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Diploma Programme

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The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a rigorous and academically challenging pre-university curriculum for students aged from 16 to 19 years. The Diploma Programme emphasises the importance of breadth and depth in academic study whilst maintaining a focus on the way we understand knowledge through the Theory of Knowledge course. Students are encouraged to become active global citizens and understand the importance of care and compassion in an increasingly globalised world. The Diploma encourages students to develop their physical, emotional, intellectual and ethical selves and is well regarded and recognised by the world's leading universities.

The IB Diploma Programme curriculum

IB Diploma Programme curriculum diagram

The IB curriculum can be best understood through the IB Framework (PNG, 2.6MB). Students must study 6 subjects when undertaking the Diploma Programme, with 1 subject being chosen from each of Groups 1 to 5. The sixth subject may come from Group 6 or the student may elect to study a second subject from Group 3 ,4 or 5. 3 subjects must be studied at a standard level or SL (equivalent of 150 teaching hours). During the 2 year Programme, students will also complete an Extended Essay, follow a Theory of Knowledge module and participate in the Creativity, Activity and Service module.

Key features of the IB Diploma Programme

  • High quality curriculum with breadth, depth and balance.
  • Curriculum flexibility allowing students to accelerate studies and re-sit examinations.
  • Student centred philosophy that is focussed on preparation for life by encouraging social responsibility, critical thinking, and international awareness.
  • The quality assurance requirements of the International Baccalaureate Organisation ensure high standards are maintained.
  • Externally marked and moderated examinations allow results to be compared on an international level (no limit to number of students who can attain a perfect score).
  • The focus on developing independent and self-directed learning prepares students for the demands of university study. Research conducted by the International Baccalaureate Organisation indicates that IB graduates are significantly more likely to be successful at university.
  • The IB Diploma is truly an international qualification as graduates regularly gain admission to some of the best known universities in the world (universities have adopted a range of processes for IB graduate entry including: full scholarships, second year entry credit for IB subjects studied).

To be eligible for the award of the IB Diploma, students are required to:

  • study 6 academic subjects, one from each of the groups
  • complete at least 3 (and not more than 4) of these at the Higher Level and the remainder at the Standard Level
  • satisfactorily complete the following additional core requirements
    • Theory of Knowledge (ToK)
    • Extended Essay (EE)
    • Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS).

Parent resources

New to the IB Diploma Programme (IDBP)? 

We know that understanding the IB programme is important for parents and guardians who want to support their child throughout their studies. 15 IB diploma terms parents need to know will help you stay better informed.

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Last reviewed 09 September 2019
Last updated 09 September 2019