First of all, the campus is HUGE! 380 acres to be precise! Most of the academic buildings are connected on the first floor, meaning that on a rainy day, you almost never have to go outside! That said, you can find some good shortcuts and beat the crowds. If you do venture outside, have an explore and see where you end up.
The campus has a lovely Loch right in the middle of it. The Loch (how we say lake in Scotland), is just a stone's throw from the Union and is home to our resident swan family. There’s a good chance that over your time here you’ll become pretty attached to the swans, and the day that the cygnets venture off the island every year is a highlight for most! Don't worry about enjoying the Loch when the sun is out, our swans are fairly tame. The same goes for the ducks! But please be careful of what you feed them. Bread has been found to be harmful to swans and ducks, as well as the other wildlife in the pond!
On a sunny day, the Loch may look like a tempting place to go for a swim but don’t; it’s not very nice underneath. Full of algae, you will have the embarrassment of the Security Guards hauling you out. It's also not somewhere to go fishing unless you want to catch the nasty old trainers from the last student that went for a quick dip.
If you're looking for a bit of exercise, there are lots of walks and trails around campus, from nature trails to art-trails, as well as running or jogging routes. Make the most of being out of the city and explore to see what you find.
The campus also has lots of services available to you:
There are laundries on campus where you can go to wash and dry your clothes, and when you move into your halls, the Freshers Reps will be able to tell you which one is the closest to you.
The library is open 24/7 during term time for all your late-night studying needs! Especially handy if you’ve decided to leave a coursework deadline to the last minute.
There is a hairdresser on campus, just opposite the student shop, you do need to make an appointment, but they often have same-day appointments available.
The Shop sells almost everything you might need and is open till 10pm during the week, so you don’t need to panic when you find you’ve run out of milk/bread/toilet roll/chocolate/beer! We're also the only place that sells official Heriot-Watt merch! So if you want to represent your new University with pride look no further! If you need a caffeine and sugar kick to help get you through your study session, then grab a Costa Coffee and a Krispy Kreme doughnut and hit the books!
Hot food is available on campus when you don’t feel like cooking. The Student Union offers a range of freshly made, reasonably priced meals. Start your day off the right way with a coffee and hot breakfast roll in Liberty's Cafe or stop by at lunch for a wide selection of sandwiches, soups, and pasta and rice bowls. Finished a long day of studying hard? Swing by Geordies bar and grab a burger and a pint and finish off your day with karaoke or a quiz! We've got plenty of halal, vegetarian, and vegan options available! There are also several outlets throughout the campus, offering a variety of different meal options. Including salads and baked potatoes at Café Brio, to hot meals and international food options at Central. There’s something for everyone!
The campus boasts a fair number of coffee shop options: From our Change Please coffee served in Libertys in the Student Union (100% of the profits goes towards ending homelessness!). To Dewey’s in the Library and The Piece in the Hugh Nisbet building; there’s always a place to go to get your caffeine fix! If you’re a high street coffee fan, you’ll find your Costa Coffee in The Shop, Café Brio and Dewey’s. Or you can get Starbucks from The Piece.
The Advice Hub
Life isn’t always plain sailing. That’s why the Advice Hub exists.
Located in the Hugh Nisbet building opposite the Shop, the Advice Hub is a safe and secure space where you can go help with absolutely anything that life may throw at you; whether you need help filling out a mitigating circumstances form, need some advice about housing, or even just need someone to chat to. The Advice Hub is run by the Union so it's independent and impartial!
At the moment we're not taking any face-to-face appointments, but get in touch is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange an online appointment!
Cycling to Uni can be a great option, and there are cycle racks all around campus for you to safely store them during the day. The Union Canal runs from the centre of the city all the way past Heriot-Watt which means you don’t have to cycle on the busy roads to get here.
The Union has Amazon lockers, and you can get your Amazon parcels delivered there. This means you never need to be at home to get your post or have to worry about rescheduling deliveries for a time you’ll be in. Soon you will also be able to get some CollectPlus deliveries direct to the Union from online retailers including Asos, River Island and Super Dry! (We will only be able to accept Click & Collect deliveries - if they're addressed directly to you we'll have to turn them away!)
There are a few dedicated spots on campus where you can have a BBQ. If you do decide to have one, be sensible and clear up after yourself.
The Oriam sports centre - Scotland's sports performance centre opened on the campus in August 2016. You can find more about it http://www.oriamscotland.com/. It kind of looks like a spaceship and you'll spot it straight away when you arrive on campus. It's also home to the University's Sports Union.
24/7 security and CCTV throughout the campus is provided by the University's Safe Guarding Team. So if you're having parties in Halls, make sure you stay on their good side! The AMAZING Safe Guarding also have a dedicated app that helps you stay safe and secure on campus in the event of an accident or emergency. Find out more here!
We have a medical centre on campus, including a doctor and a dentist. Remember to register with the on-campus GP http://www.riccartongeneralpractice.co.uk/index.aspx if you're living in halls.
The Scottish Borders campus is located in the lovely town of Galashiels. Want to say hello? Our office is located in The Library to the left as you walk in (look for our pretty pink banner!). Our WONDERFUL SBC Coordinator Jude will be there for you as well as one of our Full Time Officers, who will take it in turns to represent you from the SBC Office!
You’ll find a number of places to fuel yourself during the day. The Union on campus offers hearty salads, filled sandwiches, paninis, toasties, hearty soups, and a range of nourishing meals. It's a bright and airy space that’s ideal for catching up with friends over a coffee in between lectures!
As well as all the snacks you could ever eat, the Shop has a good selection of materials and art equipment for everyone studying textiles or fashion. They stock products recommended by tutors so you can rest assured you’re getting the best.
Our SBC social space, The Thread, opened in 2016. Located in the Jean Muir Student Village, it’s the perfect place to grab a coffee, play a game of pool, watch a movie or just relax in between classes. You can also use this space for events and parties.
The Advice Hub
Life isn’t always plain sailing. That’s why the Advice Hub exists.
Located at the Edinburgh Campus, the Advice Hub is a safe and secure space where you can go help with absolutely anything that life may throw at you; whether you need help filling out a mitigating circumstances form, need some advice about housing, or even just need someone to chat to. The Advice Hub is run by the Union so it's independent and impartial!
You can make full use of The Advice Hub while at SBC by emailing them at email@example.com and arranging an online appointment. They can help with a wide range of issues, you can find out more here.
Campus Shuttle Bus
There’s a shuttle minibus from the Edinburgh Campus and the Scottish Borders Campus, twice daily on weekdays (excluding local holidays).
As the Shuttle Bus has a capacity of 16 seats, it is necessary to book your seat in advance of your journey. To book a place you should email firstname.lastname@example.org between 09.00 and 14.00 Monday to Friday. If the bus is fully booked you will be put on a reserve list and you may turn up at the departure point on the off chance that somebody does not turn up.
For more information, head to the University's website here.