Everything you need to know about clubs and societies

10 September 2020

Student life wouldn’t be the same without our incredible Clubs and Societies. Find out more about what's on offer, how they'll be operating this year and how to join.

TeamUCL sports students in a row

This term their approach, like ours, will be online first. They’ll be doing everything they can to help you make the most of your time here. If you can’t take part in the in-person activity, you’ll be able to join clubs and societies for free with Remote Membership. If you are in London, our student groups will be running events and activities in line with Government guidance throughout Welcome week and term one. 

Before you get lost in the world of Clubs and Societies, here’s all you need to know…

There are lots to choose from

300 and something, in fact. Don’t panic though - here’s an alphabetical list of them all and what they do.

You (probably) can't join them all :(

The trick is to find the right group for you. It might be something you’d never even considered getting involved with before. At the beginning of the academic year, you’ll get to meet and try out as many societies as you can before deciding which ones to join for the year.

Don't worry if you don't get to speak to all the societies you want to during the first few weeks. You can join at any point through the year. 

You won't know what some of them are...

Discovering something new is half the fun of university. Have a chat to Application of Psychedelics Society or the Kendo Club and find out why they love what they do. You might find a new passion! 

Cultural societies aren't just for people from that background

We have lots of societies named after different countries and cultures. But you don’t have to be from Afghanistan to join the Afghan Society - you just have to be interested in Afghan culture. These societies are a great way to learn more about the world around you and all students are welcome.

There are lots of career-building societies

It’s not all about fun for fun’s sake. Getting involved with societies like Economics and Finance Society or Leading Women Society are great forms of extra-curricular activities which can help you be a step ahead when starting your career, even if it seems a bit odd to be thinking about that now!

But actually, any involvement in societies looks really good to prospective employers

It shows commitment, teamwork, and self-development. If you want to go one step further, you can join your club or society’s committee and get some management and leadership experience too. Or skill-up by joining societies that help you learn new skills for a future career.

Consider whether or not they'll fit in with your timetable

While an annoying technicality, it is an important one - your studies come first! The good news is that most competitive sports games take place on Wednesday afternoons, which are kept entirely free of lectures to give everyone a chance to play.

You can join any time

No rush to sign up in your first week; all joining is done online and can be done at any time. If a group doesn’t fit with your timetable in term one, check back in term two, because maybe it will then.

Although some sports clubs have pre-season training

If you’re interested in competitive sports, then you’ll still be able to take part. The British University and College Sport (BUCS) National Governing Body of university sport in the United Kingdom will be resuming matches again from January 2021 so you’ve still got time to prepare from home and whilst socially distancing.

Membership costs vary

It all depends on how much equipment your activity requires and other elements of running the activity. But one thing never changes - the amount of your membership that goes to funding your activities. 100% of membership fees are used to run clubs and societies (plus some extra funding from elsewhere in the Union, such as money made in our cafes and bars).

They're not just for undergrads

Lots of our sports clubs have Postgrad teams with training timetables that fit around your schedule and all of the groups welcome members of all ages and from all walks of life. 

Remember, you can be as involved as you like (or not)

Some students find that their activity of choice is central to their time at UCL and get heavily involved. And while it’s great if you feel that way, that’s not compulsory at all. If you just fancy occasionally going along to a social or having something you can dip in and out of, that’s absolutely fine too!

They can be the most amazing addition to your time here

We’ve lost count of the number of students that say the friends they made and experiences they had through their club or society were an absolutely invaluable part of their time at UCL. Whether you want to hitchhike to Morocco with RAG or perform on a West End stage with the Drama Society; go on tour with your sports club or just meet people who share your passion, clubs and societies are the best way to do something amazing!

Make the most of UCL Life team