Financial support

Your living costs while a student will vary depending on your situation, but you should expect to spend around £8,500 on living expenses during each academic year (9 months). This is only a guide figure and, of course, the amount you actually do spend is very much down to lifestyle choice.

Heriot-Watt University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to help you pay for your education and other living costs while you are studying at university.

In addition, there may be other forms of financial support available to you from UK governments, depending on your circumstances and eligibility.

Financial support for students from Scotland

Students from Scotland may be eligible for a Student Loan, a Young Students' Bursary, an Independent Students' Bursary, an Additional Loan and Supplementary grants from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

Tuition fee and living cost loans

Tuition fee loans of £5,500 are available to Scottish distance learning students on taught postgraduate courses. Full-time distance learning postgraduate students will also be able to access a £4,500 living cost loan for the first time. Find out more from the Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

Financial support for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

Government loans and grants are available to help cover the costs of tuition fees and living costs. The types of loan and the amount of financial support that you are eligible to receive will vary depending on your circumstances.

You can find the latest information on what financial support is available to you from these organisations:

It is important to note that:

  • No tuition fees are paid upfront or while you are studying.
  • Student loans for tuition fees are available for all eligible students.
  • If eligible, the Government will lend you the money to cover the full cost of tuition fees for every year of study. The loan is known as the Tuition Fee Loan.
  • The Tuition Fee Loan is paid directly to the University by the government.
  • You only start to pay back the loan when you are earning over £27,295 a year (England and Wales) or £19,895 (Northern Ireland).
  • Repayment is based on what you earn not what you owe.
  • All outstanding debt is written off after 30 years (England and Wales) or 25 years (Northern Ireland).
  • You only pay back loans; you don't need to pay back grants, scholarships or bursaries.

Students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales may also be eligible for scholarships and bursaries from Heriot-Watt University.

The UK Government has a useful student finance calculator that shows you how the Tuition Fee Loan repayment system works for students from England.

Funding for part-time undergraduate students

Students studying an eligible part-time undergraduate course should note that the Fee Waiver Scheme no longer exists and all eligible students should apply for fee support under the Part-time Fee Grant Scheme.

Discretionary hardship fund

Undergraduate students who have taken out the maximum student loan they are entitled to, and who are experiencing financial difficulties due to exceptional circumstances or an unexpected crisis, can apply for a discretionary hardship fund. Part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students are also eligible to apply

Childcare fund

Full-time undergraduate students who are eligible for student loan support can apply for assistance with the cost of formal registered childcare, so long as they have applied for the maximum student loan they are entitled to.

Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust Hardship Award

The Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust Hardship Award has been established through donations for students who require financial help to alleviate unfortunate and/or unexpected circumstances including, but not limited to, health conditions (physical or mental), counselling, study equipment, accommodation, food, situational crisis help, etc. Awards made will be between £100 and £1000.

1, Funds can only be awarded to:-

  • undergraduates who will have completed at least one year of study at the time of taking up the award,
  • postgraduates undertaking taught courses, or
  • postgraduates engaged in research for a higher degree.

Please be aware that application from Postgraduate students will be prioritised in the first instance, applications will be considered from undergraduates in the case of extreme circumstances.

2. Awards may be made to students having their ordinary residence in Scotland and studying anywhere in the world (including Scotland) or students having their ordinary residence outside Scotland and studying in Scotland.

3. Funds must be used to cover expenditure arising from unforeseen contingencies and unexpected circumstances. Funds should not be used to cover expenditure which should have been planned at the outset of the course such as required periods abroad or required field courses.

If you have already received funding from the De Lima Award this academic year you will not be eligible for this award.

How to Apply

Please complete this online application.  We may ask for additional information or evidence to help us make a decision on your application. Please be aware that the award is designed to help with unexpected costs so please ensure your application meets the criteria outlined above. Students experiencing ongoing financial difficulty may wish to check their eligibility to apply to the hardship funds. Further information on student hardship funds.

We cannot guarantee that an application will be successful.  You will be notified of the outcome of your application by email. We aim to respond to all applicants within 2 weeks of the deadline. The deadline for applications is Sunday 14 April 2024. For any enquiries, please email

If your application is successful, please note it is compulsory for us to share the information below in the form of a report to the trust - Reports must include the student name, year / type of study, course details, reasons for award, confirmation the award was taken up and confirmation the student is progressing to the next year / stage of course if known. By applying for this award you are consenting us to share this information with the donor.

