“ Edinburgh. „
A massive percentage of first year students at Herriot-Watt are living on the campus. The first year is entirely geared up for these students. I am not simply talking about the Freshers' Fayre. I mean things like the timetable. If you are looking at a fifty-minute bus trip in from Edinburgh (rush hour traffic, of course) then you are also looking at a very early rise if you wish to make the nine o'clock lectures. As most first years are on campus the timetable tends to give the first years these dreaded nine o'clock lectures. If you are a first year and you happen to live off campus - tough.
There is another problem with the campus. It is a lovely campus, it is pretty and clean (not counting the pond of chemical doom) but it is miles and miles away. If you have a part time job then you can find yourself right royally screwed. It is never easy finding the time to do both lectures and work but when you have to factor in hours of travelling time between the two then it becomes a nightmare.
"Your standard of living is too high." - this is what one of my lecturers said to an entire class of students. His comment was that students should not work while they are at university. This man (who I had better not name) told us all that it really was not possible to find the time to study and to work, but that did not matter as no student really needed to work. I was not impressed.
However, I am sure that if you can get over the campus' isolation and you want to pick up a degree in any engineering subject then considering Herriot-Watt is a "Do" for you. Should you find yourself accepting a degree course at Herriot-Watt then you simply have to establish a broad range of on site friends.
Im currently in my third year at Heriot Watt University at the Edinburgh Campus studying International Management. Ill be writing this review from a student point of view and relating it directly to the learning environment, as thats the main purpose of uni really.
So first off, Heriot Watt is up at the top of the scale when it comes to what employers want and this is taken from the idea that Heriot Watt is very much in touch with the world and its current affairs, using the most upto date, most highly qualified lectueres the world has to offer. This may be the case, but it has its downfalls.
Firstly, no matter how qualified your lecturer is, if they are from Japan and can hardly speak english, what good are thay as a lecturer? By all means i bet they are great in their field, but this was one of my main concerns during my first few years at heriot watt...i couldnt understand the lecturers.
Secondly, all this focus on keeping upto date and all the rest, as a student you really get the feeling that you come second to whatever research project the uni is working on.
I could go on to say more but its far too long for a review. Ultimately if i had the choice now, i wouldnt even apply for Heriot Watt.
I graduated from Heriot-Watt University myself in 2005, from the school of the built environment, which ranks no.5 in the country. I found a job pretty quicky after graduation. I was told by my boss "when I saw that you were from Heriot-Watt, I knew you will know your stuff". However I think I am getting ahead of myself here.
I will be talking mainly about my own experence, so it does not apply for other schools. Lets start with the most important aspect of any university, the teaching. Heriot Watt employs some pretty good lecturers, and some pretty bad lecturers. Interestingly the lecturers that had Dr in front of their names are the worse. Why did I say that? These Drs are pretty young, gone on straight to their Phds straight after their BSc/MSc, without any experences in the real world at all. Some of their ideas will never work in the real world. Ever so often, they got shot down by mature students (those whom had been out to the real world) and the lecturers are not too pleased about that. On the other end of the scope are lecturers that does not have a Phd, but had tons of experences in the real world. These lecturers really know their stuff, and I must say they add real value to my time there. In fact within the first week of my work, I realised that almost everything that I was thought in Uni relates to real working life. But it seem that not all university does that!
Now for the university itself. It is on a greenbelt, therefore there is a height limit to it. The actual grounds of the university is a plesent park land, with its own loch (lake) in the middle. There are all types of wild life on the campus itself (I am not refering to the students). It is a great place to be at if you are a nature lover. BUT! If you are not, you will not be happy to have to travel 8 miles through the nightmare streets to get to the city. Even if you are thinking of staying off campus, the nearest place would be the horrible Sighthill estate. I will write more about accoms in the correct page. The buildings of the university is made up of blocks 4-5 floors high. They look pretty nasty, like 70s council flat. The slightly better teaching blocks at the back (newer) looks like a factory from the 80s.
Now on to facilities. There are loads of accoms avaliable on campus, that could be due to people living outside because they couldn't stand living with sheeps. There is a student shop run by the union, which cost about 20-30% more than shops outside. However if you are stuck on campus, on a snowly night, you have no choice. And speaking of choice, there aren't much in the shops. There is also a RBS branch, which service sucks, and a hair dresser. For food, there is just a canteen, and again, the price is very high. During term time, the union bar is a better choice. As for sports, it has a very well equiped sports complex. I think it is also used as the Scottish Sports School or something.
