University of the West of Scotland

The university provides relevant, high quality, inclusive higher education and innovative research.

University of the West of Scotland is a public university with four campuses in south-western Scotland, in the towns of Paisley, Hamilton, Dumfries and Ayr, as well as a new campus in London.

Paisley Campus

The Philosophical Institution, helped establish the School of Arts in 1836, which become a Government School of Design in 1846, one of twenty similar institutions established in UK manufacturing centres from 1837-1851. They were set up to improve the quality of the country’s product design through training in design for industry. Peter Coats was director of both Paisley Philosophical Institution and the Government School of Design. Later, the Design schools were renamed Schools of Art, and once again as Schools of Art and Science.

Ayr Campus

The establishment of the University of Paisley prompted a merger with Craigie College of Education in Ayr in 1993, and led to the incorporation of Nursing colleges in the town. The Ayr Campus was operated by the University of Paisley before the merger that established UWS. Set in 20 acres (81,000 m2) of the old parkland of Craigie House bordering the River Ayr, the campus also houses the West of Scotland Management Centre, the Business School’s management training and development facility. A new £71.2 million campus for the University in Ayr, shared with the Scottish Agricultural College, designed by international architecture practice RMJM, on a riverside site adjacent to the previous campus, was completed and opened in August 2011.

Dumfries Campus

Students at the Crichton Campus also have the benefit of a dedicated Students’ Association which operates from its offices in the Dumfries and Galloway College building. The Crichton University Campus Students’ Association (CUCSA) is a collective body of volunteers comprising elected representatives from both UWS and the University of Glasgow. Although the existing budget for CUCSA is tiny in comparison to the main students’ association, SAUWS, events are held roughly every month in addition to the expected freshers’ week at the start of the academic year.

Hamilton Campus

The Hamilton campus was founded in 1972 as the Bell College of Technology. The main campus was constructed in Almada Street, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire. A “Memorandum of Understanding” between the College and the University of Strathclyde was signed in 1993 to allow the College to offer degree level courses. In 1995, the Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway Colleges of Nursing & Midwifery were amalgamated into Bell College.

Following extensive consultation with the local authority, stakeholders, students and staff about the future of the Hamilton campus, UWS has decided that Hamilton is set to remain a university town and announced plans to move into Hamilton International Technology Park (HITP).

Ian Welsh OBE, Chair of UWS Court, said: “Following a lengthy discussion, the Court felt the opportunity to develop what would be the UK’s most environmentally friendly, dynamic and vibrant new campus was one that could not be missed. We held detailed discussions with the developers and other stakeholders, who presented a very compelling and convincing business and educational case for HITP, including an exciting and innovative legacy plan for the current campus location which will add even more value to the town centre.”

Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, Professor Craig Mahoney said: “This will be a game-changer for higher education in Scotland and will create the country’s most, dynamic and exciting learning environment, allowing UWS to grow the educational opportunities for students internationally, across the UK, Lanarkshire and the wider central belt.”

London Campus

Located in a vibrant part of the city centre and around a 15 minutes walk from the London Bridge underground and Borough Market and also close to Elephant & Castle and Borough tube stations, launched in March 2016, the London campus provides a delivery point for UWS degree and postgraduate programmes to the international student population in London.

UWS has 6 academic schools which deliver a range of career-focused and professionally recognised Bachelor and Masters qualifications:
  • School of Business and Enterprise
  • School of Education
  • School of Engineering and Computing
  • School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery
  • School of Media, Culture and Society
  • School of Science and Sport

University of the West of Scotland is committed to providing students with the best possible facilities to support them in their studies. Each of our campuses at Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley, boasts a well-stocked library plus computer laboratories with free e-mail and web access.

Across the full range of subjects, specialised facilities and equipment enable students at UWS to develop their skills and gain practical experience to supplement their theoretical knowledge.

The necessities of life are looked after by our accommodation and catering services, while the Students’ Association and Sports Centres offer plenty of entertainment and leisure opportunities.