Best Universities for Clubs and Societies
Clubs and societies can be at the heart of your university experience. They are the place to meet new people, try new experiences and have fun.
In fact, joining a club or society can be a really good way to throw yourself into student life, discover new skills and get involved in leadership opportunities either on the pitch, the stage, the debating chamber or on committee!
How are the Top 20 worked out?
We’ve created the StudentCrowd’s Best Universities for Clubs and Societies top 20 award winners to help make your search for your best-fit university easy! We have crunched the data on 19,323 student reviews to find out directly from students how they rate what's on offer at their university.
What to look out for in a student club or society
Whether it's a whopping 700+ clubs at the University of Cambridge (#1) or a small but perfectly formed 27 to choose from at Harper Adams University (#15), each university's unique blend of clubs and societies give you a feel for the types of students who attend that uni. So it is worth taking a bit of extra time to look around at what is on offer.
And remember, it's not always quantity that matters. Students are not just rating what's on offer, but also how well clubs and societies are run, which often links to the support the students running them get from the Students’ Union. See our Top 20 Students’ Unions here.
With so many clubs and societies to choose from, it can be difficult to know what to go for. Most students combine joining clubs they are already into with trying something new.
Making the most of clubs and societies at University
One of the most common pieces of advice when checking out the clubs and societies during Freshers’ Week is don’t spend all your money all at once! Like the University of Sheffield’s (#2) ‘Give it a go’ scheme, most clubs run taster sessions to let you try before you buy.
It's never too late. Don’t worry if you didn’t sign up for anything straight away. You can join most clubs at any point during the year, as well as trying something new in your second or final year.
Clubs and societies are all led by students so can be the perfect place to develop your leadership skills. So, once you’ve joined a sports club or society that you really enjoy, why not get involved in running the club? This can look great on your CV. Your club or society activity could even turn into your future career.
Find out about the rest of StudentCrowd’s Best University Awards here.
Published: 29th July 2021
University of Cambridge
"Probably the best University experience one can get in the UK...lots of societies and activities to get involved with as well as many networking and career-related opportunities!"
With over 700 clubs and societies to choose from, it's not possible to be bored at Cambridge! Whether you're into sport, culture, science, technology or political affairs, there will be something on offer to suit you. Not only are Cambridge's clubs and societies a place to have fun, you might just find you discover your passion and become the next Emma Thompson or David Attenborough!
The University of Sheffield
"Awesome social life. There are lots of societies for whatever interest you have or culture you come from..."
The University of Sheffield has over 350 clubs and societies to chose from, so it's no surprise that it was ranked 2nd for clubs by StudentCrowd users. There is even a 'Give It a Go Scheme' which lets students sample different clubs to find out what they enjoy, whether that's baking sweet treats with the Baking Society or climbing mountains with the Mountaineering Society.
"Really supportive & friendly university in a beautiful location. Loved being a part of clubs, societies and volunteering..."
Bangor University is ranked 3rd in our league table for clubs and it is easy to see why. With over 200 free clubs, societies and volunteering opportunities on offer, there is something for everyone. The Students' Union is a great place to meet like-minded people and escape from your studies whilst learning valuable skills. The annual Varsity sports competition between Bangor and Aberystwyth University is also not to be missed!
University of St Andrews
"Beautiful university with excellent clubs and societies. The student experience and teaching quality is excellent..."
With over 150 clubs and societies to choose from, there will be several opportunities for St Andrews students to join groups of people sharing their enthusiasm. From knitting to a hummus society and anthropology to Disney, there is something for everyone and so many opportunities to discover your true passions.
"University is amazing!!! Extremely impressed with the amount of societies and clubs and I adored the union and the offers it presented during first year."
Loughborough University is ranked 5th for clubs in our league table, boasting over 100 societies and 55 sports club to join, with many of the sports clubs having both competitive and recreational teams, and a long history of sporting success. There is plenty on offer, from a semi-professional jazz band to Flix cinema society, and with political parties, religion, culture and academic groups as well.
University of Brighton
"Brighton uni is a lovely place and getting involved in different societies is made easy and fun!"
Brighton Student Union has over 100 societies on offer! The ethos behind many of these societies is to increase inclusivity, provide opportunity for students to gain employability skills and encompass student feedback. There is also an array of sports clubs available with either a competitive element offered through Sport Brighton or a recreational feel under the Parklife programme.
University of Liverpool
"University of Liverpool offers a great education for students coming from abroad like me!!! There are a lot of societies available for different sports and cultures!"
The Liverpool Guild of Students is home to over 160 student-led societies for everyone to take part in. Why not become a member of the 93% society and be the leader of change in the community and build your CV up? Or perhaps you could start learning Ballroom as well as Latin dancing and compete as part of the Ballroom and Latin Dancing society. The options are almost endless!
