Society Spotlight Week: Academic Societies

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This year, we want to focus on having more Academic Societies to help you get the most out of your University experience. 

What is an Academic Society? 

It’s a group of students who study the same thing as you. An academic society can help make changes on your course and bridge the gap between what you’re learning, making industry connections and letting your hair down. 

Our current academic societies are award-winning too! At the Student Union’s Volunteer Awards 2020, academic societies took home THREE of our big awards: 

  • Open Door Award (for inclusivity) - Watt Women in STEM 

  • Academic Enhancement Award – Languages Society 

  • Society of the Year – Students’ Actuarial Society 

Don't just take it from us...

See what President of the Investment Society (2018-2019), James Khumalo, has to say about his involvement in Academic Societies:

"Growing up, I was a very curious individual and always wanted to understand how the world works and in particular, how markets create value. So naturally I took my interest to the next step by enrolling to study Economics and Finance at Heriot-Watt University. I knew well before I started my studies that my academics could only take me so far, so I joined the Investment Society for two reasons. First, to connect with like-mind students at the university and secondly, to develop my soft skills in communication, interpersonal, problem-solving skills and teamwork. But the society did more than just that, it gave me life-long friends from all around the world, it helped me build meaningful relationships with industry professionals and gave me ample experience and transferable knowledge to prepare me for my professional career. Joining the Investment Society is the best thing I ever did during my time at university, without it I would not be where or who I am today".

(James [front row, 2nd from right] with the Investment Society)

What Academic Societies are there already? 

We’re on a mission to have an academic society for each course studied at Heriot-Watt, but we’re still missing a few. We’d particularly like to see a society for people studying Maths and one at our Galashiels campus for Textiles. 

You can see the ones we’ve got already here: and clicking the ‘Academic’ filter. 

What if my course doesn’t have a society? 

Just because you don’t have one yet, doesn’t mean you can’t have one. All our societies are run by students for students so we’re looking for some help to set new academic societies up. 

If you want to say ‘I set that up’, you could become a society committee member. All societies need at least three committee members (1x President, 1x Treasurer and 1 other committee member). Or, if you’re simply interested in being a member and supporting the society, we need you too. 

Interested? Click below and fill in the form to give us some details and we'll get in touch to chat about how we can make this possible!

I'm interested in helping set up an Academic Society for my course / programme


Join Colin and Polly for a live Q&A at 12pm today on Teams - click here to join.

or email them:

Colin, VP Community -

Polly, Activities Coordinator -


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