World Studies

The World Studies Extended Essay (WSEE) is an interdisciplinary essay that investigates an issue of contemporary (within your lifetime) global importance at a local scale. The essay will involve two of your Diploma subjects. In interdisciplinary essays you must integrate knowledge from two Diploma subjects to gain a deeper understanding of a topic than you would by using just one subject.

The WSEE can be a very rewarding experience and may draw on your experiences in CAS (e.g. Model UN/GIN), TOK (AOK and WOK) and your Diploma subjects. However, it can also be challenging, as you may have to undertake additional research and apply concepts and ideas across subjects. For this reason, students wanting to complete a WSEE must demonstrate excellent research skills and a positive work ethic.

In choosing your two subject areas, it is important to consider the characteristics of the different subjects e.g

  • The purpose of the subjects e.g. explaining and predicting in the Natural Sciences, expressing emotions in the Arts.
  • Theories/concepts within the subject e.g. human interaction with the environment in Geography.
  • Methodology of the subjects e.g. secondary sources in History, Mathematical proofs.
  • Forms of communication e.g. graphs in Economics, Scientific reports.

The steps to choosing a WSEE are slightly different than an EE in just one Diploma subject:

1. Select one of the six global themes from the list below:

  • Conflict, peace and security
  • Culture, language and identity
  • Environment and/or economic sustainability
  • Equality and inequality
  • Health and development
  • Science, technology and society

2. Identify a contemporary global issue that can be explored at a local scale using one or two contexts.

3. Identify two Diploma subjects that can be used to explore the topic.

4. Complete the World Studies EE planning sheet (found under the forms tab)

For more details about this Extended Essay option, read the subject-specific guidance from the IB Extended Essay guide.

World Studies subject guidance.pdf

The attached file contains a list of example titles:

World Studies example titles.docx

For recommendations from the examiner, read the Extended Essay report:

World Studies examiners report 2016.pdf

Example essays and examiner comments:

World Studies example B essay.pdf

Essay A


World Studies example B examiners comments.docx

Examiner comments


World Studies example A essay.pdf

Essay B


World Studies example A examiners comments.docx

Examiner comments