A trinity for Trinity College as it again tops university league table for undergraduate degree results

It also achieved the highest proportion of first degree passes ever achieved at 41.8 per cent

Trinity College Cambridge has achieved a hat-trick by coming top of the university's league table for undergraduate degree results for the third year in succession.

For the second year running, too, the college achieved a record with the highest proportion of first degree passes ever achieved at 41.7 per cent.

It put the college eight percentage points clear of second-placed Pembroke College - which moved into the runner-up slot this year, replacing Emmanuel College - which slipped to fourth place.

The success story is revealed in the annual Tompkins Table, produced exclusively for The Independent by Peter Tompkins, himself a former Trinity alumnus who has been compiling the table for the past 30 years.

This year's results are a significant achievement for Trinity College - as it is the largest college at either Oxford or Cambridge. To score such a high percentage of first with such a large entry is a considerable achievement, argued Mr Tompkins.

"Small variations in results for small colleges can make a big difference to their rankings but for the largest college to come head and shoulders in front is statistically very significant," he added.

Elsewhere in the table, there was a significant improvement by Trinity Hall which climbed five places from eighth to third in the table, Queens' College, also up five places from 12th to seventh and Peterhouse, up from 18th to 10th. The biggest drop was recorded by Corpus Christi - third last year but 16th this.

Trinity was established way back in 1546 and boasts the highest number of Nobel prize winners of any Cambridge college - with more than one in four of all those gained by Cambridge alumni. Former graduates include Prince Charles, although he only gained a 2:2 in 1970. The college first started admitting female students in 1976.

It lowest position in the Tompkins Table has been eighth but this year is the fourth time it has finished top.

The college claims its success - which has been most noticeable in recent years - has been down to its decision not only to play to its traditional strengths in science and engineering but focus on achieving the best results possible in the arts and humanities as well. It has a diverse student population - drawn from all corners of the UK and around the world.

TOMPKINS TABLE 2013

The table ranks colleges on a points system with five points for a first, three for a 2:1, two for a 2:2 and one for a third. Separately, the colleges are also ranked on the percentage of first degrees they achieve (final column).

1 (1) Trinity, 73.66%, 41.7%

2 (4) Pembroke, 70.85%, 33.7%

3 (8) Trinity Hall, 68.94%, 28.1%

4 (2) Emmanuel, 68.72%, 30.5%

5 (5) Churchill, 68.17%, 28.3%

6 (7) Jesus, 67.47%, 27.1%

7 (12) Queens', 66.89%, 26.3%

8 (9) Christ's, 66.76%, 24.7%

9 (10) St Catharine's, 66.51%, 26.9%

10 (18) Peterhouse, 66.41%, 27.8%

11 (11) Clare, 66.08%, 25.3%

12 (20) Downing, 66.05%, 23.0%

13 (14) St John's, 65.84%, 25.1%

14 (13) King's 65.49%, 25.9%

15 (15) Magdalene, 65.00%, 22.8%

16 (3) Corpus Christi, 64.94%, 23.9%

17 (16) Gonville & Caius, 64.85%, 21.1%

18 (6) Selwyn, 64.59%, 21.6%

19 (17) Sidney Sussex 64.37%, 19.8%

20 (19) Fitzwilliam, 64.16%, 21.4%

21 (22) Girton, 62.92%, 18.5%

22 (21) Robinson, 61.95%, 16.2%

23 (23) Newnham, 60.92%, 15.8%

24 (24) Murray Edwards, 60.74%, 13.9%

25 (25) Wolfson, 60.51%, 18.9%

26 (27) Homerton, 60.33%, 16.0%

27 (26) Hughes Hall 57.92%, 13.2%

28 (29) Lucy Cavendish, 57.43%, 13.4%

29 (28) St Edmund's, 56.35%, 13.4%

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