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Strange student societies

You can probably find a student society for almost any interest you can think of – as well as some you might never have imagined. Read on for our guide to some of the strangest societies around.

Norman Re-enactment

A real hands-on approach to history, Norman re-enactment societies like Nottingham’s Living History group find out about the past by clattering each other with homemade swords recreating the battle of Hastings at the weekend.

Dirty Weekenders

Cleaner than it sounds, Dirty Weekenders is all about students digging in to undertake conservation tasks and brighten up the environment in the community at weekends.


The name might not ring any bells, but the society will. Campanology is the study of bells, and universities such as Southampton have societies of bellringers – sometimes called ‘change ringers’ – who often get to practice and perform in local churches.


Budding Harry Potters don’t have to go to Hogwarts, since University of York’s Magic society will teach you card, money and mindreading tricks guaranteed to impress your mates, if not ward off Lord Voldemort.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Society

Does getting the bus or riding a bike seem a little bit unadventurous? Well, while it would be useless for a trip to the shops, students at Cambridge can join the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Society to design an aquatic vehicle to compete in the annual AUV championships.


The only way to live out your hitman fantasies without ending up in jail, Assassins is a game where students ‘hunt’ each other with pretend weapons, either in individual games or in group competitions against other universities.


If football, athletics or squash seems like too much hard work, why not take up tiddlywinks instead? It might not keep you as fit, but the feeling of flicking one button further than your competitor is almost as good as slamming a winning goal into the net. Apparently.

20 Minute Society

A race against time that makes even Jack Bauer look lazy, members of the University of Lincoln’s 20 Minute Society can receive a text at any time between 9am and 11pm, telling them to run to a set location within 20 minutes.

Extreme Ironing

Many students find ironing on its own enough of a challenge, never mind trying to do it halfway up a mountain. Not fans of extreme ironing though, whose mission is to get themselves photographed pressing their shirts in the weirdest places they can.

Underwater Basketweaving Society

If ‘underwater basketweaving’ sounds like a joke, that’s because it is. Although it’s probably not the worst one you’ll hear after spending hours in the pub with this drinking society.

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