International Baccalaureate - UK & Global Private Schools

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  • 80 UK Private Schools offer the International Baccalaureate
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Related Pages: - The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) - Primary Years Programme (PYP) - IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) - IB Career Related Certificate (IBCC) - Subject list for IBDP - IB v A Levels v Pre-U

Subject list for IBDP

Possible subjects (not all schools offer all subjects)

  • Languages
    • Language A – literature SL / HL
    • Language B – language and literature SL / HL
    • Literature and performance SL
  • Language acquisition
    • Classical Languages SL / HL
    • Language B SL / HL
    • Language ab initio SL
  • Sciences
    • Biology SL / HL
    • Chemistry SL / HL
    • Computer Science SL / HL
    • Design Technology SL / HL
    • Environmental systems + sciences SL
    • Physics SL / HL
    • Sports, exercise, health science SL
  • Mathematics
    • Maths SL / HL
    • Further maths HL
    • Mathematical studies SL
  • Arts
    • Dance SL / HL
    • Film SL / HL
    • Music SL / HL
  • Individuals and societies
    • Business management SL / HL
    • Geography SL / HL
    • Economics SL / HL
    • Information technology in global society SL / HL
    • Philosophy SL / HL
    • Psychology SL / HL
    • Social and cultural anthropology SL / HL
    • World religions SL

Students should pick one subject from each of the 6 subject groups and at least three must be at Higher Level. Students may opt to drop the Arts section and replace with an additional science, language or individual and societies subject.

 In addition to the academic groupings students must also take

  • The Theory of Knowledge
  • Creativity, Activity, Service and
  • Extended Essay

A candidate can receive between 1 and 7 points in each category. He or she can also get up to 3 points for The Theory of Knowledge and The Extended Essay – thereby meaning a maximum score of 45 points which a small number of candidates actually achieve. A diploma is given to those scoring 24 or more.

  • The Theory of Knowledge is obligatory and similar to the subject of Philosophy covering
  • Ways of Knowing
  • Routes of Knowledge
  • Value Judgement


  • Students must write an extended essay up to 4000 words on an independent topic within the subjects being taught within the IB. This is intended to show the kind of independence, analysis and writing skills expected by universities. It is a valuable first experience of individual research.


  • You can see from the above that the DP requires a broader range of knowledge and skills than those demanded by 3 similar A level subjects. The huge difference is that a linguist is challenged to learn a science and that a scientist must learn a foreign language. This keeps university options open longer, especially when no one can predict what professional life will demand in many years from now.

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