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Join a society

Joining or starting a society is a great way to meet other students and to further enrich your study. You can browse through our affiliated and new and emerging societies below, or in this brochure.

The Students Association can support you to form a society and then they are run autonomously by and for their members.

Some societies are linked to specific OU courses and some are based on a specific interest or hobby. All were started by small groups of enthusiasts wanting to share their passion with others. The majority of societies offer membership not just to students but also to friends and families ensuring a real cross section of members.

Some of the larger, more established societies organise regular meetings, revision weekends, conferences, outings and events; others might have modest numbers relying on newsletters in order to thrive. 

Some societies agree an annual membership fee and others rely on voluntary donations to keep them up and running.

If you would like to join or form a society or for further information please email ousa-societies@open.ac.uk.

Affiliated and emerging societies

Hello, Alicia here, from The Open University Ballet and Opera Society (OUBOS). We’re designed for people who appreciate and enjoy Ballet and Opera already, or for those who want to dip their toes into something new. There are many methods of accessing productions around the country/world, whether it’s online, in the cinema or in their original locations, so it’s perfect for us as distance learners. This society is here for discussing plots, costumes, productions, hints and tips on what to watch, organising trips, and where to get the best student discounts too! So please join us, by emailing ou_ballet_opera@hotmail.com, and get social on...

We’re here as something that will bring us closer together, when studying from a distance, so we look forward to hearing from you.

Photo of paint brush on canvasAre you interested in literature, history, music or art and live in or near the West Midlands?

Then consider joining the Central Regions Arts Club!

We are run by past and present students at the OU and arrange lectures, workshops, theatre and concert trips as well as guided visits to historical sites and museums. In the past year, topics have ranged from 15th century art to Victorian architecture and Ancient Greek literature to 20thcentury theatre. All students and graduates are welcome.

Join us on Facebook or for more details visit our website.

Photo of ringing at Kilkenny, Eire 2014

The Open University Society of Change Ringers [OpUSCR] is a group of over 70 bell ringers who are, or have been associated with The Open University as students or staff through the years.

Our interests are to bring together members of our Society to events that are organised throughout the UK and Ireland. These events are open to members and non-members alike and the level of ringing capability is of no significance - though we do encourage normal standards. Associate membership is also available.

Program for the remainder of 2016:

10 September 2016: Quarter Peal day in Essex - More details are shown on our site at http://www.opuscr.org.uk/page33.html
19 November 2016: AGM in the Coventry area.

Interim plans for 2017 are:

Spring Meeting - Lincoln

Summer Meeting - South (of the river) London

Quarter Peal Day – Warwickshire and Gloucestershire

AGM - Beds/Bucks area.

And in 2018, we may include the only tower - Hugh Town, on the Isles of Scilly.

We're the Change Ringers Society! We organise regular meetings for bell ringers in different parts of the country. Peals and quarter peals from Plain Hunt upwards.

Enquiries (including membership enquiries) are welcome and can be made via the website: www.opuscr.org.uk

 

Photo of hands on a laptopMembers Needed for New Computing Society!

The Dr Turing society is a new computing society for open university students. The name comes from the late Dr Alan Turing OBE FRS 1912-1954. The society will offer trips to places of historical computer interest. We will also have exclusive interviews with computer professionals from companies and universities. Our aim is to bring support and fun to computers, whether you are a Computer Science student, a Law student it does not matter as everyone is welcome.

If you’re interested to help get this Society get underway:

Email: richard@dralanturingsociety.org.uk

Website: drturingsociety.org.uk

Facebook

OU Engineering For Humanity brings students and alumni together who are interested in Engineering in the context of development, to provide support for courses and projects. We work closely with Engineers Without Borders UK on real world projects to tackle global issues. We are an active community of students and alumni coming together for discussion, information and action.

We are leading the summer project, a great way to get practical experience to build your CV and to do something that makes a difference.

To find out more, visit Ouengineeringforhumanity.wordpress.com

Photo of a business man looking out a windowThe Entrepreneurs Society has created a friendly space where all forms of enterprise are promoted, developed and supported. We offer training and development events, networking opportunities and a supportive community of like-minded people. Membership of the Society is open to all staff and current/former students.

Visit the Entrepreneurs Society website.

Photo of Fusion Society membersThe Open University Physics & Astronomy society.

As a member of Fusion you will receive a regular newsletter with articles and reviews provided by fellow students and professional physicists, and news from the OU DPS, along with the opportunity to participate in a variety of physics related Fusion events around the country.

Past Fusion events have included visits to Culham Science Centre, Mullard Radio Observatory, Jodrell Bank, Bletchley Park, Sellafield and many more.

Find us on Facebook under 'oufusion'.

Go to our website for more details, and to join!

History society logoAre you Starting a History course? Wondering what’s happening out there for history Students? Need someone who’s been there? Think about joining the Open University History Society!

The OUHS is the only History society affiliated to the Open University Students Association (OUSA) that is run by students, past and present, for the benefit of current students. We publish our own quarterly magazine written by members, organise visits and activities all over the UK , and have an AGM weekend with member speakers and a visit to a local place of interest.

