MSc Degrees in Computer Science and Information Technology icon

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

1. Finance and Postgraduate Taught Programmes

The university provides helpful advice on how postgraduate fees should be paid.

Overseas students from outside the European Economic Area on a tier 4 study visa require a work permit to work more than 20 hours per week in the UK during term time. Our university's experience is that full time postgraduate students, who work more than 10 hours a week, seriously risk failing their programme of postgraduate study.

The main sources available to support study for MSc degrees in Computer Science or Information Technology in 2016-2017 with us are:

Professional and Career Development Loans are also available to persons with an unrestricted right to stay and work in the UK. UK Armed forces personnel can get financial support for postgraduate study with us through the MoD Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme.

2. Study Costs

In 2017-2018 Heriot-Watt University will charge the following tuition fees in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences in GBP pounds per year for study for an MSc or Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science or IT subjects delivered by lectures on the Edinburgh campus.

Full-time Part-time
Scotland/non-UK EU £5200 £2600
English/Wales/N.Ireland £5200 £2600
Overseas £17570 £8785

Study on the Edinburgh campus for the Graduate Diploma in Information Technology (a postgraduate foundation programme for overseas students wishing entry to our MSc programmes) in 2017/18 costs £17570.

At our Dubai campus in the United Arab Emirates studying full time for the

for 2017/18 will cost AED 74,000 dirhams (in £ UK Pounds) in fees.

Heriot Watt University uses guidelines to determine whether an Edinburgh campus student pays the overseas rate of fees or the lower UK/EU rate. Students in doubt about their fees status can fill in a form and have their fees status explicitly determined. UKCISA explains these eligibility issues here.

Fees can be paid in various ways and even in instalments. Details on paying fees can be found here.

The university estimates the costs of maintenance for a postgraduate student in Edinburgh for the full year 2016/2017 as £8500.

Details on start dates and fees for English programmes at Heriot-Watt university for those who intend also to take an MSc programme starting in September 2016 can be found here .

3. Grants and Scholarships for UK/EU Students

  1. Postgraduate Student Allowances
  2. Carnegie-Cameron Scholarships

3.1 Postgraduate Taught Funding Loans

The Scottish Office Education Department (SOED) through the Students Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) may introduce a new Scottish Postgraduate Loans Scheme in 2017/18 to lend up to £9000 to pay the fees and living expenses of postgraduate study in Scotland in line with the new English Postgraduate Loans Scheme which covers postgraduate study at any UK university including Heriot-Watt by English residents.

However, the currently published details of the SOED's 2016/17 PG Loans Scheme follows that for previous years. Under its terms most of our our full-time MSc programmes in Computer Science or IT are covered for

  • British citizens ordinarily resident in Scotland (but not primarily for the purposes of education)
  • non-British European Union citizens

2016/17 PG applicants have to fill in a postgraduate application form in accord with a postgraduate funding guide. It can be obtained from the SAAS. Applicants are assessed for eligibility before they can receive the loan. The loan covers up to £3400 of fees (£1700 part-time) and is paid directly to the university and covers up to £4500 of living costs (full-time only) and is paid direct to a student's bank account. Students are liable to start repaying the loan with interest when their MSc study ends.

All PTFL recipients have to pay Heriot-Watt £1800 which is the difference between the actual Home/EU fee rate of £5200 and the SAAS funded fees of £3400 from their own means.

Students are eligible if they

  1. meet certain residence conditions
  2. study a taught postgraduate programme supported by SAAS i.e. one of our MSc programmes
  3. haven't received support from UK/EU public funds for a previous vocational postgraduate course

The postgraduate funding guide details eligibility, level of support and other relevant issues. After students have checked that they satisfy the eligibility conditions, they have to fill in the postgraduate application form and support their PTFL application with an unconditional offer of a place on one of our MSc programmes. SAAS informs applicants directly if their application for a loan is accepted. The following MSc programmes at Heriot-Watt University are currently recognised by the PTFL scheme:

MSc Artificial Intelligence
MSc Artificial Intelligence with Speech and Multimodal Interaction
MSc Computer Systems Management
MSc Data Science
MSc Information Technology (Business)
MSc Information Technology (Software Systems)
MSc Network Security
MSc Software Engineering

Only our MSc Business Information Management is not yet supported.

