The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum sets out the requirements for study of the DP.
The curriculum is made up of the DP core and six subject groups.
Made up of the three required components, the DP core aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.
The three core elements are:
- Theory of knowledge, in which students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.
- The extended essay, which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.
- Creativity, activity, service, in which students complete a project related to those three concepts.
The six subject groups are:
- Studies in language and literature
- Language acquisition
- Individuals and societies
- The arts
There are different courses within each subject group.
Choosing subjects in the Diploma Programme
Students choose courses from the following subject groups: studies in language and literature; language acquisition; individuals and societies; sciences; mathematics; and the arts.
Students may opt to study an additional sciences, individuals and societies, or languages course, instead of a course in the arts.
Students will take some subjects at higher level (HL) and some at standard level (SL). 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 higher level.
Each student takes at least three (but not more than four) subjects at higher level, and the remaining at standard level.
Standard level subjects take up 150 teaching hours. Higher level comprises 240 teaching hours.
Hear from our DP community
DP subject briefs
Our recognition resource and document library has subject briefs for the DP, looking at every subject at both standard and higher level.
The subject briefs cover core requirements, aims and assessment. To find them, open the 'DP subject briefs' panel in the resource and document library.