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Student societies

Joining a society is a fantastic way to meet like-minded people and make new friends. You can indulge in interests you already have, or take the plunge and try something completely new.

Along the way, you can develop skills highly valued by employers. For example, joining a society committee is a great way to develop your leadership or teamwork skills. You can also get your skills and experience recognised through the innovative York Award.

The University of York Students' Union (YUSU) offers over 200 student societies, all entirely organised by and for students, or you can always start your own. From astronomy to aerobics and politics to poetry - there is plenty to choose from.

Music and performance

Watch, direct, play or perform! There are more than 20 societies to choose from.

"Concert orchestra is a great opportunity to continue playing music for pleasure in a relaxed and friendly environment. There is such a wide range of music, it's really rewarding to play and perform. One of my favourite pieces was James Bond, particularly pleasing my dad in the audience. As a dancer as well, I personally appreciated playing Swan Lake."

Hannah, Language and Linguistics student.

Academic and careers

Expand your subject knowledge, enhance your employment prospects and take part in fun activities with an academic society such as ShockSoc, open to anyone with an interest in electronics. We have societies for most subject areas taught at York, but if we don't have the one you're looking for you can always start one.

Ideas, campaigning and political

Innovate and inspire with the Entrepreneurs Society, or help to share big ideas and bring the spirit of TED to York with the TEDxUoY society.

Make an impact! Join the award-winning York Student Think Tank, where you can try to find solutions for social, topical and political problems.

Improve your debating, communication and persuasion skills with the Debating Society. Or campaign for freedom of expression with YorkPEN, a student-led subgroup of English PEN.

Watch on YouTube

Do you believe in the power of ideas to change the world? Then why not join the TEDx Society.

"The experience I gained through joining York’s Entrepreneurs Society and the Travel Society gave me the skills and confidence to run my own company. University funding also helped me develop my business idea."

Charlie Thuillier, Founder and Managing Director of Oppo Ice Cream
BA Applied Social Science (Crime and Criminal Justice), 2011

Faith and culture

The friendly faces of the International Students' Association at Freshers Fair.

Discover and celebrate world cultures and religions with societies such as the Christian Union, the Islamic SocietyJewish SocietyLatin American SocietyItalian Society or Russian Speaking Society to just name a few. The groups are open to all students. You can get informal language support, try different foods and meet people from all over the world!

If you're joining us from outside the UK, you could also join our International Students' Association (ISA). They organise a variety of events and trips throughout the year such as food fiestas, cultural celebrations, coffee afternoons and day trips.


Watch on YouTube

Are you a wannabe filmmaker? Find out more about York Student Television. They made this video along with a series of other student society videos (

Arts and culture

Getting crafty with the knitting club!

Games and activities

Up your game or keep fit with societies such as the:

Or get your walking boots on and explore the beautiful Yorkshire countryside with the Outdoor Society.

Outdoor Society trip to Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales.

Special interest

Freshers Fair is where you'll get to meet with and sign up for societies such as SwiftSoc!

York has the only student society in the UK dedicated to Taylor Swift - SwiftSoc!

Other special interest groups include the:

This is only a flavour of what's on offer - for full details browse the A-Z of societies (