The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a comprehensive and academically challenging pre-university educational programme for students typically aged 16 to 19. It was established in 1968 by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) in Geneva, Switzerland and aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically.

What are the key features of the IBDP?

Curriculum Structure

The IBDP curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS), and the Extended Essay (EE).

Six Subject Groups:

Studies in Language and Literature: Courses like English Literature, Literature and Performance, etc.

Language Acquisition: Courses like French, Spanish, Mandarin, etc.

Individuals and Societies: Courses like History, Geography, Economics, Psychology, etc.

Sciences: Courses like Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Systems and Societies, etc.

Mathematics: Courses like Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches, Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.

The Arts: Courses like Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, Dance, etc.

The DP Core:

Theory of Knowledge (TOK): A course designed to encourage students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know.

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS): A project that requires students to engage in various activities outside of their academic studies, promoting personal growth and civic responsibility.

Extended Essay (EE): An independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.

Assessment and Examinations

Internal Assessments: These are assessments carried out by teachers throughout the course, contributing a significant portion to the final grade. Examples include essays, presentations, and projects.

External Examinations: These are standardised exams set by the IBO and taken at the end of the two-year program. They are marked by external IB examiners.

Grading: Each subject is graded on a scale of 1 to 7, with a maximum of 3 additional points available for the combined performance in TOK and the Extended Essay. The diploma is awarded to students who achieve at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum performance levels and completion of the core components.


The IBDP is recognised by universities worldwide as a rigorous and comprehensive pre-university program. Graduates of the IBDP often have a competitive edge in university admissions due to the program’s emphasis on critical thinking, research skills, and global perspectives.

Global Impact

The IBDP is taught in thousands of schools in over 150 countries. Its global recognition and standardisation ensure that students receive a consistent and high-quality education regardless of their location.

Philosophy and Goals

The IBDP aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. It encourages students to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

In summary, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a highly respected and rigorous educational program that prepares students for success in higher education and future careers. Its comprehensive curriculum fosters intellectual growth, critical thinking, and independent learning. The program also emphasises holistic development through Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS), promoting personal growth, resilience, and social responsibility. By encouraging intercultural understanding and respect, the IBDP develops open-minded, globally aware individuals ready to contribute positively to an interconnected world.