Heriot-Watt University was established in 1821 as the worlds first mechanics institute. It went through a number of subsequent name changes and then in 1966, achieved university status and was named Heriot-Watt University. The university is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the UK.
The university has five campuses located in Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, Dubai, Malaysia and Orkney. The Dubai campus was the first university campus from a UK university to be set up in Dubai International Academic City and has since expanded to take double the number of students. Students are offered inter-campus transfers if they wish to study abroad for a period of time as well as transfers through the Erasmus programme.
The university is divided into six schools including: energy, geoscience, infrastructure and society; engineering and physical sciences; social sciences; mathematical and computer sciences and textiles and design.
The Edinburgh Business School offers postgraduate courses at MBA, MSc and DBA level.
Over 50 student societies exist at the university and a number of events are organised by the Students Association including an annual charity beer festival. The Sports Union looks after the university's 30 sports clubs and organises annual events for students that are involved in sports teams.
Notable alumni include authors Irvine Welsh and Muriel Spark, Olympic long distance runner Freya Ross, DJ and producer Kygo, and co-founder of craft brewery Brewdog Martin Dickie. Dickie graduated from the brewing and distilling programme and Heriot-Watt university is only one of two universities in Europe which provides this degree.