IB Diploma Programme


The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a comprehensive pre-university 2 year curriculum course of study designed for students in the 16 to 19 age range. It is a broad-based 2 year course that aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable and inquiring, but also caring and compassionate. There is a strong emphasis on encouraging students to develop intercultural understanding, open-mindedness, and the attitudes necessary for them to respect and evaluate a range of points of view.

The IB Diploma Programme is widely recognised by the world’s leading universities. The programme is unique in that it is based on no particular national education system, but is a deliberate balance between breadth and the specialisation which is required by many universities. Students learn more than a collection of facts.

The IB Diploma Programme prepares students for university and encourages them to develop:

  • critical thinking and analysis skills
  • an international mindedness necessary to live and work in a global community
  • an understanding of global issues and a concern for others in our community and the broader world
  • a strong sense of their own identity and culture
  • a balanced education for the 'whole' student
  • an extensive knowledge and skill base in preparation for university and adult life.

IB mission statement

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organisation works with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.

The IB Diploma Programme encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

The IB Diploma Programme leads to a qualification that is widely recognised by the world’s leading universities. It is a deliberate balance between the breadth and the specialisation required by many universities. Students learn more than a collection of facts. Research conducted by IB Organisation indicates that IB graduates are significantly more likely to be successful at university.

During Year 10 students at QACI are introduced to key concepts within the International Baccalaureate preparing them to undertake the IB Diploma Programme. The IB Diploma Programme, studied in Years 11 and 12 has the strengths of a traditional curriculum, but with 3 important additional features including the Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (ToK) and Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS).

Students of the IB Diploma Programme must study a subject from each of the 6 academic areas or subject groups surrounding the inner core requirements. The structure of the IB Diploma curriculum is presented in the diagram below:


To be eligible for the award of the IB Diploma, students are required to:

  • study 6 academic subjects, one from each of the groups represented by the circle above (exceptions for group 6 apply)
  • complete at least 3 (and not more than 4) of these at the Higher Level and the remainder at the Standard Level
  • satisfactorily complete the following additional core requirements:

Key features of the IB Diploma Programme:

  • High quality curriculum with breadth, depth and balance.
  • Curriculum flexibility allowing students to accelerate studies.
  • Student centred philosophy that is focussed on preparation for life by encouraging social responsibility, critical thinking, and international awareness.
  • The quality assurance requirements of the IB Organisation ensure high standards are maintained.
  • Externally marked and moderated examinations allow results to be compared on an international level (no limit to number of students who can attain a perfect score).
  • The focus on developing independent and self-directed learning prepares students for the demands of university study.
  • The IB Diploma is truly an international qualification as graduates regularly gain admission to some of the best known universities in the world (universities have adopted a range of processes for IB graduate entry including: full scholarships, second year entry credit for IB subjects studied.

The IB has set very clear guidelines and regulations that students must achieve in order to receive the diploma qualification. More information can be found on page 11 of the IB Handbook (PDF, 1.5MB).

Last reviewed 24 May 2023
Last updated 24 May 2023