supporting your wellbeing
At UWS, we are committed to ensuring that every student gets the most out of their university experience, regardless of their personal circumstances or background. We have a wide range of support services available to ensure that all students fulfil their potential, achieve their goals and enjoy their time at UWS. We aim to provide a safe and supportive environment, and create compassionate communities in which our students to can study, live, socialise and thrive.
Staying healthy, looking after yourself and connecting with others is important at any time of life, but particularly right now.
We want to strongly reassure you that UWS, like all universities, has the wellbeing of our community uppermost in our minds at all times. UWS has played an imporant role in supporting students, colleagues, the local community, and wider national efforts during the pandemic. You can read about the various ways we are tackling coronavirus together here.
We are encouraging all students to download the Protect Scotland app if you are at one of our Scottish campuses, to help with national Covid-19 tracing efforts. It is important that we all play our part to ensure UWS campuses are a safe place to be. You can view the UWS COVID Commitment here.
On this page you will find information about the University support services alongside tips and advice on how to look after your mental wellbeing.
Frequently Asked Questions
The safety and wellbeing of our students and colleagues is our number one priority at UWS. We champion student wellbeing through a number of sector-leading initiatives promoting healthy lifestyles, healthy minds and a strong and positive outlook for the future. UWS and the Students’ Union have been working together to ensure students are aware of, and continue to access, the full range of support services available at UWS – an important factor as we deliver our hybrid model of learning and teaching from September 2020.
Check out our FAQs below to find out more about the range of support on offer and tips on looking after your wellbeing.
Wellbeing support at UWS
Q: What University support services are available?
A: Below is a range of University support services on offer to students at UWS. All student services teams have been continuing to operate remotely offering the full range of support. Students can access this support via email, phone call or video conferencing:
The Hub - The Hub is a central contact point for student services teams. Hub staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about wellbeing support. Hub staff can also help with a whole range of practical tasks too, from password resets to enrolment and finance enquiries. You can contact the hub in person, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone on 0141 848 3800 or find information and guidance at hub.uws.ac.uk
Disability - if you have a disability, a long-standing medical condition or a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, the Disability Service can help you make the most of your time at UWS.
Counselling - a professional and confidential counselling service where students can explore, and get support for, anything that is impacting on their emotional wellbeing. The University’s Counselling service also leads online group mindfulness sessions for students which take place every Wednesday between 3pm and 4pm. If you’re interested in taking part, students should email email@example.com for the details.
Multi-faith chaplaincy - our multi-faith chaplaincy services welcomes and celebrates people of all faiths. Whatever your beliefs, you’ll find space for reflection on campus and personal support from the multi-faith chaplaincy team.
Sport and fitness - Staying active is an important part of maintaining physical and mental wellbeing. Students at each UWS campus have access to a range of sporting and fitness facilities to keep fit and healthy.
Residences - Staying in University accommodation during your studies is a great way to meet new people, make new friends and gain some independence. During the pandemic, additional procedures have been introduced to ensure you stay safe in our accommodation with enhanced cleaning and social distancing. Our Residence Team is on-hand 24/7 to provide onsite help and support, and to make special provision for those who may be self-isolating or quarantined at the start of their stay, or at any point during the academic year.
Health and safety - Our Health and Safety Services department works with governments, funders, health professionals and others to ensure UWS is compliant with national guidance in our planning for a welcoming and COVID-19 secure learning and campus experience for all students and colleagues.
SilverCloud - You can also check out SilverCloud, the University's digital therapy service. The web resource is composed of a library of courses and resources which are all based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (an evidence-based psychological treatment). The University has gifted free access to this resource to all students, so why not take this time to invest your mental health? The programme includes a module on overcoming Challenging Times aimed at boosting resilience and helping you navigate Covid-19. Sign up for free.
The Students’ Union - The Student Union works collaboratively with the University to ensure your wellbeing and support needs are met. It has a team of elected course reps, school officers and four full-time student sabbatical officers, who are there to listen to you, represent you and lead your Students’ Union to improve UWS for everyone. The Welfare and Advice Service will continue to offer online advice and support to all students. For more information on our Welfare and Advice service, please visit the website.
The Students’ Union will be offering a range of clubs and societies, when that is possible and in-line with government guidance. This will give you a chance to get to know your fellow students, and of course, have fun!
MyDay – MyDay is your virtual university campus. Please click on the Student Support tile in MyDay to get further information, tips and advice from each of the specialist student support teams.
Q: How can I be sure it is safe to study at UWS?
