One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world
Malala Yousafzai

IB-Diploma Programme

In their last two years at UWCM, day students who have successfully completed the MYP programme are joined by 180 high potential residential students from around the world who are selected through the UWC National Committee system.  This rich match of day and residential students is a dynamic and unique arrangement in the world of international education and at the heart of the UWC Maastricht experiment.  All students are IB Diploma candidates and work together to achieve the mission of the school.

IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme has earned extensive recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

The Diploma Programme prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:

  • Develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.
  • Acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, studying courses from 6 subject groups.
  • Develop the skills and a positive attitude toward learning that will prepare them for higher education.
  • Study at least two languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own.
  • Make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course.
  • Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the Extended Essay (EE).
  • Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action and service.

In order to obtain the IB Diploma, students register for six subjects for examination, usually having studied all six for the two-year duration of the course. Three of these subjects have to be studied at a Higher Level (HL), the other three at Standard Level (SL). The main difference between these two levels is more one of quantity than of quality - a student is expected to have covered more material at the Higher Level.

Please see this video as an introduction to the DP.

Download: General Regulations Diploma Programme 
Download UWC Maastricht DP Student Handbook 2019/2020
Download Getting more out of the IB: a guide for students who want to change the world
Download Year Level Transition Criteria 


The IB-DP course at UWCM consists of the following subjects in the six subject groups:

1. Studies in Language and Literature:
(best language) Including the study of selections from World Literature. English, Dutch, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, and numerous self-taught languages.

2. Language acquisition:
Foreign language-learning programme for students with previous experience of learning the language or language ab initio: foreign language-learning programme for beginners. English (HL/SL), Dutch (HL/SL), French (HL/SL), Spanish (HL/SL), Spanish ab initio (SL).

3. Individuals and Societies:
Economics, Environmental Systems and Societies, Geography, History, Global Politics, World Arts and Cultures.

4. Experimental Sciences:
Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Systems and Societies, Physics, Design Technology.

5. Mathematics:
Mathematics Higher, Mathematics Standard, Mathematical Studies.

6. The Arts:
Visual Arts, Music or Film.

Instead of a Visual Arts or Music choice from the group 6 subjects, a second subject from the Individuals and Societies or Experimental Sciences group, or a third modern language, may be chosen.

Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and CAS

In addition to their study of the above six subjects, all students following the IBDP course must also:

  • Complete a course in “Theory of Knowledge” (TOK).
  • Produce an Extended Essay of 2,500 to 4,000 words. The Extended Essay will normally be worked on from the second term of the first year to the autumn break of the second year, thus giving students time to formulate a suitable research question or thesis.
  • Participate in “Creativity, Action, Service” (CAS).

At the UWCM, our Diploma students are expected to go beyond the IB’s minimum requirements for CAS. They engage themselves in co-curricular activities developing their leadership and collaboration skills and participate in meaningful service learning activities throughout the community where they face personal challenges and overcome them with action, passion and reflection.  Two traditions specific to UWCs – Culture Shows and Student-Planned Conferences – are special ways that students share their talents and commitment to the UWC mission.

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