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Student life

UWS is a truly international university with origins dating back to 1897. Our degrees will give you a global outlook and prepare you for the best international opportunities available. 


The University’s four campuses offer students a gateway to the best of what the west of Scotland has to offer.


With a population of 50,000, the coastal town of Ayr is located just under 60 minutes from the centre of Glasgow by road or rail. The town has become increasingly student focused, offering an eclectic range of venues for socialising and entertainment. Packed full of historical sites, visitor attractions and cultural and leisure pursuits, the landscape surrounding the town varies from rolling hills, parkland, moors and dense forests to dramatic coastlines and long, sandy beaches. There’s plenty of outdoor pursuits available – including sailing, quad biking, horse-riding, football, rugby, hockey and tennis – as well as shops, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.


With a population of 38,000, Dumfries forms the hub of Dumfries & Galloway, a region of rugged coastlines, sandy beaches and tranquil lochs. The town of Dumfries offers a good range of leisure, retail and entertainment venues. Outdoor sports and leisure pursuits are also well-catered for including cycling, golf, mountainbiking, water sports, hillwalking and fishing.


Hamilton, Scotland’s 5th largest town, is close to some of the most scenic parts of Scotland and offers a wealth of activities, sites of historical interest and superb scenery. It’s a short train journey from Glasgow, and Edinburgh and Stirling are also within easy reach.

The town is surrounded by a landscape of softly sloping hills, featuring a golf course, racecourse and mature woodland walks. The area around Hamilton offers lots to see and do – including a number of country parks and nature reserves such as Strathclyde Park; and sporting and leisure activities, including football, rugby, golf, sailing, tennis, tenpin bowling, swimming and horseriding. The town centre offers plenty of shopping options as well as a 9-screen cinema, theatre and a host of pubs, nightclubs and restaurant.


With a population of 74,000, Paisley combines heritage and history with all the facilities you’d expect

from Scotland’s second largest town. Visit Paisley Museum and Art Galleries or Paisley Arts Centre; take in the stunning architecture of the 12th century Abbey; or indulge in some retail therapy, with Glasgow – one of the UK’s best shopping venues – just a 10-minute train journey away. 

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Ayr Campus

The campus provides state-of-the-art facilities for UWS and our project partners Scottish Agricultural College. Designed by award-winning architects RMJM, the new building has already achieved the award of a BREEAM Excellent rating from the British Research Establishment for features which minimise environmental impact.

The campus design was inspired by the area’s woodland surroundings and offers students a stunning space for study.

The campus facilities include:

  • some of Scottish higher education’s finest facilities with suites, studios and laboratories for performance, music, broadcasting, education and healthcare
  • industry-standard recording facilities
  • a student-run digital radio station
  • its own lively student union, with an excellent events and entertainment schedule
  • a library, housing an impressive range of resources and facilities
  • coffee bar and atrium which provides a dining and social learning area for students and staff
  • a range of student services featuring careers and funding advice; job shop; counselling; and disability support
  • wi-fi access throughout the academic building
  • brand-new student accommodation composed of 200 en-suite bedrooms grouped in student flats with shared lounge, kitchen and dining areas and with communal lounge and laundry facilities
  • access to extensive riverside walkways and cycle paths

Dumfries Campus

Dumfries Campus is a shared campus, with the University of Glasgow and Dumfries & Galloway College, which has a beautiful setting with views of the Galloway Hills.

The campus has modern learning facilities for college and university students and currently operates across five distinctive buildings; Dudgeon House, Kindar, Browne House, Rutherford McCowan Building and Dumfries & Galloway College Building.

The campus facilities include:

  • a library equipped with over 40,000 books, wireless IT facilities, PC workstations and access to the
  • University-wide library and other online resources
  • University Student Services which are located in the Dumfries & Galloway College building offering careers and funding advice; job shop; counselling; and disability support services
  • sports facilities including games hall, gym and fitness studio
  • almost 200 computer work stations for campus students
  • Student Link located in the University Library in the Dumfries and Galloway College building and providing advice on a wide range of subjects including enrolment, preparing for a graduate job, applying for a graduate programme, funding, careers and more
  • wi-fi access at a variety of locations across the campus
  • a state-of-the-art clinical training skills unit for UWS nursing students
  • an active Students’ Association

Hamilton Campus

The Hamilton Campus is well-integrated with the existing fabric of the town and has a more urban feel than the more rural locations of Dumfries and Ayr. Cafes and bars are located a stones‘ throw from the University making Hamilton Campus a sociable place to study.

The campus facilities include:

  • state-of-the-art simulation wards for nursing and midwifery training
  • well-equipped, recently refurbished library with open-access IT facilities, 80,000 books, 1,000 journals and 194 study spaces
  • wi-fi access
  • Student Link, including financial and welfare advice; careers service; job shop; counselling service;
  • effective learning advisers; disability resources; and educational support services
  • £2.1 million Centre for Engineering Excellence
  • new classroom suite featuring touchscreen technology, tablet PCs and audience response handsets for interactive feedback
  • sports & leisure centre, featuring a multi-gym area and games hall
  • a range of catering facilities, including two student dining rooms and a coffee bar
  • self-catering halls of residence
  • students’ union which offers a programme of entertainment throughout the year
  • campus shops

Paisley Campus

Already featuring a range of student accommodation, an additional new £13.2 million student residence opened in September 2012 at Paisley Campus.

