Summer Start for Engineering students

School leavers can be better prepared for a BE(Hons) by studying over six weeks before Semester One begins.

If you’re a Year 13 student intending to start a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) with us in Semester One 2023, you can take one course from the University of Auckland’s Summer Start programme. This allows you to experience university life and get started on your degree early. You can get more general information and requirements for Summer Start on their webpage.

Registrations for 2023 will open in June 2022. 

The following are the Faculty of Engineering's course recommendations for Summer Start based on your potential study needs.

MATHS 102 and PHYSICS 102

In 2022 we offered MATHS 102 and PHYSICS 102 over Summer Start to help students meet the necessary entry requirements to apply for a BE(Hons).

You may consider taking MATHS 102 and/or PHYSICS 102 if:

  • You need one of these to meet entry requirements for the BE(Hons): If you don’t meet our entry requirements, or are not sure if you’ll pass the required standards, we will accept passing MATHS 102 with an A- or higher as equivalent to meeting the Mathematics requirement, and passing PHYSICS 102 with an A- or higher as equivalent to meeting the Physics requirements. 
  • You need both of these courses to get into the BE(Hons): You can take one of these courses in Summer Start and the other during Semester One as part of the Alternative Pathway via Science
  • You want to be better prepared for your degree: If you have already met the admission requirements for the BE(Hons) or are confident in your high school results, you might want to take one of these courses to experience university over the summer, or to ensure success in your BE(Hons). Note that achieving better grades in your first year of Engineering will make you more likely to be accepted for your chosen specialisation.

Please note that:

  • School leavers can only enrol in one Summer Start course
  • If you do not receive an offer to study Engineering, these courses also count towards a Bachelor of Science degree

MATHS 102 Functioning in Mathematics
An introduction to calculus that builds mathematical skills and develops conceptual thinking. MATHS 102 works as a refresher course for those who haven’t studied Mathematics for some time, a confidence builder for those lacking Mathematical confidence and a preparation course for further study in Mathematics.

PHYSICS 102 Basic Concepts of Physics
An introduction to the basic principles of physics. Key topics are the physical description of motion, electricity and magnetism. The course focuses on the science of everyday phenomena and the understanding of important physical concepts. This course will equip students with little prior knowledge of physics to succeed in PHYSICS 120 or 160.

ENGSCI 111 Mathematical Modelling 1

Develop an understanding of mathematical modelling, including differentiation and integration (polynomials, trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, and rational functions) and more.

This is only available for Engineering students with a Fast Track offer who are either starting a conjoint degree, or who have completed MATHS 199 (Max) at the University of Auckland with a B+ or higher.

For conjoint students only

Most school leavers are not eligible to enrol in Engineering Part I courses over summer. Conjoint students however, can enrol in ENGSCI 111 over summer and then take ENGSCI 211 during Semester One. This may help you complete your conjoint degree more quickly.


Learn about problem solving in engineering through the use of the software package MATLAB, and the programming language C.

This is only available for Engineering students with a Fast Track offer who have achieved a B+ average or higher in one of the following:
University of Canterbury STAR: MATH 199 (Advancing in Mathematical Sciences),
University of Waikato Unistart: ENGEN 101+ENGEN 102, or MATHS101+MATHS 102
Massey University School+: 160.101+160.102

Students satisfying these conditions should contact the Student Hubs for more information.

General Education (GenEd) courses

You’ll need to complete one GenEd course to graduate with a BE(Hons). Completing a GenEd course over summer may not help you finish your degree earlier, but you’ll have one less course to complete during your first year. Find out more about GenEd.

Some available Summer Start GenEd courses meet BE(Hons) and most conjoint degree requirements*. They include:

  • PHIL 105G Critical Thinking
  • GEOG 103G Mapping Our World
  • EXERSCI 100G Exercise and Fitness: Myths and Reality

* Please note that BE(Hons)/LLB and BE(Hons)/LLB(Hons) students will however have to pursue LAW 121 or LAW 121G instead

Other suggested Summer Start courses

Summer Start includes a range of courses that can help you become better prepared to study Engineering. The following are some recommendations. Note that none of these replace any Engineering courses or act as substitutes for our degree requirements — you’ll still need to complete all the Engineering courses associated with your BE(Hons) in the usual way.

For conjoint students however, they may contribute to the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Advance Science portion of your conjoint. If you're doing a conjoint with an Arts or Commerce degree, you may also want to refer to the full Summer Start course list. 

CHEM 150 Concepts in Chemistry
The fundamentals of chemistry are explored with a view to enhancing understanding of the chemical nature of the world around us and providing a foundation for further study in chemistry. Special attention is paid to familiarisation with the language of chemistry and the chemist's perspective of the properties of matter and its transformations. It is recommended that students with a limited background in chemistry take this course prior to CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.

Restriction: Cannot be taken at the same time as any other chemistry course, or after any successfully completed chemistry course, other than CHEM 100/CHEM 100G

Students wanting to specialise in Chemical and Materials Engineering may find this course helpful.


COMPSCI 101 - Principles of Programming
An introduction to computers and computer programming in a high-level language. The role of computers and computer professionals in society is also introduced. The course is intended for students who may wish to advance in Computer Science or in Information Systems and Operations Management.

Restriction: Cannot be taken with or after COMPSCI 105, 107, 130, 210-220, 230-289, 313-399

All Engineering students take a programming course in their first year that teaches the C and MATLAB programming languages. Although COMPSCI 101 covers the Python programming language, the general ideas are still relevant to the Engineering course. Python is also used in courses in the Engineering Science and Biomedical Engineering specialisations.