Scholarship English

Course Description

Scholarship English is an optional course for senior students willing to grow and challenge themselves as learners. Students will think critically about texts, purpose and the impact of literature upon readers. Participants should have a rich interest in reading/viewing, and should be passionate consumers of literature. 

Students are encouraged to read and view widely, often beyond the traditional canon. In the examination, they are welcome to discuss content such as: theatre, poetry, video games, novels, graphic novels, TV shows and film. Often, students who perform strongly in Scholarship English have a tendency to think outside of the box, and a clear personal voice.

The English Scholarship Examination consists of three sections: Candidates will be required to write three essays, each in response to a question from each section. 

Section A: An essay on a question requiring a comparison of two unfamiliar texts (a piece of prose and a piece of poetry).

Section B - Responding to language and literature: Students receive a range of questions on genres including poetry, non-fiction, film, Shakespeare, drama, novel, short story, TV series, and interactive text. Candidates will select ONE question to answer. 

Section C - Exploring issues in language and literature: There will be a a range of issues-based questions. Candidates will select ONE question to answer. 

Weekly scholarship sessions model critical reading skills and introduce candidates to texts and ideas they can use for their own study. Critical theories, such as Marxist and Feminist lenses are covered, along with an introduction to philosophies that often underpin significant texts. Students are also provided with time to practise their essay skills. These weekly sessions differ from most daily classes, in that students are often provided the opportunity to share their ideas and questions with other like-minded students in small and larger group settings.

In their own time, students are encouraged to continue their own reading and apply critical skills to their revision in order to best stand out amongst other English students.


Courses will only run based on minimum entries

Selecting a course does not guarantee entry into this course

You may apply for an exemption if you do not meet the prerequisites of a course or if the course requires this for entry

Standards offered can be altered at the discretion of the HOF or HOD of the Department

Some standards in NCEA courses might be optional depending on student strengths