University Challenge — Highest Series Totals (1994-2019)

A list of the highest series totals is complicated by the fact that even series-winning teams do not necessarily play the same number of matches. Several series champions actually lost their first match and qualified as highest-scoring losers. Similarly from the 2010 series, all quarter finalists play at least two, possibly three games. Thus 1995-2009 series champions usually played five matches, but occasionally six. From 2010 champions play either six, seven or eight games, depending on whether they lose zero, one or two games along the way.

The first table simply counts the total points scored, though given that both Emmanuel 2010 and Durham 2000 both lost their first game, it should not necessarily be interpreted as a ranking of teams!

Highest series points total, 1994-2019
Pos'nTeam YearTotalGamesAvg
1Emmanuel, Cambridge1018907270
2Magdalen, Oxford1118807268
3Durham0016806280
4Manchester1216157230
5Trinity, Cambridge1416056267
6Corpus Christi, Oxford0915105302
7Magdalen, Oxford1515057215
8Balliol, Oxford1714757210
9Trinity, Cambridge9514605292
10Gonville and Caius, Cambridge1514206236
11Open9714005280
12Imperial, London9613955279
13Open9913755275
14York1113707195
15Magdalen, Oxford9813555271
16Oriel, Oxford9913505270
17Merton, Oxford1813356222
18Manchester1413156219
19Manchester0913105262
20Manchester1313057186
21Magdalen, Oxford9713005260
22St John's, Cambridge1813006216
23Pembroke, Cambridge1212956215
24St John's, Oxford0112906215
25Corpus Christi, Oxford0512855257
26Sheffield0812855257
27St John's, Oxford1012806213
28St John's, Cambridge0912705254
29Imperial, London0212605252
30Wolfson, Cambridge1712507178
31Christ Church, Oxford0812455249
32Somerville, Oxford0212405248
33University, London1312306205
34Somerville, Oxford1412306205
35Imperial, London1012256204
36LSE9612155243
37Sheffield1112155243
38Imperial, London0112055241
39St John's, Oxford1611957170
40York1611956199
41Manchester0611805236
42Birkbeck, London9811705234
43Manchester0711706195
44Edinburgh1911607165
45Trinity Hall, Cambridge0611505230
46Southampton1411406190
47Darwin, Cambridge1911306188
48St Edmund Hall, Oxford1911306188
49Peterhouse, Cambridge1611206186
50Clare, Cambridge1211105222
51University, London1210806180
52Manchester1010706178
53Newcastle1810606176
54Worcester, Oxford1210556175
55Oxford Brookes1110505210
56School of Oriental & African Studies1410456174
57St Peter's, Oxford1510455209
58Imperial, London1610455209
59Oriel, Oxford0010305206
60Peterhouse, Cambridge1110305206
61Manchester9710204255
62Nottingham9810204255
63University, London0510155203
64Edinburgh0210105202
65Birkbeck, London0310105202
66Durham1910055201
67Durham9910004250

Ignoring highest-scoring losers games and the current quarter-final format gives the following table for 1994-2009.

Highest series points total, 5 match format, 1994-2009
Pos'nTeam YearTotal
1Corpus Christi, Oxford091510
2Trinity, Cambridge951460
3Durham001450
4Open971400
5Imperial, London961395
6Open991375
7Magdalen, Oxford981355
8Oriel, Oxford991350
9Manchester091310
10Magdalen, Oxford971300
11Corpus Christi, Oxford051285
12Sheffield081285
13Imperial, London021260
14Christ Church, Oxford081245
15Somerville, Oxford021240
16LSE961215
17Imperial, London011205
18Manchester061180
19Birkbeck, London981170
20Trinity Hall, Cambridge061150
21Oriel, Oxford001030
22Manchester971020
23Nottingham981020
24University, London051015
25Birkbeck, London031010
26Durham991000

Note. Durham's total of 1450 above does not include the 230 points they gained in the extra highest scoring losers round. This gives them a total of 1680 from 6 games, compared to the 5 games played by the majority of teams in the table. Similarly, St John's, Oxford 2001, would score 990 in this table, but the 300 they obtained in their highest scoring losers round would bring their total to 1290 from 6 games. Finally, the 2009 Corpus Christi, Oxford team were officially disqualified from the tournament, yet I leave their total here for completeness.

The only series winners not to score 1000 points were Magdalen, Oxford in 2004, and Warwick in 2007 who scored 970 and 930 respectively in their 5 games.