long time to get your tickets at the Castle.
Also if you are there at 1pm, be sure to cover your ears...
“Had a great time in Edinburgh and no trip could be complete without visiting the castle. It's in great condition for its age and plenty of history and facts to be learned.” (Trip Advisor)
Climb Arthur’s Seat
Holyrood Park provides Edinburgh with a little bit of wilderness in the heart of the city. The former hunting ground of Scottish monarchs, the park covers 263 hectares of varied landscape, including crags, moorland and loch, and the 251m summit of Arthur's Seat.
Holyrood Park can be explored by car or bike along Queen's Drive. If the weather is right be sure to set aside a couple of hours to take the hike up Arthur’s Seat to get marvellous views across the city and see the Scottish Parliament from a birds eye view.
“Fantastic 360 degree view of Edinburgh! Hike is relatively easy except for a few steep slopes near the top.” (Trip Advisor)
Take an Edinburgh ghost tour
Take a look at Edinburgh's dark side, including tales of witchcraft, plague and torture on a walking ghost tour of Edinburgh. Visit the scenes of many horrific tortures, murders and supernatural happenings as you walk along eerie alleyways and creepy courtyards of the Old Town. Alternatively, catch the Ghost Bus Tour from Waverley Bridge for a comedy horror show.
Visit the National Museum of Scotland
For a free day out you can spend literally hours in the National Museum of Scotland, located on Chambers Street.
“I'm not really a museum person, but I could have spent all day in this one! A wonderful collection of exhibits covering the history of Scotland.” (Trip Advisor)
Stop by the Farmers Market
The award-winning Edinburgh Farmers’ Market takes place on a Saturday (9am–2pm) at Castle Terrace. Listed by Lloyd Grossman as one of the world’s best farmers’ markets and now in its 15th year, they have a huge variety of fresh local produce from over 50 specialist producers. The majority of stallholders grow or rear what they sell.
Back to Edinburgh Applicant Day.