Online Learning

With over 20 years of experience delivering degrees via online learning, Heriot-Watt offers a range of online postgraduate qualifications in business and STEM subjects.

Heriot-Watt’s online students gain the same academic degree as they would for an on-campus programme. They have carefully created their courses so that no student is disadvantaged by proximity to the university. Online students have access to all the reading lists, books, journals and tutors through their VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). The assessments, academic quality and certificates are identical across all their campuses, online and in person.

The University currently offers 25 online Master’s degrees delivered by utilising the latest online learning tools.


Heriot-Watt is a research university with a focus on science and engineering. It started as the School of Arts of Edinburgh in 1821 to provide working men with practical knowledge of science and technology. Over the years, the institution was supported by philanthropists, the inventor James Watt and goldsmith George Heriot, later taking their names to become Heriot-Watt College.

In 1966 Heriot-Watt was recognised with royal charter and university status. It is now one of the top research universities in the UK, with a focus on science, technology, engineering, business and design.

The University comprises of four schools with over 27,000 students studying with them on-campus and online.

Heriot-Watt Academic Schools

  • Edinburgh Business School
  • Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society
  • Engineering & Physical Sciences
  • Mathematical and Computer Sciences
  • Textiles and Design

Heriot-Watt Online Courses

Heriot-Watt Online offers 25 Online Master’s degree programmes. All their courses can be taken as Postgraduate Certificates, Diplomas or full Master’s degrees. The Heriot-Watt Online courses are a flexible way to gain a world-class qualification taught by subject matter experts.

Online Information Sessions

Heriot-Watt Online holds regular, informal webinars where you can ask the academics and student support team questions and get a deeper understanding of the course.


Heriot-Watt is a recognised body by the UK government. There are 145 organisations in the UK with recognised body status that can award degree certificates.

Heriot-Watt has the power to award internationally recognised undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications.


Heriot-Watt provides a flexible way to gain an online master’s degree. It is possible to complete a full master’s degree in two and a half years with the ability to extend the completion time while on the courses. This option means that online students can balance their study, work and family commitments as they progress.

Online Library

Online students can access Heriot-Watt’s digital library 24/7 via VLE. The digital library holds over 71,000 e-books, 50,000 e-journals and research papers. All the texts on the reading lists for the courses they offer are available via the library in digital format.

Student Support

Online students can access the dedicated student support team via the VLE or over the phone. Their role is to support and help students with all non-academic queries and concerns.


All Heriot-Watt online and on-campus students are invited to the graduation ceremony held on the Edinburgh campus. Attendance is not compulsory but is a highlight for many graduates to meet up with their fellow students.


All the certificates awarded by Heriot-Watt for online courses are identical to their on-campus equivalents.

Research Excellence Framework

33rd among the UK’s universities for research power

Percentage of 3* and 4* research is 61%

Understanding the Results

4* = World-leading
3* = Internationally Excellent
2* = Internationally Recognised
1* = Nationally Recognised
U = Unclassified.


Teaching Excellence Silver Logo

Entry requirements

Check each course page for programme specific requirements. 

Proof of undergraduate qualifications
Two references
Up-to-date CV

Start Dates

MBA Courses

Rolling start dates

MSc Courses




* The May intake is available on some online courses. Check individual course pages for confirmation.

English Level

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas) 
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • TOEFL: 92 (min 20 in all)
  • Duolingo English: 115 overall (minimum 100 in each sub-score)

Campus Location

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh, Scotland


University Rankings