University clubs and societies

Clubs and societies form a hugely important part of student life. They cater for virtually all tastes and interests, and can be one of the best ways of taking time away from study and meeting likeminded people.

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Each university and college is different, but most places will have clubs and societies for all popular recreations and interests. ‘Raising and Giving’ (RAG) societies are often busy on campus all year, organising stunts and fundraising for good causes. The major political parties (and some minor ones too) usually have student branches, and there are cultural societies for people of ethnic minorities, international students and students of foreign languages. Religious and faith groups are also likely to be well represented on campus.

If you’re into the outdoor life, you should be well provided for, wherever you are studying. Rambling, cycling and conservation societies can be found at most universities and HE colleges, and you may find yourself tempted by more unusual pursuits. Ever tried caving, kayaking or parachute-jumping? This could be your chance!

Indoor pursuits are popular too – film clubs, music groups and drama societies are a staple part of student life almost everywhere. Minority activities are also often surprisingly well represented: from circus skills, dance classes and computer-gaming to wine-tasting, photography and yoga. The list is endless!

Student campaigning is a traditional part of life in HE, and if you feel strongly about making a positive difference in the world there are a number of leading organisations with dedicated student links. You will find their stalls at Fresher’s fair, which takes place early in the autumn term.

You will also find voluntary organisations on campus, if you would like to give time to support good causes. If you are interested in finding out about voluntary work, click here.

The bigger the institution, the more societies there are likely to be! To get an idea of the sheer range of activities on offer, take a look at this directory of university clubs and societies. If you can’t see from this whether your university or college has the club you want, try contacting the student union.

Also, make sure you attend the Fresher’s fair near the beginning of the autumn term, where most groups will have a stall and be eager to sign up new members. And a final thought: if your perfect club does not exist, why not set it up

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