Rugby Union

16+ and Degree

Bishop Burton is the leading rugby union college in East Yorkshire. We run men’s and women’s academies at degree level (Senior Academy) and at 16+ (Junior Academy). We are one of just six women’s AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence) providers on behalf of England Rugby and the RFU.

The men’s and women’s Senior Academy compete in BUCS (British University and Colleges Sport). The men are in the BUCS Premiership, which is the highest standard of university Rugby Union in the UK. At 16+, our Junior Academy plays in the AoC (Association of Colleges) Premier Leaguel, while our women’s programme are in the RFU AASE league.

You can join the academy in the 16+ group and progress through to degree, or if you have already completed College, or about to complete, you can join the Senior Academy.

Entry Criteria

Prospective academy players must have applied for a course at Bishop Burton to be eligible for selection. Academic entry requirements are available in individual course guides. Sporting selection is undertaken through a pre-season trial and applications to the Director of Rugby Union.

Senior Academy players will normally have had regional/county honours, academy experience or have been playing at a high standard of adult rugby. Junior Academy players will normally have been playing at a high level of youth rugby union, been on an RFU DPP programme or have been playing adult rugby union.

The criteria is not exclusive and all applications are considered. There are also other rugby union teams below the academy programme.

Our Programme

Players in the academy system at Bishop Burton get a high quality programme balanced with their academic commitments.

Players receive skill and unit field sessions, strength and conditioning, video analysis, team meetings and various additional sessions to improve their knowledge and performance in the game.

Case Study: James Wright

James has been an integral part of a hugely successful rugby season for the College.

As well as the Rugby Union Academy winning the British Universities and College’s Sport (BUCS) Premier B League, the Rugby League Academy won both the Yorkshire and National cups.

Speaking about Academy coach, Mike Umaga, James said “Mike has completely changed me as a player. In terms of skill and performance levels, he has transformed how I play, and the whole set up at Bishop Burton, from the facilities to the training schedule, is second-to-none. As an aspiring athlete and someone that wants to have a career in sport, you can’t ask for much more.”

40 station high spec gym


Scholarships are available for high performing players applying for a place in the senior academy. Places are limited and rewarded to those achieving excellence within their sport. Application forms are available through the college Director of Rugby, Mike Umaga. Players on the 16+ programme have the opportunity to purchase heavily subsidised Gym Membership and Training Kit to support their development.



Bishop Burton College is proud to be associated with Hull RUFC

Rugby Football Union

Rugby Football Union

Bishop Burton College is proud to be associated with Rugby Football Union (RFU).