Department of Mathematics

Mathematics Acceleration and Extension for High School Students

MAX is designed for students concurrently at high school who enjoy academic challenge and who have shown themselves to be very capable at high school mathematics. This course is part of The University of Auckland Young Scholars Programme.

What is MAX?

MAX stands for Mathematical Acceleration and eXtension. MAX is a first semester (internal or extramural) course in university mathematics for high achieving high school students throughout New Zealand.

In this course, we use the numerical computing environment MATLAB to study beautiful mathematics from algebra, analysis, applied mathematics and combinatorics. Students in MAX will simultaneously learn to write mathematical proofs while creating mathematical models to solve real-world problems.

The Department of Mathematics and the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland jointly offer this course. Currently the course number and name is MATHS 153 | Accelerated Mathematics. 

Please be aware, however, this will change to MATHS 199 | Advancing in Mathematics in November 2019.

The MAX course is a hybrid between MATHS 162 | Computational Mathematics and ENGGEN 131 | Introduction to Engineering Computation and Software Development, with the addition of some algebra, analysis and mathematical proofs. 

Any student who successfully completes the MAX course will be well positioned to succeed in any course that requires either MATHS 162 or ENGGEN 131 as a prerequisite, and can use their credits to enrol in second-year courses in their first semester here at the University of Auckland.

MAX Poster
(1.1 MB, PDF)
MATHS 199 application and enrolment process
Download and view. Please be aware that the current number and name for this MAX course may be listed as MATHS 153 | Accelerated Mathematics. (459.4 kB, PDF)

Who is eligible for the MAX programme?

Admission to the MAX programme requires consent from the Department of Mathematics.

You are eligible to apply if you are currently at high school, have demonstrated a good grasp of Year 13 Mathematics with Calculus and have a strong recommendation from your school's Head of Mathematics.

The University's global requirements must also be met. To be eligible to enrol at the University of Auckland under Discretionary Entrance Regulations, intending students:

  • must be New Zealand or Australian citizens or have Permanent Residence status;
  • must meet the University Entrance requirements for Literacy and Numeracy
  • have 80 credits at level 2 (or higher) in up to five subjects based on the NZQA list approved for University Entrance
  • attain a high number of excellence and merit grades
  • and must have a positive recommendation from their school principal as to maturity.

Intending distance students must be able to study well on their own and have good access to a computer and the internet.

It is also posiible for international students to enrol in the MAX Programme. Any potential international students should contact us directly (, for more information.


How to enrol

Students can apply for the MAX Programme online.

  • You will need to apply for Discretionary Entrance to the University.
  • In the online application process, please select the Programme Type “Certificate", the Programme Name “Certificate of Proficiency” and the Major or Specialisation "Young Scholars Programme”.
  • Once the application has been approved you will receive a firm offer from the University.
  • You will need to accept this offer, before you can enrol into the MAX course on Student Services Online.
  • A letter of support from your school is also required and must be mailed to the Admissions Office (Applications and Admissions, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand).

Students from the Auckland area can use one of computer laboratories in the OGGB Building (Business School) for enrolment assistance. Enrolment clinics will be available for extra help, throughout January and February.

For enrolment enquiries please email  

Please note

  • Applications cannot be processed until after (satisfactory) Level 2 and 3 school results have been received by the University. 
  • Applying for the course does not commit students to doing it! 
  • Most MAX students whose applications were complete on time should hear from us about their application by the end of January.


The cost of the course for domestic students in 2019 is about $765 (not including text books and some course material). Students either fund themselves privately, or are partially supported by their schools, or are funded via their schools through the STAR system.

(Please note: The cost for international students is higher than for domestic students.)


The MAX information meeting

In 2019, we will have a meeting for potential 2020 MAX students, interested teachers, and parents on Friday, 13 September. 

The meeting will be held on the University of Auckland's City Campus, in room 303-G01 (SLT1) in the Science Centre, at 38 Princes Street. 

The meeting will run from 5:30-7pm, and should help answer any questions you have about the MAX programme.  If you're interested, please come along!  



The MAX team consists of Holly Honeysett from the Faculty of Science, Padraic Bartlett from the Department of Mathematics, and Peter Bier from the Department of Engineering.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at



All lectures will be on Tuesdays, during school term, between 4.30pm and 7:30pm.

The session begins with a 50-minute lecture, followed by a 50-minute tutorial or computer lab, and then followed by one last 50-minute lecture.  There are short breaks between these sessions for students to have a snack.

Lectures will be recorded, and the recordings for these lectures will be made available to the students online.



The final MAX examination for will be in mid to late June.  The precise date is determined by the Exams Office, and is not known until midway through the semester.  Other assessments will include labs, projects, assignments, and a mid-semester test.