The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a programme of education with final examinations that prepares students aged 16 to 19 for success at university and life beyond. Academically challenging and balanced, this programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities allowing students to customise their learning basis their ambition and passion. To ensure both breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, students must choose at least one subject from five groups: 1) their best language, 2) additional language(s), 3) social sciences, 4) experimental sciences, and 5) mathematics. Students may choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from groups 1 to 5. At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level (240 recommended teaching hours), while the remaining are taken at standard level (150 recommended teaching hours). In addition students to six subjects students also undertake the three core elements—the extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, action, service which are compulsory and central to the philosophy of the IB diploma programme.
Studies in language and literature
Individuals and societies
Group 1 – Studies in Language and Literature
Language A: literature
First Language English course encourages reading of wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding, enjoying and appreciating a variety of language. It also ensures critical analysis of the knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve work. The course appreciates the use of student’s own accurate and effective writing using Standard English appropriately. Students are required to work with information and with ideas in language by developing skills of evaluation, analysis, use and inference. The course is designed to listen, understand, and use spoken language effectively by acquiring and applying wide vocabulary, alongside knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology and linguistic conventions. First Language English offers students the opportunity to respond with understanding to a rich array of reading texts during the course by becoming appreciative and critical readers, writers, speakers and listeners.
At DYPIS, First Language English is compulsory for all students.
Language A: language and literature
The language A language and literature course aims to develop skills of textual analysis and the understanding that texts, both literary and non-literary, can relate to culturally determined reading practices, and to encourage students to question the meaning generated by language and texts. An understanding of the ways in which formal elements are used to create meaning in a text is combined with an exploration of how that meaning is affected by reading practices that are culturally defined and by the circumstances of production and reception. Helping students to focus closely on the language of studied texts and to become aware of the role of wider context in shaping meaning is central to the course. The study of literature in translation from other cultures is especially important to IB DP students because it contributes to a global perspective. Texts are chosen from a variety of sources, genres and media. This course is offered solely in English at DYPIS and is offered at both HL and SL.
Group 2 – Language acquisition
Language acquisition consists of two modern language courses; language ab initio and language B, designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate
successfully in an environment where the language studied is spoken. Language B is a language acquisition course designed for students with some previous experience of the target language. Students further develop their ability to communicate through the study of language, themes and texts. There are five prescribed themes: identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organization and sharing the planet. Both language B SL and HL students learn to communicate in the target language in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. The distinction between language B SL and HL can be seen in the level of competency the student is expected to develop in receptive, productive and interactive skills.
- French ab Initio
- French B HL & SL
- Hindi B HL & SL
Language Ab initio
The other option in Group 2 is Language Ab initio. This is an option for beginners (that is, students who have no previous experience of learning the language they have chosen) and is only offered at Standard Level (SL).
Group 3 – Individuals and societies
The business management course is designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of business management theories, as well as their ability to apply a range of tools and techniques. Students learn to analyse, discuss and evaluate business activities at local, national and international levels. The course covers a range of organizations from all sectors, as well as the sociocultural and economic contexts in which those organizations operate. The conceptual learning is firmly anchored in business management theories, tools and techniques and placed in the context of real world examples and case studies. The course encourages the appreciation of ethical concerns, at both a local and global level. It aims to develop relevant and transferable skills, including the ability to: think critically; make ethically sound and well-informed decisions; appreciate the pace, nature and significance of change; think strategically; and undertake long term planning, analysis and evaluation. The course also develops subject-specific skills, such as financial analysis. This course is offered solely in English at DYPIS and is offered at both HL and SL.
Economics is a dynamic social science. The study of economics is essentially about dealing with scarcity, resource allocation and the methods and processes by which choices are made in the satisfaction of human wants. As a social science, economics uses scientific methodologies that include quantitative and qualitative elements. The DP economics course emphasizes the economic theories of microeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting individuals, firms and markets, and the economic theories of macroeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting countries, governments and societies. These economic theories are not studied in a vacuum, rather, they are to be applied to real-world issues. Prominent among these issues are fluctuations in economic activity, international trade, economic development and environmental sustainability. The economics course encourages students to develop international perspectives, fosters a concern for global issues and raises students’ awareness of their own responsibilities at a local, national and international level. Teachers explicitly teach thinking and research skills such as comprehension, text analysis, transfer, and use of primary sources. This course is offered solely in English at DYPIS and is offered at both HL and SL.
At the core of the DP psychology course is an introduction to three different approaches to understanding behaviour: the biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches. Students study and critically evaluate the knowledge, concepts, theories and research that have developed the understanding in these fields. The interaction of these approaches to studying psychology forms the basis of a holistic and integrated approach to understanding mental processes and behaviour as a complex, dynamic phenomenon, allowing students to appreciate the diversity as well as the commonality between their own behaviour and that of others. The contribution and the interaction of the three approaches is understood through the four options in the course, focusing on areas of applied psychology: abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, and the psychology of relationships. The options provide an opportunity to take what is learned from the study of the approaches to psychology and apply it to specific lines of inquiry. Psychologists employ a range of research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, to test their observations and hypotheses. DP psychology promotes an understanding of the various approaches to research and how they are used to critically reflect on the evidence as well as assist in the design, implementation, analysis and evaluation of the students’ own investigations. Surrounding the approaches and the options are the overarching themes of research and ethics. A consideration of
both is paramount to the nature of the subject. This course is offered solely in English at DYPIS and is offered at both HL and SL.
Group 4 – Sciences
Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself from the very smallest particles—currently accepted as quarks, which may be truly fundamental—to the vast distances between galaxies.
