Department of Mathematics

Mathematics Acceleration and Extension for High School Students

MAX (MATHS 153) 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 is a first semester (internal or extramural) course in university mathematics for high achieving high school students throughout New Zealand.

MAX stands for Mathematical Acceleration and eXtension. The programme is designed for students who enjoy academic challenge, have shown themselves to be very capable at high school mathematics and can handle a solid workload.

The Department of Mathematics and the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland jointly offer this course as MATHS 153 - Accelerated Mathematics. MATHS 153 is a 15 point course which is academically equivalent to the first year Engineering Mathematics course ENGSCI 111 - Mathematical Modelling 1 or to the first year Mathematics course MATHS 150 - Advancing Mathematics 1. It is also an excellent alternative to MATHS 108 - General Mathematics 1.

Students who pass MATHS 153 will be eligible to enrol in any of ENGSCI 211 - Mathematical Modelling 2MATHS 250 - Advancing Mathematics 2 or MATHS 208 - General Mathematics 2, when they become full-time students at the University of Auckland.


MAX Poster
(1.1 MB, 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 at the following website:

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 enroll into the course MATHS 153 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 enrolmnent enquiries please email  

Applying for the course does not commit students to doing it, and nor are the applications accepted until after (satisfactory) Level 2 and 3 school results have been received by the University in early 2017.



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 2018, we will have a meeting for potential MAX students, interested teachers, and parents on Wednesday, September 5th.

The meeting will be held on the University of Auckland's City Campus, in room 303.101 (MLT3) 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 at all interested, please come along!  



The MAX team consists of Joel McGeorge 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 and then another 50-minute lecture, with short breaks between these.

The lectures will be recorded and the recordings will be made available to the students online.




Examination: The final examination for MATHS 153 will be in mid to late June.

Other assessments include assignments and a mid-semester test.