Visual arts (SL and HL)
The impulse to make art is common to all people. From earliest times, human beings have displayed a fundamental need to create, and to communicate personal and cultural meaning through art.
Visual arts continually open up new possibilities and challenge traditional boundaries. This is evident both in the way we make art and in the way we understand what artists from around the world do. Theory and practice in visual arts are dynamic and ever-changing, and connect many areas of study and human experience through individual and collaborative production and interpretation.
The Diploma Programme visual arts course enables students to engage in both practical exploration and artistic production, and in independent contextual, visual and critical investigation. The course is designed to enable students to study visual arts in higher education and also welcomes those students who seek life enrichment through visual arts.
Quality work in visual arts can be produced by students at both HL and SL. The aims and assessment objectives are the same for visual arts students at both HL and SL. Through a variety of teaching approaches, all students are encouraged to develop their creative and critical abilities and to enhance their knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of visual arts.
The course content for HL and SL may be the same. However, due to the different amount of time available for each, students at HL have the opportunity to develop ideas and skills, and to produce a larger body of work, or work of greater depth. In order to reflect this, the assessment criteria are differentiated according to option and level. There need be no direct relationship between the number of works produced, the time spent on each, and the quality achieved: a high level of performance at either HL or SL can be achieved in both a large and small body of work.
Visual arts syllabus outline
Higher level Option A (HLA, 240 hours)
Higher level Option B (HLB, 240 hours)
Standard level Option A (SLA, 150 hours)
Standard level Option B (SLB, 150 hours)
Key features of the curriculum and assessment models
- Available at standard (SL) and higher levels (HL)
- The minimum prescribed number of hours is 150 for SL and 240 for HL
- Students are assessed both externally and internally
- External assessment at Option A (for HLA and SLA) consists of Studio work at 60%. The student prepares a selection of his or her studio work in the form of an exhibition. This is externally assessed by a visiting examiner following an interview with the student about the work.
- External assessment at Option B (for HLB and SLB) consists of the Investigation workbook at 60%. The student presents selected pages of his or her investigation workbooks that have been produced during the course. This selection is externally assessed by a visiting examiner following an interview with the student.
- Internal assessment at Option A (for HLA and SLA) consists of the Investigation workbook at 40%. The student presents selected pages of his or her investigation workbooks that have been produced during the course. This selection is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course.
- Internal assessment at Option B (for HLB and SLB) consists of Studio work at 40%. The student prepares a selection of his or her studio work. This selection is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course.