Young Scholars Programme

If you’re a student in Year 12 looking to challenge or extend yourself during Year 13, the Young Scholars Programme may be for you.

To be considered, you must be a Year 13 student who has demonstrated exceptional academic ability.

The Young Scholars Programme is a great opportunity for you to:

  • Get a taste of university life before coming to the University of Auckland
  • Complete one or two Stage I courses that:
    • Gives you a jump start on your degree
    • Exposes you to different kinds of learning, including lectures and tutorials. Please note that teaching methods may be different between available courses
    • Opens discussions with your lecturer and/or tutors
    • Gives you access to an exciting, stimulating academic environment to learn
  • Meet like-minded students from a variety of high schools

Other benefits of the Young Scholars Programme are:

  • You get a campus card. For more information, please see Campus card
  • Can access on-campus facilities like:
    • Libraries and Learning Services
    • Research and skills workshops
  • Tuākana for Māori and Pacific students

Courses are available for Year 13 students in and outside of Auckland.

Before applying

Before applying for the Young Scholars programme, you should:

  • Discuss this study with your high school
  • Contact the academic coordinator of the course you’re interested in studying.

The academic coordinator can help you confirm if the Young Scholars Programme is a good fit for you and your goals. They will also let you know:

  • How to apply for the Young Scholars Programme
  • The academic results needed to be considered

How to apply

If your academic results met the entry requirements, you can apply online. You can save and return to your application at any point.

  1. Register for the University of Auckland (if you haven’t already)
  2. Enter the high school qualifications you:*
    • Have completed
    • Are currently completing
  3. In your programme selection, please select:
    • Programme type: Certificate
    • Programme: Certificate of Proficiency
    • Major/specialisation: Young Scholars Programme**
    • When do you want to start your studies: Semester One/Two 2024
    • Campus location: City***
  4. Choosing your course, please select:
    • Term: Semester One/Two 2024
    • Your chosen subject*
    • Your chosen course’s title*
  5. Supporting information
    • You will need:
      • A letter of support from your school
      • Discretionary Entrance form signed by your school principal. This form can be downloaded from your application portal
    • If you have these ready, you can upload them before you submit your application
    • If you do not have them ready, you can submit your application and upload them once you have them.
  6. Submit your application

*If you're studying towards the International Baccalaureate, please ensure you enter your candidate code/number.

**You can search for what you need.

***Choose City even if you’re planning on doing the Young Scholars Programme outside of Auckland.

If any additional information is needed from you, we will get in touch via email to let you know what is needed.

If you need help with your application, please email

Entry requirements

If you apply for the Young Scholars Programme, your application will be considered under the Discretionary Entrance regulations.

To be considered, you must be:

  • In Year 13 at a New Zealand high school while you are studying your chosen Young Scholars course
  • A New Zealand citizen or permanent resident

You will also need a positive recommendation from your school principal or Year 13 Dean.


If you’re doing NCEA, you must have University Entrance literacy and numeracy:

  • Literacy – 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of:
    • 5 credits in reading
    • 5 credits in writing
  • Numeracy – 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of either:
    • Achievement standards – specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects
    • Unit standards – completion of all three numeracy unit standards:
      • 26623
      • 26626
      • 26627

You will also need:

  • A minimum of four Level 2 subjects from the NZQA list approved for University Entrance. For more information, please see Approved subjects for University Entrance
  • 80 Level 2 credits in up to five approved subjects. These should have a good proportion of excellence and merit credits

Cambridge International and International Baccalaureate

You should contact the academic coordinator for the course you’re wanting to do, if you’re interested in the Young Scholars Programme and are doing either:

  • Cambridge International
  • International Baccalaureate

If you have any specific questions about entry requirements, please contact

  • Include 'Young Scholars Programme' in the subject line
  • If you're an International Baccalaureate student, please also include your candidate code/number in your email

Medicine and other clinical programmes

Please note, if you’re wanting to do the Young Scholars Programme and are intending to apply for Medicine after your first year, you must not take any of the first-year courses of either:

  • Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science)
  • Bachelor of Health Science


Studying at the University of Auckland will mean that you will need to organise payment for the courses you enrol into.

These are called tuition fees. They are made up of your:

  • Course fees
  • Student Services Fees

For more information, please see Tuition fees.

Fees free

If you enrol with the University as a Young Scholar, you can begin using your Fees Free entitlement. Taking courses with the University while studying Year 13 will count toward your overall Fees Free entitlement.

If you want Fees Free for your chosen courses as a Young Scholar, please email

If you have questions about your eligibility as a Year 13 student, you can check out the Tertiary Education Commission’s FAQs – Frequently asked questions.

Scholarship opportunity

George Turner Wilson Music Trust Scholarship - Junior Award

An Award to assist Year 13 students enrolled in the Young Scholars programme in the School of Music with expenses associated with their enrolment.

Frequently asked questions

I won't have completed a Year 12 level qualification in the year prior to applying for Young Scholars, can I still apply?

Secondary school applicants studying below the Year 12 curriculum, unfortunately, do not meet the entry requirements to apply for the Young Scholar or Discretionary Entrance programmes at the University of Auckland. Please check the Young Scholar page and the Discretionary Entrance page to read about our entry requirements and plan your future applications when in Year 12.

What does Stage I mean?

At the University of Auckland, Stage I means that you’re completing first year courses. These are usually identified by the 100-level course code, like in ARTSGEN 104.

Most first year students will complete Stage I courses.

How many courses can I do in the Young Scholars Programme?

As a Young Scholar, you can enrol in one course per semester.

You can do up to two semesters during Year 13. This means you can do up to two courses or 30 points during the Young Scholars Programme.

We recommend, though, that you consider studying in Semester One so that your Year 13 preparation and studies for your final exams/assessments are not impacted.

What is a lecture and tutorial?

  • Lectures are where you learn the core information and material for a course. These are usually 50-minutes, where the lecturer presents course content, and you can take notes
  • Tutorials are smaller working groups where you can discuss the course information you learnt in your lectures. It is an opportunity to also work on problems and/or questions that will help you to learn more about your course content. These sessions are supported by a tutor, who you can ask questions or seek help in an informal setting

You should go to your lectures and tutorials. This is so you can make the most of your experience as a Young Scholar and succeed at university.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be a combination of coursework and a final exam. We try to provide additional mentoring and support for school students in the programme.

At university, you will find that assessments are usually a combination of coursework and a final exam.

  • Coursework is the written or practical work you do during your course, like essays or tests, and count toward your final grade. These are not done under strict exam conditions
  • Exams are usually the final assessment of the semester. They are often supervised assessments of the information you have learnt during your semester. Exam layout can vary depending on course

It is important to know that your final grade is added up based on the results you get for your coursework and your final exam.

Throughout your studies, we also try to provide you with additional mentoring and support as a high school student doing the Young Scholars Programme.

For more help

If you need help checking eligibility for the Young Scholars Programme, please contact the relevant academic coordinator. For more information, please see Young Scholars courses and contacts

If you need help with your application to the University, please email

If you need additional support in your studies, you can talk to:

  • Your lecturer and/or tutor
  • Your academic coordinator

If you need personal support during your studies, you can reach out to Te Papa Manaaki | Campus Care.

If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out. You can either: