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IBDP Curriculum Overview

Brief Summary


IB Diploma Programme students study six courses. Students must choose one subject from each subject group 1-5, thus ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics. The sixth subject may be an arts subject chosen from group 6, or the student may choose another subject from groups 1 to 5.


At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level (recommended 240 teaching hours), the others at standard level (150 teaching hours).


In addition, the programme has three core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding.

  • The extended essay is a requirement for students to engage in independent research. It has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. The extended essay offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest and familiarises students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. You may view the Extended Essay Student Guidebook here.

  • Theory of knowledge is a course designed to provide coherence and to encourage each student to explore the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing and different kinds of knowledge. As a part of this objective it encourages an appreciation of other cultural perspectives.

  • Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) requires that students actively learn from the experience of getting involved in real tasks beyond the classroom.


University recognition of the IB Diploma

The IB diploma is widely recognized by the world’s leading universities. The IB works closely with universities in all regions of the world to gain recognition for the IB diploma. To aid the process the IB provides:

  • direct, online access for university admissions officers and government officials to syllabuses and recent examination papers

  • a database containing contact details of universities around the world together with up-to-date information about their requirements for admission to assist IB diploma students in making appropriate choices



Unlike most international schools, the GESM enables the bilingual completion of the IBDP in English and German. 



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