Can’t find what you’re looking for in our A-Z list of Clubs, Societies and Projects?
Why not start up a new student group yourself? It can be a fun, valuable and worthwhile experience running a student group whilst at University. You will be helping the Union to continue to deliver an amazing experience for members and allow like minded individuals to come together and make lifelong memories.
There are 3 different types of Student Group you start up that are supported by the Student Activities Team:
- Sports Club – a physical activity with the potential to compete or a recognised sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). At the point of application the Union will review whether it is appropriate for Sports Clubs to be part of the Imperial Athletes Community.
- Society – The majority of our student groups are called societies. These vary widely from Faculty and Departmental societies, to Arts or Cultural groups, and many more. Where it is clear that a group is not a sports club or student-led project, they will be labelled as a society.
- Student-Led Project - Projects are student led initiatives which aim to undertake community and outreach work, or raise money for charitable causes. These include groups who volunteer and coordinate activities in the local community and further afield working on international development projects abroad.
We also have other student community groups at Imperial that have a different purpose within the Imperial Community. Our student activists and Individuals from under represented back groups can create Campaign Groups and Liberation Networks. Due to the nature of these groups, there is a different support package and a different process for setting these student communities up. You can find out more about Campaign Groups and Liberation Networks on our main website. If you are not sure whether your idea is a campaign or society, check in with us for support.
Where to start?
Why Start Up a New Group?
Creating and leading a new group can be one of the most rewarding things you do throughout your student journey, not only because it can help you in lots of ways, but it can also help others. Here are only a few of the many reasons as to why it is good to take on this challenge:
- You will gain invaluable skills that employers are looking for
- You will meet like minded individuals who can become your friends
- You support others to build a community and find a sense of belonging
- The activities you deliver will support students to advance their academic development
Before you start the application, ask yourself:
- Who is going to help me run my club or society?
- Is there already a club or society organising the kinds of events that I want?
- Who is going to join my club or society?
What will you need to start your own Club, Society or Project?
- An idea for a club, society or project that does not already exist
- You need to meet the criteria outline in the NAC policy (updated policy coming soon)
- You need 3 founders (including yourself) who will lead the new group for the rest of the academic year
- 17 other students who will register their interest in this new group being formed
Applications for student groups are reviewed by the New Activities Committee. Who are a sub-committee of the Clubs, Societies and Projects Board. Below outlines the steps you need to take to submit an application and get it reviewed by the committee.
Step 1: Check Your Idea
We advise you take the following steps to check your idea so that it doesn't get rejected when it gets to the committee.
- Check it against the criteria for starting a new group in the NAC policy.
- If it is similar to other societies or clubs, contact them and discuss your idea. You may have to slightly mould what you do so you can be different. We expect to have spoken to other groups and to tell who you have spoken to specifically, in your application!
- Are you better off being a society or a campaign group? We have been working with the campaigns team to outline some guidance which is coming soon. In the mean time, contact us to discuss support.
- If you are linked to an external organisation you will need to show how you are independent of them. You are not allowed to be governed by them as you are an Imperial society. You also cannot just market on their behalf your society must have activities that provide opportunities for students.
Step 2: Gain Support and Rally Interest
WHO IS GOING TO RUN THE COMMITTEE WITH YOU?
You may already have some friends who are keen to support you in setting up your new group. They may have even come up with the idea with you. This makes life easy. The next step is to assign roles. The three founders need to be put in to the following roles:
You can have other committee roles too but you will need to recruit these later down the line once the group is approved.
GETTING 17 STUDENT TO SIGN UP FOR INTEREST OR RECRUITING OTHER COMMITTEE MEMBERS
For the application you need 3 founders and 17 students who register their interest in this group being created. If you don’t already have other Imperial students who are interested, there are ways in which you can connect with students to get them to support you. You will need their student ID’s.
- You can try asking others on your course
- You can reach out to other similar societies and ask them to promote this for you
- You can put a post out on our various facebook groups
- If none of these work, you can contact us and we can arrange some promotion for you. (but we will want to see proof that the other avenues haven't worked)
All you need are the students' names and ID so do not collect any other sensitive information. We advise you to keep these records yourself.
Step 3 - Develop your idea and activities
You now need to think about the operations and delivery of your new group. Here are a list of things to think about:
- What regular activity will we offer our members?
- What events do we want to offer?
- How much will all of these ideas cost?
- Are there any potential sponsors we can reach out to?
- How can we make this financially sustainable?
- What spaces or equipment will we need to do these activities?
- Are there any legal or health and safety implications to do this activity?
TOP TIPS TO HELP YOU OUT
Starting a new club or society can be a daunting process for some, however we think it can also be one of the most positive experiences of student life at Imperial! Here are some tips we feel could be helpful when starting a new group.
- If you are not sure what regular activities or events you could put on within your group, then have a look around at other student's Unions websites as there will most likely be the same or a similar society at another institution. Or look at similar community based organisations!
- Worried about finding a facility for your new sport? Speak to local clubs all over London, the same club at another London University or the Imperial Athletes Team. There will most likely be somewhere for your activity to happen
- Not sure how you are going to fund your activity? Lots of groups are funded by sponsors, look at similar groups pages and contact the same sponsors.
Step 4 -Submit Your Application
Now you have taken the starting steps along your journey to creating your new group, it is time to submit an application form. Your application will be screened by a member of staff, and if anything is missing we will ask for the information so it can taken to the next New Activities Committee ready with all the information correct.
Submit Your Application Here
Please use this Template for the section on Budgeting
Once they have reviewed your application at the next committee, a member of staff will get back to you regarding whether your application was approved or rejected with reasoning within 3 weeks of the submission deadline.
Find out more below about submission deadlines, and application outcomes.
Application Deadlines 2023-2024
|One (Term 1)||Sunday 29th October 2023||W/C 20th November|
|Two (Term 2)||Sunday 4th February 2024||W/C 19th February|
|Three (Term 3)||Sunday 19th May 2024||W/C 3rd June|
This form will stay live throughout the year, If you miss a round, your application will be reviewed in the following committee meeting round. If you miss the last deadline your application will not be reviewed within the academic year and you will need to resubmit in the new academic year.
The reasons for this might be that your idea is too similar to an already existing society. In this case, the Committee would recommend that you engage with the existing society and work together on your idea. Another reason could be that the application itself is not as strong as it could be. If this was the outcome, the committee would recommend that you work with the Student Activities and Development Team to strengthen your application and reapply.
Unless recommended to reapply with further information, there is no appeals process for the New Activities Committee. You may reapply in the next academic year.
The committee felt that your application was strong and you have shown you are a sustainable, active and proficient group. This is the most common result of an application. This result means that the Committee like your idea, though they feel it has room to grow. From this point you will be placed in the 'New Activities Incubator' (NAI or 'the Incubator'); this is a ‘buffer’ period whereby you receive support and training from the Activities Team to allow you to develop into becoming a fully-fledged Club, Society or Project. For more information on the New Activities Incubator please click here.