IB / Diploma Curriculum

Life in the 21st century, in an interconnected, globalized world, requires critical-thinking skills and a sense of international-mindedness, something that IB Diploma Programme students come to know and understand.

The IB Diploma Programme is designed as an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, normally aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. The programme is normally taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

IB Diploma Programme students study six courses at higher level (240 study hours) or standard level (150 study hours). This allows the students to concentrate on their favourite subjects already before the university, while still getting a wide view of other subjects.

Group 1:

  • Romanian A: Literature (HL, SL)
  • English A: Language and Literature (HL, SL)

In group 1, students will study literature, including selections of literature in translation, and may choose to combine this with language studies, depending on their choice of course. Students will choose to study their group 1 subject(s) in a language in which they are academically competent. If they choose to study 2 languages in group 1, they will be awarded the most prestigious type of Diploma, the Bilingual Diploma.

In studying the group 1 courses, students are able to develop:

  • a personal appreciation of language and literature
  • skills in literary criticism
  • an understanding of the formal, stylistic and aesthetic qualities of texts
  • strong powers of expression, both written and oral
  • an appreciation of cultural differences in perspective

Group 2:

  • English B (HL)
  • German B (for beginners SL –ab initio, SL or HL )
  • FrenchB ( for beginners SL –ab initio, SL or HL)
  • Spanish B (for beginners SL-ab initio, SL or HL)

The main emphasis of the modern language courses is on the acquisition and use of language in a range of contexts and for different purposes while, at the same time, promoting an understanding of another culture through the study of its language.

Group 3:

  • Business Management ( HL or SL)
  • History (HL, SL)

Group 4:

  • Physics (HL, SL)
  • Biology (HL, SL)
  • Chemistry ( HL , SL)
  • Computer Science

Group 5:

  • Mathematics Analysis and Approaches HL
  • Mathematics Analysis and Approaches SL

Group 6:

  • Visual Arts HL or SL

Additionally, students have to fulfill requirements in three core subjects:

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)
  • Extended Essay (EE)

Subject choices

A number of factors need to be considered before choosing your subjects for Diploma.

  • What subjects am I good at?
  • What subjects do I enjoy?
  • What subjects do I need to get into university?

When selecting your subjects for a diploma pay in mind that:

  • at least three subjects must be chosen at higher level (HL) and the others at standard level (SL)
  • one subject must be selected from each of groups 1 to 5
  • a mathematics subject must be selected from group 5
  • the sixth subject may be selected from group 6 or from groups 1 to 4.

A candidate may offer a second group 1 subject instead of a group 2 subject.
Instead of a group 6 subject a candidate may select an additional subject chosen from groups 1 to 4

No candidate may count towards the diploma:

  • the same subject twice, regardless of whether higher level or standard level
  • the same language for group 1 and group 2, or within group 1 or group 2 (for example, English A Language and literature and English B).

IB Diploma core subjects

True knowledge does not only come from text books. All of us have met people who have “seen the world” and who fascinate us with their open-mindedness and extensive knowledge. That is why IB emphasises that IB learners should be inquirers also outside the classroom to expand their view of the world.

Extended essay (EE)

The extended essay extended essay of some 4,000 words offers the opportunity for IB students to investigate a topic of special interest related to one of the student’s six Diploma Programme (DP) subjects/disciplines. An extended essay can also be undertaken in world studies. The world studies extended essay provides students with the opportunity to carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, utilizing two IB diploma disciplines. Both types of extended essay (single-disciplinary and interdisciplinary essays )are intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity expected at university. They provide students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject or issue chosen. This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject. It is recommended that students follow the completion of the written essay with a short, concluding interview – viva voce – with the supervisor. In countries where interviews are required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university, the extended essay has proved to be a valuable stimulus for discussion.

Theory of knowledge (TOK)
TOK plays a special role in the Diploma Programme by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know.

The fundamental question of TOK is “how do we know that?” Students are encouraged to think about how knowledge is arrived at in different disciplines, what the disciplines have in common and the differences between the disciplinary. TOK therefore both supports and is supported by the study of other DP subjects, as students are required to explore knowledge questions against the backdrop of their experiences in their other DP subjects. Discussion and critical reflection form the backbone of the TOK course, centring around discussions of questions such as:

  • what counts as evidence for X?
  • what makes a good explanation in subject Y?
    how do we judge which is the best model of Z?
  • how can we be sure of W?
  • what does theory T mean in the real world?
  • how do we know whether it is right to do S?

Through discussions of these types of questions students gain greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions, as well as developing an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives. The TOK course is assessed through an oral presentation and a 1600 word essay. The TOK presentation assesses the ability of the student to apply TOK thinking to a real-life situation, while the TOK essay takes a more conceptual starting point; for example asking students to discuss the claim that the methodologies used to produce knowledge depend on the use to which that knowledge will be used.

TOK is a demanding and challenging course, but one which plays a crucial role in effectively preparing students for the complex and rapidly changing world they will encounter both during their DP experience and beyond.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
CAS – Creativity – Action – Service at the heart of the Diploma Programme. CAS enables students to live the IB learner profile in real and practical ways, to grow as unique individuals and to recognise their role in relation to others. CAS is organised around the three strands of Creativity, Action and Service defined as:

  • Creativity – arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking
  • Action – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the IB Diploma Programme
  • Service – an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.

Students develop skills and attitudes through a variety of individual and group activities that provide students with opportunities to express their passions, personalities and perspectives. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment.

Students are also required to undertake a CAS Project that challenges students to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance, and develop skills such as those of collaboration, problem solving, and decision making.

The school and students must give CAS as much importance as any other element of the Diploma Programme and ensure sufficient time is allocated for engagement in the CAS programme. Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB Diploma. While not formally assessed, students reflect on their CAS experiences and provide evidence of achieving the eight learning outcomes.