Joining a society is a great way to make friends and have fun while you’re at university. Whether it is your department’s society or something sporty, there is plenty to choose from wherever you go. However, in true student style, people have, of course, formed many more niche and bizarre groups. So we’ve done some digging through student union pages and asked around among students to find the weirdest societies at UK unis. Would you join any of these?
1. Hummus Society, The University of Birmingham
Can you even be a student if you don’t like hummus? This chickpea spread has developed a very loyal fanbase among university students but we’re not that surprised. It’s delicious and vegan, two things that a lot of us tend to gravitate towards. So, it’s no wonder that hummus societies have started to pop up across the UK, just like the one at the University of Birmingham.
Members of UoB Hummus Soc meet up to make, share and eat hummus together, turning the tasty snack into a fun and social activity.
2. Human Powered Submarine Society, The University of Southampton
There are plenty of engineering related societies at universities but the idea of a submarine society is as cool as it may sound strange. Joining this society will make for a great introduction at parties and a story to tell in the future but it’s also just plain impressive.
This year the society is looking for new members to help engineer and dive with the sub as they aim to compete in the European International Submarine Races in Gosport. Not only dos that sound really fun but it’ll also look great on the CV.
3. Quidditch Club, The University of Oxford
While Quidditch and Harry Potter societies aren’t uncommon at UK universities, there’s something about playing the game at the real world equivalent of Hogwarts that makes it different. The rules of real life Quidditch aren’t identical to J K Rowling’s creation but, flying aside, players still ride broomsticks, chase a golden snitch (though this is another player with a tennis ball that the others must catch) and play with ‘quaffles’ and ‘bludgers’.
To us, it’s hilarious to imagine Oxford’s brightest minds running about on broomsticks, but, if we had an invite, we’d definitely go and join in!
4. Cheese Society, The University of Bristol
Birmingham’s hummus society isn’t the only student group dedicated to food. The University of Bristol Cheese Society is for anyone who is ‘totally crackers about cheese’ and fancies joining in with social activities centred around food.
Besides eating, the group also hosts and attends a bunch of other events, from bar crawls to quizzes, tasting competitions to trips to Bath cheese festival and even a day out to Cheddar Gorge! And it’s not limited to just cheese. They sample wines, chutneys, breads and pates as well.
5. SocieTEA, The University of Bath
The most British sounding society ever, SocieTEA at The University of Bath is a group of students who just love our nation’s favourite beverage. After all, a good cuppa can solve any problem and when the stresses of uni life are getting to much, what better way to relax? Instead of bar crawls, the tea society does café crawls, a perfect idea for when you’d rather socialise sober, and holds fortnightly meetings.
In the interest of staying environmentally friendly, SocieTEA members bring their own mugs along with them to meetings to enjoy a drink with friends.
6. 20 Minute Society, Newcastle University
20 Minutes Society is arguably the strangest and most mysterious society at any UK university. Only suitable for the most spontaneous of students, all activities begin with just 20 minutes prior notice. However, for those who make it in time, socials include laser quest, comedy club trips and even mystery holidays that have taken previous members to Budapest, Krakov and Italy.
This society is perfect for anyone looking for something outside of the norm and brings some spontaneity to uni life when you might feel trapped in an endless cycle of essays and revision.
7. Hoop Soc, The University of Nottingham
Hoop Soc at The University of Nottingham turns hula hooping into fun social evenings where you can meet new people and develop your hula skills. Whether you’re a total beginner or a hula hooping pro, anyone of any ability is welcome to come and join in.
There are two weekly sessions among plenty of other events. There are dinners out and even games of Twister for members. So why not get out your hula hoop and join in?
8. Hide and Seek Society, The University of Exeter
University is usually a time for growing up and learning to be an adult but, for members of Exeter’s Hide and Seek Society, it’s all about reliving childhood games.
While they take their name from hide and seek, their sessions involve a bunch of familiar games that you probably haven’t played for years, including grandma’s footsteps and sardines. They also have some new games too such as a weeklong game of assassins, a game of zombie tag and a game of mafia.
9. Knit Fast, Die Warm, The University of Portsmouth
Knitting may not seem like the sort of activity to attract students but there are plenty of universities throughout the UK where whole societies have formed around the hobby. The best part about them is the names they’ve been given. Stitch ‘n’ Bitch at The University of Leeds deserves a special mention, but our favourite is Knit Fast, Die Warm at The University of Portsmouth.
If you’re looking for a way to chill out, and maybe for a new scarf, knitting may be just the thing for you, with the society describing itself as ‘the most relaxed’ group that you could join while studying in Portsmouth.
10. Shrek Society, The University of Glasgow
Whether you have loved Shrek since we first met him in 2001 or appreciate him more as a meme, it’s probably no surprise that somewhere, someone decided to base a society around him. That just happened to be the students of The University of Glasgow. According to their Facebook page, the society is ‘dedicated to upholding the wider cultural impact of the Shrek cinematic universe’, a truly honourable mission statement.
They have a bizarre website, with a design straight out of early internet days, that would more accurately be described as a shrine to their green hero. However, there’s very little information out there as to what this society does. Presumably, watch Shrek over and over again?