Years 12-13 (IB Diploma)

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. Reserved for students between the ages of 16 and 19, Uplands, as a key international school in Penang, has one of the best IB Diploma Programmes in South East Asia. The IB way: Grooming, inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

The Uplands International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme

Reserved for students between the ages of 16 and 19, Uplands, as a key international school in Penang, has one of the best IB Diploma Programmes in South East Asia. The programme is taught by experienced international teachers. At this level, there is a strong system of pastoral care and teacher guidance. Each group has two tutors and access to two university counsellors. Each student is assigned to a teacher mentor to help keep on track. Uplands also employs a qualified School Counsellor.

The IB Diploma Programme at a glance :

  • A challenging two-year pre-university course for expatriate and Malaysian students
  • An international curriculum incorporating research-based practice providing a high quality education which centres on learners, develops effective approaches to learning, works within global contexts and explores significant content
  • A holistic approach in academic studies with subject groups from the liberal arts and sciences
  • Course and workload designed to prepare students for university studies
  • Enables international students to transfer and move between countries without affecting their education
  • At least 5 A* – C in IGCSE/O-Levels/SPM or equivalent for entry
  • Emphasis on critical thinking, intercultural understanding and responsible citizenship

IB Diploma holders gain admission to universities throughout the world. Annually, our students achieve external examination results that are consistently above the global average, with all of our graduates successfully matriculating to prestigious universities worldwide.

Studies in Language & Literature

Language A: Literature

English SL/HL
Malay SL
School-supported Self-taught Language SL

Language A: Language & Literature

Chinese SL/HL
English SL/HL
German SL

Language Acquisition

Language B

English HL
French SL/HL
German B SL/HL
Mandarin SL/HL
Spanish SL/HL

Language ab initio

French SL

Individuals and Societies

Economics SL/HL
Geography SL/HL
History SL/HL
Psychology SL/HL


Biology SL/HL
Chemistry SL/HL
Computer Science SL/HL
Design Technology SL/HL
Physics SL/HL


Analysis and Approaches SL/HL
Application and Interpretation SL/HL

The Arts

Film SL/HL
Music SL/HL
Theatre SL/HL
Visual Arts SL/HL

In addition to the six subjects taken, the student must also complete the following components:

Theory of Knowledge (TOK):

IB-icons-tokAn interdisciplinary course linking the six subject groups intended to stimulate critical and creative thinking on knowledge gained. TOK challenges students to be analytical, objective and appreciate other cultural perspectives.

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS):


Creativity, Activity and Service is at the heart of the IB Diploma Programme. It is the IB Learner Profile in action.

The emphasis in CAS is on learning through reflecting on experiences. CAS aims to develop the whole person. It complements academic accomplishments with practical and real life experiences that are a medium for personal and social development.

The purpose is for students to be involved in experiences that will make a significant difference to their lives and to the lives of others, as well as challenge them to extend existing skills or learn new ones.

 Extended Essay:

Extended EssayThis course enables each student to explore a topic of special interest from any of the subject groups. The Extended Essay introduces students to the kind of independent research and writing skills expected by universities with the submission of a 4000-word essay. The required length enables students to deepen their studies and produce an original work under close academic supervision.

While the programme is demanding, IB is not an elitist course but open to the average and above average student throughout their studies, effective learners in IB need to be motivated, knowledgeable, strategic in their learning, ethical, compassionate, reflective and socially interactive.

Homework: Year 12 & 13 students are expected to organise their own work-load responsibly.

Resource and Document Downloads

The IB Learners Profile

The IB learner profile is the IB mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century. The learner profile provides a long‐term vision of education. It is a set of ideals that can inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose.

IB learners strive to be:


They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.


They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in‐depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.


They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical


They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.


They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.


They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.


They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.


They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.


They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well‐being for themselves and others.


They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

Updated on 8 November 2019