British Universities
& Colleges Sport
SportUniversity Sport in the United Kingdom
Founded2008; 13 years ago (2008) - University Sport 102 Years
Location20–24 King's Bench Street
United Kingdom
ChairpersonProfessor Craig Mahoney
CEOVince Mayne
  • British Universities Sports Association (BUSA)
  • University College Sport (UCS)
Official website
United Kingdom

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the governing body for higher education sport in the United Kingdom. BUCS was formed in June 2008 following a merger of British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) and University College Sport (UCS) organisations. BUCS is responsible for organising more than 52 inter-university sports within the UK and representative teams for the World University Championships and the World University Games.

BUCS is a membership organisation for over 165 universities and colleges in the UK, with 6,000 teams competing across 850 leagues. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal is Patron of BUCS.


BUCS has 52 sports represented within the leagues and events. They are:[1]

Leagues, Competitions and Events

Team sports compete in BUCS leagues, with the majority of league fixtures taking place on Wednesday afternoons, which is commonly referred to as BUCS Wednesday. Wednesday afternoons are generally free from lectures to allow students to compete in sport. There are 850 leagues, with institutions across the country competing against each other to avoid relegation or win the league and gain promotion to higher leagues.

The finals of the Championship and Trophy are played at BUCS Big Wednesday. This annual single-day event showcases the Championship and Trophy finals across 16 league sports. The event currently takes place at the University of Nottingham.

BUCS Nationals is an annual multisport event that takes place across three days. Indoor athletics, swimming, badminton, fencing, judo, karate, rifle and climbing are the sports represented at BUCS Nationals. The event currently takes place in Sheffield.

Over the year, BUCS runs over 120 events for both individual and team sports.

BUCS Points

BUCS Points are given to institutions depending on where they finish in leagues and events. The accumulation of these points determine which institution becomes overall BUCS Champion.

Loughborough University have dominated the points table over the last 40 years, however when the 2019-20 season was suspended due to COVID-19, the University of Nottingham were at the top of the table – however all competition didn’t take place, and the points table was voided for the 2019-20 season. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the full 2020-21 season was also unable to go ahead, and BUCS points were not awarded.

BUCS Points
Season 2020-21[a] 2019-20[b] 2018-19 2017-18 2016-17
1st - University of Nottingham Loughborough University Loughborough University Loughborough University
2nd - Loughborough University University of Nottingham Durham University Durham University
3rd - Durham University Durham University University of Edinburgh University of Edinburgh
4th - University of Edinburgh University of Edinburgh University of Nottingham University of Nottingham
5th - University of Exeter University of Exeter University of Bath University of Exeter
  1. ^ Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the 2020-21 season was unable to go ahead.
  2. ^ Competition was suspended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the points table was voided since the season was not completed.

BUCS Super Rugby

Established in 2016, BUCS Super Rugby is the highest level of men’s university rugby in the country. When forming the league, it was decided that the top ten teams from the north and south premier divisions would be merged to form BUCS Super Rugby.

Ten teams compete across 18 rounds to become league champions and avoid the relegation playoffs. The top eight teams then enter a knockout competition to win the Rugby Championship trophy.

Each season, the tenth placed team competes in a playoff match with the champions of the north & south premier league, this game determines relegation and promotion. Since its formation, only Swansea has joined the league replacing Nottingham Trent who were relegated after losing in the playoffs.

The Current BUCS Super Rugby Teams are:

The current League Champions, for the 2019-20 season, are Durham University and Hartpury University are the current holders of the Championship Trophy (2018-19 season).

The 2019-20 Championship and 2020-21 season were cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Many ex-BUCS Super Rugby players now play at the professional level within the English Premiership, Championship and Pro 14. A handful have also represented their country at an international level. Big names who have come through the BUCS Super Rugby League include; Welsh international Aaron Wainwright, Italy’s Sebastian Negri and Stephen Varney, Scotland Lock Sam Skinner, Harlequins star Alex Dombrandt and Bristol’s Harry Randall are just a few names.

International/GB Students

Members of both FISU (International University Sport Federations) and EUSA (European University Sports Association), BUCS is responsible for sending a cohort of students to international events including the World University Summer & Winter Games and the European University Games. The British international team goes by the name of GB Students.

National governing body involvement

BUCS applies for annual funding from Sports England to support the delivery of student sport across the country. They also work with national governing bodies to develop sports within the student sector and some posts within BUCS are funded by governing bodies, with the aim of developing the specific sport for students.

The Football Association fund projects and positions within BUCS to help develop grassroots football. With their investment, BUCS set up 62 Football Grassroot Hubs to support Football and Futsal in the higher education sector, benefiting just under 70,000 participants. BUCS and The FA also joined together to create the Women’s Leadership Programme, providing students with important skills and qualities to help them in their future careers whether that is in the football and sporting sector or not. The first cohort of leaders graduated in 2020.


The BUCS Board is responsible for leading strong governance and strategic leadership within the sector. The Board is made up of the chair, seven independent directors and two BUCS directors - one representing students and the other representing the senior staff of the membership.

Chair of the Board: Professor Craig Mahoney

Commercial and Marketing Director: Andy Westlake

Governance and Legal Director: Jenny Agnew

Physical Health & Activity Director: Born Barikor

Inclusion Director: Josef Baines

Sport and Competition Director: Katy Storie

Professional & Workforce Director: Nigel Wallace

Finance Director: Simon Wilson

Chair of BUCS Senior Managers Executive: Cathy Gallagher

Student Director: Madeleine Cannell

Hall of Fame

In 2019, BUCS introduced the Hall of Fame to celebrate the centenary of British university sport. The Hall of Fame acknowledges individual's dedication and achievements in sport. Members of the Hall of Fame include:

See also


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