What Is Varsity University And Who Competes Against Each Other?
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What is University Varsity And Who Competes Against Each Other?

Maddy Burgess March 5, 2023

If you’re a fresher, or not that into sports, you might not know what university Varsity is, but it’s actually a huge part of the university experience and you should definitely get involved before you graduate. So what is university Varsity?

What Is University Varsity?

Varsity is the biggest annual sporting event in the university calendar up and down the UK. A varsity match is a fixture between two rival universities and this event sees the universities face off in a number of sporting matches and challenges. It originates from the sporting rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge but has spread across the country, with most UK universities taking part in Varsity. Almost every single sport takes part including football, rugby, tennis, lacrosse and swimming. 

How Can I Get Involved?

Varsity is a huge event that really brings everyone together, whether you enjoy sport or not. Everyone can get involved, cheer your team on at the games and root for your university. There are usually buses packed full of students wearing their uni colours, reading to come out in force and support.

If you want to be involved in the actual sporting side, you need to join your university team, work hard and get as involved as you can. Most of the time, the second and third teams also get to compete, not just the firsts, so Varsity really is for everyone.

Photo by Jacob Rice on Unsplash

Who Does My University Compete Against?

Here is a list of which universities compete with each other in England, so you can find yours and get ready for the upcoming events:


  • King’s College London vs University College London
  • London School of Economics and Imperial College London
  • Brunel University vs St Mary’s University, Twickenham
  • City, University of London vs Kingston University London
  • University of East London vs Middlesex University
  • Goldsmiths, University of London vs University of the Arts London
  • Imperial College London vs Imperial College School of Medicine
  • King’s College London vs King’s College London School of Medicine
  • University of London Colleges and Imperial College School of Medicine
  • Queen Mary, University of London vs Queen Mary, University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • University of West London vs University of Westminster


  • Aston University vs Birmingham City University
  • University of Birmingham vs University of Birmingham Medics
  • Coventry University vs University of Warwick
  • Derby University vs University of Hertfordshire
  • De Montfort University vs University of Leicester
  • Keele University vs Staffordshire University
  • University of Nottingham vs Nottingham Trent University

North East

  • Durham University vs Newcastle University
  • Newcastle University vs Northumbria University
  • University of Sunderland vs University of Teesside

North West

  • University of Central Lancashire vs Edge Hill University
  • University of Chester vs Salford University
  • University of Liverpool vs Liverpool John Moores University
  • University of Manchester vs Manchester Metropolitan University

South East

  • University of Bedfordshire vs University of Northampton
  • University of Bournemouth vs Southampton Solent University
  • University of Brighton vs University of Sussex
  • Buckinghamshire New University vs University of Roehampton
  • Canterbury Christ Church University vs University of Kent
  • University of Chichester vs University of Winchester
  • Kingston University vs University of Surrey
  • Oxford Brookes University vs University of Reading
  • University of Portsmouth vs University of Southampton
  • Royal Holloway, University of London vs University of Surrey
  • University of Bath vs University of Exeter
  • University of Bristol vs University of West England
  • University of Plymouth vs University of St Mark & St John
  • University of Worcester vs University of Gloucestershire

Yorkshire and the Humber

  • University of Bradford vs University of Huddersfield
  • University of Hull vs University of Teesside vs York St. John University
  • University of Hull vs University of Lincoln
  • University of Hull vs University of York
  • University of Leeds vs Leeds Beckett University
  • University of Sheffield vs Sheffield Hallam University
  • University of York vs York St. John University

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Madison Burgess is a final year journalism student at the University of Sheffield. As well as writing for Freshered, she is the Editor-in-Chief of Liberty Belle Magazine, a student-run publication. She is currently freelancing and has written for publications such as the Sheffield Star, Reader's Digest and Pick Me Up! Magazine. She is working towards her NCTJ qualification and her favourite topics to write about are lifestyle, entertainment and fashion.