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The British School of Beijing, Shunyi IB Diploma

The IB Diploma is one of the most respected and recognised educational programmes in the world. Not only does it prepare students academically for university entrance, this holistic high school programme allows for extensive personal development as well.

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Designed to prepare students for further education at leading universities around the globe, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme provides Year 12 and 13 students with the perfect springboard to achieve a place at their first-choice university. As well as helping students academically, the IB Diploma Programme is also designed to holistically develop them into critical and well-rounded thinkers. The course is split into three core elements: the Theory of Knowledge (ToK), an extended essay, and a Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) portfolio. The programme also consists of six subjects that all students must study: Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and The Arts.

Below you will find further information on how the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is graded and the requirements for successfully passing the IBDP. There are also links to several videos exploring the programme in more detail, including how it prepares students for the future and helps them become truly global citizens. You’ll also find  a plethora of PDF guides available to download, which will provide you with everything you need to know about this outstanding and rewarding course.

Components of the IB Diploma Programme

The Core

  • Theory of Knowledge (ToK)
    • 100 hours of instruction
    • Essay (1,600 words) which counts for 67% of the grade
    • Presentation (10-minutes duration) which counts for 33% of the grade
    • Marks combined to form a grade from A to E
    • Topic and subject of the student's choosing
    • Teachers act as supervisors
  • Extended Essay (EE)
    • A 4,000-word essay on a topic of the student's choosing within an IB subject
    • Teachers supervise and students attend a dedicated lesson each week with the Extended Essay Coordinator
    • Graded on 11 criteria for a mark out of 36, which then equates to a grade from A to E
  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) 
    • Time split evenly between each strand - Creativity, Activity, Service
    • Students to participate in extracurricular activities, develop new skills and participate in community service
    • A student's CAS portfolio is developed with the CAS Coordinator 
    • Seven learning outcomes must be shown to be met
    • There are no grades in CAS, but a "NO" means the Diploma will not be awarded

The Subjects

  • Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
  • Group 2: Language Acquisition
  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies
  • Group 4: Sciences
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: The Arts + Options

Students must study one subject from each group.

Three subjects are studied at Standard Level (150 hours of instruction for each subject).

Three subjects are studied at Higher Level (240 hours of instruction for each subject).

Requirements for successful completion of the IB Diploma

The maximum point score is 45.

The minimum point score to pass is 24.

Students must achieve:

  • Grade D or above for Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay
  • "YES" for Creativity, Activity, Service
  • A minimum of 12 points for subjects studied at the Higher Level
  • A minimum of 9 points for subjects studies at the Standard Level

Requirements for the IB Subjects

Please see the document below "IB Diploma Course Selection Form - Class of 2021" for the subjects offered in the six IB option blocks for our  Year 12 students starting their IB Diploma in August 2019 and graduating in 2021.  Students must study one subject from each block, with three at Standard Level and three at Higher Level.

Please note that the blocks are subject to change depending on demand and students’ individual requirements. Our IB Diploma graduate programme is overseen by our experienced IB Diploma Leadership Team. Please contact them directly to ask further questions about the programme.

IB Coordinator - Ms Sarah Donnelly


To visit our school and see our excellent facilities and learning environment for Year 12 and 13 students, please contact our friendly Admissions team.