Ages 16 TO 18


Unparalleled in international education, our IBDP opens doors to the best universities in the world. At the British International School Ho Chi Minh City, your child will follow personalised IB Diploma pathways that see them excel in traditional subjects, pursue their passions, and take part in exceptional Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) opportunities. Inspiring them to be their very best, our IB school opens doors to the world's best universities.

a personalised curriculum journey

Our 16 to 18-year-olds study for the IB Diploma. This internationally recognised, two-year programme is highly regarded by the world's top universities.

The IBDP is a truly holistic and personalised educational pathway, where students excel in their chosen subjects and enjoy exceptional enrichment opportunities. The IBDP also develops our students’ ingenuity, critical thinking, and confidence, as well as broadening their understanding of the world.

Our students design their own curriculum, selecting the subjects they study at higher and standard level, their Extended Essay topic, and CAS activities that reflect their interests. Students also study the Theory of Knowledge.

This rigorous academic approach is supported by our dedicated wellbeing curriculum, which encourages our students to look after their physical and mental health.

IBDP Subject Choices

Our students choose their IBDP subjects from six groups. They study three subjects at higher level and three at standard level. With over 30 options on offer, every learner follows a personalised pathway to success.
Studies in Language and Literature
Group 1
  • Korean literature.
  • Chinese.
  • Vietnamese language and literature.
  • English language and literature.
  • English literature.
  • English literature and performance.
Language Acquisition
Group 2
  • Mandarin.
  • French.
  • Spanish.
  • English.
  • Ab Intio (beginner):
    • Mandarin.
    • French.
    • Spanish.
  •  English Language B (4-5 years experience needed).
Individuals and Societies
Group 3
  • Business management.
  • Economics.
  • Geography.
  • History.
  • Digital societies.
  • Psychology.
Group 4
  • Biology.
  • Chemistry.
  • Computer science.
  • Design
  • Physics.
  • Environmental
    systems and society.
Group 5
  • Mathematics: analysis and approaches.
  • Mathematics: applications and interpretations.
The Arts
Group 6
  • Music.
  • Theatre.
  • Visual arts.
Alternatively, students can select a subject from either Group 3 or 4. 

The Core IBDP Programme

In addition to their IBDP subjects, our students spend four periods per week on their core programme. This is made up of three elements, which are designed to develop key critical thinking, research, and social skills.
Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)
Playing to their strengths and interests, our students choose a creative experience, physical activity, and a service opportunity that supports one of our community partners. From composing a piece of music to helping local students with their English, your child will develop into a well-rounded global citizen.
Theory of Knowledge
Your child will develop their critical thinking skills through our Theory of Knowledge course. They'll deepen their understanding of specific subjects, reflect on the nature of knowledge, and discover how and why we learn.
Extended Essay
The Extended Essay engages our students in an in-depth research project, which is based around a topic they're passionate about. This is excellent preparation for the rigours of academic writing at university, as well as giving them an advantage when it comes to preparing their applications.


Our holistic approach to education balances academic excellence with personal growth and wellbeing, inspiring every student to be their best as they forge a pathway to university and beyond.

Your child will work towards the 10 IB Learner Profile attributes, which are invaluable qualities that enrich their personal, social, and academic development. Through the Diploma, our students become enquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk takers, balanced, and reflective.

In tandem with the IBDP, our bespoke wellbeing curriculum ensures students balance their time and energy, are healthy and happy, and feel well prepared for the future. 
  • Sixth Form


Every IBDP student’s day is packed with learning experiences and activities designed around their strengths and ambitions.
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Truly personalised learning
Every element of our IBDP students’ learning is tailored to their interests, talents, and aspirations. For some, that means heading to the lab to model organic molecules; for others, researching theatrical traditions in our state-of-the-art auditorium.
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truly personalised learning
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Leading lights
Our sixth form students lead the way, coming up with initiatives to increase the school’s sustainability at our Eco Committee, representing their peers with pride on our Student Council, and raising funds and awareness for our community partners.
leading lights
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Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)
Extraordinary CAS opportunities are part of every IBDP student’s day. Learning an instrument, playing badminton or basketball, or teaching English to local children – the world is your child’s oyster.
creativity, activity and service
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In-depth investigations
It’s time for our students to delve into their specialist subject. Whether it’s testing a scientific theory, designing an air cannon, or writing a literature review, the IBDP Extended Essay encourages our students to become experts in their field.
in-depth investigations
Creative expressions
Budding artists, performers, and musicians showcase their talents in school and our community, exhibiting stunning works of art, performing in our Battle of the Bands, and stepping into the spotlight in whole-school productions.
creative expressions
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Activities for everyone
The exceptional learning experiences don’t stop when the day ends! Co-curricular activities and clubs – ranging from swimming and vertical bouldering to chemistry, jazz and Model UN – give your child the chance to do what they love.
activities for everyone


Our 2023 IBDP points score was significantly higher than the global average of 30.2.
Three of our students achieved the perfect IBDP score. 
1 in 3
IBDP students scored 40 points or more, significantly higher than the UK average.
of our students passed their IBDP.


