International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme is an internationally recognised, academically challenging and balanced programme of education that prepares students for success at university and life beyond.
It leads to a qualification that is widely recognised by the world’s leading universities.

School of the Nations offers a rigorous two-year curriculum to students in Form 5 and Form 6 that allows them to earn an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.

Our Experience

The School of the Nations was the first school in Macau to introduce the IB Diploma Programme, beginning in the 2009-2010 academic year. We chose to implement the IB Diploma programme as we felt IB’s mission “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect” was harmonious with our own aspirations.

School of the Nations is one of the few schools where all Form 5 and Form 6 students are encouraged to study in the IB Diploma Programme. A certificate track is also provided for interested students.

​With over 10 years of experience implementing the Diploma Programme, we have a strong track record of results.


Dr. Ignacio Marcovecchio

IB Diploma Programme Coordinator


Ms. Meghna Thakkar

Assistant IB Diploma Programme Coordinator

For five years running all students enrolled in the full diploma track received the IB Diploma.
The average grade of SON students for the May 2020 examination was 36 out of 45 (world average was 30). Over 20% of our students received 40 points or more.
It was also a cause for celebration in May 2020 when a School of the Nations student was among the 141 students worldwide to score a perfect mark of 45, a first for Macau.
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Required Subject Areas

Students taking the IB Diploma Programme must complete one offering from each group and all three core elements:

Group 1:

Language and Literature

  • English A: Language & Literature

Group 2:

Language Acquisition

  • Mandarin B
  • Mandarin ab initio
  • French ab initio *
  • Spanish ab initio *

Group 3:

Individuals and Societies

  • Business Management
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Philosophy *
  • Digital Societies *

Group 4:

Experimental Sciences

  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Systems and Societies

Group 5:


  • Mathematics: Analysis & Approaches
  • Mathematics: Applications & Interpretation

Group 6:

The Arts

  • Music
  • Visual Arts
  • Film *

* Taught by IB Instructors on the Pamoja online platform

Core Elements:

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay (EE) is a mini thesis that asks students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying.

Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.

Creativity, Activity, Service

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme.

Creativity encourages students to engage in the arts and creative thinking. Activity seeks to develop a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Service with the community offers a vehicle for a new learning with academic value.

The three strands of CAS enhance students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery.

Diploma Track

Students on the Full Diploma Track take three subjects at the Higher Level (HL) and three at the Standard Level (SL).

Core elements of EE, TOK and CAS are required.

Certificate Track

Students on the Certificate Track take one or two subjects at the Higher Level (HL) and the rest of the subjects at the Standard Level (SL).

Core elements of EE, TOK and CAS are required.


Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks like essays, case studies, oral presentations, laboratory work, investigations and art shows in the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.

The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on theory of knowledge and the extended essay.

The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and to satisfactory participation in the CAS requirement. Details can be found in the General Regulations – Diploma Programme document below. The highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points.