Courses and characteristics of the IB Diploma

What the International Baccalaureate is and what courses it has

We explain you what this well-recognized diploma is

What is the International Baccalaureate Program?

The IB Diploma is a challenging and balanced educational program. It is taken in two years, an the end of which the students are externally assessed. This program prepares them to study a university degree and gives them valuable work skills.

How difficult is the IB?

The IB is a very challenging academic program. Students must take six courses: three standard level ones, and three high level ones.
Each university requires different courses and levels depending on the degree one wants to study. For example, a student who whishes to study Medicine will need to study Biology at a High Level, and a student wishing to study Economics will be more prepared if they have studied Business and Mathematics at a Higher level, but they will only need to study Literature at a Standard Level.

What courses does one have in the IB?

The International Baccalaureate is not a “Science program” or an “Arts Program”. This diploma is made up of six areas of knowledge, and each area has different subject options.

Students choose one course from each of the six areas. The only exception are the subjects in the “Arts” area. That “arts” course can be substituted with a course from any of the other five areas of knowledge. This is helpful for those who have already decided which degree they would like to study at university, since it allows them to choose a more specialized preparation.

What courses can I take at BSN?

Schools that offer the IB program together with another educational system sometimes do not offer all courses. At The British School of Navara we will only offer the IB program, with subjects available in all areas of knowledge.

The availability of each subject depends on the number of students requesting it. If you wish to know which courses we intend to offer next academic year, please contact us.

Below you can read what each area of knowledge is about, and the different subjects school can offer their students. Not every school offers all subjects.

Studies in language and literature

All students need to take one subject from this area, and the course is available in 17 different languages. They study Literature and they can combine its learning with those of Language and Performance. You can find more information in the official IB Program website.

This are contains three courses:

Language A: Literature: available with a list of authors and publications in 55 different languages. Upon special request, in other languages too.

Language A: Language and Literature: Available in 16 different languages

Literature and Performance: in English or, upon request, in French or Spanish.

Language acquisition

Students learn a language to be able to use it in multiple context and with different aims. During the curse, learners try to understand a culture through its language.

The IB Program offers the study of Modern and Classical Languages.  Students can choose between three different courses.

Modern Languages

Language ab initio: only offered to students with limited or none previous knowledge of a language. It is only available at the Standard Level (SL).

Language B: for those who have some prior knowledge of the language. Available at High Level (HL) or SL.

Classical Languages

Latin or Classical Greek:  students learn the language, culture and literature of  Ancient Greek or Ancient Rome.

Individuals and societies

This area offers the opportunity to broaden the knowledge about human experience and behaviour; the history of social and cultural institurions; and the economic, geographic and social aspects of human societies.

The courses available in the Diploma are:

Business management
Economics
Geography
Global politics
History
Information technology in a global society
Philosophy
Psychology
Social and cultural anthropology
World religions (SL only).

In the IB website you can find the curriculum for each subject.

Sciences

Students develop their understanding of the scientific method by exploring the tehories, techniques, concepts and models in which each discipline is based on.

The available courses are:

Biology
Computer science
Chemistry
Design technology
Physics
Sports, exercise and health science
Environmental systems and societies
(Interdisciplinary, groups 3 & 4)

Explore the IB website to read the curriculum for each subject. 

Mathematics

IB Program students must take one of these four subjects:

Mathematics: analysis and approaches SL
Mathematics: analysis and approaches HL
Mathematics: applications and interpretation SL
Mathematics: applications and interpretation HL

You can learn what it is learnt in each subject by visiting the IB website.

Arts

Students can choose to study one additional course from any of the previous five areas of knowledge, or choose between the available Art courses:

Dance
Music
Film
Theatre
Visual arts

IB has further information in their official website.