Heriot-Watt University (Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh Heriot-Watt) is a public research university based in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was established in 1821 as the School of Arts of Edinburgh, the world’s first mechanics’ institute, and subsequently granted university status by royal charter in 1966. It is the eighth-oldest higher education institute in the UK. The name Heriot-Watt was taken from Scottish inventor James Watt and Scottish philanthropist and goldsmith George Heriot.
Known for its focus on science and engineering, it is one of the 39 old universities in the UK comprising the second cluster of elite universities after Oxbridge.
Heriot-Watt is divided into six schools and one institute that coordinate its teaching and research:
- The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, incorporating geoenergy engineering and renewable energy technology, architectural engineering, civil & structural engineering, construction management & surveying, geography and urban studies;
- The School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, incorporating chemical engineering, chemistry, electrical, electronic and computing engineering, mechanical engineering and physics;
- The School of Social Sciences (formerly, School of Management and Languages), incorporating accountancy and finance, business management, economics and languages;
- The School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, incorporating actuarial mathematics and statistics, computer science and mathematics;
- The School of Textiles and Design;
- Edinburgh Business School, which offers postgraduate courses at MBA, MSc and DBA level;
- The Urban Institute, which is a research collaboration for urban studies between Heriot-Watt University and The University of Edinburgh
From 1 August 2016, the former School of Life Sciences was merged with other schools, with programmes transferred to the School of Management and Languages, the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society and the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences.