23 Weird and wonderful societies at UK universities
Published Published 11 Jul 2018
Writer at Unite Students
There are two ways to join a university society. You can take the sensible route and join a society related to your course. You’ll mix with like-minded souls, and get some experience to shout about on your CV.
Or, you can join something barmy and have a right laugh with a bunch of strangers who become mates.
Here are 23 of the weirdest and most wonderful societies around.
Given the choice, who wouldn’t join a gang called the Robogals? Female participation in the STEM subjects is low, and the Robogals want to change that. Sign-up to inspire schoolgirls to pursue STEM subjects in education and as careers.
Between the ages of 5 and 11, rounders is the sports cornerstone of the British school curriculum. This cricket-baseball hybrid reappears in our lives many years later, as a ‘fun’ activity for parents at their kids’ sports day - and at group picnics. Bags of fun.
Here at the Common Room, we’re always talking about the twin joys of learning to cook and eating with others. At this society, you’ll be placed in a group with four or five strangers and, over six weeks, you’ll each take turns to cook and score each other’s food. Brilliant.
Bournemouth University SU’s website lists this as a ‘special interest’ group. I agree, cheese (all cheese) is very special. Not one for the vegans, but this group deserves its spot on our list purely for squeezing five cheese puns into a four-sentence description.
Since Jeff Goldblum taught us that ‘life finds a way’, we’ve all had a budding paleontologist hacking away inside of us - trying to get out. Unleash your inner fossil-hunter by joining DINOSOC. Expect plenty of guest lectures, field trips, and socials.
University is all about new experiences. According to this society’s webpage, AcroRock is 'a spectacular and energetic dance style' that 'combines rock 'n' roll dancing and acrobatics to the rhythm of rock and popular music'. I’d be willing to bet that’s new to you.
I can’t decide whether I think assassins’ societies are really weird or a lot of fun. I guess you’ll have to find out for me. Members take part by using safe ‘weaponry’ to ‘hunt’ and ‘kill’ each other in games that take place across the city. May the odds be ever in your favour.
‘I like chocolate. Do you like chocolate?’ Yes, forget what you’ve heard about bonding over Harry Potter, Jane Austen, or Marxism - all you really need to make friends at university is a deep love of Dairy Milk. ChocSoc: Edinburgh Uni students, DO IT.
I wouldn’t want to live in a world where (almost) grown adults don’t run around firing foam projectiles at each other for fun. I just wouldn’t. It comes as a great relief to me then, to learn that the good folk of Exeter’s Nerf Society are keeping my dreams alive.
We turn now to the ‘wonderful’ portion of our show. This society at the University of Glasgow organises one-to-one mentoring sessions for kids from deprived areas of the city, helping them to ‘achieve their potential’ and ‘live flourishing lives’.
The most beautiful make-up a woman can wear? Passion. Not my words, the words of the brilliantly-acronymed MUSH. Although, as YouTube star Looking for Lewys proves, make-up isn’t only for women - so I’m sure this society is open to all.
We’ve been staring up at the heavens for thousands of years. And ever since Galileo learned to harness the power of refraction, we’ve been doing it pretty well. Sign up for AstroSoc and enjoy stargazing, lectures, and overnight camping trips. Heavenly.
In case you haven’t already noticed, this list is mostly comprised of societies with clever names. This is by far the cleverest, so hats off to whoever came up with this double pun. Tap into your inner B-Sharp by becoming 25% of a barbershop quartet.
Another one for the warblers. The stated aim of the Karaoke Society is to ‘promote the self confidence of each member of our society’. They also encourage mic drops, and don’t mind if you sing out of tune. What’s not to like?
With so many universities across London, there was extremely stiff competition for this place. But no society exists for a nobler purpose than Greenwich’s Gus Appreciation Society, which comes together just to love and appreciate Gus - their union’s cat.
It’s not clear whether this society actually appreciates the greatest animated science show of all time, or whether it just meets to discuss science in a darkly-comedic way. Whatever, it’s got Rick and Morty on it and that’s good enough for me.
If you’re studying in Newcastle and you want to inject some spontaneity into uni life, this could be the society for you. You won’t know the location of their socials until 20 minutes beforehand, then it’s a mad dash to wherever they are!
Yep, it’s confirmed: this is just a list of stuff I like. LegoSoc at the University of Nottingham meets every week for a themed building contest, plus of course an annual pilgrimage to Legoland Windsor. Also: stop-motion animation contests and film nights. Awesome!
If you don’t like being underwater, look away now. Octopush is essentially a game of ice hockey, played at the bottom of a swimming pool. It looks just as crazy as it sounds. This group caters for all levels, and you’ll get to go to Bognor Regis. Winning.
Reading’s reigning society of the year is the ideal place to make new friends. For an hour and a half every Tuesday night, get in touch with your arty and crafty sides. There’s also socials, a summer party, and free ice cream in week eight. All for just £10 per year.