Nouse Societies Guide

A big part of University life is getting involved in societies. Some of the societies you join will become things you do for the rest of your life, and you’ll make friends who you can share these passions with. One of the main advantages of societies though is to get away from the work of a stressful degree and have an excuse just to chill out and have fun. Some societies are more focused on academia, working on skills that you already have and want to be better at.

Guaranteed though, what ever you’re looking for there is a society dedicated to it, with people in it who like what you like. There’s always somewhere to fit in. This Nouse Societies Guide will tell you a bit about all the societies here at The University of York so that you make sure you find what you’re looking for. If you like the sound of one you find here, check out their website or go find them at Freshers Fair on the Saturday of Freshers Week. And if even then you can’t find anything you like, you can always start your own society!

Art Society

A society for not just those studying art, but those who love art. Art Soc is a society for those interested in painting and admiring art, and trying to increase the profile of art on campus.


Astronomy is open to those of you out there who want to look at and learn more about the stars, planets, nebulae, and all the other things up there in space. The society meets every Saturday at Goodricke Porters Lodge at 9pm before making their way to the campus observatory to stargaze.

amnestyAmensty International “Disarm” Protest – Alexandru Hristea

Anime and Manga Society

Anime and Manga are styles of animation originally from Japan, but unlike “regular” cartoons there are often adult themes. Being a member has its perks – you gain access to a manga library of over 200 titles, and earn discount at Blackwells, the University book store, on purchases of anime. The society meets every week in Derwent at 5pm to watch the latest and greatest in Japanese animation.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International aims to “make a difference” and end injustices and abuses of internationally recognised human rights. The society campaigns and writes petitions and letters in an attempt to end such injustices – if you’re passionate about human rights then this is the society for you.

Archaeology Society

An active society on campus, Archaeology Society provides those interested in history trips to places of historical interest. They also provide help and advice to those wishing to find a career in archaeology. It’s not all work though – the society holds weekly socials and historic pub crawls, as well as an end of term party at Kings Manor.

Architecture Society

Architecture Society describes on of its main aims as bringing architecture back to the “core of the arts debate”. Their other activities include debate and discussion on architecture of all dates and styles, as well as talks from professional architects. Politically, the Society acts to lobby to help shape local architecture positively.

Arab Association at York

The AAAY aims to bring together the ever increasing Arab student population on campus, as well as those who are non-Arab, by holding social events such as bar crawls and sports, and generally creating a network for the Arab, and non-Arab, student population. For those of you who aren’t Arab, the society could enlighten you to Arab culture through Arab films, language, and food to name but a few ways.

Ballet Society

Fancy improving your moves in Gallery? Want to bring some grace to Ziggys? Ballet Society is a relatively small but friendly society. They offer Beginners and Advanced Ballet classes from a fully qualified RAD teacher who has a multi-discipline Dance School in York. Beginners’ Class is for absolutely everyone – it’s great to start something new when you get to Uni and Ballet is a fun way to keep fit and learn something new. The Advanced Class is for those with a number of years’ experience – from RAD Grade 4 or equivalent. In the first term all classes are free work, after which there is the possibility of starting some syllabus work if people want to.

They also run one or two socials each term so members can get to know each other better and meet up outside of class, and there is also the chance in the Spring term, for members who wish to, to participate in Edinburgh University’s Dance Competition – yay!

bobBattle of the Bands, a contest organised by Band Soc – Michael Brunsden

Band Society

Bandsoc is the ideal society for students with musical minds. As a member of Bandsoc, you’ll be allocated a space and time for your band to practice, as well as the opportunity to perform on campus. If this didn’t all sound good enough, the society also has the ability to loan out equipment, when needed, to its members.

Biosciences Society

Biosciences Society is for all those studying, or just interested in, the Biological Sciences. Their aims include creating a relaxing atmosphere, away from the pressures of a degree, to discuss Bioscience Issues or just socialise. If you’re becoming disillusioned with your Bioscience degree then this society could be the catalyst to keep you interested. The society organises social events, such as paintballing and bar crawls, including the famous lab coat bar crawl! The society also organises guest lectures to speak to the society – this year the society has organised a Nobel Prize winning scientist.


The Bellringers’ activities include… well ringing bells. But it’s more complicated than that! They have two sections – the tower bell section and hand bell section. If you like ringing bells or seeing all the churches in York then this might be the society for you. And don’t worry, you can be both a tower and hand bell ringer if you fancy.


Breakz is famous on campus for bringing some of the world’s finest drum and bass, hip hop, and breaks talent to York. Last year, they managed to bring DJ Hazard, Nicky Blackmarket and the world famous Benga to York, to name but a few. As a member of Breakz, you get discount of tickets to see such act, as well as getting the chance to meet and socialise with people who also like the underground dance scene.

Book Group Society

Like any reading group, Book Group Society is a group for people who like to read and then discuss what they’ve read with other people who have read the same book! Meeting are weekly, so this is a good group to expand your reading horizons. Oh, but there’s more – free biscuits at meetings!

Bright Futures Society

The aim of Bright Futures Society is to make the students of York more employable. In their own words, “getting a good degree is not enough to clinch that all important interview with a FTSE 100 company”. Bright Futures Society provides networking opportunities with such companies, as well as holding workshops to improve those all important transferable skills.

breakzBreakz put on regular drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep productions in York – Andrew Weeks / Breakz

Chem Soc

ChemSoc is the society for anyone interested in chemistry. Especially if you’re studying chemistry, this would be the perfect place to learn more about chemical issues outside the pressures of your degree. The society also organises guest lecturers, and social events such as nights out.

Concert Orchestra

If you’ve played an instrument whilst at school and want to carry it on, then the Concert Orchestra welcomes you. They are a non-auditioning orchestra and welcome anyone who plays an instrument. Rehearsals are once a week, and work towards two concerts a year.

