The band formed while still in school in Kensington, London, in 1995. The line up was: Ross Cummins (vocalist), Hagop Tchaparian (guitarist), Joe Birch (drummer), William McGonagle (guitarist), and Wojtek Godzisz (bassist). The band had a selection of up tempo and cheerful, yet mosh pit-friendly songs which, together with their very young average age of eighteen, bought them attention within London and landed a record deal with the Infectious record label. Some writers suggested that they sounded like youthful exuberance.
Debut single "Drink the Sunshine" in 1996 was followed by support from NME who placed them on the "Bratbus Tour" - an annual tour of four hotly-tipped bands which would visit Universities in the UK. The band's energy-filled stage show had been noted and Melody Maker ran a cover proclaiming the band to be the "best live band in the UK" in March 1996. The band released a mini album One Day At a Time and a #25 hit single, "Farewell to Twilight". This was followed by a well-received headlining tour which generated good reviews. Many fans went to multiple dates on the tour, and they enjoyed the stagediving antics of singer Cummins, and the rest of the band. These anarchic shows added to the band's increasing reputation. Another single "Fairweather Friend" was a ska punk number which led to a Top of the Pops appearance in which Cummins managed to stagedive and the audience invaded the stage.
In 1998 the band released their debut full-length album, On The Outside. Some writers found it to be a disappointing effort which was not as impressive as their earlier mini album. Nevertheless the album contained the next single "The Answer to Why I Hate You" and the anthemic "The End", ditching the ska element of their music and centering on heavy rock riffs. Some more touring followed but the band's popularity was beginning to wane by this time. They left the Infectious stable in protest of its new primary investor, Rupert Murdoch.
In 1999 Symposium released its final single, the pop-metal "Killing Position" EP. By early 2000 the band had developed personal and musical differences and broke up. McGonagle and Birch formed the post-hardcore outfit Hell Is for Heroes, whilst Cummins eventually resurfaced in 2004 with Paper Cuts. The band's primary songwriter Wojtek Godzisz went solo and signed to Tigertrap Records in 2006.