The IB requires students to select six subjects. They must take one from each of the six groups: three at higher level (HL) and three at standard level (SL).

Group 4: Experimental Sciences


Chemistry is a subject which enables us to understand the underlying principles of some of the most important natural and man-made phenomenon which control the very existence of the living species of this world.  In the first year, you study and carry out experiments related to subject-specific core topics (related to basic physical chemistry, some inorganic and some organic chemistry). In the first year and a half the core topics namely: quantitative chemistry, atomic theory, periodicity, bonding, energetic, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, oxidation and reduction and organic chemistry. The last term will be devoted to option topics, the most popular ones being: Biochemistry, Medicine and Drugs, and Environmental Chemistry.

Biology- HL/SL

Biology is the study of living organisms. This study is undertaken at a variety of levels from the molecular to the biosphere. By the end of the course you will have developed an appreciation of the interaction between these levels and of organisms as functioning entities within the biosphere and that the unity of the entire world at the level of the biosphere or within an organism is assured and dependent on a dynamic equilibrium balance.25% of the course will involve experimental work and fieldwork. A successful student will develop biological knowledge through questions, observation, hypothesis formulation and testing under controlled conditions.

Broad topics to be covered in the course include Cell Biology & Genetics, Biochemistry, Ecology, Classification and diversity, Plant Science, Cell respiration and Photosynthesis and Human health and physiology.

Physics - HL only

Physics aims to provide students with a conceptual understanding of the fundamental laws of nature and the ability to apply this knowledge to practical situations. The course is designed as a university entrance qualification for would-be scientists, engineers and medical practitioners with a non-calculus oriented core syllabus and additional calculus-related optional topics. Measurements and uncertainties, mechanics, thermal physics, waves and oscillations, electricity and magnetism, atomic, nuclear and quantum physics, energy sources and climate change and digital technology make the core topics that will be studied in the first one and a half years. The remaining time will be devoted to the optional section that include astrophysics,  optics and waves, biomedical physics,  particle physics,  special and general relativity, communications, of which two are chosen for study in greater depth.

Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) SL only/Available as a Group 4 option only*

Environmental Systems & Societies (ESS) is a SL IB course offered for ‘non-scientist’ students that aims to provide a coherent and informed perspective on the linkages between humanity and our environment.  Using a “systems approach”, this course covers topics in ecology, human resource use, conservation, pollution, and environmental values.  Students do not require a background in science or maths, however you will learn to use statistical tools and other practical skills through fieldwork and laboratory exercises.  The College’s location in the Sahyadri Hills provides an ideal opportunity for the study of seasonal grassland and dry tropical forest ecology.  Many classes will be scheduled outside in the surrounding Van Vihar Biodiversity Reserve.

*Although the IB permits ESS to be considered both as a Group 4 or Group 3, at UWC Mahindra College, you may take this course ONLY as a Group 4 subject.