A: UWS has the wellbeing of our community uppermost in our minds at all times. Our comprehensive and detailed range of Covid-19 safety measures cover all aspects of University life. You can have confidence that UWS is fully compliant with both the detail and spirit of national public health guidance. We are looking forward to delivering a high-quality educational experience for all of our students in the coming academic year. If you have a long-term health condition or disability that makes you particularly concerned for your health and wellbeing, please follow government and public health advice and consider the risks associated with work and return to study. You may want to talk this through with your G.P. or with the Disability Team.
Q: What should I do if I feel unwell or think I have contracted COVID-19?
A: It is important to remember to follow NHS Scotland and Scottish Government advice on COVID-19 and adhere to the guidance regarding self-isolating if you test positive, develop symptoms, or think you may have the virus, in order to keep you and the whole University community safe. All students and colleagues are reminded to stay off campus should they develop any COVID-19 symptoms, and book a test via the NHS Test & Protect. The main symptoms to be aware of are a new, continuous cough, a fever or high temperature, and/or a loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.
In the event someone develops symptoms on one of our Scottish campuses and is unable to immediately get safely home by themselves, the following procedures should be followed.
We are also developing a brief form for students and colleagues to complete online should they develop symptoms or a positive test. This form will identify any campuses the person has attended in the 48 hours leading up to symptoms appearing, and anybody they have been in close contact with. This information will help UWS to support Test & Protect, and provide an early notification of any potential clusters of cases as early as possible. The information will be held in strict confidence for 21 days, with access tightly controlled.
You can also find out more by reading this letter from the Scottish Government to students in further and higher education regarding COVID-19 testing and common cold / flu like symptoms.
It is important that we all play our part to ensure UWS campuses are a safe place to be. View the UWS COVID Commitment here.
Q: I am self-isolating / quarantined / locked down. What help and advice is available to me?
A: If you are unsure of what you can and can’t do during self-isolation, please have a look at the following link for students studying at London Campus and here for students studying at any of our Scottish campuses. If you require support during your period of isolation please visit The Hub online at hub.uws.ac.uk, call us on 0141 848 3800 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We will put you in touch with the relevant student support services. Our ‘check in and chat’ service is available primarily to international students staying in UWS residences or private accommodation and you can book an appointment here. However if any of our students would like to utilise this service we would be happy to hear from you.
Q: Do I need to quarantine/self-isolate if I am travelling to the UK from overseas?
A: If you are entering the UK from certain countries you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days in your arranged accommodation. This means you will not be able to leave your University or private accommodation for the first 14 days after you arrive in the UK. It is important that you adhere to this in order to protect yourself and the student community. You will also be asked to complete a form to provide your contact details and travel information. Arrivals from certain countries will be exempt. Full information can be found online here for students studying at London Campus and here for students studying at any of our Scottish campuses.
If you require support during your period of isolation please visit The Hub online at hub.uws.ac.uk, call us on 0141 848 3800 or email us at email@example.com.We will put you in touch with the relevant student support services. Our ‘check in and chat’ service is available primarily to international students staying in UWS residences or private accommodation and you can book an appointment here. However if any of our students would like to utilise this service we would be happy to hear from you.
Q: I will be living in UWS student accommodation after travelling to the UK from overseas. What support will be in place for me during my 14-day quarantine period?
A: Our team are on site 24 hours per day, 7 days a week should you require support and the welcome guide in your bedroom has a list of contact numbers and email addresses you can use to contact us. We also have a Res Life team that are available out with our office hours to assist you. Our team will arrange regular telephone and video calls with you throughout your quarantine period and we’re here any time you need us for support outwith these arranged times too. Our International Student Support Team are also available with a range of support which will be communicated to you.
Q: What support will be available to me before I join/return in September?
A: UWS has a wide range of support available for both new and continuing students. Please contact The Hub if you have any questions or would like to find out more about the support on offer. Hub staff will be happy to answer your question, or to direct you to the appropriate team or service. You can contact The Hub by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone on 0141 848 3800 or find information and guidance at hub.uws.ac.uk
Q: I’m feeling stressed, anxious and/or depressed – what support can you offer?
A: We recognise this is a worrying time for everyone – and, here at UWS, your mental health is incredibly important to us. UWS has a professional and easily accessible counselling service which can help you if you are feeling stressed or worried. You can find out more about this service and making an appointment here .
We also encourage students to check out SilverCloud – an online programme which can help you learn practical strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. It’s free and conﬁdential, and you can work at your own pace. It’s easy to use - interactive tools and activities make your experience interesting and motivational. Silvercloud gives you secure, immediate access to interactive and engaging online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) modules. For information and to sign up, please visit our SilverCloud webpage.
Q: I have caring responsibilities and need to plan ahead. When will I be able to access my timetable?
