Heriot-Watt was established in 1821 and has its main campus situated in Edinburgh. It was originally founded as the Edinburgh School of Arts.
In recent times, two new Scottish campuses have been opened. The Orkney Campus, situated on the island group off the north coast of Scotland, and the Borders Campus, located 35 miles south of the Scottish Capital. It’s also recently become an international institution by opening campuses in Dubai in 2005 and Malaysia in 2014.
Your student experience will be largely influenced by the campus you’re on, which will be determined by what you’re studying. The Edinburgh campus is located in the heart of Scotland’s capital, a historic and beautiful city. It’s packed with culture and things to do, with a thriving nightlife and the world’s largest arts festival, Edinburgh Fringe. Students make up 20% of Edinburgh’s population, making it a great place to study and live and it’s a well-connected city with an airport and a major train station.
If you’re based at the Scottish Borders Campus, i.e., the School of Textiles and Design, you’ll be in the countryside but with easy access to the city, as Edinburgh is only a 50-minute train journey away. Additionally, a twice-daily shuttle bus runs from the campus to the city during the week.
If you’re wondering where the uni’s name comes from, it’s a combination of scientist and the father of the industrial revolution, James Watt, and Edinburgh-based goldsmith who became jeweller to King James VI, George Heriot.
Among the uni’s famous ex-students are Trainspotting novelist Irvine Welsh and England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty.