University of the West of Scotland

Rank 126
Location Paisley, Hamilton, Dumfries and Ayr, Scotland
Established 2007
International Students 6.9%
Famous Courses Computing, Accounting, Finance
International Fees £12,600-14,100
Key Information
Location Paisley, Hamilton, Dumfries and Ayr, Scotland
Established 2007
Famous Courses Computing, Accounting, Finance
International Fees £12,600-14,100


The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) was formed in August 2007 by the merging of the University of Paisley with Bell College. 16,000 students are currently enrolled and it is the largest modern university in Scotland, spread across four campuses in Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley.

The University has six academic schools and, following the last National Student Survey, 84% of students were happy with UWS. Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering, Chemistry, Cinematics & Photography and Civil Engineering were also top in the Scottish sector for overall satisfaction.

The University of the West Scotland is one of Scotland's most vocational higher education institutions, boasting strong links with industrial and commercial partners. Students can take the option of a year's paid work placement as part of many degrees. Computing is a key strength, now formally acknowledged by an excellent teaching assessment. The institution also has Scotland’s largest school of health, nursing and midwifery. Accounting and finance research was rated world-class in the last assessments, achieving the highest ranking of any subject at a modern university in Scotland.

Services for International Students

Pre-sessional English language courses are available and run for 5-8 weeks before the beginning of term. The University of the West of Scotland has a dedicated team of International Student Advisors who can help students on a range of issues such as visas, working in the UK and general wellbeing, as well as running a buddy system with existing students.

Apply for University of the West of Scotland

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In REF 2021, Ninety per cent of the University of the West of Scotland's research was rated world-leading, internationally excellent or recognised internationally.

The University also increased its position for research intensity, now ranking within the top 90 universities in the UK.

UWS’s REF results include an outstanding performance for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism, ranking within the top three Scottish universities in this area, with 71 per cent of research recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

The University also saw 100 per cent of its impact in Physics recognised as internationally excellent.


The University of the West of Scotland has just under 1,000 accommodation places in the Paisley, Ayr and Hamilton campuses, with accommodation at the Dumfries campus operated by the University of Glasgow. The Paisley campus accommodation recently underwent a £17.6 million redevelopment. All accommodation is self-catered and first year students are given priority.


The University operates four campuses in the south and south-west of Scotland, giving students from outside the area a chance to live in a beautiful part of the country. Paisley is seven miles west of Glasgow and as such is ideally located for access to some of Scotland's, and the worlds, most beautiful and historic places such as Edinburgh and Stirling. The Ayr Campus is located on the west coast of Scotland, while Dumfries is located two miles from the centre of the town and the Hamilton campus is in Lanarkshire.

Paisley campus is two miles from Glasgow airport and 10 minutes from the centre of Glasgow by train. Hamilton campus is 15 minutes by train from Glasgow, Ayr campus is 40 minutes from Glasgow by car or train. Dumfries campus is reached by bus from Dumfries centre. From Glasgow, London is about 5 hours away by train.</p

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