Chess Soc

Chess Soc makes playing chess even more fun than you could imagine. They host club nights once a week which are open to anyone, even complete beginners. Even if you consider yourself a grand master, the more experienced players still might be able to teach you a thing or two. Socially, the Society organises nights out and the infamous drinking chess event.


Cassoc, or the University of York Catholic Society, describes itself as “one of the friendliest societies on campus”. Their aims include expanding their knowledge of their faith to help strengthen this religious relationship and thus solve day to day issues which affect them as students and Christians. Socially, the society can often be seen in the Charles, but also go on weekend retreats in the Summer Term. Regular meetings take place on Thursdays at 8pm in More House, the Catholic Chaplaincy on Heslington Lane, and are preceded by Rosary at 730pm.

Choc Soc

Choc Soc is the simple society for everyone who has a sweet tooth. The society is based around the love of chocolate. If you want to simply go and eat chocolate with like minded people, or discuss the creation and history of this fine food, then this may indeed be the society for you.


Soon to change their name to “Summit”, Christis is one of the many forms of media on campus. However, this magazine specialises in Christian issues, offering an open and challenging attitude to Christianity. Their aim is to provide a “forum and mouth piece for concerned Christianity”, and thus spark debate on Christian issues. To read the latest free issue or get involved, go to their website.

sweetcharityThe cast of Sweet Charity, a show by Central Hall Musical Society – Ceri Oaks

Conservative and Unionist Association

The York Tories describes itself as one of the “most active” and largest political groups on campus. Yet it highlights the social side of the society, with weekly dinners, balls, and pub crawls. They aim to expand their Conservative spirit further on campus, as well as help local Conservative MPs and prospective MPs. Their weekly meal and debate is on Thursdays in D/056 at 7pm.


Creative mind? Like cutting things up? Craftsoc meets every Wednesday afternoon from 3pm till 5pm where they make a range of crafts. If you want to carry on this passion, or learn what could become a life skill, get involved with Craftsoc.

Comedy Society

Comedy Soc’s ultimate aim every year is to take a show up to the Fringe Festival, performed by their own members. To get there though, they perform throughout the year on campus to prepare. Comedy Society’s most famous show would perhaps be “Have I Got News for York”, performed several times a term. If you want to write, perform, or just watch comedy, then Comedy Society is obviously just your match.

Cheesy Pop Soc

Cheesy Pop Soc is one of the fastest growing societies on campus. Established in 2008, the society is for lovers of Cheesy Pop everywhere. They organise numerous events all focused around Cheesy Pop and all things Cheesy. With celebrity honorary members in line from classic cheesy bands, as well as sponsorship from the home of cheese in York, The Willow, Cheesy Pop Soc is the society where everything happens. Everyone loves a bit of Cheesy Pop from time to time, so come meet and dance with people who share your secret cheesy passion.

Central Hall Musical Society

Central Hall Musical Society is responsible for some of Campus’ largest and most successful musicals. Last year they performed a stage musical adaptation of ‘The Full Monty’ following their success of the musical ‘Sweet Charity’ the year before. If you want to get involved in acting, singing, directing, or maybe just dressing up, find out all about Central Hall Musical Society.


Dancesport is the international name for competitive Ballroom and Latin American dancing. The society is responsible for bringing to campus the successful “York Come Dancing”. However, no experience is necessary as there are beginner and advance lessons every week, taught by a professional teacher! It’s a great way to meet new people, as well as get a surprisingly large amount of exercise as well. If you want to take your dancing to the next level, there’s also the chance to represent the University on a national level or compete for York against Lancaster in Roses.

dancesportYork Come Dancing, a show organised by Dancesport – George Lowther

Democratic Socialist Association

Previously known as “Socialist Students”, the DSA is one of York’s many political societies. The Association provides a forum for non-partisan debate, though many of the issues raised are based on Socialist themes. You want to learn more about the values of Socialism, or maybe don’t agree with some of its ideas, then pop on down to the DSA.

Dance Society

Dance Society is a society that provides dance classes for all abilities, from beginners to advanced, including street, salsa, jazz and tap.


If you have an interest in theatre, then you’ll find something to suit you at DramaSoc. The society allows students to be involved in every aspect of amateur theatre. It claims to be one of the most active societies on campus, a claim made because they aim to put on a production every week. To help matters, the society also manages their own studio in the form of the drama barn.


DougSoc is for those who consider themselves different to everyone else. DougSoc only has one aim – to have fun, be it through picnics, game nights, or of course battles between the forces of good and evil. If no other societies sound like they’re for you, and you want somewhere to meet new people, then DougSoc may be for you.

Duke of Edinburgh Society

The Duke of Edinburgh Award aims to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise their achievements. It also allows young people to experience now activities and develop exciting skills. The Duke of Edinburgh Society directly assists in the completion of this award. The society mainly helps organise the expedition part of the award, but can also offer help and advice for the skill, service and physical recreation sections. If you want to help yourself by making your CV look a bit more bulky, then the Duke of Edinburgh Society could help you.

Economics Society

The Economics Society represents all the Economics Students at the University of York, though is open to those who just have an interest in economics as well. As well as representing their economics concerns, the Society runs social events to help economics students get to know each other outside the lecture halls. They also run academic and career related events to help students find their way into the economic related job market.

English Society

For English students and literary lovers on campus, the English Society may be the society for you. The society organises socials in which students are allowed to let their hair down and discuss their favourite literature with each other. Of course there’s also the odd pub crawl or two into town.

Eastern European Society, York

The EESY is a society for both British and International students. The society intends to develop a deeper understanding of Eastern culture, history, and politics. However, by doing this the society also creates a friendly community to get to know new people and make new friends.

fusionFusion 2009 – Justyn Hardcastle


Fusion are a society which put on an annual show of fashion, dance and music in Central Hall, as well as smaller shows in the run up to the main show.


