Heriot-Watt University
Finance Issues
MScs in Computer Science
Calton hill, Edinburgh

1. Finance and Postgraduate Taught Programmes

The university gives useful 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 2019-2020 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 2019-2020 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 £7168 £3584
English/Wales/N.Ireland £7168 £3584
Overseas † £18680 £9340

† In year 1 of a 2 year full-time MSc the fee is reduced to £13200.

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

for 2019/20 will cost AED 81900 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 costs of maintenance for a postgraduate student in Edinburgh for 2019/2020 are estimated as £10800.

Details on start dates and fees for English study programmes at Heriot-Watt university for those who intend also to take an MSc programme starting in September 2019 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) have a Scottish Postgraduate Loans Scheme for 2018/19 to lend up to £10000 to pay the fees and living expenses of postgraduate study in Scotland. It is distinct from the English Postgraduate Loans Scheme which covers postgraduate study at any UK university including Heriot-Watt by English residents. The Scottish scheme loans up to £5500 in fees and £4500 in maintenance on eligible PG programmes of study. The loan is paid for our postgraduate taught programmes that consist of full-time study for 1 or 2 years or of part-time study of up to 2 years.

2018/19 MSc applicants to us seeking a loan from the SOED have to register with SAAS and then submit an application for funding. Eligibility and funding issues are explained online for full-time and part-time applicants. Submitted applications are assessed for eligibility before applicants can receive a loan. A loan for fees up to £5500 (£2250 part-time) is paid directly to the university. A loan of up to £4500 for full-time living costs is paid direct to a student's bank account. Part-time students and EU nationals coming to Scotland to study cannot get loans for their maintenance expenses. Students are liable to start repaying the loan with interest when their study ends.

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

Being ordinarily resident in Scotland for the last 3 years and being resident in Scotland at the start of the PG programme qualifies an applicant for the scheme. Long-term UK residents, EU nationals, EEA nationals, UK Home Office recognised refugees and others also qualify.

The 2018/19 postgraduate funding guide details eligibility, level of support and other relevant issues. After students have checked that they satisfy the eligibility conditions, they should register and submit a loan application. They need to support their 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.

3.2 Carnegie-Cameron Scholarships

In past years Heriot-Watt University has received 6 bursaries per year to award to MSc students on the basis of overall merit and promise. Candidates were required to be from a Scottish background and usually to have a 1st class degree. However, in 2018/19 they suspended the scheme and are not making any awards. The Carnegie Cameron award covered the full cost of university fees. Applicants filled in a scholarship application form and returned it to us by the start of May i.e. 4 months before they started their study.

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. 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:

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 £8000 each towards the cost of tuition fees are available for MSc study at Scottish universities by citizens of Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Pakistan or USA. Saltire applicants must study 1 year full-time MSc programmes in science, technology, creative industries, healthcare and medical science, or 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 by 27 May 2018.

4.6 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

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.