University of Birmingham
"Great campus and facilities, active student union and plethora of societies."
With an immense 500 student-run clubs and societies to choose from, it's no surprise that the University of Birmingham has so many positive clubs and society reviews. Students can learn about cyber security and how to stop hacking with the AFNOM society, compete in national and international robot competitions with the UBRobotics society or even develop an eco-racing car with the Brum Eco Racing society. Plenty to keep you busy!
University of Exeter
"I really benefitted from clubs and societies, which were beautifully organised and welcoming."
You will never be short of socialising opportunities at the University of Exeter with over 180 societies and 50 clubs on offer. There are so many opportunities to discover your inner Mary Berry with the Bake Society or Bear Grylls with the Expedition Society. If you don't find a society you like at Exeter, you can start your own.
University of East Anglia
"There are so many clubs and societies accepting everyone. My club has definitely made my uni experience so far! SU nights out are the best and it is always busy the facilities are fab there’s everything you need."
University of East Anglia is home to over 200 societies and sports clubs. You can be part of the Bloody Good Period society, helping to tackle period poverty, on one day, and take park in a weekly laser tag game with the Laser society the next! Why not try Korfball whilst you’re at it?!
Nottingham Trent University (NTU)
"This university is brilliant, so are the clubs and societies. they are very helpful to international students..."
Latin dancing, cocktail making and hula hooping are just a few of NTU’s 160+ societies. There’s a huge range to choose from that cover a wide variety of interests, whether students are looking to gain new skills, find friends with similar interests, or just add something fun into their week.
University of Glasgow
"Enjoying my time at glasgow uni and clubs and societies are great."
The University of Glasgow has over 300 clubs and societies on offer, making it impossible to not find something you're interested in. You have the opportunity to learn and share your passion for a whole array of topics such as MedTech, zoology, Star Wars and biscuits. There are numerous fun-filled events hosted by societies throughout the year and it is a great way to escape from text books.
"Northumbria university provides countless opportunities for you to get involved in societies, clubs and other activities, at Northumbria your degree is just the beginning."
Northumbria has over 100 societies on offer and endless volunteering opportunities. Whether you're into media, sport, culture, politics, science, or dance, there is something for everyone, and these are just a handful of the societies! This makes Northumbria's Students' Union a great place to make friends for life.
University of Warwick
"Vast array of societies and events led by them, something for everyone."
The Students’ Union at the University of Warwick has over 300 opportunities to offer! There are clubs and societies for individuals who are trying to find like-minded people, or trying to branch out of their comfort zone. The SU also prioritises employability to ensure students have all the help they need regarding future plans. There are also over 20 leader roles to represent student voices in matters around the campus.
Harper Adams University
"The student union along with its clubs and societies try to cater for everyone which really makes this university stand out. I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else."
Harper Adams Students’ Union creates a unique family feel to help you get to know other students across the campus. There are 14 sports clubs and 13 specialist interest societies – from gaming to conservation - on offer, plus events, trips and more, alongside student support and representation services.
University of Nottingham
"An extensive list of societies to choose from, of which offer at least one related activity a week."
The Students’ Union at University of Nottingham has over 200 societies and 70 sports clubs to offer, from baking with your friends in Bake Soc to competing in the Gaelic football team. There are also nine student networks to get involved with and meet new people with similar interests and passions.
"Tonnes of clubs and societies, in my experience the music societies are particularly good/friendly but depends what you're into."
Durham Students' Union has over 200 student-led clubs and societies covering a whole range of sports, academic, cultural and general interests. Clubs and societies are a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, share your passion with other students and make life-long friends!
University of Bath
"There are loads of other societies beyond the sports clubs so you can find your niche..."
Bath Students Union has so many clubs and societies to join that you'll be spoilt for choice! Whether that's sharing your love and knowledge of Harry Potter, cooking up an array of curries with the Bath University Curry Club or competing in the Tabletop Gaming Society, the Students' Union at Bath has something for everyone.
"There are also a ridiculously large number of societies available and creating a new society is easy which makes it almost impossible not to meet like minded individuals."
With over 200 clubs and societies to get involved with, you will never be short of opportunities at Lancaster University. Whatever your interests may be, there is a society for you to join or you can even start up your own. Lancaster University also host a yearly varsity competition against the University of York and is one of the biggest varsity competitions in the UK!
University of Aberdeen
"There is many events with the student union and with societies/clubs etc for you to participate in and make friends!"
There are six different varieties of societies on offer at Aberdeen from cultural activities to creative arts. Some of the specific societies at Aberdeen include creative writing, opera, mooting and yoga. There are over 50 sports clubs and people from all levels of skill can join. AUSA host and organise events throughout the year so students can explore the clubs and societies, meaning it's never too late to get involved!
Think your university deserves to be in the StudentCrowd top 20? Leave a review now for our 2022 University Awards!