Students are required to follow a broad and balanced curriculum across eleven faculties. Seven faculties provide a disciplinary framework for the International Baccalaureate. Students choose six academic subjects, three at Higher and three at Standard Level, plus a seventh, Theory of Knowledge, which helps build interdisciplinary links in the students‘ minds. A further four faculties are experiential in nature and offer in-depth understanding and a practical engagement with the college‘s vision and values.
Students follow a development plan which is individually tailored to their own interests and aspirations. The development plan is constructed by the student in collaboration with their tutor. The curriculum, calendar and timetable at the college are designed to enable students to follow an individual development path within the structure of the curriculum so that they engage with all aspects of the UWC mission. In addition students are expected to show creativity and initiative in developing their own programme either during the summer vacation between year one and two or during project week, in mission focus periods and in their own student initiated activities.
The Atlantic Diploma is inter-disciplinary in nature. Issues raised through academic study in the classroom are developed in a broader light through community involvement and real world engagement. Students serve in the community, organise conferences, run focus weeks and help in the delivery of faculty programmes. An analogy for the diploma is that of a map with students encouraged to navigate links, orientate themselves, make connections, develop plans for action and chart and re-evaluate their progress.
Each student is required to record and reflect on their progress and consider options in individual meetings with their tutor over the course of two years. Academic qualifications are determined independently according to the rules of the International Baccalaureate Organization. However successful completion of the Atlantic Diploma is a result both of suitable achievement levels in the IB and individual accomplishments in the experiential faculties.
At a fundamental level the programme assumes that each is a member of a shared community, one which is culturally diverse and international in scope with values built on mutual responsibility and respect.