Since starting at the University of Bristol, discovering and participating in student societies has been one of my favourite parts of university life. I’m also extremely lucky to be going to The University of Bristol, a uni that’s home to over 350 societies, groups, networks and sports clubs. However, Bristol’s other prominent university, the University of the West of England, Bristol, is hardly short on societies themselves with over 160 of them!  With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best, most unique student societies to join in Bristol. These start off normal enough and merge into the chaotically unique ones that you may initially roll your eyes at, but you’d secretly have the best time going to. 

Any “intramural” sports team, University of Bristol and UWE 

Sports societies Bristol: University of Bristol and UWE 

Both Bristol and UWE have a number of great student sports societies many of which are highly competitive. However, if you’d rather not join a dedicated team competing in external competitions but would still like to compete in a sport internally, an “intramural” team might be a good one to join. It’s also great because you don’t even need to have played the sport before, you can just turn up and play (provided you’ve paid the membership fee-around £30 -£40 per year, depending on the team.) The fact you need zero experience before signing up makes it a great way to develop a new skill without the pressure to train seriously or extremely regularly, and it can be a great way to meet new people as well. And of course if you find you excel at intramural level, at a later point it could lead to you signing up for a competitive team!

Comic, Sci-fi and Fantasy Society

Comic, Sci-fi and Fantasy Society Bristol

Calling all UWE students, if spending every Thursday unleashing your inner nerd (Marvel, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, you name it) sounds at all appealing to you, the comic, sci-fi and fantasy society at UWE would be an excellent society to join. The UWE student union website lists their activities as “film and TV marathons, role plays, quizzes, games, debates, comic swaps, workshops, guest speakers, crafts, crossovers with other societies and more”, as well as extra trips going bowling, playing laser tag and even an end-of-year trip to Comic Con in London. All of this is at the cost of just £5 per year, so come on, you know you want to join a society where you can just geek out over your favourite fandoms.

Nerf Society, University of Bristol

Nerf Society, University of Bristol

Yep, this really exists, and not just in Bristol! The University of Bristol’s Nerf Society involves several different types of games all involving the simple, gracious action of blasting each other with nerf bullets for £4 per year. But it’s more technical than you might think. For one thing, the society offers advice and training in nerf combat, and they have 20 different models of nerf gun to choose from (though if you’d rather bring your own nerf weapons I’m sure it’d be allowed). Personally I’m no expert on the various different types of nerf model, but it sounds impressive, and the crossover events with other BUNS (Bristol University Nerd Societies) ensures that nerf society is a fantastic way to meet many different people, albeit your first interaction may involve shooting at them.

Rollercoaster Society, UWE

Rollercoaster Society, UWE Bristol

Veering into even more strange territory, the UWE’s relatively new rollercoaster society brings together theme park enthusiasts (or simply people looking for a fun, exciting time) for monthly trips to theme parks all around the United Kingdom! Membership is £20 though trips of course have their individual costs, which the society only charges for the bare minimum, and for uniquely unforgettable experiences it is certainly worth it.

Taylor Swift Appreciation Society, University of Bristol

Taylor Swift Appreciation Society, University of Bristol

Okay, so maybe you’re not necessarily a fan of Taylor Swift, but the very concept of a Taylor Swift appreciation society is brilliant and unique amongst student societies, so I had to include this one. The Taylor Swift appreciation society does pub crawls, karaoke nights, listening parties and many other Taylor-themed events at a price of just £5 per year, and whilst yes, the target audience is probably avid fans of hers, it’s also a great way to start getting into her music given you’ll be constantly surrounded by people who will be reminding you how awesome she is. It may be best to go with a friend at first so as not to feel too isolated but it is definitely an excellent way to meet people who all share a specific obsession….I mean, interest, and it’s all light-hearted so you’ll no doubt have a blast.


So there you go; those are some of the best student societies in the city of Bristol at both the University of Bristol and UWE Bristol. Whilst these are just some of the most fun, quirky societies at these two universities, there is so much more to explore at both of their Student Union websites. You can even apply to create your own society at these universities, too! Want to find out about other things you can do outside of university in Bristol? Click here