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Societies at Durham: A Blog by Durham Students’ Union’s Activities Officer

University life is about much more than your studies and joining a society is a great way to get a good work-life balance. The Students’ Union has over 200 student groups that are open to everyone. With so many groups there is pretty much something for everyone, and if there isn’t, you can start your own society with support from the Students’ Union’s staff. Societies that currently exist include everything from aerial arts to astronomy, hill walking to hula hooping, scuba diving to swing dancing, and much more!

With so much choice it can be hard deciding what to join but most groups run taster sessions, so you can try out different groups before deciding what to join. The Students’ Union also runs Give it a Go, which is a programme of one-off activities that includes taster sessions run by student groups. You can join a society at any point in the year, so it is never too late to try something new or continue on old passion.


Societies provide a space in which to relax and have fun, as well as meeting like-minded people who may not be in your college or course. Some people have met their closest friends through joining societies. Life as a student can be very hectic but it is important to take some time to unwind, and society activities can be the perfect escape; depending on the activity, societies can be very beneficial for your mental and physical well-being. Most groups do not require much commitment so you can easily fit activities around your studies, and often at a much lower cost to alternative activity providers.


Student groups give you the opportunity to gain new skills and have experiences that you would not get through your academic studies alone. The groups are student-led, which means students decide on all the activities and how the group runs. Being part of a society executive committee provides you with the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of areas that will increase your confidence and enhance your employability when you graduate. Skills you can gain as an exec member include public speaking, leadership, teamwork, chairing meetings, minuting meetings, organising events and trips, networking, time management skills, budgeting, resourcefulness and marketing. The Students’ Union supports student groups by providing training and resources, which aids personal development too. There really is a lot to gain from being involved in a student society!

Reposted from 4 April 2016 by durhamstudentblog

Kara-Jane Senior

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