Penguins, beer and economic development…

Professor Paul Hare from our Accountancy, Economics & Finance Department spent two weeks in July in the Falkland Islands, working on a project for the EU concerned with evaluating the last two aid programmes in the Falklands funded by the EU. He writes for us below about his time there.

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What can Blackpool donkeys teach us about exercise

Neil Gibson, Director of Sport, Performance and Health at Oriam: Scotland’s sports performance centre, and Programme Director within the School of Social Sciences recently published a paper looking at optimising recovery between intense periods of work. Here he explains how exercise and interdisciplinary research might help us organise and optimise how allowing people to choose their own recovery lengths might be something worth considering.

Director of Performance, Sport and Health for Oriam

High intensity training is in vogue. It’s being prescribed in CrossFit gyms to exercise classes and interventions designed to help people battle diabetes and manage their weight. But what exactly is it? Generally speaking, the ‘exercise’ part is prescribed using resistance training (lifting weights or moving your body in space), cycling, running or rowing either outside or on specially designed ergometers. The intensity, which is how hard the exercise is or is perceived to be, is often individualised in an attempt to make the stimulus more effective, as is the length of each repetition, from 30 seconds to four minutes. It is fair to say that there has been a reasonable amount of research done around how best to prescribe these bouts of exercise, however, in contrast, relatively little regarding how best to schedule recovery periods. Whether we are involved in periods of intense work in our jobs or during exercise, how we recover is paramount to how effective we are likely to be.
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10 Fun Facts About Our Beloved City!

Are you thinking of studying in Edinburgh? Is Clearing the route you are taking into University? Seize the opportunity with both hands and choose Edinburgh as your city to study in. As proud ‘Dunediners’ (the old name for Edinburgh is Dunedin) the SoSS Recruitment and Marketing team have created some fun little-known-facts about the city they live, learn and work in. If this is the city you choose to study in, Edinburgh is brilliant and here are some reasons why!

1: Edinburgh hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972: in the Usher Hall (which is a beautiful venue on Lothian Road).

2: Edinburgh appears in Grand Theft Auto! (Rockstar North have their Head Office here) and they featured the two bridges: the Forth Rail Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge in GTA: San Andreas, we wonder if they will update this with the new third bridge the Queensferry Crossing…?

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Internships; Your chance to outshine the competition in business

Strathberry Internship Opportunity
Strathberry Internship Opportunity

We are proud that here at SoSS we have fostered strong relationships with businesses and therefore can offer our students several fantastic internship opportunities during their Master’s programmes. An internship offers you, our students, the real experience that the teaching environment can never replicate, this fact alone makes the internship experience invaluable.

Currently, we have several companies working with us to offer internships to our students; many of these are globally located meaning their internship placements could be located across several locations or countries (even continents!) providing you with a global business & cultural perspective to your internship experience. An internship feeds into your course – for example, both the Array Marketing and Baxters Food Group internships are directly linked with your MSc dissertation project. Whichever way you look at it, being successfully recruited onto an internship will enhance your career prospects and business acumen in a way that your MSc programme couldn’t do alone. This is why we are so proud to be able to offer so many of these exciting opportunities to you our students!

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HW – a centre of excellence for translators and interpreters

Our Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies recently hosted the 2018 AGM of CIUTI (Conférence internationale permanente d’instituts universitaires de traducteurs et interprètes), the oldest and most prestigious international association of university institutes with translation and interpretation programmes in the world. Delegates attended from 49 member institutions and interpreting was provided in English, French and German. The AGM was followed by the first ever CIUTI academic conference which was centred around the theme of translation and interpreting in an era of demographic and technological change. There were a total of 30 papers on the programme, covering topics as diverse as cognitive processes in translating; neural machine translation and tech training, as well as panels and a workshop. All were very well received, with the President of FIT, the International Federation of Translators, describing Heriot-Watt as a “true centre of excellence for training translators and interpreters for the future”.

The CIUTI event coincided with a visit from the Head of the Directorate General for Interpretation (SCIC) at the European Commission, Mrs Florika Fink-Hooijer, and Ms Cathy Pearson, also from SCIC. They met with staff members in LINCS and toured the excellent interpreting facilities in the Henry Prais Building. Discussions focused on possibilities for enhanced cooperation between Heriot-Watt and the European Commission; one strand of this will be Pedagogical Assistance where Cathy Pearson will return to Heriot-Watt in September to deliver interpreting classes to the new cohort of MSc interpreting students.

Our very own Bloomberg Trading room

We are thrilled to announce that our Accountancy, Finance and Economics programmes are soon to have their learning experience enhanced with the opening of our very own Bloomberg Trading Simulation room. Championed by the department’s Deputy Head, Associate Professor of Finance Dr. Mo Sherif, the Trading Room will allow our students to put theory into practice in a real-time environment.