A: We are busy working on the timetable to ensure compliance with government and public health requirements. Term 1 2020/21 Student Timetables are now in Outlook365 Calendars and MyDay. Timetables will only display on-campus and online scheduled events, which make up part of your full teaching schedule. Timetables may change subject to government guidance or other needs, but you will be automatically emailed should there be any changes to your timetable starting from 28 September 2020.
Q: Is there any financial support available to me?
The Funding and Advice team in Student Services provides advice on a range of financial support available for students. If you are funded by SAAS, funding to support your living costs and childcare may be available through the SAAS Discretionary Funds. Students must meet the criteria set by SAAS and details are outlined in the following link. Further information is available via the Funding Team website.
Q: I have a disability – how can I arrange support for on campus and remote learning?
A: If you have a disability, please contact email@example.com. We’ll send you a support request form and, once completed and returned, we’ll arrange for you to speak to an adviser to discuss your support requirements for both on campus and remote learning. We can also help you complete an application for Disabled Students Allowance.
Q: Can I access any support to help with technology costs?
A: If you are experiencing financial hardship and are unable to fund the cost of essential technology needed for your studies, you may be able to borrow equipment from the University, through a new Digital Hardship Scheme.
You should do this as soon as possible as the scheme has limited equipment available and will be managed on a first come, first served basis, with priority given to those in most need. The application form provides further detail so please read this carefully.
You should only apply to this new scheme if you have not already been given support to purchase technology.
If you are not a UK student and require access to technology, please contact The Hub (by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0141 848 3800) and you’ll be advised about available support.
Q: I’ve been in the shielding category throughout the pandemic: what support is available to me and do I have to come on to campus to learn?
A: The current advice from the NHS and UK and Scottish Governments is that most people who were shielding can now follow the advice for the general population, however, you should continue to strictly follow physical distancing and hygiene measures. If you have a disability or long term health condition and are worried about the risks associated with a return to university please speak to your G.P. and seek advice from UWS Disability Team email@example.com
Q: I have moved away from home to study at UWS – how can I register with a GP in my campus area?
A: Whether you’re new to Scotland or just to the local area, be sure to register with a local GP as soon as you can. Most GP surgeries are taking online applications. You can find details of local doctors’ surgeries and other health services here. London students can find local GP services here.
Q: It will really help me to know what my academic experience will be this year – where can I find out about that?
A: As part of our commitment to providing as much information to students as possible ahead of the start of the 2020/21 academic year, in addition to this student wellbeing section of our welcome/welcome back site, we also have dedicated sections relating to learning and teaching, digital skills support and specific information for our research students. Check these pages out to find out more about what you can expect when the academic year begins and what support is available to you.
If you’re experiencing worries about your academic work your Personal Tutor or Year Leader is an excellent point of contact. They can give you practical advice, talk you through your options and explain the different support services available to you.
The Get Study Ready Resource which has been developed by the UWS Academic Skills team will also help you feel prepared for your studies. The resource has practical advice for getting set up for hybrid learning along with a range of tools, techniques and tips for study success.
Q: I’m not on campus as often as usual this term. Can I still access free sanitary products?
A: The University normally provides access to a range of free sanitary products on all of our campuses. You can find out more about this here and can rest assured that we are working hard to continue to deliver this in the current climate and you will still find supplies in the usual washrooms, and at The Hub on Lanarkshire and Paisley campuses.
We understand that the current climate might mean that you are not attending the campus as often as you normally would. To combat this, we will be making larger packs of products available in key areas across the campus. You will be able to take what you need to last you.
If you are staying in UWS Residences, you will also be able to access supplies within the residences and can ask the Res Life Team about this.
Reusable/sustainable products, such as menstrual cups and reusable pads, are also available through the Students’ Union. You should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request these types of products or to ask any questions you might have about them. While access to the campuses is limited, we can work with you to make arrangements for accessing these products.
Support for international students
UWS is a truly international university and every year we welcome hundreds of international students into our vibrant and diverse academic community. We do everything we can to help you prepare for life at UWS and support you during your studies. You can find out more specific information for international students joining us this September here.
You can also find information on MyDay by selecting student support and choosing international students, where there are a range of useful links you can access on the latest guidance and information about how to contact us.
Or you can access International Student Support for further information on student immigration including tier 4 visas and health and wellbeing support.
Support for students in residences
Our accommodation has remained open to our students, providing a welcoming and supportive environment, and our residences will be available when students arrive on our Ayr and Paisley campuses. Please rest assured that we will do all we can to support our students, including facilitating early entry, if required, to our residences at no extra charge, where students will receive appropriate support. You can find out more and apply for UWS student accommodation here.
