Brightest Watts Summer Week

Coronavirus update

Applications for the Brightest Watts Summer Week are now open. We are hopeful that the event will go ahead as planned, but will be guided by government advice regarding the outbreak of COVID-19.

Please apply as normal and we will continue to provide updates.

2020 summer week dates

This year we have two weeks available: 

Tuesday 14 to Friday 17 July 2020, or Tuesday 28 to Friday 31 July 2020

Brightest Watts summer school staff and S5 students talk about the event and what they gained from it.’

What is the Brightest Watts Summer Week?
Great experience for anyone thinking of going on to higher education after school
Ashleigh Thomson, Lasswade High

The Brightest Watts Summer Week is a relaxed and informal way for new S5 pupils to learn more about university life.

Staying on our Edinburgh Campus in university accommodation means you get the best opportunity to find out what it is like to be a real life university student. You will get your own en-suite room and all meals provided.

You will get the opportunity to experience a number of exciting science, technology, engineering, mathematics and business workshops such as Urban Studies (creatively redesign a section of Edinburgh City Centre) or Physics (use low temperature physics to make ice cream, and yes you do get to eat it!).

We also have a team of staff and students who will help you to explore our Edinburgh campus and find out more about the reality of student life – from how students manage their finances to how they balance their studies with their social life.

The atmosphere is friendly and supportive and the emphasis is on meeting new people, trying something new, learning new skills and boosting your confidence. Even if you’re a bit shy at first (everyone usually is), by the end of the week you’ll have made lots of new friends.

It helps if you are interested in science, technology, engineering, maths and business subjects but you don’t require any prior knowledge of these subjects.

What will I get out of the experience?
A very enjoyable insight into University life with great workshops
Kayleigh McMillan, Knox Academy

It’s not easy making decisions about what to do when you leave school, but you should fully explore all the options available to you.

We can give you genuine insight into university life and study, something we hope will have a positive influence on what you do after leaving school.

Our aim is to help you increase your confidence as well as develop your team working, communication and learning skills.

Apart from all that, it’s the chance to do something different and to use your experience to stand out from the crowd when applying to university or for a job.

You’ll also have a laugh, make a new home for the week, gain fantastic memories and be presented with a certificate of participation to help you celebrate your achievement.

It's during the summer holidays - will I have fun?
A great confidence-booster, a great laugh and lots of good banter
Liam Wilson, West Calder High

Yes - there’s no work to do, although we expect you to get involved in the sessions on offer each day. The workshops are educational, but mostly involve group activities.

We have social events each evening so you can relax and get to know everyone.

When is it?

There is a choice of two different weeks:

Tuesday 14 to Friday 17 July 2020
Tuesday 28 to Friday 31 July 2020

Let us know your preference when you apply.

You need to be available for the whole week to attend. You will arrive on Monday morning, and stay over with us Tuesday night, Wednesday night and Thursday night and then go home on Friday afternoon.

Where is it?

The Brightest Watts Summer Week takes place at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh Campus, on the western edge of the city.

Who can apply?

Pupils who will be going into S5 over the summer and who attend a local authority school in Scotland.

How much does it cost?

The Brightest Watts Summer Week is generously supported by Baillie Gifford. This means the event is completely free for pupils including all accommodation, food, social activity and transport* costs.

*West Lothian Council also fund the transport for West Lothian pupils during the event.

How will I get there?

This week is residential so we will arrange for transport to collect you from your home on the Tuesday morning, and then take you home again on the Friday afternoon.

Edinburgh Council pupils will be given a Lothian Buses bus pass.

How do I apply for the Brightest Watts Summer Week?

Please complete the application form.

We must have received your completed form by Tuesday 5 May 2020.

We will be in touch after then to let you know if you have a place or not.

More information

If you would like to discuss anything about the week then please contact the UK Recruitment Office at or by calling 0131 451 3451.

Key information

Baillie Gifford

UK Recruitment Office