A full list of societies ratified by the Durham Students' Union can be found here .
Each college each has its own list of societies, as well as sports teams. These can presumably be found on college JCR websites.
Here follows examples of several DSU societies that a single physicist has encountered in two years of Durham:
- Assassins - main activity is a game involving being given a target (someone else playing the game) and a list of kill methods (such as paper knife, Nerf guns, food colouring poison); the winner is the person who takes out the most targets. Paranoia is a very useful quality. Society has been branching out more recently by introducing more roleplay-styled games, such as Summer 2011's Wasteland game (think Fallout acted out in Durham).
- Astronomy - spend a night a week looking at the stars; cloud cover is an excellent excuse for going to the pub instead.
- Ballroom and Latin Dance - covers a range of abilities from novices to semi-professional level dancers, I think a wider range of dance styles than is suggested by the name.
- Change Ringers - church bell-ringing, often have weekends out of Durham for some reason.
- Computing - organise talks from people in the know, offers access to additional digital storage space in Durham, and some sort of digital library? Plus the usual socials and so on.
- Conservation - arranges weekend tasks with external organisations (e.g. Wildlife Trust, Durham Bird Club, sometimes Durham colleges) that want volunteers to plant trees, cut down trees, burn trees, remove unwanted plants, shear sheep, clean bird boxes, and generally do things to help wildlife and the environment.
- Conservative - most of what I've heard involves drinking with likeminded people.
- Games - has a large collection of board games, organises RP nights, card game tournaments, video gaming, and arranges wargaming matches. Has a ridiculous number of events going on.
- Hill Orchestra - orchestra rehearsing every week in St Aidan's college on the hill.
- Humanist - organises talks and trips, getting together with likeminded people
- LGBTa - the DSU's association (rather than society) for individuals indentifying as Lesbian, Gay, Transgender or Bisexual. Runs 'safe space' socials, nights out in Newcastle, and LGBT-related campaigns such as Q-Week. Open to people of any orientation.
- Light Opera Group - DULOG, is the largest group in Durham for producing musicals, performing in the Assembly Rooms or Gala theatre. Every year do a Gilbert and Sullivan piece, and a larger musical.
- Manga and Anime - a night or two every week watching through anime series recommended by their members.
- Physical - a society based around the physicists of Durham, organises Monday talks, and socials (non-physicists, even non-scientists welcomed).
- Scouts and Guides - usually known as DUSAGG, society organises dozens of socials and events for interested people.
- Student Theatre - DST put on a number of shows around the year, generally of a very high quality
Klute (Elvet Bridge) - (un)officially the worst club in Europe (the previous worst one burned down; Klute assumed the title) - plays cheese, is ridiculously small, loved by many, hated by the rest
Loft (North Road) - bigger than Klute (not saying much), free tequila on Tuesdays - previously known as Rixies (then DH1, then 'Club Elysium') according to this wiki and other sources, but this editor had never heard that name, so decided it was time to change this entry - same owners as Studio?
Studio (North Road) - actually a half-decent club. Does RnB nights on Monday and 50p entry on Tuesdays when you get 50p chips at the takeaway over the road as well
Fishtank (just off North Road) - plays indie and generally 'alternative' music.
Loveshack (Millenium Place, near Gala theatre) - another 'proper' club, name describes it quite well
Durham Live (North Road) - Duham's new and biggest club (replacing Walkabout?), actually breaks the Durham tradition of having no nightlife
DSU nights (in the DSU) - Saturday's Revolver has died out now, but Friday's Planet of Sound is still going (for now...)
Loads. Swan & 3 Cygnets, Hog's Head, Varsity, Wetherspoon's, Shakespeare, The New Inn (beloved of scientists - the burgers are ridiculously good). Many more.
Hollathan's, Saddler's, Vennel's, Brown Sugar, Caffe Nero, Costa... loads of others!
Jimmy Allen's, which is good (cheap triples?). Chase - does nice cocktails. Fabios - above the restaurant Spags.
Also there are all the college bars to explore, where drinks are all really cheap! Castle is often agreed to be amongst the best, but is quite xenophobic and can be quite difficult to get into. Mary's is tiny. Trevs' is big and cheap, but severely underused by residents. Hatfield's is gorgeous and new. John's is quite cramped (no headroom), but nice. Cuth's looks like an actual pub, and tends to be noisy. Chads' feels quite alternative. Aidan's is strangely hidden away, but alright. Butler's is generally agreed to lack atmosphere, but is gigantic and also serves food. Ustinov's looks strangely like a hunting lodge.