The Diploma Years Programme (DP) is for students aged 16 to 19. It is an academically challenging educational programme with final examinations held in Grade 12 that prepares students for further education in university, and beyond. The DP is designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of each student, and has gained both recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.
The DP Curriculum
All DP students must choose one subject from each of the five groups, ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics. Students must also choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from groups 1 to 5. At least three (maximum four) subjects are taken at higher level (240 teaching hours), while other subjects are taken at standard level (150 teaching hours).
The DP Core
In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the DP features three core elements that broaden the students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills:
The extended essay: Students engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying. The world studies extended essay option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance, which they examine through the lens of at least two DP subjects.
Theory of knowledge: Develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.
Creativity, action, service (CAS): Involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the DP. Creativity encourages students to engage in the arts and creative thinking. Action seeks to develop a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Service with the community offers a vehicle for new learning with academic value. The three strands of CAS enhance students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery.
Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in school, which are either initially marked internally and then moderated by external moderators, or send directly to external examiners. Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on theory of knowledge and the extended essay.
The DP helps students to
- Develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
- Acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding
- Develop skills and a positive attitude towards learning that will prepare them for a higher education
- Study at least two languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own
- Make connections across different traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course
- Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the extended essay
- Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action and service