International Baccalaureate - UK & Global Private Schools

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Pre-IB courses

A pre-IB course is offered by IB schools for up to a year before starting the Diploma Programme at age 16 or 17. Some pre-IB courses are stand-alone courses which are intended solely as preparation for IB Diploma level study, such as the one described below.

Students can enrol on a pre-IB/pre-A Level year which will involve studying English language in conjunction with 5-8 IGCSE subjects. An advantage of these is that students who have not achieved an equivalent level of qualification in their own country will get a handful of IGCSEs which are valuable qualifications in their own right as well as being good preparation for 6th form study. Several schools are now offering these one year intensive courses.

Here is an example of the pre-IB course offered by St Clare’s College in Oxford.

The pre-IB course is intended for students:

  • who require further academic preparation before starting the IB Diploma
  • who need to improve their English language before starting the IB
  • who join a school during the academic year too late to begin the IB Diploma
  • who wish to take a study break before returning to their own school


*Native speakers and non-native speakers of English are accepted. Students may join the course for the whole year, or at the start of any module. The broadly based course lasts for one year and is divided into five modules, each of which has 7 teaching weeks:

The IB Diploma preparatory programme
(Pre-IB) consists of:

Hours per week
(60 minutes)

English language








Art, Music or Theatre


World Literature


Personal, Social, Health Education


Subjects are taught by teachers who have qualifications in teaching of English as a foreign language or experience of teaching non-native speakers of English and the emphasis in all subjects is on the development of relevant academic skills to prepare for IB Diploma work.

A Pre-IB programme does not guarantee entry to the full IB Diploma course, but most schools will look favourably on an applicant coming through their own Pre-IB programme provided they make satisfactory progress.

If you would like further information on Pre-IB programmes please complete an Enquiry Form or call us on +44 (0) 1622 813 870 between 8:30 am to 6:00 pm (UK time) Monday to Friday.

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