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University of the West of Scotland

PhD Programmes



With origins dating back to 1897, University of the West of Scotland is one of Scotland’s most innovative modern universities. The four UWS campuses cover the west and south-west of Scotland in Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley, as well as a new campus in London.


University of the West of Scotland offers a range of career-focused undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree opportunities across six academic schools.


UWS's research vision is to deliver transformational change through outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.

While our work covers an enormous breadth of interests, our activities fall into three key strategic themes:

  • Health
  • Society
  • Sustainability

Across these themes, the majority of our activities fall into multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations across a number of research areas.


Careers guidance

Our team of advisers are ready to help with career planning, graduate recruitment, work placements, part-time work, summer jobs and volunteering. We offer one-to-one guidance sessions tailored to individual students needs on all matters relating to career plans, including: 

  • Specific career options  
  • Employment market information 
  • Job search and selection processes 
  • Changing or leaving a course 
  • Finding work and study opportunities 
  • Helping to identify your skills and strengths 
  • Using social media for your career

University Ranking

World University Rankings by Times Higher Education
401 100
501 100
World University Rankings is a vital resource that provides the definitive list of the world's best universities.


Student services

UWS is an inclusive and accessible modern university. We are committed to ensuring that every student gets the most out of their university experience, regardless of their personal circumstances. 

We have a range of services available for students who need extra support during their studies including discretionary and childcare funds, counselling services and help with study skills to prepare for degree level study.  

Housing services

Staying in University accommodation during your studies is a great way to meet new people, make new friends and gain some independence with the reassurance that our Residence Life team are always onsite for help and support.

Each UWS campus has a choice of accommodation on offer. A variety of self-catered accommodation is available at our campuses in Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley in the form of shared flats or studios. All offer a safe and friendly environment close to main campus buildings and near to local amenities within the west of Scotland. Students attending the UWS London Campus generally find their own accommodation, either in the form of a private let or privately managed residence.

Library services

UWS Library has an extensive collection of relevant hard-copy and online study resources that support learning, teaching and research. Each of our five campuses has its own library, and students can access resources held throughout the UWS Library network and online.

ICT services

UWS accommodation comes with everything you need to get quickly settled into your new home including fully equipped shared kitchens, onsite laundry facilities and free Wi-Fi. 

Medical services

Staying healthy, looking after yourself and feeling good are important at any time of life, but particularly while you are a student. UWS have a range of services to support you during your studies and help you achieve success.

Student Life

Campus life

Our Scottish campuses are located within historic towns that allow easy commuting to Scotland's largest city, Glasgow or Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh. Scotland's arts and cultural scene is second to none. With plenty of museums, art galleries, pubs, clubs and shopping, there are entertainment options for everyone.

Each location has its own individual character, architecture and social-scene. Whether you choose an urban or rural environment, our campuses offer modern accommodation, varied extra-curricular activities and excellent teaching and study facilities

Sports facilities

Going to university is about much more than getting a qualification, it’s also the chance to enjoy an exciting new social life, gain some independence and make the most of all the new opportunities available to you.

UWS students come from all over the world and you’ll find a great community feel and real energy on our campuses. There are lots of opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities and build friendships for life.

University of the West of Scotland operate sports facilities for students across our Ayr, Hamilton and Paisley campuses. Students at our Dumfries Campus have access to facilities through a partnership with Dumfries & Galloway College.  

Student clubs

SAUWS, our award-winning Students’ Association, is run for students by students. SAUWS organise and deliver a wide range of social and sporting events all year round and campaign with you and on your behalf on the issues that really matter to you.

Paisley, Scotland, United Kingdom