For those unfamiliar with online gaming, a frag is when you kill someone on a computer game. Thus, FragSoc is a society for online gamers. The society runs events with multiplayer computer gaming, similar to a LAN party. Usually up to 64 players can join in, so the gaming can get frantic. All the classics are played, though if you’ve got a particular favourite that you want others to try then turn up to FragSoc and let the gaming commence.

Freedom Society

Freedom Soc is a society for those who believe in the ideals of a free society. Specifically there has to be an understanding of the economic, constitutional and moral principles that “alone can sustain that (a free) society”. Being a member has its benefits, including a variety of speakers, debates and campaigning for The Freedom Party. In relation to the national party, there’s a chance to attend party conferences. Freedom Soc also gets much of its expenses paid for by the national branch.

Film Making Society

Film Making Society aim to make 10-20 short films a year and to provide film making experience to students.

Folk Society

If you like to listen to Folk music or even play along, then Folk Society will be for you. The society creates a friendly atmosphere in which others that share your love for this style of music can play, sing and dance along to some classic Folk music. There’s even some opportunity to indulge your creative juices and bring along your own repertoire for others to try out.

French Soc

French Soc brings a bit of French culture to York University. The society is for those studying French, who speak French, or just want to learn more about France. To do this, the society watches French films, drinks French wine and learns more about the French language and politics. This society is everything French.

Fine Taste Society

There are definitely some of you out there who like to indulge in the finer things in life. Perhaps a rare wine or an ancient whisky tickles you. These are just some of the fine things that Fine Taste Society brings to its members. The society meets up with a selection of such fine things so that its members don’t have to pay fortunes to pay for millions of bottles themselves. In addition, you can enjoy these fine things in a sociable atmosphere with other fine people.

Glee Singers

The York Glee Singers are a small choir run by students. They sing a variety of styles of music in preparation for a number of concerts they perform at. Like a standard choir, the society is made up of 4 parts – soprano, alto, tenor and bass, so there’s the opportunity for male and female singers. The choir sings a variety of styles, such as sacred and more light-hearted music. Many of their singers have sung in church choirs, but the society is not a Christian society.

gsGilbert & Sullivan Society perform the Pirates of Penzance – Lyndsey Redpath

Gilbert and Sullivan Society

One of campus’ many performance societies, the G&S Society performs a Gilbert and Sullivan show in the spring term of each year. The society doesn’t audition for chorus parts, so anyone can get involved. If you’re into a wider range than just Gilbert and Sullivan, then the society performs another “musical of choice” in the summer term.

Ghost Soc

If you’re interested in the paranormal, then Ghost Soc may be the place to find people with similar interests. The society investigates this mysterious area of the world in a “fun and accessible” way.

German Society

The German Society’s ultimate aim is to improve its’ members ability to speak German. It does this by uniting students who are studying German or speak German with Germans who are currently at York on a year abroad. This allows more experience German speakers to chat away with those who are less experienced but keen to improve. The society also organised German themed events, so there’s lots of German fun to be had!

Hellenic Society

This Greek society aims to spread their culture and history to non-Greek people on campus. By doing this, they can uphold their Greek traditions as well promote friendship with other ethnic groups. The society is therefore open to Greek and non-Greek students who want to learn more about their Greek heritages or just meet Greek people.


MedSoc represents medical students at the University of York both at a local and national level. One of their main aims though is to help integrate Hull York Medical School with the University of York. It does this by helping those interested in the Medical Sciences get involved in education and student run projects. Socially, the society holds balls and socials of which all can attend, though non-medical students usually by invitation.

Happily Ever After Society

Another performing art society, Happily Ever After Soc highlights how much more fun it is than the other performing societies. Its latest success was Grease in November of 2008, and they have planned to perform a version of High School Musical in week five of this coming term (Autumn 2009). Anyone can get involved, whether it be performing, choreographing, making costumes or doing lights.

greaseThe cast of Happily Ever After Society’s Grease – Matt Grum

History Society

Like all societies, History Society is open to everyone but mainly for History students who want to socialise outside of lecture theatres. The society organises trips and socials for its members, such as bar crawls or city breaks abroad. So if you are interested in History or a History student, you’ll definitely want to get involved in History Society.

Haus Magazine

Haus Magazine is released in week four of every term. The magazine’s main aim is to provide an insight into life on campus. The main contributors are therefore the students themselves. Getting involved in this magazine would be a great opportunity for any student who likes writing then. If your course has a lot of hours, then Haus Magazine would be ideal as it only comes out once a term.

Hong Kong Culture and Language Society

The Hong Kong Culture and Language Society invites everyone to come and join them to learn more about their culture and language. The society helps those who want to learn Cantonese, or students who are struggling with mahjong. These are just a few aspects of Hong Kong culture. If you’re intrigued, then join this society to learn more.

Islamic Society

Islamic Society aims to represent all Muslims on campus, as well as bring together all those from other faiths and those without a faith. The society has discussion sessions about their faith. They also organise socials and lectures from guest lecturers. Such events aim to educate Muslims and non-Muslims on the Islamic faith, and help increase the awareness of Islam on campus.

Investment and Finance Society

The society aims to be the focal point for all students interested in finance on campus and holds meetings twice a month to discuss tips and invite guest speakers.

