International Baccalaureate Diploma Talk Thursday 17th October 2019 6.30pm.

International Baccalaureate

The IBD is an exciting and popular alternative to A Levels.

You should consider it seriously if you:

  • Are a well-organised student who enjoys a wide range of subjects and activities and who is keen not to narrow your education too early.
  • Want a course that will extend and challenge you personally and intellectually.
  • Want a course that will encourage you to think independently and to speak and write well in more than one language.
  • Want to keep all your university and career options open at 16 plus.
  • Want an international qualification, which is recognised all over the world for your future career.

The IBD is taught worldwide and is internationally recognised and understood i by universities and employers as an excellent preparation for further study or employment. It is administered by the International Baccalaureate Organisation, a body which is independent of any government and which has an international perspective. Please note; students wishing to study at university abroad should check country specific requirements and the entry requirements of individual universities on the IBO website.

Varndean College is the only state-run college designated by the Government to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD) in Brighton & Hove and is now in its eleventh year of running the programme.

What Does The Course Involve?

You choose one course from each of six subject areas, three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. The content of Standard Level courses is smaller than that of Higher Level courses. Everyone also follows the core programme, which is made up of:

Extended essay:

4,000 words on a topic of particular interest in any subject

Theory of knowledge:

A study of the foundations of knowledge

Creativity, activity, service:

A programme of extra-curricular activities


I chose to study the IB as it offered a wide variety of subjects and I was unsure what I wanted to study in the future. I had many friends who did the IB and I wanted to challenge myself. I have found myself doing activities I wouldn’t have expected as part of my CAS and TOK. This has opened up my eyes to a variety of different concepts and ways of thinking.

Jemmina Cottan ex British School, Jakartal

Course Essentials

Courses Available
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Entry Requirements

A mixture of at least 7 GCSEs at Grade 6 or above, including English, Maths and Science. In addition, certain subjects at both Standard and Higher Level have particular subject requirements. For further information please download a prospectus.

IBD 2020 Prospectus
How The Course is Assessed
The maximum possible score is 45. In order to pass the Diploma you need 24 points. There are no external examinations at the end of Year 1. All written exams take place in May of Year 2 and the results are published in July. In many subjects there is a substantial amount of coursework and assessed oral presentation. Theory of Knowledge is assessed by an externally-marked coursework essay.
Career Pathways
In 2018, 75% of our 42 IB Diploma students had offers to take up places at Russell Group universities, with three at Oxford and Cambridge. Six students went on to study medicine.
Transferable Skills
The IB Diploma prepares students for success in higher education and to be active participants in a global society.
Other Information

IBD students will have a fuller timetable than A Level students but less written assessment.

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