University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is a dynamic, modern university that ensures its graduates are ready to meet the demands of their chosen profession. The university's four West of Scotland campuses are within easy reach of some of Scotland's most amazing scenery, as well as close to the exciting cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh; and the UWS London campus is in the heart of one of the world's most bustling cities.

Town Centre
Town Centre

In or close to the centre of a town


In or close to the countryside


The university (including student accommodation, teaching, and leisure facilities) is located on one site

UCAS Code: U40

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

This institution did not take part in the TEF. Participation is voluntary. Find out more about TEF.

Student Statistics

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 82%
  • Postgraduate 18%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 81%
  • Part Time 19%

Where students come from

  • UK 90%
  • EU 3%
  • Other 7%

Student gender

  • Male 35%
  • Female 65%

Student Services and Facilities

Libraries and Information Services

  • UWS library has an extensive collection of relevant hard-copy and online study resources that support learning, teaching and research. Each of the university's five campuses has its own library, and students can access resources held throughout the UWS library network and online.
  • Resources include over half a million electronic and print items, with special collections based at the Paisley campus. At Paisley, The Hub is a central information point for students, also allowing them virtual access to support.
  • IT facilities include computer laboratories (including clusters within the libraries) with free e-mail and Wi-Fi access on campus; students are able to use Microsoft Office 365 for the duration of their studies.

Student jobs

  • Teaching has a strong focus on employability, ensuring that students are equipped for the workplace. UWS Careers and Employability Service can offer advice on summer and part-time jobs.
  • There are opportunities for part-time work throughout the year in a variety of roles within the university.
  • Part-time, summer, voluntary and graduate vacancies and placement opportunities can be found on the online vacancies service.

Careers advice

  • One-to-one careers guidance is available to UWS students up to two years after graduating.
  • Qualified careers advisers provide support on career planning, graduate recruitment, placement, part-time work, summer jobs and volunteering. The university is a member of AGCAS Scotland, the professional body for higher education careers advice.
  • Current students can also get academic advice, guidance and resources from academic skills advisers. This support is designed to help enhance students' academic and practical skills for success at university and beyond.

Health services

  • There are a wide range of support services available to ensure that all students fulfil their potential.

Counselling and Mental Health Support

  • UWS is an inclusive and accessible university, committed to ensuring that every student gets the most out of their university experience, regardless of their personal circumstances. With a diverse student population, services are provided on a case-by-case basis, considering each student's unique circumstances and how to best meet their individual needs.
  • Please refer to the university website for details.

Disability support

  • The Disability Service at UWS provides information, advice and guidance to students with a disability, long-standing medical condition or specific learning difference such as dyslexia.
  • The service can assist with study-related support, including assistive technology and human support as well as alternative exam arrangements and applying for Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) funding.
  • Please refer to the university website for details.

Other services and facilities

  • The university also provides money advice, study support, and advice on getting and keeping active – please refer to the university website for details.
  • The following industry-standard specialist facilities are available on campuses relevant to the course delivered. These include recording facilities, studios and laboratories for performance, music and broadcasting; computer games and animation laboratories; design and engineering facilities as well as a Centre for Engineering Excellence; laboratories for science, simulation wards and laboratories for healthcare, nursing and midwifery training; along with sports and exercise laboratories. At the Ayr site, there is also a student-run digital radio station. In 2019, the university is developing laboratory facilities at the new Lanarkshire campus for health and life sciences programmes.

Students' Union

  • The union is run by the Students' Association (SAUWS) for students, by students. It provides a wide range of services and is the collective voice for the student population and the recognised channel of communication between students and the university.
  • The union bars stream major sporting events and host regular stand‐up comedy gigs as well as quiz nights.
  • SAUWS won NUS Scotland's HE Students' Association of the Year award in 2016.


  • Founded in 1897 to offer vocational courses, the university began offering degree studies in the early 1900s and matured to university status in 1992.
  • In 2007 the university merged with Bell College.
  • The name was changed to the University of the West of Scotland in 2007.

Fascinating Fact

  • Research from the University of the West of Scotland will include projects tested on the International Space Station, thanks to a new partnership with the International Space School Education Trust.

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • Darryl Broadfoot – partner at creative agency, Frame.
  • Willie Rennie – leader of Scottish Liberal Democrats.
  • Shamshad Akhtar – executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
  • Gavin Hastings OBE – former Scotland rugby union player.
  • Ali Hunter – assistant editor of political programmes, BBC Scotland.
  • Irene Barkby MBE – director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals, NHS Lanarkshire.
  • Lesley Dalzie – chief financial officer at Axle Group Holdings.
  • Angela Boyle – former vice president at Scottish Development International.
  • Heather Smith – managing director, LV.
  • Kevin Clancy – former senior director of strategic sourcing, Microsoft Corporation.


University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, Scotland, PA1 2BE