Incoming exchange students

School of Social Sciences

This guidance is specifically for incoming exchange students in the following subject areas:

  • Business Management,
  • Accounting,
  • Economics, 
  • Finance,
  • Languages and Intercultural Studies (LINCS)
  • Psychology

Heriot-Watt's School of Social Sciences provides cutting edge teaching with an international focus in Business Management, Accounting, Economics, Finance, Languages and Intercultural Studies (LINCS) and Psychology.

As the largest School at one of the UK’s truly global universities, we are proud to have over 50 exchange partners from all over the world.

This page is designed for incoming exchange students and visiting students from those partners and other institutions. It will help you to gather more information about Heriot-Watt University, the School of Social Sciences, and your specific department, whether that be International Business Management or Languages and Intercultural Studies (LINCS)

Application process

Only students nominated by their home institutions can apply for the exchange programme. Once you have been nominated, you need to fill out our application form and return it before 15th June to start in Semester 1 and 15th October for Semester 2.

You will receive a decision on your application within 4-6 weeks of submission. Once accepted you will receive your Welcome Pack and student ID by email. You can also apply for on-campus accommodation at this stage. On-campus accommodation is not guaranteed for exchange students but you may apply for it. Our Accommodation Team can also advise you on finding off-campus accommodation. For more information about accommodation please visit the Accommodation page.

Enrolment process

You will receive your student ID number prior to arrival. This will enable you to start enrolling online, entering your personal details. However, at this stage you will not be able to enrol for your courses. Do not worry! This is normal and we can assure you that you will be able to complete your enrolment on arrival at Heriot-Watt during Welcome Week.

Languages and Intercultural Studies Exchange Programme 2023/24

Semester 1 Induction Timetable - Monday 8 January 2024
Event Time Place Purpose
Welcome Meeting   09.00 - 09.30 Esmée Fairbairn Building, Room 26 (EF26) The team will offer a formal welcome and information about enrolment at Heriot-Watt University and the exchange programme.
Department Session for Languages 09.35 - 11.00 Esmée Fairbairn Building, Room 26 (EF26) The languages team will offer more information on the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

Enrolment Completion Information

Languages and Intercultural Studies  

Please email Ramon Inglada for the course catalogue for exchange students in Languages and Intercultural Studies 2023-24 which outlines the courses available to you in Semester 1 and 2 of your studies at Heriot-Watt University.

Frequently asked questions


Can I change courses?

Students are allowed to change their courses in the first two weeks of the semester, provided they have the pre-requisites for the course they would like to take and that there is availability on the course. You should inform your home institution of the changes in your course selection.

How do I change a course?

To change a course you should:

  1. ask the course leader if there is space on the new course
  2. contact your Exchange Programme Director to approve the change
  3. Complete and return the course change form to the School Student Office (Mary Burton room 1.23)
How do I change course components?

Languages students also take one or more components within certain courses (known as composite courses). There is a different process to change a specific component of a composite course. In this situation, you will not change the course code.

To change a component of a composite course you should:

  1. ask the course leader if there is space on the new component
  2. inform the lecturer of your current component of the change
  3. contact the LINCS incoming exchange coordinator ( to inform of the change and to update your Canvas access (if required)
Can you guarantee that I can take all the courses I have chosen in my application?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that all exchange students will have access to all our courses. Some courses, such as Honours Year (Year 4) courses, may become full and our on-campus Honours Year students will have priority to register for those courses. We therefore recommend that students take courses from Year 2 and Year 3.

Can I choose courses from other Schools at Heriot-Watt?

Yes, you can, provided there is a space for you.


What is the normal workload for studying at Heriot-Watt?
Workload at Heriot-Watt University
Study Period Heriot-Watt Credits No. of ECTS Credits
Per Course 15 7.5
Per Semester 60 30
Per Academic Year 120 60

The workload of a full time student is 60 Heriot-Watt credits per semester, equivalent to 4 courses (15 Heriot-Watt credits per course). Students are expected to put in effort of 150 hours per course, including teaching hours.

