Arts Scholars

The Arts Scholars programme is an opportunity for passionate and creative students who thrive academically to take their Bachelor of Arts (BA) or BA conjoint to the next level.

Arts Scholars join a select group of students who genuinely love to learn, and are taught and mentored by leading researchers from the Faculty of Arts and beyond.

Together, you will grapple with the social, economic, and cultural impact of a range of issues beyond your majors through group discussions, rousing debates, and personal reflection. This will prepare you not only for a variety of workplaces and careers, but help you challenge preconceptions, expand your horizons, and engage with a diversity of issues and people. 

On top of the extra academic challenge, Arts Scholars also offers you individual support, one-on-one academic mentoring from our top academics, activities throughout the year, and the opportunity to become a student mentor yourself. We emphasise skills that are applicable across research and the workplace, and nurture strong leaders and engaged citizens.

If you are someone who has ever thought that what you are passionate about is pretty amazing, wanted to open doors to new spaces and bring something back to your current ones, sought to make an impact on your communities, or wondered about the intersections between arts, business, and the sciences, then you're an Arts Scholar.

Programme benefits

  • Be a part of a tight-knit, passionate and engaged community of students and academic staff.
  • Receive individual support and guidance, including an academic mentor, throughout your degree.
  • Become a student mentor in your second and third years, and get involved in other student leadership roles.
  • Undertake a research or internship project in your third year.
  • Attend seminars and workshops that expand your academic, personal and professional horizons.
  • Boost your employability by boosting your skills in leadership, collaboration, communication and research.
  • Understand how to engage communities in what you do both across and outside of the University.
  • If you're applying for accommodation in our Halls of Residence, you'll get a guaranteed place in O’Rorke Hall in your first year of study if you apply by our September deadline (this includes students who live in Auckland).

Programme structure

Arts Scholars combines an innovative multi-disciplinary curriculum with a programme of workshops and social events. Our programme will develop your abilities in communication and teamwork, problem-solving, and resourcefulness through small seminar-style classes and experiential learning. Topics come from across the Arts, and get you involved in areas outside of what you may be studying for your majors.

Arts Scholars is taken as a 45-point module under your BA or BA conjoint, in addition to your BA major/s. Each of the three courses run full-year across both Semesters 1 and 2, split as 7.5 points each semester. We will work with you to structure the rest of your BA enrolments to suit your study goals.



Introduces students to research in the real world through a sequence of weekly 90-minute discussion seminars, each featuring invited presenters from areas of discipline-based expertise addressing a common topic. Students will build their own expertise with Arts disciplines by considering the central topic in a range of possible contexts through class discussion, group work, and individual reflection.


The 'Great Works' course engages students with great works from a variety of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds. Staff from across the Faculty of Arts present seminars on key works in their fields. These may be standard texts that any expert in the field might teach or expect to be known, but they may also be lesser-known works that seminar givers have a particular interest in that they wish to share.


This is the final project of the Arts Scholars programme. Students will attend a small number of seminars, but their primary work will be self-directed and may involve significant independent and/or group-based learning under academic supervision. This might include a research project, group internship, research apprenticeship, or work placement.

Social events and workshops

Social events and workshops are part of the Arts Scholars programme, and do not require any additional coursework. Workshops are built around professional development and aim to give you an extra edge when it comes to leadership and presentation skills. These workshops can also be included on your CV. Social events are varied and range from after-hours study sessions to field trips and special lectures. These are optional, but a great way to spend some time out of the classroom with your Arts Scholars peers.

How to apply

Make sure that you have applied for admission to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Arts conjoint before you apply for the Arts Scholars programme.

Places in the programme are limited, and you will be assessed on three criteria: your academic achievements, a personal statement, and an essay. Successful applicants will be chosen based on their academic achievements as well as their statement and essay.

Entry requirements

To be accepted, you will need either:

  • NCEA Level 3 rank score of 240 or higher
  • CIE rank score of 290 or higher
  • IB rank score of 31 or higher
  • Grade point equivalent (GPE) of at least 5.0

To calculate your estimated rank score, use our Rank Score Calculator.

We will confirm your final results when these are released.

Please note: Other applicants may be considered under exceptional circumstances.

You will also need to submit:

  • A one-page personal statement explaining why the Arts Scholars programme interests you.
  • A 500-word essay about a book, movie or television programme you have recently read or watched. Explain why it intrigued or excited you.

Send your application to Professor Tom Bishop at Please include your full name and student ID number at the top of each page.

Closing dates

Applications for Arts Scholars for 2018 close on Friday 8 December 2017.

For students seeking a guaranteed place at O’Rorke Hall, your Arts Scholars application must be received by Friday 8 September 2017. You should have already applied for accommodation in O’Rorke Hall with the Accommodation Office.

Late applications may be considered subject to place availability.


If you have questions about the Arts Scholars programme, you can contact Samantha Lagos at