Indie Soc

Indie Soc is dedicated to furthering the cause of indie music both on and off campus. The society listens to indie music and organises events at which indie music is played. As a member of the group, you’ll make friends who like the same sort of music as you. The group lets its members know about gigs that are coming up and all the best places to go in York for the indie scene.

hausHaus Magazine

It’s a Duck’s Life

It’s a Duck’s Life is a welfare service run by students to allow students to open up and talk about experiences which they’re worried about. The society describes themselves perfectly with the analogy of a duck. We may all look like we’re swimming nicely with no worries, but under the surface our two feet are paddling madly, struggling and feeling like they don’t want to paddle anymore. Unlike other welfare service, It’s a Duck’s Life publishes student experiences on their website and magazine so that others know that there are students going through the same experiences as them.

International Trade Society

The aim of International Trade Society is to help “expand and consolidate” their members knowledge of cross border commerce and global financial markets. The ITS has meetings every fortnight to discuss issues regarding the financial world.

Japanese Society

The Japanese Society offers a look into Japanese culture for those interested. However, it also plays a big part in offering a peak into British culture for Japanese students. They organise a number of socials including DVD nights and “Mega-Bowl” nights so that members can get to know each other. Academically, the society hold conversation classes every Wednesday at 1715 in Vanburgh.

Juggle Soc

Juggle Soc is campus’ elite group of jugglers. They juggle all sorts of things, such as balls, clubs and fire. Other hobbies at Juggle Soc are followed, such as poi and unicycling. However, even if you’ve never juggled before you can still join. The society helps beginners and experts alike, so don’t be afraid to give this fun bunch of skills a try.

Jewish Society

Jewish Soc is for Jews and non-Jews, no matter what your religious affiliation. They hold socials in the form of barbecues and lunches a few times a term for students to meet each other and learn about the Jewish religion.

Kazakh Society

Kazakh Society was created to introduce Kazakh culture to campus. The society does many things to help raise awareness, such as raise money for charities by selling Kazakh souvenirs. The society also recognises the culture shock that can present itself to foreign students when they arrive in York. They therefore try and support all new Russian, Kazakh and Turkish speaking freshers to help them integrate.

LGBT Social

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) Social is the only society on campus directed towards LGBT students. They are an active society, holding two socials a week. On Thursdays, they do quizzes, cheese and wine, and bar crawls in York and other cities. On Sundays, they organise bar crawls which end up in Tru – Sunday night in Tru is York’s only gay club night.


LINKS is the student wing of St Johns Ambulance. Many of their activities are First Aid based. Their members can enhance their First Aid skills. LINKS, or a First Aider of some kind, is compulsory at most campus events, so being in LINKS also gives you the opportunity to help out at such events. The society also has a social side, organising socials such as bowling and nights out in town for its members.

jugglersJuggle Soc at Woodstock – Georgi Mabee

Latin American Society

The aim of Latin American Society is to promote Latin American culture on campus. The society emphasises that members don’t have to be from a Latin American country, but merely up for a good time with friendly people. They celebrate Latin American holidays, which can help open member’s eyes to the culture. Weekly activities also include movie nights, Salsa, Spanish and football.

Love Soc

LoveSoc aims to spread good will and happiness around campus. They encourage their members to perform random acts of kindness, such as giving a flower to a stranger. Beyond this, the society aims to bring original socials to its members beyond the spectrum of the standard bar crawl. As a whole, the society can help its members to become better, happier people.

Labour Club

The Labour Club is affiliated with the National Labour Party. The club upholds the beliefs and values of the Party, and helps campaign for local Labour politicians. The society also campaigns on campus on issues they feel strongly about. Whilst the club is affiliated with the Labour Party, they debate their policies and in some cases disagree with the National Party when their views conflict.

Liberal Democrats

The York University Lib Dems is the University branch of The Liberal Democrats. The Party, in its own words, exists to build a “fair, free and open society” in which “liberty, equality and community” are balanced, and no one shall be “enslaved by poverty or ignorance”. The University branch follows and supports these ideals. The society also helps local Lib Dem politicians with campaigning throughout the year.

Law Society

Law Society has been set up to offer guidance to Law students and those looking to convert to Law. To help their members, the society has links with top practices, and offers skills sessions and mock interview practices. By meeting those involved in the world of Law, the society is an ideal place to professionally network.

Linguistics Society

York Linguistics Society is for students who love languages and want to talk in and about all the different languages we speak. They also come together to debate about language, sharing their knowledge of language with each other and learning about their cultures. The society also has a quarterly journal which their members can help contribute to with their work and thoughts on linguistics.

pianoA piano in a Music Society practice room – George Lowther

Lithuanian Society

If you have an interest in Lithuanian culture, or are Lithuanian yourself, Lithuanian Society could be for you. The society promotes cultural awareness as well as organising sporting and social events. They also celebrate national festivals, which if you’re non- Lithuanian can help you to learn more about this culture.

Medieval Society

This society is nuts about history, especially the Medieval times. They are dedicated to the re-enactment of medieval activities, such as fighting, costuming and dancing. The society also holds events combat training and medieval themed socials. All in all, the society has a bit of fun, imagining they lived in times of yore, drinking mead and fighting each other to the death, almost.

Malaysian Students Society

The Malaysian Society works to bring together Malaysians on campus and provide a social platform for their life on campus. For those that aren’t Malaysian, this is an ideal society to learn more about the Malaysian culture from Malaysians themselves.

Music Society

The Music Society does “everything in their power to encourage and facilitate music making on campus”. The society therefore holds lunchtime concerts on Tuesdays and Fridays during term time at which students can perform in a professional setting. As well as this, they own the practice rooms in Langwith which are open to members to use. Socially, the society organises Summer and Christmas Balls in case you need to get away from the music for a bit.

Maths Soc

Maths Soc is, famously, the only society that counts! The society is open to all, especially those interested in maths. They highlight how light-hearted they are though, organising easy going lectures from guest lecturers. Occasionally the members of Maths Soc learn things about maths, but mainly they concentrate on having fun.

