SCOTLAND: Edinburgh & Galashiels


Heriot-Watt University (HWU), founded in 1821, established a reputation for world-class teaching and research. The University is highly ranked in Scotland and the UK and among the top 5% in the world. Heriot-Watt offers over 400 academic programs through 6 academic schools and 2 postgraduate institutes.

  • Edinburgh Business School
  • Institute of Petroleum Engineering
  • School of Built Environment
  • School of Engineering & Physical Sciences
  • School of Life Sciences
  • School of Management & Languages
  • School of Mathematical & Computer Sciences
  • School of Textiles & Design

Heriot-Watt is Scotland’s most international university. The student body consists of 7,800 students; 30% are international from around the world.

The University is situated on two modern campuses. The Edinburgh Campus (which houses all the schools except Textiles & Design) is 6 miles from the city center. The campus has a large array of facilities including lecture halls, computer labs, research labs, dormitories, cafeterias, recreation centers and a sport complex. The Scottish Borders Campus (which houses the School of Textiles & Design) is located in Galashiels, approximately 60 minutes from the Edinburgh campus. A HWU shuttle minibus runs between the campuses twice daily on weekdays (excluding local holidays). The Scottish Borders Campus offers integrated learning facilities, computer suites, specialized workshops, spacious studios, a library and a gallery. Banks, restaurants, stores and social establishments are within walking distance from both campuses.

Teaching & grading

The curriculum at Heriot-Watt University is based on the British higher education system. Many classes will have a syllabus, although you should not expect a syllabus in every class. Professors utilize lecture, discussion, and/or hands-on teaching styles, depending on the subject.

While there are some similarities to the USA, there are also differences. Students are expected to work more independently, courses may have fewer assignments and professors are less likely to provide study sheets for exams. It is not uncommon to have your course grade based on one or two exams or projects. Because of this, it is important for students to plan their work schedule in advance and use time efficiently.

Grading is based on the British educational model. Assessment methods may be different from universities in the USA. Professors may test students orally (as opposed to passing out written exams); students from the same class may be asked different questions on their exams, and your final grade may be based on just one or two assignments and/or exams.

Minimum Passing

UK Grade
> 70% (1st class)
60-69% (upper 2nd class)
50-59% (lower 2nd class)
40-49% (3rd class)
< 40%

USA Grade