Other campus facilities include:

  • interdisciplinary science laboratories
  • specialist computer games, computer animation and music technology laboratories
  • industry-standard design and engineering facilities
  • nursing and midwifery teaching areas and skills labs
  • students’ union – including a cyber café, coffee shop, main bar and games area, cafeteria and 450-capacity events space
  • internet café
  • wi-fi access at a variety of locations across the campus
  • Robertson Trust Library & Learning Resource Centre, with over 1,000 reader spaces; reading rooms; and a new flexible learning zone with group and individual work areas, coffee bar, internet access and social space
  • recently upgraded Robertson Trust Sports Centre on outskirts of town with sports hall; fitness suite; gymnasium; third-generation all-weather pitches; football; rugby and hockey pitches; jogging route; and all-purpose training area
  • campus shop
  • student services, including careers service, job shop, funding and advice service, counselling, disability support and spiritual care team
  • Student Link, where students can access a one-stop shop reception area for enquiries on all student facing issues, a large open-access computing suite and an internet café area
  • classroom suite featuring touch screen technology, tablet PCs and audience response handsets for interactive feedback

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Ayr Campus Student Accommodation

Ayr residence offers modern, stylish en-suite accommodation in a woodland setting, just a 5 minute walk from the campus. Comprising 194 en-suite rooms, accommodation consists of large en-suite bedrooms, spacious and well-equipped kitchen and lounge area in each flat, 2 data points and access to a laundry room facility. Kitchen and bedding packs are provided. Additionally, students can take advantage of the common room and games area at their leisure.

Dumfries Student Accommodation Options

In Dumfries, students may apply for a place in the University of Glasgow managed accommodation on campus under the University’s partnership agreement with them.

Hamilton Campus Student Accommodation

Hamilton accommodation sits on the edge of the campus, giving students easy access to The Canteen, Students’ Union and campus leisure club. Purpose-built flats accommodate

156 residents, and include single study bedrooms, open-plan kitchen and lounge areas, wash area in each bedroom, bedding packs, bathroom/ shower facilities and access to laundry facilities.

Paisley Campus Student Accommodation

The University’s new £13.2 million residence opened in Paisley in September 2012. This stunning new accommodation is in a prime location, on-campus, next to the library. 336 en-suite rooms (including 13 accessible rooms) are available. Accommodation includes en-suite bedrooms, spacious kitchen and lounge areas in each flat, kitchen and bedding packs, 2 data points, and access to laundry room facility. We also offer newly refurbished flats on campus, each comprising 2 study bedrooms, open-plan kitchen/lounge, shower and toilet facilities and kitchen and bedding packs.

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Student life

Student Unions

UWS takes entertainment just as seriously as every other aspect of university life with a roster of committed staff energetically planning and organising some of Scotland’s best social and sporting events for students.

The Union bars stream major sporting events; host regular quiz nights, poker competitions and karaoke; and house pool and games areas.

The ever-popular Friday theme nights feature events from Rocky Night and The Pyjama Jam to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and silent discos while the regular live music programme showcases up-and-coming bands and offers open-mic nights for a bit of X Factor style drama.

Larger scale events have included acts like The View, Ministry of Sound and Wheatus – as well as a few Scottish ceilidhs birled in for good measure (featuring music from the legendary Red Hot Chilli Pipers amongst others).

The Unions are enduringly popular as a place for students to kick-back and relax – especially during exam time – students have been able to choose from an evening of stand up comedy (past line-ups have included Russell Howard and Russell Kane); some extreme wrestling or even a series of International Nights that to date have included Polish, French, German and Scottish gatherings.

Ayr Campus

Ayr is known for its laid back feel and its super-stylish building. Students can choose to sit in the cafe with its riverside views or their own bar (where the bartenders are rather proud of their reputation for being ‘the friendliest staff’). With students from the Commercial Music course on its doorstep, and as home to the UWS radio station there’s no shortage of bands to choose from for evening entertainment; Ayr Union is just steps away from the banks of the River Ayr, so in the daytime students spill out between lectures to lounge on the grass.

Dumfries Campus

In Dumfries the Crichton University Campus Students’ Association (CUCSA) runs the Book Station, a great wee second hand shop for buying textbooks. Activities wise it also offers hill walking; curling; bible study; football; frisbee and the brilliantly named Consciousness Cafe Discussion Group for philosophy aficionados. Because the campus is shared with the University of Glasgow and Dumfries & Galloway College students, UWS students also benefit from the opportunity to socialise with a diverse student community.

Hamilton Campus

In Hamilton, the Union’s busy bar and cafe is best known for the popularity of its pool tables during the day while its theme nights have ranged from beach parties and ‘Oscars night’ through to student favourite’s like ‘Cheese Night’ featuring “the finest cheesy music played all night long.”