Management Society

The society aims to makes its members aware of Management in industries such as the banking, finance and consulting sectors. They also help show students the vast career opportunities available from Management degrees. The society can also help students network with other management students and staff, as well as those working in the sector. As if this wasn’t enough, guest speakers are often organised, giving an insight into the world of management.

Magic Soc

Magic Soc creates a forum for budding magicians on campus to learn new tricks, practice and perform with other magicians. If there are enough members, it is possible that the society could be booked for campus events at which they would perform. This is a great opportunity to show off new tricks or impress friends with this astonishing skill.

Movie Soc

If you’re a film lover, this society may be for you. Movie Soc puts on a free weekly screening for its members, after which the film is debated and discussed in a relaxed atmosphere. As well as this though, the society organises trips to the cinema and film festivals. To add to this all, guest speakers from the movie industry are sometime invited to speak to the members about the industry and films.

nouseNouse being distributed around campus – Adrian Choa

Naturalists and Birdwatchers Association

The Naturalists and Birdwatchers Association takes advantage of the countryside around us which we sometimes take for granted. The society goes into rural areas around York to look for features of nature which, to them, are fascinating. The society also looks at the natural history scene in York, so trips can vary in terms of the reason for the outing.

New Generation Society

The NGS is a non-partisan forum for political debate. Everyone is welcome, whatever their political views or knowledge. The society aims to “generate new thinking on the challenges…facing our future”. They meet once a week, sometimes bringing in high profile speakers. Guest speakers from last year included Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat Leader, and The Duchess of Kent. If you want to learn more about politics or just discuss current issues with others, the NGS might be for you.

Neighbours Soc

Are you a fan of this classic Australian soap? Perhaps you’ve always got Ramsay Street on your mind. This society is dedicated to watching and appreciating the classic soap that is Neighbours. The society’s members come together in a warm and friendly atmosphere to watch episodes, and discuss the twists and turns that could happen in the many plots.


If you’re reading this you may already have an idea what Nouse is. Nouse is the oldest society on campus, being established in 1964. If you’re interested in writing and journalism, then you may want to get involved in the most read student newspaper at the University of York. They release an edition usually three times a term, including sections on news, politics and sport as well as feature columns. The paper also includes a magazine supplement which can make for interesting reading.

Outdoor Society

Outdoor Society is for students who like to get a bit of fresh air and walk through the countryside. The society organises walks every Sunday catering for walkers of all abilities. They ensure beautiful locations where you can get away from the stress of lectures and coursework. To add to this, they also organise weekend trips further away from York if you want to see some more of the amazing British countryside.

Opera Society

Even if you think Opera might be boring, tedious and hard to understand, Opera Society might still be worth a go. They aim to make Opera more accessible to the average student. The society does this by organising DVD nights and trips to Opera. If this wets your creative appetite then there’s also the opportunity to perform some Operatic greats and even put on your own production.

pantoPant Soc – George Lowther

Oriental Dream Studio

One of the few cooking societies on campus, Oriental Dream Studio aims to promote dishes from different countries and teach them to their members. This can then help to improve your cuisine repertoire! Everyone is welcome as this is also an ideal opportunity to learn how to cook. It’s also a great chance to show off your skills if you’re a master chef though!

Photo Soc

Photo Soc is for every budding photographer at the University of York. This society allows you to meet people who share your passion for photography and learn more about it. The society also holds photo competitions based around themes.

Pant Soc

The University of York Pantomime Society puts on at least one pantomime a year. The society is open to anyone, even beginners who want to learn how to act. They emphasise the social side of the society, saying that their aim is to “have fun both on and off the stage”. Their shows are big and elaborate, so this could be the perfect society for budding actors out there.

Polish Society

If you want to meet Polish people or learn about Polish culture, then Polish Society is for you. The society organises events to celebrate national holidays and festivals. They also help those who can’t aren’t Polish speakers to learn the language.


Psychsoc offers academic and social events to those studying and interested in Psychology. Academically, the society organises talks from guest speakers, the topics of which lead to debate and discussion. They also offer subsidised trips to BPS conferences and write an academic magazine, as well as a mentoring scheme for new students. Socially, as a member you receive free entry to most of their social events.

People and Planet

People and Planet claims to be the University of York’s “biggest campaigning society”. As part of a national student organisation, they campaign on issues such as Human Rights, World Poverty and the Environment. The society is open to new members and easy to join and get involved in.

Poker Society

Poker is becoming an increasingly popular game both campus and in the wider world. Poker Soc offers an opportunity for students to learn different forms of the game and go on to play competitively in a safe a responsible environment. More experienced players will enjoy this as well, meeting other people who share a passion for one of the fastest growing games at the moment. Even complete beginners can get involved in they want to learn a good life skill.

Philosophy Society

Perhaps you’re always asking yourself questions – questions about life, God, or the mind. If so, then philosophy society may be for you. The society organises coffees, lectures and socials so that like minded people can discuss anything and everything about the world of philosophy. In their own words, “no prior knowledge of philosophy is needed, merely an open mind and a curiosity for the curious”.

ethicalinvestmentPeople & Planet protesting against arms trade investment – George Lowther

Poetry Society

The idea of Poetry Society is simple and self-explanatory. If you fancy yourself as a future poet laureate, or simply want to learn how to write poetry, then this may be the perfect society for you to share your ideas with other budding poets.

Physics Society

Physics Society is for Physics students and those just interested in Physics. The society organises socials and events for such people on campus. Academically, the society promotes links between themselves and the Institute of Physics (IoP). The IoP is devoted to increasing the profile of Physics and has specialists in the field.

Palestine Solidarity Society

If you’re passionate about the Palestinian cause, then join the Palestine Solidarity Society. They raise the awareness of this situation on campus through campaigning and events.

