IB Diploma

Selecting your subjects

For the IB Diploma, you select from six groups:

  • A literature or language & literature course in your first or strongest language
  • A second or additional language
  • A humanities or social science course
  • A science
  • Mathematics
  • An Arts course (this may be replaced by a second humanities or social science subject, a second experimental science, or another language.

Pupils opting for the IB will study and take exams in six subjects; at least three will be studied at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL), according to pupil preference. The subjects you most wish to study should be selected at Higher Level. Pupils normally choose three Higher Level subjects – though more than three may be studied. If Maths is selected as a Higher Level subject, you are advised to start on four Higher Level subjects. About 30% of pupils begin on 4 Higher Levels.

You are strongly advised to check your selection of Mathematics course with the IB Coordinator.

IB Languages

It is important to select the correct language options if you choose the IB Diploma. These can be a bit confusing, so in general:

Language A is a native language – effectively your mother tongue or the language in which you are proficient – the options are Literature or Language and Literature at HL or SL – Literature is all about written texts in the four main genres (drama, poetry, prose: novel and short story, and prose other than the novel); Language & Literature includes the study of literary, non-fiction and literary non-fiction texts in a range of contexts such as the media, culture, film and journalism.

Language B is an acquired language – that is one that you have studied for a few years, say up to GCSE

Language ab initio is for a beginner’s language studied (or one that you have not studied for several years) and
can be studied at Standard Level only.

Modern Foreign Languages at IB. It is possible to choose a language in Group 6 to complement the Group 2 language. It is likely these will only be:

  • French B
  • Spanish ab initio

This will ultimately depend on the cohort’s option, but it is likely these will be the choices. If you wish to study a different language in Group 6, please have a second choice for Group 6.