Classical physics, built upon the great pillars of Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics, went a long way in deepening our understanding of the universe. From Newtonian mechanics came the idea of predictability in which the universe is deterministic and knowable. This led to Laplace’s boast that by knowing the initial conditions—the position and velocity of every particle in the universe—he could, in principle, predict the future with absolute certainty. Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism described the behavior of electric charge and unified light and electricity, while thermodynamics described the relation between energy transferred due to temperature difference and work and described how all natural processes increase disorder in the universe.
Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is often called the central science, as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, chemistry is a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science, and serves as useful preparation for employment.
Earth, water, air and fire are often said to be the four classical elements. They have connections with Hinduism and Buddhism. The Greek philosopher Plato was the first to call these entities elements. The study of chemistry has changed dramatically from its origins in the early days of alchemists, who had as their quest the transmutation of common metals into gold. Although today alchemists are not regarded as being true scientists, modern chemistry has the study of alchemy as its roots. Alchemists were among the first to develop strict experimentation processes and laboratory techniques. Robert Boyle, often credited with being the father of modern chemistry, began experimenting as an alchemist.
Biology is the study of life. The first organisms appeared on the planet over 3 billion years ago and, through reproduction and natural selection, have given rise to the 8 million or so different species alive today. Estimates vary, but over the course of evolution 4 billion species could have been produced. Most of these flourished for a period of time and then became extinct as new, better adapted species took their place. There have been at least five periods when very large numbers of species became extinct and biologists are concerned that another mass extinction is underway, caused this time by human activity. Nonetheless, there are more species alive on Earth today than ever before. This diversity makes biology both an endless source of fascination and a considerable challenge.
Environmental systems and societies (ESS)
ESS is an interdisciplinary group 3 and 4 course that is offered only at standard level (SL). As an interdisciplinary course, ESS is designed to combine the methodology, techniques and knowledge associated with group 4 (sciences) with those associated with group 3 (individuals and societies). Because it is an interdisciplinary course, students can study ESS and have it count as either a group 3 or a group 4 course, or as both. If students choose the latter option, this leaves the opportunity to study an additional subject from any other group, including an additional group 3 or group 4 subjects.
ESS is a complex course, requiring a diverse set of skills from its students. It is firmly grounded in both a scientific exploration of environmental systems in their structure and function and in the exploration of cultural, economic, ethical, political, and social interactions of societies with the environment. As a result of studying this course, students will become equipped with the ability to recognize and evaluate the impact of our complex system of societies on the natural world. The interdisciplinary nature of the course requires a broad skill set from students and includes the ability to perform research and investigations and to participate in philosophical discussion. The course requires a systems approach to environmental understanding and problem-solving, and promotes holistic thinking about environmental issues. It is recognized that to understand the environmental issues of the 21st century and suggest suitable management solutions, both the human and environmental aspects must be understood. Students should be encouraged to develop solutions from a personal to a community and to a global scale.
The IB DP Computer science course requires an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computational thinking as well as knowledge of how computers and other digital devices operate. The course, underpinned by conceptual thinking, draws on a wide spectrum of knowledge, and enables and empowers innovation, exploration and the acquisition of further knowledge. Students study how computer science interacts with and influences cultures, society and how individuals and societies behave, and the ethical issues involved. During the course the student will develop computational solutions. This will involve the ability to: identify a problem or unanswered question; design, prototype and test a proposed solution ; liaise with clients to evaluate the success of the proposed solution and make recommendations for future developments. This course is offered solely in English at DYPIS and is offered at both HL and SL.
Group 5 – Mathematics
Analysis and approaches course recognises the need for analytical expertise in a world where innovation is increasingly dependent on a deep understanding of mathematics. The focus is on developing important mathematical concepts in a comprehensible, coherent and rigorous way, achieved by a carefully balanced approach. Students are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve abstract problems as well as those set in a variety of meaningful contexts. Mathematics: analysis and approaches has a strong emphasis on the ability to construct, communicate and justify correct mathematical arguments. Students should expect to develop insight into mathematical form and structure and should be intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between concepts in different topic areas.
Students are also encouraged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments. The internally assessed exploration allows students to develop independence in mathematical learning. Throughout the course students are encouraged to take a considered approach to various mathematical activities and to explore different mathematical ideas. The syllabus includes the following topics but is not limited to Number and algebra, Functions, Geometry and trigonometry, Statistics and probability and Calculus. This course is offered solely in English at DYPIS and is offered at both HL and SL.
Applications and interpretation
Applications and interpretation course recognises the increasing role that mathematics and technology play in a diverse range of fields in a data-rich world. As such, it emphasizes the meaning of mathematics in context by focusing on topics that are often used as applications or in mathematical modelling. To give this understanding a firm base, this course includes topics that are traditionally part of a pre-university mathematics course such as calculus and statistics. Students are encouraged to solve real-world problems, construct and communicate this mathematically and interpret the conclusions or generalizations. Students should expect to develop strong technology skills and will be intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between the theoretical and the practical concepts in mathematics. All external assessments involve the use of technology. Students are also encouraged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments. The internally assessed exploration allows students to develop independence in mathematical learning. Throughout the course students are encouraged to take a considered approach to various mathematical activities and to explore different mathematical ideas. The syllabus includes the following topics but is not limited to Number and algebra, Functions, Geometry and trigonometry, Statistics and probability and Calculus. This course is offered solely in English at DYPIS and is offered at both HL and SL.
Group 6 – Arts
The IB Diploma Programme visual arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop analytical skills in problem-solving and divergent thinking, while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and media. The course is designed for students who want to go on to study visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts. The role of visual arts teachers should be to actively and carefully organize learning experiences for the students, directing their study to enable them to reach their potential and satisfy the demands of the course. Students should be empowered to become autonomous, informed and skilled visual artists. This course is offered solely in English at DYPIS and is offered at both HL and SL.