Quite Interesting Society

Quite Interesting Society is mainly an appreciation society of the BBC 2 hit show, QI, however anyone with an interesting in trivia or comedy can join. The society organises speaker events and trips, including trips to watch QI being filmed live. If you’re not up for that though, you can simply join the rest of the group and watch each and every episode on television in the comfort of a JCR.

Rockabilly Soc

Rockabilly Society is the place to be for all of you that feel you belong in the 50s. They mainly listen to 1950s Rock and Roll and dance to their music. If you’re unsure how to dance but still want to get involved, the society organises beginners sessions, so don’t worry. All their socials are styled in the 50s as well, so there’s lots of fun to be had.

Revelation Rock-Gospel Choir

If you want to sing in a choir that funs and vibrant, Revelation Rock-Gospel Choir might be for you. The choir was formed in December 2003 and has grown ever since. Whilst Christian based, anyone can get involved. Rehearsals are on Tuesdays at 7pm at Heslington Church.

Real Ale Society

Every student’s favourite society, Real Ale society is dedicated to the enjoyment of real ale. The society makes trips to pubs with real ale as well as real ale festivals so they can indulge their passion of real ale. They also have the hard job of “pub testing” and beer tasting, involving visiting establishments in, around and out of York.

Socialist Worker Students Society

The Socialist Worker Students Society describes its aims as campaigning against “corporate power, environmental destruction, racism, fascism and imperialist war”. They also describe themselves as “revolutionary socialists”. In a round about way, they disagree with global capitalism. If you feel you are being oppressed and exploited, then you may feel like joining the resistance that is the Socialist Worker Students Society.

victoriaThe Victoria, popular with real ale drinkers – George Lowther

Singapore Society

The Singapore Society is here for every student originally from Singapore who feels distant from home or just wants to meet similar people from their country. Like all societies though, anyone can join. The society encourages those who want to learn more about Singaporean culture or about Singapore itself to join and come to meetings and events.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Society

If you’re interested in the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy, then this is the society for you. The society is for those that are fans of both film and literature Sci-Fi and want to discuss the topic with other fans. Members can also be passionate about fantasy role playing though, both tabletop and live action, as well as board games and war gaming. They also organise society meals and days out, as well as trips to relevant films at the cinema and conventions.


Shocksoc is the departmental society for the Electronics department which organises socials and related events for students studying, or interested in, electronics.

Travel Society

A society for students who love or are interested in travelling, The University of York Travel Society aims to make travelling more affordable for its members. It does this by gaining grants from corporate sponsors, and generally trying to organise as many discounts as they can. The society is also an excellent place to talk about previous travel experiences or travel dreams with others who love to travel. Meeting these kind of people at socials could lead to finding new travel partners as well.

The Fringe

The Fringe is the place to be for anyone interested in or passionate about the alternative music scene. The society organises weekly events, each dedicated to the appreciation of a different genre of alternative music. The Fringe also runs York’s biggest alternative music night at Ziggys, which also is the venue for the society’s socials. If you’re a hardcore member, then they also organise trips to major alternative clubs around England which you may be interested in.

Tanning Soc

Tanning Soc highlights the importance of healthy and responsible tanning. They also claim that beauty is only skin deep though! They aim to promote “gaining a healthy glow with self tan products only” and “without the use of sunbeds”. When you become a member, you receive free products from the society’s sponsors, such as L’Oreal and St Tropez, making this a wise investment.

Taiwanese Student Association

The TSA aims to integrate Taiwanese students at the University of York. They create a friendly atmosphere in which Taiwanese people can meet each other. However, non-Taiwanese students are also encouraged to join, especially those interested in the rich culture the Taiwan offers.

Thai Society

The Thai Society aims to provide information on Thailand to those interested in its culture. They are also here for Thai students who want to meet others from Thailand. The society organises socials all year round for socialising and also learning about Thailand’s long and deep history.

yorkapprenticeYork Apprentice 2009, organised by The York Entrepreneurs Society – George Lowther

Theme Park Appreciation Society

Theme Park Appreciation Society is about more than just appreciating Theme Parks. The society organises trips to Theme Parks across the country, taking advantage of discounts and offers where they can. By being a member of this society, you won’t find anyone too scared to go on a ride with you anymore. This is a great opportunity to meet like minded people and go to some of the best Theme Parks in the country.

TFTV Society

The Theatre, Film and Television (TFTV) Society is a group for members of the TFTV department at the University, but also for people who have an interest in TFTV. The society organises screenings of films they feel relevant to discussion, and brings along guest speakers to lectures. They also organise socials to film events in York. If you’re passionate about Films and TV programmes, then this might be the place to meet people who share your passion.


York TheatreGoers is a society that organises trips to see the best theatre in and out of York, but on a student budget. This includes supporting campus productions as well. The society also organises socials so you can meet other members who love to go to the Theatre in a more relaxed atmosphere.

The York Entrepreneurs Society

The York Entrepreneurs Society is the society responsible for the campus famous “York Apprentice” event, which last year was won by current YUSU president, Tim Ngwena. The society also took part in an event called “The Business” which involved entrepreneurial challenges against the likes of Leeds and Sheffield. The YES as a whole aims to get students to show and develop their enterprising skills. Being a member of this society stands you in good sted, with many of its previous committee members going on to work in top positions in industry.

The Lemon Press

The Lemon Press is a satirical magazine released once a term on campus. It offers a comical look at current affairs using creative and humorous writing. The magazine is written by students for students, so needs students to contribute in order to be able to print. This magazine might be suitable for budding writers out there who feel they have a creative style to their work.

