Clubs and Societies

Cambridge is well known for its wide range of societies – from the sublime (Massage Society) to the ridiculous but hilarious (Assassins’ Guild). As a result, you’ll probably end up signing up enthusiastically to dozens of societies within your first week. Giving a society your email address does not in any way commit you to joining or attending events. It does mean that you will be kept aware of when events take place. If you lose interest, you can simply unsubscribe from the list, so feel free to be a bit reckless and try out new things.

The important thing to realise is that there are two levels of clubs and societies, those run by individual colleges and those run University-wide. For example, whilst most colleges have their own netball and football teams there is also a university netball team and football team for the cream of the crop out there. College clubs and societies are generally smaller and more informal and open to anyone; skill is definitely not a requirement for joining! There will be a St John’s Societies fair in the Fisher building during Freshers’ week, where societies will offer almost anything (cake included) to get you to join, so make sure you go along and get involved. For University societies information there is a University Societies Fair in Freshers’ week at Kelsey Kerridge where you can sign up on email lists for information on virtually any society or club you can imagine. There is more information on the CUSU website.



As a large college, John’s is able to field teams in almost every sport you could ever want to play. Our first teams are competitive and achieve sporting glory in Cambridge. But there are also very successful second, third and fourth teams for novices, people who aren’t as keen on training or those who’d just prefer a kick-about with friends. For keen sporting types, if you want to play for the University or the top College teams make finding out about it a priority in Fresher’s week as these teams often have tryouts really early on and get going very quickly . Look out for John’s men and women’s teams for Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Football, Golf, Hockey, Lacrosse, Lady Margaret Boat Club, Netball, Pool, Rugby, Squash, Table Tennis, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Water polo.



Drama has been gradually becoming a more prominent part of John’s life over the past few years, with performances that have ranged from improvised comedy to Shakespeare to eclectic modern devised pieces.

The college drama society, the Lady Margaret Players, funds and stages plays at John’s and around the University. The LMP is a great opportunity for those of you interested in any aspect of drama, from acting or directing to lighting and sound, to have your first taste of Cambridge theatre in a relaxed, friendly environment before moving on the tread the grander boards of the ADC.

Feel free to contact the LMP for advice about any aspect of the Cambridge drama scene, or to apply to direct or produce your own play at John’s or elsewhere. For those with dramatic ambition, look out for the lists of university-wide auditions in the student papers and at You can also join the Actors’ List to receive weekly e-mail updates about auditions and performances.


Other Extra-Curricular Societies

  • Amnesty International
  • Anglo-Japanese Society
  • Art Society
  • Caledonian Society
  • Chess Club
  • Chinese Culture Society
  • Christian Union
  • Film Society
  • Gentlemen of St John’s
  • Helvetic Society
  • Jazz@John’s
  • Jewish Society
  • Lady Margaret Players
  • LBGT Society
  • Left Tea Party
  • May Ball Committee
  • Music Society
  • Norman Henry Society
  • RAG (Raising and Giving)
  • Photographic Society
  • Punt Society
  • Royal Opera House Society
  • SAFE (South African Fund for Education)
  • Women’s Society

This list is far from exhaustive, so make sure you attend the Societies Fair in Freshers’ Week to find out more. If you can’t find what you’re into, why not start the society yourself? John’s will even give you a small amount of money to get off the ground!  It’s worth checking out:


Academic Societies:

These luckily have fairly little to do with academia and much more to do with fun as they organise social events (dinners, garden parties, drinking parties, maybe even a talk) for different subject areas. There will be a society catering for your subject, at either College or University level, or for the mainstream amongst us, both. The College ones below tend to have less obvious titles than, for example, the History Society. Word of caution though: if there are talks put on, they are unofficially compulsory (your DoS will bark at you if you don’t go).