Starting university can be daunting. Perhaps you’re moving away from home for the first time or maybe you’re returning to your studies after a break of a few years or even decades.
Finding a sense of belonging and a community in which you feel comfortable and confident can be instrumental to making your time with us the best it can possibly be. We can help you to find your Uni family.
So, how can we help?
Whether you’re interested in representing the University of Plymouth at a regional or national level in your chosen sport, volunteering your time to contribute to the local community, finding like-minded people to socialise with or connecting with other students on your course – we have something for you.
Here at UPSU we support over 40 different sports clubs. These clubs offer you an opportunity to join a community where you’re guaranteed to have something in common, with a chance to play sport in a social and/or competitive environment.
With our campus situated a short walk from Plymouth Sound on the beautiful south coast of Devon, when you come to study at the University, you’ll have access to a wide range of water-based activities to truly make the most of ‘Britain’s Ocean City’.
Finally, if you want to try a new sport, our Intramural Sports programme lets you and your friends play weekly sport in a fun and friendly atmosphere where taking part is sometimes more important than winning. There are a number of semi-competitive leagues and tournaments played between students from the University, and teams can be made up from halls, coursemates, clubs, societies or a group of friends.
Our 90+ student-led societies are a major part of what we are about. From gastroenterology to gaming, paediatrics to Pokémon – whatever your interests you’re bound to find a society that meets your needs. If you’re looking to meet students on your course outside of a classroom setting, we currently support more than 40 academic societies, which aim to connect students and offer social and development opportunities.
For those students who are looking to connect with students from a similar cultural background – perhaps you’re an international student who wants to find a community that offers a home away from home – our range of cultural societies may be able to help.
Societies exist to meet your needs as students and for you to meet like-minded people in your chosen area, whether that be an activity, culture, faith or belief, hobby or even just to try something new.
“Through the society I have learnt to work with a range of students outside of my course (medicine) and have thus made strong friendships which have led me to new opportunities which I wouldn’t have otherwise got involved in.”
- Member of the Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Society
There are many different types of opportunities available if you’re looking to volunteer, with flexibility and commitment levels to suit you and your studies. Maybe you’d like to contribute to running a charity shop, get stuck in with helping wildlife conservation, or assist in coaching football sessions? Perhaps your heart lies in fundraising for local, national and global causes? Plymouth Raise and Give (RAG) are a student-led group who run fundraising projects for chosen charities which are selected each year. The group also offer fundraising adventures each year which could see you taking on Everest Base Camp, cycling from London to Paris or trekking Machu Picchu.
Our dedicated group of student representatives are the voice of the student body across the University and Students’ Union. There are several student representative roles, each with a specific remit; however, their collective aim is to champion the student voice and create positive changes to the University experience for all students. If you’re passionate about listening to students and campaigning for change, then take a look at the range of student representative roles available, including Course Reps, School Reps, Faculty Reps, Part-time Officers and Sabbatical Officers.
Starting university is a great opportunity to explore your interests and take part in new and different experiences. If you’re not sure what you’re interested in or you’re looking for a way
of getting involved without the initial commitment of joining, why not Give it a Go? The Give it a Go programme offers a range of different sessions throughout the year–run by clubs, volunteers, qualified sports instructors and society groups–where you can come along and do just that, give it a go–try something new, meet new people and learn new skills. If you love the sessions, great! Perhaps join a club or society and pursue your passion that way. If you don’t love it, no problem! Try more of our Give it a Go sessions until you find an activity that you love.
Started during the coronavirus lockdowns, the SU Buddy Scheme is led by students with support from staff members here at the SU. You may be worrying about starting University life, how you'll settle in and how you'll meet new people - the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Our Buddies are students just like you, who've been through it all before, and their role is to help you settle in whether that's by going out for a coffee and a chat, coming along to a club or society taster session or walk round the Freshers' Week Fairs with you.
The Scheme is designed to be very informal - it's just a chance to meet someone new, boost your wellbeing and combat loneliness through the support offered by a student just like you.
All our groups are student-led, meaning you – the students – shape and build them, with the support of a dedicated team of staff members.
Connect with us on social media
If you're joining us in September and you're looking to meet new people or have a question about life as a student then check out our Facebook groups:
Find out more about getting involved during Freshers' Week Freshers Hub