Science Scholars

Science Scholars is an exciting programme for the best and brightest students from New Zealand and abroad.

Two Science Scholars students investigate a molecule model

What is Science Scholars?

As a Science Scholar you'll join a select group of Science students, from across the faculty. Science Scholars work closely with the University of Auckland's leading scientists and teachers to support and extend each other. As you earn your degree you'll develop the skills you need to thrive in a science-based career, taking part in research activities and participating in specialised lectures and seminars.

Completed in conjunction with the Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Advanced Science (BAdvSci(Hons)), the Science Scholars programme combines one-on-one mentoring with the cross-disciplinary interaction and research opportunities that aren't
usually available in undergraduate study. As you earn your degree, you'll develop the skills you need to truly excel in a science or technology-based career, taking part in research activities and participating in dedicated lectures, seminars and activities.

Entry to the Science Scholars Programme is competitive, and we are interested in both your potential for academic success, and your engagement with activities outside the classroom.

Please note: If you are studying Biomedical Science, you can be a Science Scholar, provided you don't want to gain entry into the MBChB programme. The requirements for entry into Medicine mean your first-year courses are completely prescribed, and you don't have the flexibility to choose. 

What's in it for me?

  • You will be part of a vibrant scientifically focused community, with many chances to socialise as a group.
  • You will get into our research labs from day one. Research will be fully integrated throughout your degree, including a research project in your third Year.
  • You will take part in a regular programme of seminars and discussion groups on big issues.
  • You will be assigned a mentor, who will guide you throughout your degree. You will also have access to academic counselling, including career counselling.
  • Your home department will invite you to seminars and give you the chance to meet distinguished visitors.
  • You will engage in enrichment activities that tap into the best research-informed teaching.
  • If you apply before the September deadline and are accepted into the Science Scholars programme, you are guaranteed a place in O'Rorke Hall in your first year. This includes students who live in Auckland.

Programme structure

The programme has been designed to build cross-disciplinary relationships and encourage you to think outside the box.
Each year you will take a 15-point SCISCHOL course (please see the course prescriptions below). These 45 points will count towards the points required to obtain a BSc or BAdvSci(Hons) but will not count towards your major requirements.
As you advance through the courses you will develop essential skills in critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving, as well as getting your hands dirty doing some real research.

15 points from:

30 points:

How to apply – school leavers

What are the entry requirements?

The Science Scholars programme is aimed at the best and brightest students. We seek applications from students who exhibit intellectual curiosity and interest in science in a broad context. We are particularly interested in students who excel beyond formal tests and assignments. As part of the application process you will be asked for a referee report from a science teacher and to write an essay. These items, along with your grades, will form the basis for our decision on who to admit.

You must apply for admission to a BSc or BAdvSci(Hons) before applying for the Science Scholars Programme.

Applications are considered against four selection criteria. While academic achievement is important we are equally interested in your personal statement and the content, depth and originality of your essay.

Essay

Write a 800-1000 word essay based on the following prompt:

Scientific explorations, big and small, can provoke strong emotional responses: describe a scientific hypothesis, study, or result that has really excited – or unsettled – you.

Although this is a personal response essay, referencing is expected where appropriate. You may like to comment both on the science and your response to the science.

Please ensure your full name and your University of Auckland ID number is on the essay. You should combine this into one file together with your personal statement (please see below) and submit this file to TurnItIn.

For assistance on using TurnItIn, including creating an account, please see here.

The course ID you need to enrol in is 18314335 and the Enrolment key is SCISCHOL19SL. 

Personal statement

A 300-character (including spaces) statement that concisely addresses why you are interested in the Science Scholars programme is required. This should also be submitted through TurnItIn, together with your essay. Please see the details above. Please don't forget to include your full name and University of Auckland ID number.

Reference 

A reference from a science teacher is required. Please download the form here. This should be submitted to us directly by your teacher. They can either post to the address on the form, or scan and email it to scischol@auckland.ac.nz.

Academic achievement

As a guideline, successful applicants are likely to achieve scores within the ranges shown below. It should be noted that these scores are indicative and will form only one part of the overall assessment of an application.

  • NCEA rank score of 260, with excellence in a minimum of 30 Level 3 credits in Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Digital Technologies and Programming, Earth and Space Science, Geography, Mathematics, Physics or Statistics.
  • CIE rank score of 310, with at least 2 of Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics, Physics or Statistics as full A-levels.
  • IB rank score of 33, with a minimum of 12 points in Group 4 and 5 subjects at HL.

In exceptional circumstances other candidates may be considered.
We will be able to access your grades at the end of the year, provided you have submitted your BSc or BAdvSci(Hons) application.

Closing dates

The closing date for entry into the 2019 intake for the Science Scholars programme is Friday 8 December 2018.
If you wish to secure guaranteed accommodation in O'Rorke Hall, we must receive your application by Sunday 8 September 2018. You must make sure you apply for accommodation in O'Rorke Hall directly with the Accommodation Office as well.

Your application is not complete until we receive your personal statement, essay and a reference.

How to apply – Current undergraduates

In 2019 we will be looking at taking a small number of students into the second year of the Science Scholars Programme. You should be currently enrolled in a BSc (this can be part of a conjoint). You must have at least two years of your degree remaining at the beginning of 2019.

Applications are considered against three selection criteria. While academic achievement is important we are equally interested in your personal statement and the content, depth and originality of your essay.

Essay 

Write an 800-1000 word essay based on the following prompt:

Scientific explorations, big and small, can provoke strong emotional responses: describe a scientific hypothesis, study, or result that has really excited – or unsettled – you.

Although this is a personal response essay, referencing is expected where appropriate. You may like to comment both on the science and your response to the science.

Please ensure your full name and your University of Auckland ID number is on the essay. You should combine this into one file together with your personal statement (please see below) and submit this file to TurnItIn.

For assistance on using TurnItIn, including creating an account, please see here.

The course ID you need to enrol in is 18314305 and the Enrolment key is SCISCHOL19UG.

Personal statement

A 300-character (including spaces) statement that concisely addresses why you are interested in the Science Scholars programme is required.

This should also be submitted through TurnItIn, together with the essay. Please see the details above. Please don't forget to include your full name and University of Auckland ID number.

Academic achievement

As a guideline, successful applicants are likely to achieve a GPA of 7 (A- average) in their first year. It should be noted that this is indicative and will form only one part of the overall assessment of an application. In exceptional circumstances other candidates may be considered.

Closing date

The closing date for entry into the 2019 intake for the Science Scholars programme is Sunday 8 December 2018.

Your application is not complete until we receive both your personal statement and an essay.