Students queuing. Some are in red gowns.


The oldest and some might say finest of its kind...


The St Andrews Union Debating Society is the oldest - and some might say finest - of its kind, founded in 1794. Nowadays, the Union Debating Society is a subcommittee of the St Andrews Students' Association. All matriculated students of the University of St Andrews are automatically members, and all of our events are free for them to attend.


The Union Debating Society is the only debating society in Scotland to hold weekly public debates, single speaker events, or panel discussions. We have welcomed a number of esteemed speakers from a variety of backgrounds, including journalism, politics and academia. Previous speakers have included Ian Duncan, Baron Duncan Of Springbank, the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, and Willie Rennie (Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats). Our public debates and events are free for all matriculated students of the University of St Andrews to attend.



The UDS runs weekly training sessions for all students on British Parliamentary debating, as well as attending a number of competitions throughout the country during the semester. Alongside this, the UDS sends teams to the World and European University Debating Championships in the summer and winter breaks.

Any matriculated student is able to attend our debate training sessions and competitions with us, regardless of skill level or past experience of debating. We support debaters all the way from the novice to advanced levels!


The UDS operates a thriving Schools Outreach Program, supporting schools in the local area by offering training sessions with our experienced university debaters.

We also run an annual schools debating competition - St Andrews Schools - which brings together teams from schools across Scotland for a day of BP debating.

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Join the UDS for our annual AGM. Reports from outgoing officers will be given followed by a financial report and elections.

Interested in joining the Debates Board? Elections are open to all St Andrews Students. A position on the debates board is an excellent way to learn new skills and meet a wide array of new people. 

AGM 2022



We would like to thank ISSOS for their continued sponsorship.

ISSOS offers summer schools for high school students across the world in St Andrews, Cambridge, and Yale. They hire teachers and counsellors for their summer programs.