Follow the link to our website for more details, and to join!

Saturday 22nd October 2016: University of Law, Moorgate – Bar Council Pupillage Fair
If you are an aspiring barrister, or want to network amongst some of the top Inns and Law Schools in the UK, then the Bar Council Pupillage Fair is a must-attend event. Registration can be found here.
Contact careers@ouls.org

Saturday 10th December 2016: Christmas Party - 'Aspen Rocks'
Providing plenty of warning, the OULS is going to host its biggest ever Christmas Party in Manchester. Save the date, as full details will soon follow to enable you to reserve your spot at an amazing 'Aspen Rocks' venue!

Expect dinner, dancing, drinking and snow! Watch this space... Seats will fill up fast! To reserve a spot or indicate your interest in alternative dates, please don't hesitate to contact james.sudworth@ouls.org.

Visit us at: www.ouls.org

PAST EVENTS:

Thursday 28th January 2016: Webinar – Exploring becoming a Solicitor

Saturday 30th January 2016: OULS Scotland Evening Social, Edinburgh

Wednesday 10th February 2016 (London): ESU/Essex Court Moot – OU v Inner Temple

Friday 12th February 2016 (London): UKLSA Mooting Competition – OU v Lincoln’s Inn

Saturday 5th March 2016 (London): TargetJobs National Pupillage Fair – The Law Society

Tuesday 19th April 2016 (London): Open University Law Lecture with Shami Chakrabarti

Saturday 23rd April 2016 (London): OU Law Careers Day and Social Event – University of Law

Monday 16th May 2016: The London Legal Walk

Wednesday 15th June 2016: Commercial Awareness Question Time, London

Friday 17th – Sunday 19th June 2016: Open University Students Association Conference – Milton Keynes

Photo of maths gamesThe M500 Society began in 1973 as a self-help group for Open University mathematics students in Southampton.

The M500 Society now focuses on 3 main activities - the May Revision Weekend, the Winter Weekend and the M500 Magazine. More details about the activities as well as information about joining the society can be found at our website: www.m500.org.uk

You can also visit us on Facebook.

Photo of the Mountaineering Society on a snow topped peakInterested in hill walking, mountaineering or rock climbing with a sociable club?

The OU Mountaineering Society (OUMS) have a meet every month in various locations including the Lakes, Peaks, Snowdonia, and Scotland.

OUMS is open to all OU students and staff past or present. All abilities and experience levels welcome.

Check out www.oums.co.uk or our Facebook group.

Photo of a guitarThe Music Society has been in existence for 30 years and is affiliated to the OU Students Association.

Even if you are not studying a music course and don’t play an instrument do consider joining us and other like-minded students who share a common interest in, and a love of, music.

  • £5 Subscription per year
  • 3 Journals yearly with articles of a musical nature
  • Annual Music Day with AGM in varying OU regions
  • Members’ contact list available to all members
  • Open to all students

Please contact the Secretary for further details: linda.brown157@btinternet.com

Please join our Facebook Group here       

Photo of Alchemy Society membersThe Open University Chemistry Society.

Our society is for anyone studying chemistry, or with an interest in the subject. You don't have to be a specialist in the subject to join!

As a member of Alchemy, you'll get a regular email newsletter with study help, articles, and reviews. You'll get access to the Members' Area of our website, where we have various resources to support your study, including our student solutions to past papers in the chemistry modules and S104.

You'll also have the chance to join in our visits. Last year, we went to Milton Keynes for a guided tour of the OU Chemistry Department, we visited Heysham to be shown round the nuclear power station, and combined our AGM in August with a look round a brewery in Burton. We also invited hundreds of OU students to try to identify our molecule and make some sherbet on our stand at the OUSA conference!

Find us on our website www.oualchemy.org and on Facebook under "OU Alchemy".

Picture of words that spell out poetryCalling all new OU students! Interested in poetry? Wondering where to get feedback on your work before sending it out?

 

Then the Open University Poetry Society is for you! OU Poets is the only poetry society affiliated to the Open University Students Association (OUSA).

You can submit poems to the magazine OU Poets five times a year, comment on the work of others, plus, every member has the opportunity to edit the magazine. The best poems, as voted by members, are included in our annual anthology, Openings. 

We hold two regular meetings each year: an AGM, usually in April in London; and a residential Poetry weekend in November with workshops and readings, and other events by request.

More information can be found on our website with an application form - join today!

www.oupoets.org.uk or email the secretary, adrian@greenad.co.uk

Photo of a tree sapling in a hand

Are you interested in third world development and the environment? We’re the OU Development and Environment Society (OUDES). We exist to support students and alumni in promoting the protection of the environment, in reducing poverty and in defence of human rights.

Visit the website: www.oudes.org

PLEXUS Logo

Do you have Pride? Are you a keen Learner? Have a passion for Equality? Take No eXcuse’s? Provide Unity? Are you enthusiastic about providing a Safe environment? If so, stop and read this. 

