What is the IB?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma is a two-year programme for Senior Cycle students. All students study six subjects: three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. In addition, students write an Extended Essay and follow a critical thinking course entitled Theory of Knowledge. Participation in creative activities, sport and service is also a requirement of the programme.

How does the points system work?

Each of the six subjects is graded out of seven. The Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge are combined to give up to three core points. The total Diploma score is therefore a maximum 45 points.

How does the IB Diploma Programme compare to the Leaving Certificate?

The IBDP is an assessed end of secondary programme for students aged 16-19.  While the Leaving Certificate is often characterised as six or seven individual subjects, the IBDP curriculum is centred on the IB Learner Profile and is made up of the Diploma Programme Core and six subject groups, including at least two languages. In addition, the IB has as its explicit aim, the development of internationally-minded young people.  A final difference between the programmes lies in the grounding of the educational process in the IB’s approaches to teaching and learning centred on inquiry, action and reflection.

Is the IB accepted by universities?

The IB Diploma is accepted by universities in the UK, the US and across the world.

Can I study more than three higher levels/more than six subjects?

All of our IBDP students follow a six-subject Diploma with three higher level subjects. We support the IBDP in its promotion of a broad curriculum. If a student wishes to attend some extra lessons out of intellectual curiosity, this is usually fine, although they will not be entered for the examination.

Does the IBDP include coursework? 

Yes, around 20 per cent for each subject and then three core points awarded for Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay coursework.

How does SL Maths equate to Higher Level Leaving Certificate Maths?

Standard Level maths is roughly equivalent to Higher Level Leaving Certificate Maths. Not all university courses that would normally require Higher Leaving Certificate Maths require IBDP higher level Maths; many will accept IBDP standard level Maths.

What is the difference between A, B and ab initio language courses?

Language A courses are for native speakers and are correspondingly more advanced. Language B courses are for second language speakers, i.e. those who have been learning the language for three to five years. Ab initio courses presume no previous knowledge of the language and are only available at standard level.