Other forms of financial support

Student Support can offer more advice on what financial support options may be available to you.

Sutherland Page Trust Funding

The Sutherland Page Trust aims to provide financial support to students who are facing disadvantage and are at risk of discontinuing their studies due to financial hardship. Bursaries provided by the trust typically support the remaining years of the student's current course, with amounts ranging from £500 to £5,000 per year depending on the extent of financial need. Funding will begin to be paid from the 2024–25 academic year onwards and is intended to help with long-term financial needs. If you are currently in urgent need of funds please apply to the discretionary hardship fund.

Please note that we cannot offer funding for the first year of undergraduate study (including those who are entering directly into the second year). Applications related to online courses are also not considered by the trust. The eligibility criteria are detailed below:

  • You were born in Scotland OR have at least one parent born in Scotland OR have been a resident in Scotland for at least 3 years.
  • You are studying an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme in Scotland in one of the following subject areas: medicine, law, arts, divinity, or science. This does not include social science or engineering courses. However, we may consider courses related to healthcare or cultural studies.
  • You are experiencing financial hardship.

List of eligible Heriot-Watt courses (by subject)

  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Actuarial Science
  • Statistical Data Science
  • Computer Science (All Pathways)

Application process

First you must apply using the application link - the deadline for this is Sunday 28 April. We will be in touch by the end of following week to let you know if you are through to the next stage. Heriot-Watt can only nominate a maximum of 5 people for this next stage so please be aware it is likely there will be lots of competition for this award.

If you are successful, you will be invited to fill in the Sutherland Page Trust’s application form, the deadline for which is Monday 27 May. Their selection process will then begin and you will find out whether you have been successful by the end of August 2024.

Please note that only the first stage of the award selection process is administered by Heriot-Watt. You will be informed by us if you are selected to progress to the next stage; after this, any further communications regarding selection will be undertaken by the Sutherland Page Trust.

Applications now open for Small Project Grants

The student experience at Heriot-Watt University is one which is of great importance. Funding is available to our student body from money which has been donated by our generous alumni and staff community. Small grants from varying pots of money listed below help support travel, accommodation, additional academic study and projects to which any of our students are engaged in, which will be of benefit to the student and the University as a whole. Students, Clubs, Teams and Societies as well as academics leading on student projects are all eligible to apply for funding.

The Disbursements Group guidance is for projects to be viewed favourably when match funding is in place. Applications are advised to note the following recommendation: Projects requesting up to £500 to secure 50% match funding, projects requesting up to £5,000 to secure 35% match funding, and projects requesting above £5000 to secure 25% match funding.

Please note: Closing date for applications is 23:59 (GMT) on Tuesday 9 April 2024. Decisions will be communicated by the end of 19 April 2024.

Mary Burton

A fund for female students studying STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Awards can be used to pay for a variety of costs:

  • Conference fees
  • Travel
  • Accommodation
  • Childcare
  • Career development

Read our guidance and apply to the Mary Burton Fund using our online application.

Annual Fund

  • Projects submitted for consideration must have an extra-curricular quality, they must not be an expected element of academic study.
  • Applications should clearly demonstrate the benefit which will be delivered by the project, in the case of project grants this should be a benefit to the University and/or the wider community.
  • Within the finance section, applicants should include all expenses related to the project
  • Efforts to fund part of a project from other sources (e.g., fundraising activities or applications to other grant-making bodies) will be recognised by the Committee in ensuring that the project is viable. These should be reported in the finance section stating the source of funding and whether it is secured under the appropriate headings.

Read our guidance and apply to the Annual Fund using our online application.

Historical Alumni Funds

If you do not fit the criteria for the funds above, however, feel that your application will benefit and add value to the overall student experience, please apply and be specific in your reasoning and the impact that your application will have if it is successful.

If you wish to discuss any part of your application or if you have any questions or require further guidance, please email

Key information

Student Support

Key fact

Our generous bursaries combined with the flexibility to enter your honours degree programme directly into Year 2 makes Heriot-Watt an attractive option for A-Level and other entrants from England, Northern Ireland or Wales.