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International School Suva

World Class Citizens ~ Life Long Learners

IB Diploma Programme

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‘The Diploma Programme (DP) provides a challenging, internationally focused, broad and balanced educational experience for students aged 16 to 19.’1 It is a ‘rigorous pre- university course of study for a broad-based two-year course that aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable and inquiring, but also caring and compassionate.’ 2

Students are required to study six subjects from different disciplines as well as focus on the curriculum core. The programme is designed to prepare students with the academic skills needed for university study, further education in their selected profession in addition to developing values and skills needed to be lifelong learners.

The IB Diploma Programme is an excellent curriculum for students of a wide range of abilities and backgrounds.  All Diploma Programme students participate in three course elements which make up the Core of the IB Diploma Programme which aims to ‘broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding in real-life contexts.’3  They include the studies of:

Theory of Knowledge, which is fundamentally a course about critical thinking and inquiry.

Creativity, activity and service involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies which will involve them in activities and programmes in three strands, including Arts and other experiences which enable them to think creatively, physical activities, leading to a healthier lifestyle and service activities, which in voluntary work, helping those in a wider community in need.

The Extended Essay offers the opportunity to conduct independent investigation in an area of interest, encompassing research and writing skills of a 4000 word academic essay.

Outside of the Core, there are six grouped areas of academic study, namely:

Group 1 – Language A: Language and Literature

Group 2 – Language B: Chinese, English and French

Group 3 – Individuals and Societies: Business management, Economics, Pyschology and History

Group 4 – Sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Group 5 – Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches; Applications and Interpretation  

Group 6 – The Arts: Music, Theatre and Visual Arts

Students must select one subject from each of the groups, or alternatively, instead of taking a Group 6 subject, students can take an extra subject from either Group 3 or Group 4. At ISS, some students also choose to do Self Taught Language A instead of a second language. Whilst this is possible, students have to be fully fluent in their language of study.

Students will study each of the subjects at either a Higher Level or Standard Level (3 subjects must be taken at Higher Level). Each subject is graded from 1-7, with 7 being the highest level of achievement. Maximum score for a Diploma is 45 (6 x 7 and 3 for the Core subjects). There are varying ways to achieve a Diploma, but for the most part a minimum score of 24 will see a student be awarded a Diploma. Failure to complete any of the Core components will mean a student will not receive a Diploma. A Bilingual Diploma is awarded when a student has two languages at Language A level.

In each academic area, students have flexibility in making choices, which allows them to choose subjects that particularly interest them and that they may continue to study in university.

IB Subject Groups

Group 1

English Language and Literature

Group 2

Chinese B

English B

French Ab initio

French B

Group 3

Business and Management



Group 4




Group 5

Mathematics – Analysis and Approaches

Group 6



Visual Arts

Creativity, Action, Service – CAS

Extended Essay – EE

Theory of Knowledge – TOK

1 & 3 - IB DP From Principles into Practice. IBO, Switzerland April 2015.

2 – Theory of knowledge Guide, IBO, Switzerland 2017