Thursday, 25th April 2019


The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) is an internationally recognised system for pupils between the ages of 16 and 19 which prepares for entry into higher education and gaining higher qualifications. There are currently over 200 schools in the UK that offer the IB to students.

What is involved with an International Baccalaureate Diploma

Students can study for the IB after GCSEs as an alternative to AS and A-levels and the scope of subjects that are studied under the program is wider than that of A-levels which means they are open to a wide variety of career options.

Essentially the IB is teaching students how to learn, how to ask challenging questions and to develop their knowledge and general communication skills.

The three characteristic core requirements of the IB include:

  • A 4,000-word extended essay on a given subject title
  • 150 hours of learning about creativity, action and service and the theory of knowledge

As well as these core areas of study, IB students must also choose one subject from each of the following groups:

  • Maths and ICT
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Design Technology and Physics)
  • First Language
  • Second Language
  • Arts (Art, Music and Theatre)
  • Individuals and Society (History, Geography, Psychology)

The International Baccalaureate Diploma is level 3 on the National Qualifications Framework.

The framework shows how different types of qualifications compare, in terms of the demands they place on learners.

For more information on International Baccalaureates, please follow the below links:

International Baccalaureate

International Baccalaureate Diploma: Directgov

For Welsh students

The Welsh Baccalaureate (Welsh Bac) was introduced in Wales as alternative to the A-level route to qualification and comprises three levels; Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. The core of the Welsh Bac is made up of the following five areas:

  • Key Skills
  • Personal Social Education (PSE)
  • Wales, Europe and the World
  • Work-related Training
  • Investigation