United Kingdom

Heriot-Watt University

91 st
Young University Rankings 2016
351–400 th
World University Rankings 2018
Scott Russell Building, Riccarton, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH14 4AS, United Kingdom

About Heriot-Watt University

Leaders in ideas and solutions

Heriot-Watt University’s main campus is set in 380 acres of parkland in Edinburgh, Scotland's beautiful and cosmopolitan capital city.

Its roots go back to 1821, when it was established as the world’s first Mechanics Institute in the belief that education should be available to everyone. Another first came in 1869 with the acceptance of women, more than 20 years before any other Scottish university. This pioneering thinking still drives its teaching and research today.

Scottish roots, international outlook

The University has five campuses including three in the UK - Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney - Dubai and Malaysia and over 30,000 students on its programmes worldwide. Ranked in the top 10% in the world for international outlook by THE, Heriot-Watt has the largest international cohort in Scotland with a third of its 9,000 students coming from outside the UK. Its Go Global programme offers students the unrivalled opportunity to transfer between campuses for a truly international education.

Industry-informed education

Big enough to attract leading academics but small enough to give students the chance to really learn directly from them, the university offers 400 industry-informed degree programmes in its specialist areas of science, engineering, energy, business, languages and design. Connections with industry at every level develop these to match professional needs so employers get work-ready, fit-for-industry graduates.

Global pioneers in research and innovation

Recognised for its world-class research that delivers real results with far-reaching impact, the REF 2014 ranked Heriot-Watt 9th university in the UK and 1st in Scotland for research impact with 82% of its research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Over 80% of its academics are engaged in this research, delivering ideas and solutions with real impact across society: using lasers to see around corners, innovating in sign language, designing the eco-friendly buildings of the future, enhancing oil extraction and securing low-carbon energy.

Knowledge creation and inter-disciplinary collaboration with academia and industry are core to remaining at the forefront of fields including energy, engineering, actuarial mathematics, photonics and robotics. Examples of research partnerships in areas of high economic and societal impact include:

Pioneering carbon storage

Leading research with global industry partners across the entire carbon capture and storage chain. Providing innovative solutions to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions and meet global energy demands.

Led by Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Robert M Buchan Chair in Sustainable Energy Engineering, Head of the Institute for Mechanical, Processing and Energy Engineering (IMPEE), Director of the pan-University Energy Academy

Spearheading Cell Biology

Spearheading a revolution in cell biology to deepen our knowledge of the causes of a wide range of high-profile diseases, attracting scientific interest worldwide.

The Edinburgh Super Resolution Imaging Consortium (ESRIC) is a unique and unparalleled UK resource led by Professor Rory Duncan, Head of the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering (IB3) in partnership with the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine.

Year of Robotics

Our strong research in this critical area makes us uniquely placed to guide policy, society and industry on the fast-moving advances, opportunities and ethics of robotics and AI. In 2017 we are staging a year-long programme of events celebrating and demonstrating Heriot-Watt’s pioneering research at the forefront of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Follow @HWU_Robotics and @HeriotWattUni with #YoR2017 to keep up to date with our events and robo-activity.

Explore rankings data for Heriot-Watt University

All ranked institutions have an overall score and 4 pillar scores. However for each pillar, only institutions ranked in the top 500 overall or the top 500 in this pillar have a publicly visible score

Key statistics

  • 41%
    Percentage of International Students
  • 16.4
    No. of students per staff
  • 9,259
    Number of Students
  • 42 : 58
    Student Ratio of Females to Males
Based on data collected for the 2018 World University Rankings


We are Heriot-Watt