It’s the start of a new academic year and with this comes new and exciting opportunities. Alongside new students, new modules and new challenges the new OU LGBT+ Group - Plexus

For more information or to join please visit www.ouplexus.co.uk.  The committee can also be contacted via email info@ouplexus.co.uk

Photo of Psychological Society membersThe Open University Psychological Society (OUPS) exists to support OU psychology students both academically and socially throughout their studies and also after they graduate.

At a national level we run a programme of events which include pre-module Springboard Weekends, mid-module Consolidation Weekends, Revision weekends, Methods and Skills Workshops and an Annual Conference. At a regional level we offer overview days, day conferences and social events. We aim to offer something for everyone no matter what level you are at.

OUPS is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit, registered charity. It was originally founded in 1974 we are still going strong 40 years later.

Although the main aim of OUPS is to provide an academic resource primarily directed at students of OU undergraduate courses, it's not all work! OUPS weekends are also fun, social occasions designed to provide the social interactions missing from home study. And the Annual Conference can provide great networking opportunities. The opportunity to chat over a meal or drink with a member of, for example, a member of the Course Team, as well as current and past students, provides key motivational support. And all weekends have a full programme of social events that you can attend as you wish.

You can find out more about a OUPS event in this short video. Read more from Abi Robbins, OUSA rep for OUPS here and read the latest newsletter here.

OUPS would like to offer all new DE100 students one years free membership! This includes discounted entry to events and an electronic quarterly newsletter.

To find out more please go to our website: www.oups.org.uk

OURoC (Robotics Club): The purpose of this club is to develop and share knowledge related to robotics for general and more expert audience. If you are curious, interested, or passionate about robotics please drop us an email at robotics4ou@gmail.com

Logo of the Shakespeare societyThe Open University Shakespeare Society (OUSS) was founded in 1989 by a group of AA306 students, and today comprises some 170 members, both former and current OU students, who share a love of Shakespeare’s works. 

As well as publishing a quarterly journal written by its members with reviews and academic essays, we hold an annual Open Study Day in Stratford-upon-Avon with leading speakers, based on the current OU English courses.

Our patrons are Dame Judi Dench and Viv Thomas, former OU English Professor.

We welcome new members from any OU course – please see our website at www.ouss.org.uk or our Facebook page (search ‘OUSS’).

SOUP – Society of Open University Philosophers, open to anyone with an interest in Philosophy

https://philosophysoupblog.wordpress.com/welcome/

Logo of the Students for Ethical Science societyOUSES was set up in 1992 to campaign peacefully against the OU's harmful use of animals in teaching and research, and provide help and information to students who wanted to complete a science degree without harming animals.

Our website at www.ouses.org.uk also provides a list of recommended books, websites and other resources to learn more about animal science and animal ethics, whether you're looking for a beginner's introduction or detail on a special topic. We're currently in the process of expanding and reorganising this section, making it into a much more useful resource for all students of ethical science.

We also run a moderated forum - "OUSA Ethical Science" (open to all current students, whether members or not), where students can discuss the science, ethics and politics of animal ethics, animal intelligence and animal welfare. There's a similar forum on our own website, open to all OUSES members even if they're not current students.

So if you're a new student, or an old student, and:

  • want the opportunity to learn about animal ethics, the scientific pros and cons of animal tests, and the available alternatives, alongside your OU studies;
  • want to help with our work (good for the CV as well as the soul!);
  • or just want to show that you support an end to animal experiments at the OU;

Then visit our website to download the membership form, or contact Diana Isserlis at ses.membership@blueyonder.co.uk.

Membership is free, but we ask for a £5 donation if you can afford it. Members receive our newsletter (currently once a year), and have access to the members-only forum on our website, which is available to all members whether current students or not. We're currently a small society of about 50 members, so whether you can actively contribute or not, your membership is important - the more members we have, the more weight our voice has with the OU in support of animal welfare.

Photo of a man doing tai chiThe Tadpoles Society enables members to share skills, experiences, ideas and knowledge of creativity and personal growth in the spirit of ‘TAD292 Art and the environment’ 76-85. We organise events including a Spring Bank Holiday gathering. 


Please email ousa@open.ac.uk for contact details.

The Write Club logo of a typewriterWrite Club is The OU's society for writers of prose. We aim to provide aspiring writers with a private, secure online space to share writing for feedback. We have a Novel Support Programme, monthly regional meet-ups and a social cafe on Facebook. Beginner's and experts welcome!

We can be found on Facebook or contacted via email: WriteClub@gmx.co.uk

Please note that following some recent concerns, the group that operates under the name of The Open University Computer Club Society is no longer affiliated to the Students Association and therefore the members of its Committee are no longer representatives of this organisation. We therefore advise that complaints about any activity surrounding the Club should be directed to its committee rather than to the Students Association.

10 reasons to get involved

Join in the discussions on our Forums, Facebook and Twitter.

Influence how the University is run and get the student voice heard.

Get involved in societies and events.

Join in with the many volunteering opportunities.

An opportunity to debate the issues most important to you, hear inspirational speakers and socialise with other students.

Talk to a peer supporter or share advice with other students.

Help support other students to study or access help for yourself.

Save money on lots of products through the NUS Extra card.