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Diploma Programme

Established in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) was the first programme offered by the IB and it is taught to students aged 16-19.There are over 2600 schools offering the three IB programmes to over a million students. The DP was established to provide students with a balanced education, to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility and to promote international understanding.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme is a comprehensive and rigorous two-year curriculum, leading to examinations, for students generally aged between sixteen and nineteen. Based on the pattern of no single country, it is a deliberate compromise between the specialisation required in some national systems and the breadth preferred in others.

The general objectives of the IB are to provide students with a balanced education, to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility, and to promote international understanding through a shared academic experience. In the thirty years since its founding, the IB Diploma has become a symbol of academic integrity and intellectual promise.

The DP provides opportunities to develop both disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding that meet rigorous standards. It is a truly international programme incorporating the best educational practices from around the world, while remaining free from the influence of any particular system or government. In addition to academic excellence, it encourages inquiry, caring, open-mindedness, intercultural understanding, and the attitudes necessary to respect and evaluate a range of viewpoint.

What are the approaches to learning (ATL) in the DP?

“What is of paramount importance in the pre-university stage is not what is learned but learning how to learn … What matters is not the absorption and regurgitation either of fact or predigested interpretations of facts, but the development of powers of the mind or ways of thinking which can be applied to new situations and new presentations of facts as they arise.”—Alec Peterson

Approaches to teaching and learning are deliberate strategies, skills and attitudes that permeate the teaching and learning environment. These approaches and tools, intrinsically linked with the IB learner profile attributes , enhance student learning and assist student preparation for DP assessment and beyond.

There are five categories of ATL skills:




Official IB Website

What are the approaches to teaching skills in the DP?

Teaching students how to learn has always been a part of IB teaching. The IB is providing explicit support for teaching these skills, aligning the Diploma Programme (DP) with the Middle Years Programme (MYP) Programme and the Primary Years Programme (PYP).

There are 6 approaches to teaching:

Teaching students how to learn has always been a part of IB teaching. The IB is providing explicit support for teaching these skills, aligning the Diploma Programme (DP) with the Middle Years Programme (MYP) Programme and the Primary Years Programme (PYP).


The IBDP subjects at Hanoi International School

Choosing your subjects

You must choose SIX subjects (one from each group): THREE at HIGHER LEVEL (HL) and THREE at STANDARD LEVEL (SL).

Group 1- Studies in Language and Literature

  • English Language and Literature (HL or SL)
  • Vietnamese (HL or SL)
  • Korean (HL or SL)
  • Japanese (HL or SL)
  • Mother Tongue Self-Study (SL) - with private tutor

Group 2- Language Acquisition

  • English B (HL or SL)
  • French B (HL or SL)
  • French ab initio (SL only)
  • Mother Tongue Self-Study (SL) - with private tutor
  • Spanish/Mandarin ab initio (SL) (possible with Pamoja - ask the DP Coordinator for more info)

Group 3- Individuals and Societies

  • Business management (HL or SL)
  • Economics (HL or SL)
  • Geography (HL or SL)
  • History (HL or SL)
  • Information Technology in a Global Society (HL or SL)
  • Psychology (HL or SL)
  • Environmental Systems and Societies (interdisciplinary subject ,Group 3/4) - (SL only)

Group 4- Sciences

  • Biology(HL or SL)
  • Chemistry (HL or SL)
  • Physics (HL or SL)
  • Environmental Systems and Societies (interdisciplinary subject ,Group 3/4) - (SL only)

Group 5- Mathematics

  • Mathematics (HL or SL)
  • Maths Studies (SL only)

Group 6- The Arts

Visual Arts (HL or SL)

OR A second subject from Group 3

OR A second subject from Group 4

Note: Depending on the timetabling not all subject combinations might be possible here.

Award of the Diploma

The system used for internal purposes during the course is that employed by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) in the award of the Diploma. Each of the six subjects studied is graded on a 1-7 scale as follows:

Grade Description
7 Excellent
6 Very Good
5 Good
4 Satisfactory
3 Mediocre
2 Poor
1 Very Poor

Award of the Diploma

Performance in each subject is graded on a scale of 7 points (maximum) down to 1 point (minimum). Performance in theory of knowledge and the extended essay are each graded on a scale of A (maximum) to E (minimum). The CAS requirement is not assessed. For the IB Diploma, a maximum of 3 points is awarded for combined performance in theory of knowledge and the extended essay. The maximum total DP points score is 45.

All assessment components for each of the six subjects and the additional Diploma requirements must be completed in order to qualify for the award of the IB Diploma. The IB Diploma will be awarded to a candidate provided all the following requirements have been met.

  1. CAS requirements have been met.
  2. The candidate’s total points are 24 or more.
  3. There is no “N” awarded for theory of knowledge, the extended essay or for a contributing subject.
  4. There is no grade E awarded for theory of knowledge and/or the extended essay.
  5. There is no grade 1 awarded in a subject/level.
  6. There are no more than two grade 2s awarded (HL or SL).
  7. There are no more than three grade 3s or below awarded (HL or SL).
  8. The candidate has gained 12 points or more on HL subjects (for candidates who register for four HL subjects, the three highest grades count).
  9. The candidate has gained 9 points or more on SL subjects (candidates who register for two SL subjects must gain at least 5 points at SL).
  10. The candidate has not received a penalty for academic misconduct from the Final Award Committee.

A maximum of three examination sessions is allowed in which to satisfy the requirements for the award of the IB Diploma. The examination sessions need not be consecutive.

Form of the results

Successful IB Diploma Candidates will receive an IB Diploma and a document entitled “Diploma Programme (DP) Results” listing the total IB Diploma points score, the subject grades, confirmation of the completion of all CAS requirements and any points awarded and individual grades for the combination of theory of knowledge and the extended essay.

A Bilingual IB Diploma will be awarded to a successful candidate who fulfills one or both of the following criteria:

a. completion of two languages selected from group 1 with the award of a grade 3 or higher in both

b. completion of one of the subjects from group 3 or group 4 in a language that is not the same as the candidate’s group 1 language. The candidate must attain a grade 3 or higher in both the group 1 language and the subject from group 3 or 4.

An IB Diploma Candidate who fails to satisfy the requirements for the award of an IB Diploma will receive DP Course Results indicating the grades obtained in individual subjects, together with results in theory of knowledge and the extended essay, and confirmation of the completion of all CAS requirements, as appropriate.

DP Course Candidates receive Diploma Programme Course Results (DP Course Results) indicating the results obtained in individual subjects and the core requirements, as appropriate.

“Carefully, steadily and impressively, the IB programme has grown to become the most widely respected pre-university curriculum in the world”(International Quarterly)
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