University Challenge has returned to our screens this summer for its fiftieth series, with more whizz kids ready to take on Jeremy Paxman and the brightest students in Britain. 

The programme premiered in the 1960s and has gone on to have several reboots over the past six decades. The current season follows the same format as always but welcomes brand new teams to the quiz floor.

With University Challenge back for series 27, we thought it’s best to find out who got the highest ever score on the quiz show.

(C) ITV Studios – Photographer: Joseph Scanlon

What’s the highest ever University Challenge score?

The highest ever score on University Challenge belongs to University College, Oxford who won over Reading. They scored whopping 520 points during the final ITV season in 1987.

The quiz programme was later revived by BBC with a new host Jeremy Paxton.

During Jeremy Paxton’s era, Open University scooped the highest score with a total of 415 points. They competed against Charing Cross Hospital during the semi-final in 1997.

  • SEE ALSO: Where is University Challenge filmed?

Other high scores over the years

Blanch Flower has put an extensive list of the highest ever scores since the beginning of the quiz show.

Right after University College, all-time best scores belong to Birkbeck and Leeds University. Birkbeck scooped 430 points against Exeter University in 1984, while Leeds University earned 425 points in the 70s.

During Jeremy Paxton’s time, the second-best place belongs to Open University who got 395 points in 1997 against Swansea University.

Then comes Trinity College, Cambridge who earned 390 points during the final in 1995. Magdalen College follows in the footsteps with 375 points who beat Cardiff University in 1998.

Which university has won University Challenge the most?

The University of Manchester and Magdalen College, Oxford have the highest number of wins ever. Each one of them holds four wins.

Then come Imperial College London and Trinity College, Cambridge, who both have three wins.

Six other institutions hold two winning titles – Durham, Sussex, the Open University, Sidney Sussex–Cambridge, Keble–Oxford, and University–Oxford.



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Filiz Mustafa
Filiz Mustafa

Filiz is a film and TV journalist with a flair for everything related to showbiz and reality TV. With a Masters degree in Magazine Journalism from Cardiff University, she has specialised in finding the latest trending story to keeping up to date with new releases for a creative feature. When she's not busy creating entertainment content, she loves spending time in nature, reading non-fiction books, eating comfort food and travelling.

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