Society Affiliation

How to set up a new society

How to set up a new society

Please read through the following information before filling in the application form at the bottom of the page.
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Society Affiliation

Congratulations on your idea of starting a brand new Guild student society! The Students’ Guild encourages students to come together to follow common interests and develop their own personal talents, skills and employability. You are looking to become part of over 220 vibrant societies and student groups - both large and small - that span a diverse range of interests. 

This application guidance is the start of the journey for your proposed society to become a reality, and the start of the Students’ Guild working with you to achieve this. It explains everything you need to know about how to create a society, and what the recognition criteria are for new societies and student groups.

Why become a Guild society?

  • Training on events management, budget management, fundraising and more.
  • One-to-one help, information and resources from the Activities & Volunteering staff and officers.
  • Make your voice heard through the Societies Executive - your representative body.
  • Keep your society money safe and secure with Guild accounts.
  • Support with understanding tax exemptions, and how they affect your society.
  • Provide safer events for your members with risk assessments and support avaliable for all activities.
  • Access to termly Guild grant funding.
  • Access to Guild communication channels - webspace, email lists, student media, posterboards and social media.
  • Free access to Guild spaces and University rooms.
  • Recognition and celebration events.
  • Support in combining student activity experiences with personal development and employability.
  • Be part of more than 220 societies and student groups run by students - share experiences and ideas.

The Affiliation Process 

Submit your application to be reviewed by Societies Executive, a panel of students who will consider whether your group would benefit from being affiliated as a Guild society. You’ll receive a confirmation email that your application has been received usually within one working week. Please make sure that your application is as detailed as possible to ensure that the application process runs smoothly.

The Societies Executive will decide whether or not a proposed society is recognised and affiliated, on behalf of the Guild Council and VP Activities. The Committee will review your application, and will decide whether you will be invited to pitch your society to them. If you are not invited to pitch, you can arrange to have a meeting with a societies rep or an A&V Coordinator to get feedback and discuss re-applying.

If you are invited to pitch, you will have 5 minutes to present on your application and this will be followed by a few minutes of questions.

You will be notified within one week after your pitch whether you have been successful. If not, the reasons will be explained for you. You may be invited to re-apply.

If you are successful, Activities & Volunteering (A&V) staff will provide you with the information you need.  You will be invited to an induction session with A&V staff to train you and your committee about everything you need to know.

Society Recognition Guidelines 

Student groups exist to enhance the student experience at Exeter, provide great opportunities, support students to get involved with their Students' Guild and to improve students’ employability.

Societies should:

  • Draw like minded people together to follow shared interests;
  • Allow members activities and resources that individuals may not otherwise be able to obtain;
  • Be a flagship organisation for the Students' Guild and University, with its members becoming ambassadors for both;
  • Work in harmony with other societies and student groups, the Students' Guild and University.

Proposed societies can only be affiliated if the following conditions are also met:

  1. The Society Affiliation Form must be filled in correctly and in full.
  2. At least 25 students have registered an interest in the proposed society.
  3. No student society already exists with the same or very similar aims and objectives.
  4. The proposed group's objectives do not contravene Students' Guild or University policy.
  5. The proposed group's objectives do not threaten the financial status of the Students' Guild.
  6. You must have at least a president and treasurer in place before sending in your application.

Societies Executive may suggest changes to the proposed society, for example adjusting its aims, broadening its remit, or a change of name. 

Once a society is recognised it has full status. There is no option to recognise a society for a trial or limited period. 

To see an example of a successful application, please click here.


Deadline for term 3 applications*: 09:00, 25 April 2018
Shortlisted applicants pitch: First academic week of term 3

Please ensure that at least one member of your committee is available to pitch on the date specifed above. If your application is shortlisted you will recieve on email on early in the first week of term 3 inviting you to sign-up to a pitch, which you will need to do by a specified deadline.

*Any applications received after the deadline will be kept for the next affiliations period.

Need Help?

If you are in any doubt about any element of starting a society, would like some help with developing your idea or would like some help thinking about budgeting, what the Students' Guild does or how to recruit members, please visit Activities & Volunteering in Devonshire House, Streatham Campus, (10:00-16:00 Monday-Friday) or contact the team by email.

Application Form
Your Name

Your Email

Proposed Society Name

Proposed Society Aims and Objectives

Your society aims and objectives are one of the most important components of maintaining a successful society. Aims and objectives should encompass all the activities that the society will undertake. Please outline what your society will do.

Proposed Committee Roles and Description

A strong committee is vital to ensure your society becomes a thriving and successful student group on campus. Being a society committee member can also develop a range of skills – improving your employability at the same time as having fun. Student groups must have a President, Treasurer, Secretary, and any additional positions chosen by you. Please outline what positions will your society will have and what they will do.

Students' Guild

If you are successful in your application to become an affiliated society, your society will become part of the Students’ Guild. What does becoming part of the Students’ Guild mean to you and your proposed society – and why?

Other Societies

The Students' Guild has over 220 societies, representing a diverse range of activities and students at Exeter. The Students’ Guild encourages societies to work together on their activities, events and initiatives. Which societies do you see yourself working with and why? Have you approached them?

Range of Students

There is a diverse range of students at Exeter, and it is important to engage with as many students as possible, including postgraduate, international and mature students. It is also vital to carry out society activity on the St. Luke's campus. What is your society planning to do this year, and how will you engage with as many students as possible?

Three Years' Time

Many Societies only last for one year, and then become dormant. How will you ensure continuity in your society once the initial interested students have graduated or left? Where do you see your society in three years time.

Membership Fee

The Students' Guild recommends societies charge a membership fee of at least £3.50. Unless you are proposing a sports-based society, due to HMRC tax legislation, 20% of your membership fee is paid as tax. You should consider this when deciding a membership fee.

Financial Breakdown

Please give a detailed breakdown of how you intend to finance your society. Please list potential sources of income including possible applications for Guild grants.

Interested Members Declaration

Please list the details of interested students here.

Confirm Your Email

University of Exeter Students' Guild is a Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Charity Number: 1136468 Company Number: 7217324; registered in England and Wales Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