University Radio York

URY is the oldest independent radio station in the country and the station, and its many presenters, have won numerous awards. The station broadcasts across campus on 1350 AM and worldwide via its website. Last year it opened a brand new studio, studio 2, an example of URYs every increasing ambitions. The radio station is always broadcasting during term time, so there’s plenty of chance to get involved.

concertbandConcert Band on tour in Belgium – Lyndsey Redpath

United Nations Association

The UNA aims to increase the awareness of the United Nations on campus as well as politics and political issues in general. The society offers its members the chance to attend national and international UN model conferences at other Universities. In order to keep updated and debate on current affairs, UNA meet up weekly.


Unspun is another magazine on campus written by students. They mainly concentrate on ecological and ethical issues in their writing, giving a voice to students on such issues. The hope is that the magazine will create a forum for students to voice their experience, views or concerns on eco-ethical matters.

University of York Go Society

Go is board game that originated in China and is still popular across eastern Asia. Much like chess, it stimulates the mind. It’s a simple game to learn but takes a life time to master. Beginners and masters are welcome to join and play this increasingly popular game. The society also organises trips to tournaments across the country, so this could be an excellent chance to meet many new people.

University of York Concert Band

The University of York Concert Band is a student run wind band. It is open to players of all standards of wind, brass, and percussion instruments. Saying this though, the band is ambitious, performing in public three times a year in York and going on tour to show off their talent, including Bruges and Dublin. The band rehearses every Saturday during term time from 5pm till 7pm in the Sir John Lyons Concert Hall.

Veg Soc

Veg Soc is the society for vegetarians, vegans and those thinking about going vegetarian. Their proudest achievement however is the creation of a vegetarian guidebook. As a member, this book is free of charge and includes information on vegetarianism, a guide to shopping in York and nutritional information to name but a few sections.

Vietnamese Society

Vietnamese Soc is society where Vietnamese students can come and meet each other and make new friendships. Non-Vietnamese students are also welcome though, especially if they want to learn more about Vietnamese culture. The society does this through events such as barbeques and other socials. They also have movie nights and cooking classes, where members can learn how to cook traditional Vietnamese meals.

visionYork Vision, campus’s other newspaper – Chris Northwood

York Vision

York Vision is one of the campus newspapers written by students. They release an edition three times a term and cover a wide range of sections and issues, both on campus and in the wider world. Like any newspaper, there’s the chance to work in any area, such as writing, editing or photography.

Viking Society

If you’ve ever fancied being a Viking for a day, then Viking Society is probably for you. The society recreates life in the dark ages through battle re-enactments and learning about the history. If you want to take this passion even further, then there’s the opportunity for members to take part in public displays after a weekend of camping.

Whiskey Night Society

The WNS claims to be the “best society ever created”. All their members share a passion for whiskey, and the society gives such people an opportunity to drink, talk about and generally enjoy the pleasure that whiskey can bring.

World Cinema Society

World Cinema Society shows great films from around the world and different cultures every Friday evening. They also show mainstream films as well though so this society is for anyone who wants to watch a film or two. Members and regulars can then join each other afterwards for drinks to discuss the film and films in general. As a member, you also get access to their free video library.

Word Salad and Art Chips Magazine

Word Salad and Art Chips Magazine is a termly magazine packed full of interesting things to read. Content usually includes artwork, poetry and photography, all of which can be submitted by any student at York. It also includes short stories, which also can be submitted.

Women’s Studies Society

If you’re fascinated by gender, then Women’s Studies Society is the place to meet and discuss such issues with like minded people. The society is closely linked with the Centre for Women’s Studies at The University of York, but anyone can join. Issues discussed include gender, sexuality and women in society to name but a few. They also support the ever growing feminist activism on campus with the help of informal lectures and seminars.

ystvYSTV at YUSU Elections 2009 – Chris Northwood

York Union Debating Society

The York Union Debating Society holds non-partisan debates on any and every issue every week. Anyone is welcome to come and listen to these debates. If you want to get involved and become a debater, then the society also holds classes for people of any level of debating. This can then lead to becoming part of the debating team and competing against other Universities. The society also has socials, including their infamous “tipsy debating”.

York Student Television

YSTV is a television station run entirely by students at York. They broadcast online and around campus, and often live at events such as Election Hustings and Roses. They have won many awards for their broadcasting. If you’ve got television or media ambitions, or simply just want to get involved in television and learn what happens behind the scenes, then YSTV would be a good place to start.

York Carnival

York Carnival is one of the main links between the City of York itself and The University of York. The parade includes music and dance performances in the streets, celebrating the cultural diversity of the City. The carnival happens once a year, this year reaching crowds of over 5,000. The carnival is run by a committee of students all from York, so this would be a great way to get involved in one of the major events of the year.

York Big Band

The York Big Band is a 20 piece band made up from students at The University of York. Their styles range from traditional pieces through to jazz and rock and roll. They emphasise that they want their members to have as much fun as they can, and so to do this they try and play at as many live gigs as they can. In their own words, “we are guaranteed to liven up the atmosphere wherever we perform”.

Yoga Society

Yoga is a fantastic way to become more flexible as well as stronger and more relaxed. The society organises sessions from an external tutor once a week, usually on Wednesday afternoons in Langwith. Class come at a reduced cost to members. All you need is comfortable clothing and a mat or towel to stretch your way to a more relaxed body.

York Student Cinema

York Student Cinema (YSC) was originally created in the late 60s, but has grown ever since. Every week they show a film in the Physics and Electronics Building on the projector screen with full surround sound. The range of films shown is vast, from X-Men Origins and Moulin Rouge, to less main stream films. There’s a role for anyone in the society, such as projecting, writing in their magazine, selling tickets or just having fun and watching the films.

York Carnival 2009York Carnival 2009 – Sam Newsome


The Zahir is the University of York’s literary magazine.


  1. Good work Sian and Liv in the Nouse pic, but Jim mate what are you doing?


  2. Tell me about it. I think it must be far to early in the morning. To be fair, Sian doesn’t look particularly impressed either!