3.2 Carnegie-Cameron Scholarships

Heriot-Watt University receives 6 bursaries per year to award to MSc students on the basis of overall merit and promise. Candidates will be from a Scottish background and usually have a 1st class degree. The Carnegie Cameron award covers the full cost of university fees. Fill in the scholarship application form and return it to us by 1st May 2017.

4. International Scholarships & Funding

  1. British Chevening Scholarships
  2. Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
  3. Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme Plan
  4. Mexican Scholarships
  5. Scottish International Scholarships
  6. MACS Computer Science MSc Scholarships
  7. USA Graduate Scholarships and Loans

4.1 British Chevening Scholarships

British Chevening Scholarships are funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and administered by the British Council. They are offered to overseas students in over 150 countries and enable talented graduates and young professionals to become familiar with the UK and gain skills which will benefit their countries. The Chevening programme currently provides around 2,300 new scholarships each year for postgraduate studies or research at UK Institutions of Higher Education. Applicants should be professionals who have IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in all 4 areas) and 2+ years working experience who want to do a one year full-time MSc programme. Applicants are expected to apply for a Chevening award by mid November when planning university entry in the following September. Choice of university is made after shortlisted applicants are interviewed in November and scholarships are awarded in December or January.

4.2 Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan

Commonwealth scholarships are open to Commonwealth citizens and British protected persons permanently resident in any Commonwealth country other than the United Kingdom for postgraduate study. Candidates should hold an upper second class degree or equivalent. Nominations from agencies must be received in London by 31 December in the year preceding the award being taken up.

4.3 Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme

These scholarships are available for all full-time MSc programmes. These awards assist students from developing Commonwealth countries to come to the UK for a one-year taught Masters degree when they would otherwise be financially unable to do so. The award has an upper age limit of 35 with preference given to applicants under 30 years of age. Government employees are ineligible. Awards made under this programme must be relevant to the economic, scientific and social development of the applicants' home country. The scheme is administered by the Association of Commonwealth Universities and applicants must have or expect to attain the equivalent of a UK 1st class or upper 2nd class honours degree.

The Scholarships cover:

  • tuition fees
  • maintenance grant
  • arrival allowance
  • air fare to and from the UK

Applicants should apply through their School of study by mid April.

4.4 Mexican Scholarships

The University has entered a partnership with CONACYT to offer scholarships for Mexican students who undertake their studies in science, engineering and technology at Heriot-Watt. The scholarships, which cover tuition fees and living costs, are administered through CONACYT.

4.5 Scotland's Saltire Scholarships

Saltire Scholarships worth £4000 each towards the cost of tuition fees are available for MSc study at Scottish universities by citizens of Canada, China, India, Pakistan or USA. Saltire applicants must study 1 year full-time MSc programmes in life sciences, technology, creative industries, financial services, renewable and clean energy. Obtain a conditional or unconditional offer of a place from us on one of our 1 year full-time MSc programmes in Computing or IT at the Edinburgh campus and then fill in the application form and submit it before the end of May.

4.6 MACS Computer Science MSc Scholarships

The School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at Heriot-Watt University is offering a few postgraduate scholarships worth £2,500 each to overseas students studying MScs in Computer Science or Information Technology with us full-time in 2017/2018. All applicants MUST already hold an offer of a study place on a taught programme at the University when they apply for the scholarship. A scholarship application form is available here. Applications must be received by 30 April 2017. Criteria for awarding the scholarship are academic merit, financial circumstances and motivation.

4.7 USA Graduate Scholarships and Loans

Financial Aid for US students to study at Heriot-Watt University in the form of loans may be obtained. Please contact Morag Heggie for more details.

5. Professional and Career Development Loans

One bank in Britain - Cooperative Bank - provides career development loans on behalf of the Employment Department which can be used to pay for an MSc programme with us. These loans, ranging from £300 to a maximum of £10000, are available to persons satisfying all the following conditions

  • be a UK citizen
  • be 18 or over
  • are planning to work in UK, EU or the EEA
  • been living in UK for last 3 years

Living expenses, books, equipment and either 80% or 100% of fees may be financed out of such loans. No interest or principal repayments are made until one month after the programme ends. Read consumer advice before obtaining further details from the Cooperative Bank or from

Professional & Career Development Loans Freepost
Career Development Loans
Freephone (in UK): 0800 585 505

6. Other Sources of Information

UKCISA, the UK Council for International Student Affairs, provides a good statement of eligibility issues for various forms of fees and financial support while studying at universities in scotland. UK government advice about funding for postgraduate study is also available.