The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is an internationally recognised qualification at Level 3 for students aged 16 to 19.

It is based around detailed academic study of a wide range of subjects over 2 years, including languages, the arts, science, maths, history and geography, leading to a single qualification.

It has compulsory elements:

  • Theory of knowledge: you'll learn about the bases of knowledge, and how to analyse evidence and express yourself in rational argument; you'll also be encouraged to draw on experiences you've gained outside the classroom.
  • Creativity, action and service: this part of the programme encourages you to get involved in theatre or music activities, sports and/or community service.
  • Extended essay: you'll investigate a particular topic of interest and be asked to write a 4,000 word essay about it.

You also take six optional elements, one from each of the following sections:

  • First language (normally your mother tongue).
  • Second language (this could be a language you already study, or a new one).
  • Experimental sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, design technology). 
  • Mathematics and computer science.
  • The arts (visual, music and theatre).
  • Individuals and society (history, psychology, geography).

To find out more visit the International Baccalaureate website.

To find out about other qualifications return to the Qualifications page.



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