  3. 2 Sep ’09 at 6:12 pm

    Francis Benali

    English Society – ‘Of course there’s also the odd pub crawl or too into town.’



  4. Er excuse me Sian looks amazing! Resplendent with that post-production glow, and clearly showing the correct amount of disdain for the “people” to whom she is “distributing” the paper.


  5. This is interesting but pretty ambitious – shouldn’t there be a note to say that these aren’t the societies’ own official descriptions? Is it all really factually correct?


  6. 2 Sep ’09 at 6:50 pm

    Nick Scarlett

    Great piece, I sometimes forget how many socieities we have on Campus! Cheesy Pop Soc in particular looks amazing!

    Just wondering where information on volunteering and charity, two of the biggest aspects of the Union, are in these features as I haven’t been able to find them?


  7. Anon, if there’s any doubt other the “officialness” of this list, just have a look at the address of the website. It’s, not We’re not the official Union website :)


  8. The Tag line of the website does say “University of York’s Student Website” ;-)

    Maybe that should say “The Website of a University of York Student Newspaper”…..


  9. And what part of that is inaccurate or screams “officialdom”?


  10. It’s a lie by omission…


  11. It’s a website, run by students, hence “University of York’s Student Website”.

    The print edition is a newspaper, run by students, and has “University of York’s Student Newspaper” on it.

    I think it’s completely obvious to anyone smart enough to get into York what the meaning of that phrase is without getting stupidly verbose.


  12. 5 Sep ’09 at 10:02 pm

    Sami-Rose Sterjon

    University of York’s Student News Website would be the parallel then? I think that people could be misled by current title whereas news website and newspaper are more accurate, especially if there are older student websites? Not trying to argue but offer option


  13. Only someone who does not know anything about the university would be ‘misled’, and you are just being pedantic.


  14. The word arrangement of ‘University of York’s Student Website’, due to the institution’s possession of the noun phrase ‘student website’ (which is in singular form), suggests that there is only one such website in existence and that this is it, and if I am not mistaken there are several other York Uni student-run websites. So it is misleading, and it claims false authority. To most recent Anon, I should think quite a few people who know nothing about the university use the website occasionally. To Chris Northwood, your nonsensical defence of this tagline suggests that it was deliberately worded in this way for marketing purposes. Don’t confuse being pedantic with identifying lies.


  15. Xed; your word arrangement, as majestical as it seems, is also flawed.

    My English teacher would have caned me for the comma splice found in your first line.

    Don’t confuse an intelligent twat with just a twat.


  16. Bitch all you want, but if it’s good enough for The Guardian, it’s good enough for me.

    We were runner-up Guardian Student Website not Runner-up Student News Website/Student Magazine Website/Student Website Associated With a Print Publication that has an element of a Newspaper and a Magazine-Style Supplement.


  17. No, you’re right, Nouse clearly is (the) University of York’s student website, as I now recognise that all the others don’t exist. I suppose the Grauniad.. oops, I mean the Guardian’s word is gospel in such matters.

    Donald: I fear your English teacher would have inflicted a couple more lashings on you for your incorrect usage of a semi-colon and your usage of the apparent neologism ‘majestical’.


  18. To follow up on what Chris was saying, the word “News” in the title is implied, and can be easily seen at a glance of the front page.

    Why is it “University of York’s student website” rather than “A University of York student website”? Well that’s just a nice competitive way of saying, “students read their student news here instead of other places”. This kind of jostling is to be expected when there are competing groups, and is not expected to be taken literally.

    The reason people dismiss other comments as pedantic is because they expect (rightly or wrongly) that these points can be inferred from the context.

    On the whole, our target audience does know about the context, namely and


  19. Hahaha I can’t believe people are seriously debating this – I was just taking the p**s!


  20. 7 Sep ’09 at 6:01 pm

    Dancesport President

    The dancesport bit’s really good and is factual.

    If you were wondering.



  21. 7 Sep ’09 at 8:05 pm

    Cheesy Pop Soc Chairman

    So is the Cheesy Pop Soc section.

    Well done that man!


  22. 8 Sep ’09 at 5:16 pm

    Susanna Snufflepuff

    These descriptions are mostly, all false. You make them sound very pretty though.


  23. 8 Sep ’09 at 5:46 pm

    Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

    That is just completely untrue.

    Most of these are very true. Hell, they are surprisingly similar to the write-ups on the old YUSU website.

    This is a very impressive piece which a lot of work has clearly gone into.

    They do sound very pretty. Also very correct.


  24. Regardless of the site tagline, the content is indeed very informative. Does anyone know what kind of proportions of first years to second and third year students join societies each year?


  25. Informative perhaps but a little uninspired. Dramasoc’s tag for instance : ‘If you have an interest in theatre, then you’ll find something to suit you at DramaSoc’. I suggest freshers wait until the fair and see the societies in the flesh rather than relying on the bland student media.


  26. **Correction**

    HAUS MAGAZINE is a student publication based at the Univeristy of York but focusing on content beyond the pale of the 60s campus.

    The magazine reflects an independent-minded, ambitious readership that thrives on the creative industries of art, design, fashion, film and music.

    HAUS MAGAZINE is a platform for talent. With an intelligent design and content, each new issue is an opportunity for exceptional writers, photographers and illustrators to experiment with few restrictions.

    Join us at….

    last issue….


  27. **Correction**

    Haus no longer exists! I heard they change their name to strip or somehting like that. maybe Foy could enlighten us.


  28. I can’t help but notice that this is the same guide you used last year, and so a bit out of date… There are updated lists of societies on if that’s of any use.


  29. @Confiture, yes, this guide is temporarily also being used for 2010 while we prepare a new, up-to-date guide. We thought it would be good to give any eager freshers at least an idea of the great variety of things that are available at York!


  30. There is no way more people read Nouse than Vision.