Bloomberg is widely acknowledged as the largest interactive trading platform available in the market and is used by the majority of prominent global finance companies. SoSS Students using our platform will, therefore, replicate the Bloomberg trading rooms of financiers worldwide. Working with a simulated market environment using actual, real-time data, and a variety of functions simulating both trading and non-trading workflows. With these state-of-the-art tools, our students will enrich their research and classwork, with hands-on knowledge of analysing financial markets, assessing economic scenarios and interpreting key news developments that impact the global economy.

Introducing the Trading Room has immense potential for the School and its students.

“Our Bloomberg Trading room is going to be brilliant, we will be able to show and not just tell; it will give us as lecturers the opportunity to bring our textbook theory to life! Moreover, we will be able to provide our excellent students a safe environment to take risks and grow their confidence, and this experience will give them a competitive edge for a career in the financial services.” Dr Mo Sherif

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Research – we’re having a laugh…

Our research academics do important work that is genuinely changing lives and policy in a whole host of areas. Pulling them out of their comfort zone and in front of a non-academic audience isn’t always the easiest of tasks, but Alan Gow from our Psychology Department is no stranger to the stage. Alan is leading research on the effects of ageing on the brain and thinking skills and will be making his second Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas outing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, along with Anna Sedda, who is presenting on her work on disgust. Alan told us a bit more about CODI.

An academic, a comedian and the public walk into a Fringe venue…

No, it’s not the setup to a joke, it’s the basis for the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas. CODI, as it’s known, puts researchers at the heart of the world’s largest arts festival. The 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe marks CODI’s sixth year and the programme has just been released.

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We Love Watt We Do!

Hello! We’re the Heriot-Watt University School of Social Sciences Marketing team. We started this blog to bring news, views and research from the school.

About the School

Heriot-Watt’s School of Social Sciences is made up of our Accountancy, Economics and Finance; Business Management; Psychology and Languages and Intercultural Studies departments. The school has over 40 undergraduate programmes and over 50 postgraduate taught programmes, as well as amazing postgraduate research opportunities in all departments in the Edinburgh campus. Many of the programmes are also taught in the Dubai and Malaysia campuses.

The school has nearly 4,000 undergraduate students across its three campuses, and over 800 postgraduate students.

Meet the Team!

The Marketing and Communications team sits within the Recruitment, Admissions and Marketing element of SoSS. They are responsible for promoting all SoSS activities to students, academics, the wider university and the outside world. The team can be contacted at

Claire-Jayne Seller

Claire-Jayne Seller is the Marketing & Communications Manager for the School of Social Sciences and joined HWU in September 2016. CJ previously worked for the University of Edinburgh in Marketing and at length for Scotland’s national tourist board VisitScotland in International Marketing – managing the North American market. CJ’s experience and passion lie with the diaspora markets of North America, and she loves to share interesting stories that highlight the close links between the two markets. CJ says that her passion for Scotland the destination is a perfect match for working at Heriot-Watt University; set in the beautiful capital city of Edinburgh, surrounded by countryside and steeped in heritage. CJ is a mum of two small boys and works part-time and loves the flexibility HWU offers her. CJ is a huge Scotland Rugby fan and can regularly be found loitering at Oriam for a glimpse of Gregor Townsend and his boys! #AsOne #lovewattyoudo

Daniel Stewart

Daniel has been the Marketing and Student Recruitment Officer for Heriot-Watt’s School of Social Sciences since October 2016. He studied in Glasgow before taking up his first marketing job with St Aloysius’ College in a role which allowed him to develop copywriting, photography and digital communication skills, whilst learning to implement cross-channel marketing campaigns.
The best thing about working for a university, Daniel says, is having the chance to market something that makes a huge difference to a person’s life and has a genuinely positive impact on society. Having grown up in the Highlands, Daniel feels at home on Heriot-Watt’s countryside campus and likes to get out and about whenever the Scottish weather allows. A keen footballer, he is always up for a game of 5-a-sides in ORIAM – usually in a bid to work off the latest lunchtime baguette from Elements.

Tanya Rhodes

Tanya Rhodes joined the SoSS team in December 2017 as Research Communications Officer. Tanya spent her early career as a music and business journalist, before working in events and making the move to broader communications in 2007. Having worked across the private, public and third sectors in England and Scotland, as well as with the now-closed NSPCC / The University of Edinburgh Child Protection Research Centre, Tanya brings a variety of insights to the role. She says that she relishes the prospect of working with Heriot-Watt’s researchers within SoSS, due to their expertise and genuine passion for their topic, and enjoys bringing stories of impactful change into the spotlight. In the outside world, Tanya has two young daughters, enjoys horse-riding and has recently become involved in campaigning for the Scottish Network for Arthritis in Children, a cause very close to her heart.

Marketing Communications Claire-Jayne Seller Daniel Stewart Tanya Rhodes
The MarComs Team! Left to Right – Tanya Rhodes, Claire-Jayne Seller, Daniel Stewart