Courses (or components) usually consist of two hours lecture and one hour tutorial. However, each course and component is different so please discuss with the course leader or your mentor for more details. Students have to sign up for tutorials at the start of each semester (Please refer to the information provided on Canvas for each course).


When should I arrive in Edinburgh?

Semester 2 starts on Monday 9 January 2024. There is no University-wide Welcome Week for Semester 2, but there will be enrolment and welcome sessions for you.

In order to have the best start to your exchange we ask that you arrive on time. The induction meetings will provide you with valuable information and you will also have the chance to meet all the other international exchange students when you arrive.

arriving in Semester 1 must arrive for Welcome Week (the week before the start of the semester) and must attend the enrolment events.

When do classes start?

Classes will begin on Monday 12 September 2023 (Semester 1) and Monday 9 January 2024 (Semester 2).

How do I access class timetables?

For courses you should consult the Web Timetable > Courses.

For composite components you should consult Web Timetable > Student Groups

What happens if I have a timetable clash?

We offer multiple groups for some courses to avoid clashes where possible. In the unlikely event that you have a clash then you will be required to change course and find one that suits your timetable.

People and support

Can you help me find accommodation?

Only students studying across a full academic year can apply for accommodation on-campus. Exchange students who do not find on-campus accommodation usually find accommodation in the City Centre, with regular buses going to our campus in Riccarton. Please contact the Accommodation Office for more details, via telephone: +44 (0)131 451 3385 or email:

Can I meet other exchange students?

We have a very strong student network for international students, the (International Exchange) Erasmus Student Network. The ESN association is run by Heriot-Watt students and is open to all: international and UK students. As well as organising events, they offer a web forum and an advice hub at the Student Union.

LINCS has a very active Languages Society, which organises several events throughout the academic year. As an exchange student, you are strongly encouraged to attend these events, as they will be a very good opportunity for you to meet some of your fellow home and exchange students. You can follow the Languages Society on social media (look for Heriot-Watt Languages Society on both Facebook and Instagram) to be kept up to date with all the latest news and events.

You can also join our Language Exchange Directory to get in touch with home students and exchange your language skills with them. For example, you can arrange regular informal meetings for discussion in your chosen languages. The directory will be available at the start of Semester 1.

How can I find a relevant staff member?

You can use our People Finder tool to find out the email address, room number and telephone number of any member of staff at Heriot-Watt University. You can also view the staff directory on the School of Social Sciences website: Staff Directory

What support will I receive during my exchange?

During your studies here, you have access to all of the main avenues of support that our home students have. You can find more information in the University's student section

The Go Global Team hosts regular drop-in sessions during semester time to help you with general enquiries. These are held in the Student Service Centre, Hugh Nisbet Building on:

  • Mondays: 11.00-13.00
  • Wednesdays: 14.00-16.00
  • Fridays: 10.00-12.00
Is there a medical centre nearby?

You can register at the on-campus medical centre. For further information, please refer to their GPs' webpage.

Towards the end of your exchange

When can I expect to receive my Transcript of Results?

Transcripts for students studying at Heriot-Watt for Semester 1 only are issued in February. Transcripts for students studying at Heriot-Watt for Semester 2 only, or for the full academic year, are issued in July.

N.B., If you have a deadline for receiving your Transcript which is out with these time periods, you must advise the SoSS Student Office in advance.

Will I be issued a Transcript at the end of Semester 1?

Only by special request to the SoSS Student Office.

How will I receive my Transcript?

A PDF copy of your Transcript will be emailed to your Heriot-Watt account and the stamped original will be posted to your home institution.

Can I resit my exams?

The Heriot-Watt University resit diet is in August and at that stage of the year you are no longer a HWU student so, unfortunately, you cannot resit any courses failed during your stay with us.