IB Diploma Programme (DP)

Established in 1968, for students aged 16-19, the Diploma Programme (DP) provides students with a balanced education, facilitate geographic and cultural mobility and promote international understanding.

Through the DP, at IGB International School, we are able to develop students who:

  • have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
  • flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • study at least two languages
  • excel in traditional academic subjects
  • explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course
  • have an international outlook and intercultural skills.

The DP curriculum

The DP curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (ToK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay.

Through the DP core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.

The DP Core

Subjects & Courses

There are six different DP subject groups, and within each subject group, there are a number of different courses. Students make their particular selections based on a variety of factors. At IGBIS, we offer the following 27 courses.

Studies in Language & Literature
(Group 1)
English A Language & Literature
Chinese A Literature SL
Malay A Literature SL
Japanese A SL
Literature Self-taught
Language Acquisition
(Group 2)
English B
Chinese Mandarin B
Spanish B
Mandarin Ab Initio SL
Spanish Ab Initio SL
Malay Ab Initio SL
* Ab Initio = “beginner”
Individuals & Societies
(Group 3)
Business Management
(Group 4)
Design Technology
(Group 5)
Mathematics HL
Mathematics SL
Mathematical Studies
(Group 6)
Visual Arts

Each student takes at least three (but not more than four) courses at a higher level (HL), and the remaining at standard level (SL). At IGBIS, we generally recommend most student take three HL and three SL subjects.

HL and SL courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills at a higher level.

Standard level subjects take up 150 teaching hours. Higher-level comprises 240 teaching hours.


At IGBIS, these subject courses are timetabled in such a way to give students a chance to take particular combinations or tracks. For example, students can choose either English A Language & Literature, or English B Language Acquisition, depending on their level of English. Students can take two sciences — Biology and Chemistry for example — because Chemistry is offered at the same time as the Arts classes.

IGBIS would be keenly interested to answer your questions about course selections. Please do make an appointment to discuss further.