The Parents' Guide to UWS

Studying at university is an exciting, enriching and rewarding experience, offering a wealth of opportunities for personal development and growth.

As a parent or guardian, you are likely to play an important part in your child's decision to go to university, as well a key supporting role during their studies. This can range from financial assistance to emotional support.

The information below is intended to help you support your child in making one of the biggest decisions of their life.

UWS Student Enjoying Life | Information for Parents | University of the West of Scotland

Choosing a course 

With such a wide range of exciting, stimulating and career-relevant courses available at UWS, deciding which is right for your child can be a significant undertaking.

They might choose to continue studying a subject that are familiar with, or take an entirely new subject.

It is crucial that your child choses a subject they are passionate about and that will continue to interest them over a three or four year period of study.

It is, of course, also important that the course aligns to your child's intended career path, if they have one in mind.

You can find out about the study options available at UWS using our course search below.

Prospective Students Visiting UWS Open Days | University of the West of Scotland

Visit UWS

We hold open days and information sessions throughout the year that are aimed at students considering studying at UWS. You and your child can see what it's like to live and study at UWS, and find out more about the degree courses we offer. 

This can help you reach a decision about whether UWS is the right choice for your child.

Find out more about our open days

The application process

If your son or daughter decides that attending UWS is the right option for them, they’ll need to submit an application.

Most applications for undergraduate study are made through the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) website, and it is likely that your son or daughter will complete much of this application at school.

If you live outside the UK, or if your son or daughter is applying for postgraduate study, this is normally done through our online application system.

Applying to study at university is a competitive process and it’s important that prospective students submit the strongest possible application to help them to stand out from the crowd.

However they apply, and whatever the level of study, your child will need to complete a personal statement to tell us about:

  • Themselves, their interests and goals
  • Their interest in the course(s) they’ve chosen
  • Their career aspirations
  • Any volunteering, work experience or paid employment

Alongside their academic qualifications, the personal statement is one of the most elements of the application things that we will use to make a decision on whether your son or daughter is offered study at UWS so it is important that this is as detailed as possible.

To help you to understand what to expect from our application processes, we’ve developed step-by-step guides.


If your son or daughter doesn’t get the grades they expected to get into their first-choice or back-up degree course, they can still attend university through clearing.

Clearing is a process used by universities to offer unfilled places on degree courses.

Clearing typically takes place immediately after exam results are issued so it’s important to assess your options and move quickly.

Each year, we post available course vacancies on our dedicated clearing website in addition to UCAS’s clearing service.

The Exam Results Helpline – 0808 100 8000 – offers impartial, expert advice to help your son or daughter to apply through clearing.

Money matters

Attending university is an investment in your son or daughter’s future. Once they have a confirmed place on a degree course, it’s important to work out how much study is likely to cost, and what financial support is available.

Tuition fees

The country in which your son or daughter is ordinarily resident will determine how much they’ll have to pay in tuition fees.

Tuition fees can be paid upfront, or your son or daughter can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover the costs of their academic study.

Find out more about tuition fees

Living costs

The costs of living in our campus locations are generally lower than attending university in major cities, such as Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Your son or daughter can also take out a loan to support their living costs during their time at university. The amount your son or daughter will be able to borrow depends on a number of factors, including your household income.

UWS also administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more about financial support for students

Parent & Student Exploring UWS Accommodation in Scotland | University of the West of Scotland


Staying in University-managed accommodation is a great way for your son or daughter to meet new people, make friends and gain some independence. All with the reassurance that our Residence Life team are onsite for help and support.

A variety of self-catered accommodation is available at our campuses in Ayr, Dumfries, Lanarkshire and Paisley in the form of shared flats or studios

Students attending the UWS London Campus generally find their own accommodation, either in the form of a private let or privately managed residence.


Student support and 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.

That's why we offer a wide range of support services to ensure that all students fulfil their potential, achieve their goals and enjoy their time at UWS.

Our commitment to our students was recognised with the UWS student services team being named as ‘Student Support Team of the Year’ in the 2017 Herald Higher Education Awards.

Our campus-based student services teams provide:

  • Careers and employability guidance
  • Study skills
  • Disability services
  • Counselling
  • Funding and money advice
  • International student support

Further information

If you would like to find out more about your child's future at UWS, you can contact us: 

Additionally, the UCAS website has a dedicated section for parents with information to help you support your son or daughter throughout the UCAS application cycle.

Last updated: 23/02/2018