Heriot-Watt University

 

 

Overall ranking: Came 40th out of 124 in the Complete University Guide for 2014.

History: Began as the Edinburgh School of Arts in 1821 aimed at "industrious tradesmen"; became the Watt Institute and the Edinburgh School of Arts in 1852; then Heriot-Watt College; and in 1966 it was given a Royal Charter when the university moved to Riccarton in the West of Edinburgh.

Address: The main campus is six miles from the centre of Edinburgh, with the additional Scottish Border campus at Galashiels, and a small campus on Orkney. A campus opened in Dubai in 2005. The university's first Malaysia premises opened in January 2013 and Heriot-Watt University Malaysia will open in 2014 with a purpose-built campus.

Ambience: Strikingly modern. Its main campus, completed in 1992, is in the West of Edinburgh and boasts 380 acres of green parkland.

Who's the boss? Professor Steve Chapman is principal and vice-chancellor.

Prospectus: 0131 449 5111 or order one here.

UCAS code: H24

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Depends on the course but there’s a widening participation policy. Admissions tutors will look for strong A-level (or equivalent) grades in relevant subjects.

Vital statistics: Approximately 7,500 students studying on its UK campuses, including around 4,500 undergrads and almost 2,000 postgrads. 20,000 students studying globally. The university offers a wide variety of vocational programmes alongside more conventional degrees. Science, engineering, technology, management, languages and textiles are the core study areas. Entrepreneurial skills are built into many of the degree programmes.

Added value: Strong links with business and industry, and flexible, modular courses tailored to commercial needs, especially in physics and engineering. Research in petroleum engineering is rated internationally outstanding. Brand new student residences development.

Teaching: Came 6th out of 124 for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide.

Research: Ranked 41st out of 124 in the Research Assessment Exercise.

Graduate prospects: Placed 26th with 73.7 per cent entering graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Yes- about 1,600 residential places are available, 300 of which are in the brand new student residences development. All new full-time students are guaranteed a place in halls for their first year. Rents range between £80 and £140 per week for accommodation on the Edinburgh campus. Work is currently underway on £26m redevelopment to replace the existing accommodation.

Cheap to live there? Not too bad. Private rents locally are around £60 to £80 per month for a room in a shared house.

Transport links: About half a mile from the A270 Edinburgh ring road. Local buses run into the city 24hrs a day.

Fees: Scottish and EU students are eligible to have their fees paid by the SAAS. New undergraduates from England, Northern Ireland and Wales are charged £9,000 per year for full-time courses starting in 2012. Fees are higher for international students and vary according to the programme of study.

Bursaries: Each year Heriot-Watt disburses over £6m in financial support to more than 400 students. The university has a long list of scholarships available to new students, many of which are course-specific. Visit the website, for more details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Good on campus. Centred around a selection of bars and a disco. 24hr buses to the city centre means that a night out in Scotland's historic and cultural capital is never far away.

Price of a pint: The average pint in Edinburgh costs £3.25, but expect to pay a little less six miles out.

Sporting reputation: Not the sportiest- ranked 53rd in the BUCS league at present.

Notable societies: The Life Aquatic Society allows students to build autonomous underwater vehicles to represent Heriot-Watt in competitions. Then there's the Yorkshire Appreciation society for pub crawls, tea drinking and Yorkshire pudding eating.

Glittering alumni: Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting; Craig Joiner, Scottish rugby player.

Alternative prospectus: Read some What Uni? reviews and check out star ratings from current Heriot-Watt students for an insight into what life as a student here is really like.

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