Looking for the best student societies in Edinburgh? Well, you’re in the right place.  Student societies are a great way to meet people with similar interests to you and will provide you with a social network outside of lectures and halls.

Freshers/Welcome week is ideal for getting an idea of what you want to join, with the Sports and Activities Fairs displaying the societies and sports teams on offer at your university- so make sure to research when your fairs are happening! Most societies and teams also do introduction and taster sessions throughout Freshers week so you have the opportunity to meet people within the society or those thinking of joining.

Within Edinburgh particularly, there are four main universities: University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University. But what are the best societies to join in each Edinburgh uni? Here are some of our favourites.

University of Edinburgh student societies 

University of Edinburgh student societies 

The largest student population out of all Edinburgh universities, University of Edinburgh’s student population of 45,000 is reflected in the number of societies and clubs on offer! From Pole Dancing society to Knit and Crochet society, there really is something for every person!

For most courses there is a partner society which can be a good way to meet more people on or around your course- this also gives you the chance to discuss your subject at more depth with likeminded people. Some good examples are Geography Society (they tend to be proactive regarding meetups and socials!) or Psychology society (this includes members who are post-graduates and professionals in the field!).

Snowsports club tends to be a very popular society at Edinburgh University, with socials every Wednesday (as they are for most sports societies!) and the annual ski trip in January, this is a great option to explore a new sport or show off your moves on the slopes! With the Hillend dry slope nearby, it is accessible and although not the most affordable club, the payoff definitely seems worth it! A cheaper route to learn skiing or snowboarding, the club is a busy one within Edinburgh.

Alternatively, the Windsurfing and Surf Club is a good option for getting outdoors and seeing more of the surrounding coastlines- maybe even stop by for a Barbecue on the beach social!

Or if you want to meet people through a less alcohol fuelled route, societies like the Hot Chocolate society run weekly socials uniting people for their love of…you guessed it, hot chocolate!

Heriot-Watt University student societies 

Heriot-Watt University student societies 

With a massive range of societies on offer, Heriot-Watt has plenty of opportunities for its 20,000+ students to find something that interests them! Maybe try your hand at some tricks with the Magic Society or share your passion for all things culinary at the Foodie Society.

The CanSat Society is busy creating a satellite simulation the size of a Coca-Cola can which will penetrate the lower atmosphere- quite literal rocket science. If going to infinity and beyond is up your street, then this is definitely the society for you!

Or if you fancy a boozy entrance into uni, the Brewing Society brings together beer lovers, or general drinkers of the beverage, for a bunch of socials inspired by their shared appreciation of the drink.

Edinburgh Napier University student societies

Edinburgh Napier University student societies

Although Napier has a smaller number of societies to choose from, the range is still incredibly varied. If you are a fan of E-Sports, Napier University’s Esports Society came 1st in NSE’s 2020 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament- a society to kick back, relax and play some games or to compete in your favourite Esport at a higher level, this society creates the community for all.

Alternatively, any Dr Who fans can converge for discussions, quizzes, and viewings of the classic TV show at the Dr Who Society. With memberships at just £5, it is a must for any Whovian!

You could even feed your need for speed at the Motorsports society which, although a bit more expensive given the nature of the society, gives members the chance to go go-karting and watch live races together!

Queen Margaret University student societies 

Queen Margaret University student societies 

Lastly, Queen Margaret University has a wide variety of societies and sports clubs, situated to all students and their interests.

The QMU Sapphires (the Queen Margaret University Cheerleading squad) are a great community to get involved in, with recreational and competitive teams running. Everyone is welcome, with their alcoholic and non-alcoholic socials providing a safe and fun space for all students to let their hair down- and no previous cheerleading skill set required for the teams!

On the other hand, if you are looking for a more chilled start to university life, the Yoga society creates a calming introduction, with classes twice weekly and regular socials and fundraisers this is a good option for those wanting a more peaceful hour in their week.

Of course, all the Universities within Edinburgh are also home to fantastic arts options, with Bedlam Theatre at University of Edinburgh, Drama Societies and Musical Theatre societies at QMU, Edinburgh Napier University and Heriot-Watt University. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the biggest arts festival in the world and the performance space of many performances by Edinburgh students from the various universities. Given this, it is no wonder that Edinburgh drama societies are so sought after by students living here.

Ultimately, any society that you join, enjoy, and thrive in will be the best choice for YOU, and that is what counts. As a fantastic way to put yourself out there and enhance your university life, we hope you consider joining some as you move into the year! If you liked our picks of the best student societies in Edinburgh, check out our picks of the best student nights in the city.  

Queen Margaret University Societies List:


Edinburgh Napier University Societies List:


University of Edinburgh Societies List:


Heriot-Watt University Societies List: