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Warwick Debate Challenge

The Warwick Debate Challenge is an inter-departmental debate competition which is part of a wider project, funded by the Warwick Higher Education Academy and the Innovation fund, to integrate debating into learning and teaching at the University. The competition is a chance to put what you have learnt from your degree and outside to the test, think on your feet, and gain essential employability skills!

The competition provides an opportunity for students, in teams of three, to represent their home department and engage in debates with teams from other departments on a variety of topics. These could range from international relations, to artificial intelligence, to film and literature. Each debate will consist of two teams (with three people in each team) arguing either for or against the topic. There will be four debates throughout the day - three of the topics will be revealed to teams in advance of the competition and one topic will be revealed on the day. The highest-ranking teams will proceed to the semi-finals and final and there is £1040 of prizes to be won by teams in first, second and third place!

Think you and your department have what it takes to be the winners of the Warwick Debate Challenge 2019? Sign-up below!

Key information:

Date: Saturday 15th June

Location: On campus (TBC)

Time: 10.00 – 6

Number of debates: 4 debates (3 prepared and 1 unknown)

Price: FREE

Prize Money - £1140

  • First Prize – 3 individuals £200 - £600
  • Second Place – 3 individuals £100 - £300
  • Semi-finalists – 6 Individuals £40 - £240


The competition will consist of 4 debates on the day – three of which are prepared, so participants will know what the topics are before the day, and one will be an unprepared debate on a topic which they will find out on the day. Each debate will consist of two teams arguing for and against and each team consists of three members and each speech will be six minutes in length. We will also have judges which will be a mixture of internal judges (staff at the university) and external judges from the debating community.


Teams must consist of 3 individuals from the same home department and the composition of team members can be from any year group. Individuals are able to apply, and we will try our best to match you with other individuals from the same home department. Sign-up here to participate in the competition as a student.


Internal staff at the university are invited to judge the debates during the competition and we hope this will provide a useful experience in how to incorporate debating in the classroom. We recognise that not all staff will have experience in judging a debate competition which is why have a dedicated training officer and departments are able to book training sessions on a variety of topics including judging or incorporating debating in the classroom. For a full list of the training available please email

Staff and external debaters can sign-up here to judge the competition.

To find out more about the competition, please email