Paisley Campus

Paisley Union – the largest at UWS – is a custom built (by award winning Scottish architects Page & Park) sophisticated, high-spec fun machine spread over three floors featuring the biggest bar in Paisley, plasma screens, game machines and various stages.

Regular exhibitions, conferences and the annual sports ball jostle for students’ attention next to the activities of the University’s clubs and societies.

Sports Union

The UWS Sports Union is enjoying a huge increase in students interested in sports and societies with over 20 clubs and over 30 societies. While the University’s sports clubs are still fairly young, they are developing fast with UWS hotly tipped to become one of the most impressive Scottish universities for sports and activities. Current sports clubs at UWS are: Aikido, American Football, Athletics, Basketball, Football (Men’s and Woman’s), Netball, Volleyball, Badminton, Cheerleading, Cricket, Dodgeball, Hockey, Judo, Motorsports, Rugby, Salsa, Snowsports, Tae Kwon Do and Volleyball.

The University is well served by its two main sports facilities – Hamilton Campus has a gym and a hall where a variety of sports can be played. The Robertson Trust Sports Centre in Paisley has a gym, a hall, one tennis court, two 3rd-generation five-aside football pitches, and two grass pitches where almost every sport can be played. In Dumfries students have access to the sports facilities in the Dumfries & Galloway College building on campus, and in Ayr there are cycleways and riverside walks.

Student Support

The University offers plenty of support to prepare students for their time at University, as well as for when they graduate.

Student Link

The Student Link service operates as a single point of contact for all student support enquiries for everything from admissions to graduation.

Students can consult staff at the Student Link about:

  • admissions
  • advice for international students
  • advice for part-time students
  • careers advice
  • placement support
  • counselling
  • childcare support
  • disability support
  • graduation
  • mentoring system for first time students
  • part-time jobs
  • registration and enrolment
  • student funding
  • money management
  • voluntary work
  • work-based learning and placements

The Student Link offers regular drop-in sessions as well as appointments with specialist advisers.

Study Support

Every UWS student has a personal tutor for advice on study options and we have Effective Learning Tutors available at each campus to support your study skills. Moodle is the web-based learning platform of the University, which provides access, from any location, to online course materials, lecture notes and tutor-to-student discussion boards.

Money Advice

The Funding and Advice Team can help students get the right funding while they study. They are also committed to helping students manage their money. 


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What our students say

“I’m really happy that I chose to study here. One of the most important things is to have an open mind, to be interested in different people from different cultures and to make friends. And I think UWS is the perfect place to do that.”

Eszter Dolgos, Hungarian student, MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management


“Studying in the UK is my dream. Thanks to the 2+2 programme run by UWS and their Chinese partners, I got my chance to study here.”

Yuxiao Zhou, Chinese student, Accountancy


“UWS is great place to study. I’ve had the opportunity to meet British, European and other international students. The facilities are great and the academic staff have given me invaluable support and guidance throughout my studies. My supervisor is very approachable and helpful.”

 Xiaochuan Wu, Chinese student, School of Computing


“I’ve got excellent career prospects as a result of studying at UWS – when I graduate I want to be manager of an IT company. I’d recommend UWS as staff and lecturers are always on hand to lend support when it’s needed.”

Olayinka Kolawole Ojulari, Nigerian student, Business Technology


“I chose to study at UWS because of the well qualified lecturers and the industry experience that’sreflected in their teaching. My course was designed to suit the career needs of graduates. Modules were interlinked to increase job prospects in the current market. In addition to the core modules, optional modules allowed me to gain relevant skills and knowledge required by employers.”

Ranjith Sankar Sankaranarayanan, Indian graduate, MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management


“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved here, and of the new life that my family and I now have in Scotland.  I’ve recommended UWS to many people.  The courses are excellent and the standard is very high.”

Beltus Etchu, Cameroonian student, Business School

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Key facts & figures

  • UWS was recognised by Times Higher Education as being ranked in the 501-600 categor yof their 2018 World University Rankings, putting us in the top 3% of universities worldwide. In 2017, Times Higher Education also ranked UWS as being in the world's top 200 universities under 50 years of age.
  • As of November 2017 we had 15,990 total students, with 2,732 international (EU and Non-EU) students with our student body covering a third of the globe.
  • 94% of UWS graduates are in work/further study 6 months after graduating - HESA performance indicator 2015/16.
  • We conduct internationally-excellent and world-leading research as confirmed by the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • Top in the UK in the 2017 National Student Survey in Civil Engineering, Engineering Management, Physics, Physics with Nuclear Technology and Law and Business with 100% overall student satisfaction
  • 93% of postgraduate students would recommend us - Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2017.
  • Winner of 'Student Support Team' and 'Research Project' of the year at The Herald Higher Education Awards 2017
  • Winner of NUS Scotland's Higher Education Students' Association of the Year Award in 2013 & 2016
  • Ranked in the top 3 Scottish universities for teaching excellence - The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018
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Contact Info

University of the West of Scotland
Paisley Campus

Tel: +44 (0) 141 848 3000

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Contact Info

University of the West of Scotland
Paisley Campus

Tel: +44 (0) 141 848 3000

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