Find out more about what you can expect when you arrive at the UWS residences in September 2020 here.
Sport at UWS
Q: I know it benefits my overall wellbeing if I can get to the gym or take part in sport – what is available at UWS at the start of the new academic year?
A: At UWS, we recognise the transformative power of physical activity and sport in enabling health and wellbeing. University is an exciting time in your life and we are here to help you make the most of this experience and to provide opportunities to support your health and wellbeing.
As part of this commitment, we offer free gym memberships to all of our students at our UWS-operated facilities. We have partnership arrangements in place at our Dumfries campus to allow UWS students to access Dumfries and Galloway College facilities and we are exploring options at our London campus to allow our UWS students to access health and fitness facilities.
Joining the gym is the first part of your journey as an active member of Team UWS. Specific plans for the safe re-opening of UWS gyms are being finalised in line with government advice.
We also have a range of sport teams as part of Team UWS. Team UWS individual athletes and sports teams represent the University across a range of local and national competitions and events. As part of the plan to return to sport, UWS Sport colleagues are working with Scottish Student Sport (SSS) and British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) to ensure our students are kept up-to-date with sports programmes and competition plans. SSS are currently finalising arrangements for activity in term one and BUCS competitive programmes are planned for January 2021.
Q: Can I access the gym given the current Covid-19 situation?
A: Users will be able to contact gym staff to find out about availability and book sessions at the Ayr, Paisley or Lanarkshire gyms directly: there will be restricted access and all gym users will be required to follow new covid-related regulations.
Gym opening times are:
Ayr Campus Gym:
Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri: 1030-1945*; Wed 0830-1945*;
(*Closure for Cleaning 1430-1600);
Lanarkshire Campus Gym:
Mon-Fri: 0800 – 2000*
(*Closure for cleaning 1400-1500)
Paisley Campus Gym:
(*Closure for cleaning 1430-1600)
Q: How do I activate my free UWS Student Gym Membership?
A: You can complete the membership process through MyDay by logging in, selecting the Fitness & Sport tab, then your preferred campus and click the ‘Join Gym Now’ highlighted in the red box and complete the attached form. You should report to the gym staff on your first visit to activate your Gym Membership.
Q: How do I find out more about UWS campus gyms?
A: Please click on a link below to connect to the specific UWS Gym social media pages:
Q: Who do I contact to find out more about UWS gyms, sports facilities and opportunities?
A: Key Team UWS contacts are:
Ayr Campus Gym: email@example.com
Lanarkshire Campus Gym: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paisley Campus Gym: email@example.com
Robertson Trust Sport Centre: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Enquiries - Including Dumfries & London: email@example.com
Q: What sports club opportunities are there at UWS?
A: Team UWS has a range of sport teams across numerous disciplines and our students represent UWS in both individual and team competitions at Scottish and British level university competition. For more up-to-date information please follow the links below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Team UWS
Twitter: Team UWS
Instagram: Team UWS
Q: What sports clubs can I join?
A: Please click on a link below to connect to the Team UWS specific sports club Facebook pages:
Q: Who do I contact to find out more about Team UWS
A: Key Team UWS contacts are:
Team UWS Sports President: SportsPresident@uws.ac.uk,
General Enquiries: email@example.com
Q: Do UWS offer any specific support for high performing student athletes/players?
A: UWS Sport operate a scholarship programme which offers funding, flexibility and support to top sportspeople to assist in managing the demands of competitive sport and study. To apply for a sport scholarship click here UWS Sports Scholarship
Shared Statement from Principals to Students on safe start to academic year
UWS is joining with other universities and higher education institutions from across Scotland to share our joint commitment to keeping our communities safe.
Principals and Directors of Scotland's universities and higher education institutions have prepared a shared statement to students on how they are working to ensure a safe academic year.
UWS, like all universities, has the wellbeing of our community uppermost in our minds at all times. As indicated in our shared higher education leaders’ statement, UWS students can have confidence we’re fully compliant with both the detail and spirit of national public health guidance and we’re looking forward to delivering a high-quality and supportive educational experience for all of our students in the coming academic year.
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of UWS
Useful links for tips and advice
The following links offer useful tips and advice on how to look after your mental wellbeing:
- Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak by the Mental Health Foundation
- Free guided meditation from Headspace
- Coronavirus: 8 ways to look after your mental health from Mental Health Europe
- Coronavirus and your wellbeing from MIND
- Adjusting to working from home from Student Minds
- ‘It’s tough, but we will pull through’ - blog from UWS Sports President, Joe, from Student Minds
- Starting University advice from Charlie Waller