Representatives from Melbourne University had requested that the VFL assist in the formation of a club in 1898, but they had to wait another 10 years to enter the competition. Unanimously accepted to the VFL as the first addition to the league in 1908, the 'Students' were followed by Richmond two weeks later. An earlier University club had played in the VFA until folding shortly before the 1889 season began.
Originally sharing the East Melbourne Cricket Ground with Essendon, University moved to the MCG in their final years. They never fielded any professional players, and each player had to have been university students or hold a degree. Any player who had matriculated could join the club without a clearance from their original side. In 1914 a rule change proposed that any graduates or students at Melbourne University or affiliated colleges could join the club without a permit.
The club lost 97 of 126 games in its time in the league, including the last 51 from 1911 to 1914. In their final year, the VFL altered regulations to allow "any scholar of two years' standing of a secondary school to play for the club".
The club began to struggle when examinations were moved to August, then went into recess at the beginning of World War I when a high number of players enrolled in the army. Subsequently, the club suffered the highest casualty rate of any VFL side and did not return to the league when the war ended.
A union between University and Melbourne was first suggested before the 1914 season, but the Students struggled through the year winless. They folded at the end of the season and the Redlegs took the cream of their players. Roy Park, Jack Brake, Claude Bryan, Jack Doubleday and Percy Rodriguez were part of the Melbourne side that made the finals in 1915, before they too were forced out of the competition by World War I.
Returning to play in the amateur ranks after the war, University split into clubs known as 'Blues' and 'Blacks'.
|1||62||Round 17, 1911||MCG|
|2||55||Round 11, 1912||MCG|
|3||47||Round 7, 1914||MCG|
|4||28||Round 8, 1911||MCG|
|5||27||Round 2, 1913||MCG|
|5||27||Round 16, 1914||MCG|
|7||19||Round 6, 1909||East Melbourne|
|8||11||Round 18, 1910||MCG|
|9||9||Round 11, 1913||MCG|
|10||8||Round 2, 1912||MCG|
|1||14.15.99||Round 2, 1913||MCG|
|2||14.9.93||Round 7, 1914||MCG|
|3||13.14.92||Round 11, 1912||MCG|
|4||13.13.91||Round 17, 1911||MCG|
|5||11.9.75||Round 16, 1914||MCG|
|6||10.8.68||Round 2, 1912||MCG|
|7||9.13.67||Round 8, 1911||MCG|
|8||9.11.65||Round 6, 1909||MCG|
|9||7.20.62||Round 11, 1913||MCG|
|10||9.6.60||Round 18, 1910||MCG|
|1||60||Round 6, 1908||East Melbourne|
|2||14||Round 9, 1910||MCG|
|3||4||Round 15, 1908||East Melbourne|
|1||1.13.19||Round 6, 1908||East Melbourne|
|2||4.4.28||Round 15, 1909||MCG|
|3||4.11.35||Round 9, 1910||East Melbourne|
|4||7.12.54||Round 15, 1908||MCG|