The email service used by HW staff and students is Microsoft Office 365.

  • You can access your email online from here Student/staff email.
  • Login using your (e.g.,
  • This is the method the University recommends above all others as users log directly into the service instead of via a third-party client, thereby providing the most accurate and up-to-date access.

Key Features

Microsoft Office 365 is a suite of collaboration tools that includes includes:

Large mailbox quota 50 GB for each user
Available on mobile devices Access calendar entries and contacts, as well as email.
Search e-mail Save your favourite email searches and reuse them.
Calendar functions Share calendars with other Office 365 users.
Anti-spam message filtering Integrated anti-spam tools.
99.9% uptime Reliable assurance that you'll be able to reach your email from anywhere, whenever you need it.

Quick setup: Adding your HWU email account to your mobile device

If you wish to use an email client, the University strongly recommends using Outlook.
Most devices can be set up quickly and easily following the instructions below.


  1. Tap Settings
  2. Choose Mail, Contact, Calendar
  3. Tap Add Account and then Office 365 or Exchange
  4. Enter your Heriot-Watt email address and a description of your account.e.g.
    Email: Staff and students should enter the email address in the format e.g.
    Description: You can edit this if required e.g. Work email
  5. Tap Sign In
  6. Password: your HWU password (same one that you use for Vision).
  7. Tap Sign in or Next
    The Mail app may request certain permissions. Tap Accept.
  8. Choose the services you want to sync with your iOS device and tap Save. You're done!


  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Accounts and then +Add account
  3. Tap Office 365 or Exchange
  4. Complete the fields

Email: your HWU email address in the format e.g.
Password: your HWU password (the same one that you use for Vision)
Description: you can edit this if you wish e.g. Work email

  1. Tap Next and then Finish

If the Quick Setup fails on your device, you may need to follow the Operating Specific instructions on the web – see OS Specific: Adding your HWU email account to your mobile device below.

If required the server name is:

Operating System Specific Instructions

Reporting suspicious messages

We have several security measures in place to prevent you receiving spam, phishing emails, emails containing viruses etc.

Despite this a small percentage of potentially harmful messages do occasionally get through.

If you receive a message that you are suspicious of, do not reply to it, and do not open any attachments it has or follow any links within it  Please use the Report Message in Outlook.


Spam is usually defined as unsolicited electronic mail sent in bulk.

To the receiver, it usually seems like junk e-mail, the equivalent of junk surface mail and unsolicited phone marketing calls. Spam is usually no more than a nuisance, but some people find it distressing, especially if the content is offensive.

From the sender's point-of-view, it's a form of bulk mail, often to a list gathered from subscribers to discussion groups or collected by 'robots' traversing web pages. It is used by companies that specialise in creating e-mail distribution lists.

Spam cannot always be identified by its content. This is because some apparently unsolicited e-mail is, in fact, e-mail people agreed to receive when they registered with a site and checked a box agreeing to receive postings about particular products or interests.

Never reply to suspected spam messages as you are confirming the validity of your email address and will only receive further spam as a result!


A virus is a computer program which has been written to perform a malicious act such as disrupting a computer or sending spam.

Viruses can be passed from one computer to another through email, via a USB pen or other form of removable storage, or from downloads from some Internet sites.

Email messages often contain file attachments i.e. Word documents, Excel spreadsheets or Adobe PDF files and these can carry viruses. Information Services provide anti-virus software on both the Exchange email system and on the desktop PCs which we manage and we protect our systems from most viruses most of the time.

However new viruses are developed all the time and anti-virus suppliers are always playing catch up when it comes to updating their software to protect against these new viruses - so it is difficult to keep everyone 100% safe all of the time.

Staff and students should be vigilant and be wary of email attachments from sources that you do not recognise or expect a file from. You should also be careful about where you download anything from.

When you leave HWU

Your email is only valid when you are an active student or member of staff at Heriot Watt. Staff email accounts become inactive on your leaving date.

It is your responsibility to transfer any information you wish to keep out of your mailbox at the end of your studies or employment. 

If you have a lot of information you could use a desktop version of Outlook to create a standalone .PST file (export file). The .PST file can be opened in Outlook even if you don't have an Office 365 mailbox. See Export or backup email, contacts, and calendar to an Outlook .pst file for info.