Intervarsity Debating

Inter-Varsity debating competitions (IVs) are held at weekends at universities across the UK, and beyond; York sends teams to compete most weekends.

  • Plenty of socials, friendly people
  • Competitive if you want them to be, or just fun if you don’t
  • A chance to visit cities/friends across the country
  • Oh, and the best way to improve your debating

Competitions are in the British Parliamentary format, with teams consisting of two people. There are usually at least four rounds of debating, then a final, with sometimes more rounds and a semi-final, depending on the size of the IV and the number of teams.

For the smaller IVs are the competition usually takes place just on a Saturday, and for the larger it may spread over the weekend. Places to stay are provided and there is usually at least one social on the Saturday night (yes, debaters really do know how to party…). No matter how large or small the competition is, pretty much everyone there is more than welcoming and very friendly.

Within the UK, the larger IVs such as Oxford and Cambridge attract teams not only from across Europe, but also from across the world. York also sent, and will be sending, teams to the European Universities Debating Championship the in summer, and the World Universities Debating Championship in late December.

If you are interested in competing in an IV, or for more information, please contact the Debating Officer at