IBDP Introduction


The IB Diploma course is the final course within the IB programme. This is a two year course with high academic demands. The purpose of the programme is to develop the academic and personal sides of the student as well as preparing them for studying at a University level.

The IB programme was founded in the 1960s and is now established in 2800 schools in 138 countries (February 2010)

The IB Diploma programme consists of six subjects chosen from the hexagon illustrated below:
Diploma Programme curriculum

A student in the IB Diploma programme must chose one subject from Groups 1-6, and study three at Higher level (HL) and three at Standard level (SL).

1)    Language A. The course is focused on studying and analyzing Literature. The languages offered are English (HL/SL) and Swedish (HL/ SL). From the Autumn of 2011 the courses for English offered will be En A1 Literature (HL/SL) and En A1 Literature/Language (HL/SL). The options for Swedish will be one or both of the courses Swe Literature (HL/SL) and Swe Literature/Language (HL/SL). Course descriptions for the new courses will be published by the IB in December 2010.

2)    Language B. The languages provided by the school are English A2 (HL/SL) and Swedish A2 (HL/SL) and Swedish B (HL/SL). Generally students can also take one of the subjects French B(HL/SL), German B (HL/SL) or Spanish B (HL/SL) which would then be the students choice in Group 6. From the Autumn of 2011 the A2 option will disappear from the IB DP programme and the content of the B course will be amended.

3)    Individuals and Society. Business and Management (HL/SL), Economics(HL/SL), History (HL/SL) and Philosophy (HL/SL)

4)    Experimental Sciences. Biology (HL/SL), Chemistry (HL/SL) and Physics(HL/SL).

5)    Mathematics. Mathematics HL, Mathematics SL and Mathematical Studies SL.

6)    The Arts and Electives. Visual Arts (HL/SL) or a second subject from groups 2, 3 or 4.

The exact choice could differ slightly from one year to another. The current option form is available on the school website. In addition to the six subjects students have to complete a course in Theory of Knowledge (TOK), write an Extended Essay of 4000 words on a subject that they choose in one of their subjects and to complete a minimum of 150 hours in the areas of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS Activities)

Theory of knowledge
The theory of knowledge (TOK) requirement is central to the educational philosophy of the Diploma Programme. It offers students and their teachers the opportunity to:

  • reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and on areas of knowledge
  • consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world.

In addition, it prompts students to:

  • be aware of themselves as thinkers, encouraging them to become more acquainted with the complexity of knowledge
  • recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected but uncertain world.

As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, TOK is composed almost entirely of questions. The most central of these is ”How do we know?”.

It is a stated aim of TOK that students should become aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases, regardless of whether, ultimately, these biases are retained, revised or rejected.

TOK also has an important role to play in providing coherence for the student as it transcends and links academic subject areas, thus demonstrating the ways in which they can apply their knowledge with greater awareness and credibility.

Extended Essay
The Extended Essay is a substantial piece of research work (max 4000 words) on a topic of the student´s choice. The work is supervised by a member of staff. The emphasis is on original research, careful analysis and academic rigour. The essay is externally marked.

Creativity , Action and Service (CAS).
The CAS requirement is a fundamental part of the programme and takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies.

  • Creativity is interpreted broadly to include a wide range of arts activities as well as the creativity students demonstrate in designing and implementing service projects.
  • Action can include not only participation in individual and team sports but also taking part in expeditions and in local or international projects.
  • Service encompasses a host of community and social service activities. Some examples include helping children with special needs, visiting hospitals and working with refugees or homeless people.

Students are expected to be involved in CAS activities for the equivalent of at least three hours each week during the two years of the programme.

Each school appoints a CAS supervisor who is responsible for providing a varied choice of activities for students. Programmes are monitored by IB regional offices. A system of self-evaluation encourages students to reflect on the benefits of CAS participation to themselves and to others, and to evaluate the understanding and insights acquired.

Assessment of the Diploma Programme
All subjects have some kind of Internal Assessment or Orals. These pieces of work are marked internally by the teachers and moderated externally. The Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, Language A1 World literature, Language A2 Written Tasks and all exams taken in May of their final year are marked by external examiners. Each subject is graded from 1 (lowest grade) to 7 (highest grade). The award of the IB Diploma requires students to meet certain standards and conditions including a minimum of 24 points and satisfactory completion of the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and CAS. The maximum score is 45 points, which includes three bonus points for exceptional work in TOK and an excellent Extended Essay.

University Admission
The IB Diploma programme is recognized and respected in most countries of the World. In general IB graduates from Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket gain places at reputable universities.

Do not hesitate to get in contact with me if you have any further questions.

Björn Swartling, IB Coordinator at SSHL