Now transport. As I pointed out earlier, it is 8 miles from the city of Edinburgh. 2 main bus serve the uni plus one less regular. The two main buses runs between 10 and 20 minutes. The other bus runs only up till 8pm at every 30 minutes. HOWEVER they only runs every 30 minutes after 8pm. A big problem if you want to get to or from town. It takes 45-60 minutes to get to and from town, depending on the time of the day.
Food and shopping, there aren't much choice around the uni as it is on the green belt. The nearest would be Tesco, but that will require a change of bus, and the bus take a different route during peak hours, be aware of that! The next will be Asda. It runs on the 35 route, which comes every 20 minutes.
So to sum it up, this uni is good for education (for my school at least). However it is in the middle of no where, it will take loads of time to get anywhere. It is very sad and depressing if you have to stay over during the christmas break as there will be NOTHING to do there. The union will be shut during the breaks. However if you like nature, it could just be the right environment for you.
You may not know that Heriot-Watt University merged with the Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels about three years ago. This now forms the Scottish Borders Campus of the University and is a purpose built textile school offering the best textile facilities in the world. The School offers both an internationally recognised textile design Ba course and now a new Ba in fashion Design starting in September. for more information and to see this years degree show see the link to the Scottish Borders Campus from the main University site. The University has just built a new students union and the developing links across the University guarantee a good social life to all students attending the school. The town of Galashiels has excellent facilities including a multi screen cinema, 4 night clubs, fresh air and excellent sporting facilities and provides a stimulting backdrop to the social life on campus. The courses follow the Scottish model of 4 years to degree which allows for both indepth learning and a strong self discovery equipping students to confidently tackle the jobs market when graduating. Finally a little thought to those who might be considering a career in Textile or Fashion Design and keep being told that there is not a future in the industry How many naked people have you seen walking down the main street this century? ALF
I graduated in 1990 having applied for Economics in 1987. Some time ago, perhaps, but my experiences are probably as valid now as they were back then. First the good points. Heriot-Watt is a young university with high teaching standards on the outskirts of a very beautiful city. Courses are held in high regard within the academic community. The Scottish education system is highly regarded as one of the best in the world. Now the bad news. Courses are based on continual assessment with exams every term structured in a way that if you struggle with one subject, the continuation of your course is at risk. Honours courses are 4 years duration, it's costly to survive as a student and if you do fail you are lucky to come way with a General Arts or Science Ordinary degree, not even a 3rd class honours degree in the subject you applied for. University staff were unsympathetic and uncaring, no support was given, despite very good grades in all but one of the subjects I was studying. 99.9% of graduate recruiters (except in the brewing or petrochemical industries) do not know or care about Heriot-University. Even if they did they are not going to give a second look at someone who has an ordinary degree which is regarded by many as being a lesser classification than a third class honours. Most job adverts for graduates require an honours degree and believe me, it is impossible to get past filtering. The upshot was that i was unemployed (apart from temping jobs) for 4 years. I wished I went to an English Uni, studied a vocational course and had something to show for the money and effort I had put into my studies. As time went by, I started my own business with skills learnt from experience learnt in the real world and not Heriot-Watt University. Take my advice, stay well away and choose a university and course carefully and wisely, with the long term in mind. Price quoted relate
s to expenses in studying but also lost or reduced income in desperation in finding a job.
Having graduated from Heriot-Watt University in 1995, I would thoroughly recommend it to any one looking for a great place to study. Set just on the outskirts of Edinburgh, on a beautiful campus Heriot-Watt boasts many highly acclaimed and recognised degree courses from Accountancy and Finance through to Brewing and Distilling and beyond. The teaching standards are excellent and the location and facilities highly recommended. The campus offers various levels of accommodation, many of it only recently built and is complemented with restaurants, snack bars, shops, travel centre and of course the Student Union - itself a modern facility. Lecture theatres and teaching rooms and labs vary in size but all fit the purpose well. A well equipped library with some of the longest opening hours of any university is also located on campus. The campus itself is set in acres of beautiful woodland and fields and there are many great features including the 'loch' with bridge across to the union and the sunken gardens which provide the perfect setting for that gradiation party in four years time. Being located so close to Edinburgh, with buses throughout the day and night means great shopping and nightlife in one of Britain's finest cities although the events and entertainment provided by the Students Association on campus should be more than enough to keep you occupied. The only distraction is of course the lectures and study time you need to achieve that balance. A degree is well worth it but a degree studied for at Heriot-Watt is even more enjoyable to achieve and highly rewarding!