We'll guide your child through the process of choosing their IBDP subjects. You'll also receive expert advice from our Secondary Leadership Team and College and University Guidance Team.
Wellbeing Sessions
Our students attend four Wellbeing Sessions, which explain the IB Diploma Programme. Session 1 covers the philosophy behind the IBDP, as well as the practicalities. Sessions 2, 3, and 4 consist of a series of presentations by the College and University Guidance Team, with a focus on specific pathways through and beyond the IBDP. This is complemented by a follow-up session with their tutor, which helps students consider and further research their options.
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Wellbeing Sessions
IB Options Evening
We invite all our parents and students to an IB Options Evening. You’ll learn about the subject choices we offer and discuss courses with our IB Coordinator, College and University Guidance Counsellor, and Heads of Department.
IB Options Evening
First Thoughts Forms
Students submit their 'First Thoughts Forms' via an online portal by early October. These submissions form the basis of our option blocks. We'll then send your child a second form showing them the subjects they've chosen, in line with the relevant blocks.
First Thoughts Forms
Final submission
Your child will then submit their final form. This should be signed by the student, the parent, and - for higher level subjects - the relevant Head of Department. The deadline is early November. In March, your child will receive final confirmation of their option choices.
Final submission
university destinations


In 2023, 70% of our graduates were accepted by one of the world’s top 100 universities. These include the University of Oxford and Imperial College London in the UK, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University in the United States, Seoul National University and the National University of Singapore in Asia, and the University of Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. 

Whatever your child’s aims and aspirations, our dedicated College and University Guidance Team will help them to get exactly where they want to go.


  • What are the benefits of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)?

    The IBDP prepares our students for life after school, both at university and beyond.

    While traditional qualifications often focus on developing a deep understanding in a limited number of subjects, students following the IB Diploma study an array of subject groups. This means every young person acquires a broad understanding. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme cultivates well-rounded global citizens, too.

    Having a grounding in multiple subject groups means students aren't limited when it comes to applying for university places. When a particular subject or topic sparks a passion within our students, they can choose to follow it here and in higher education.

    The IB Diploma also develops a host of transferable skills. For example, the Extended Essay is an excellent blueprint for university writing and dissertations.

  • What is the IBDP equivalent to? 
    For students aged 16 to 18, the IB Diploma is an alternative to A-levels in the UK and Advanced Placement (AP) in the United States.
  • What's the difference between IGCSEs and the IBDP?

    At BIS HCMC our students study for their International General Certificate of Education (IGCSE) between the ages of 14 and 16 (Years 10-11). The IGCSEs are an internationally adapted version of British GCSEs.

    Between the ages of 16 and 18 (Years 12-13), our students go on to complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Both certifications are recognised by top universities worldwide.

  • How many hours do IBDP students study?   
    IB Diploma students take some subjects at higher level and some at standard level. Each student takes at least three (no more than four) subjects at higher level, and the remaining at standard level. Over the course of two years, standard level subjects account for 150 teaching hours, while higher level subjects comprise 240 teaching hours.
  • How hard is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme? 

    The IB Diploma is an academically challenging programme. It's best suited to students who are willing to dedicate themselves to advanced courses, work well in a structured environment, and push themselves to go above and beyond.

  • Do UK universities accept the IBDP?
    Yes, the IBDP is widely recognised by top UK universities. For universities such as Oxford or Cambridge, students need to obtain a minimum score of between 38 and 40 points (depending on the course). For more information on where our IBDP graduates go on to study, see our university destinations.
  • Do US universities accept the IBDP?
    Yes, the IBDP is accepted by US universities. It's also valued by around 2,000 institutions worldwide. On average, the acceptance rate of IB students to Ivy League Universities is 18% higher than the overall rate. For more information on where our IBDP graduates go on to study, see our university destinations.
  • Is the International Baccalaureate worth it?

    While the IB Diploma Programme is widely regarded as the most challenging course of study, it's a prestigious and desirable qualification that's highly prized by the best universities. The demands of the programme inspire students to go above and beyond in pursuit of their goals, as well as opening doors to careers and further education anywhere in the world. The IB Diploma also gives students the opportunity to earn university credits.

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BIS HCMC IBDP Options 2023-24_FA (1).pdf (3 MB)



Your child will flourish at BIS HCMC, where our all-encompassing approach to education balances academic excellence with personal growth and wellbeing, inspiring a lifelong love of learning.

OUR academic excellence