Science student studying in IB Centre

IB Diploma Programme (IBDP)

IBDP | Ages 16 to 18

Why choose the IB Diploma?

The IB Diploma Programme is an academically challenging programme of education, with final examinations, that prepares students aged 16 to 19 for success at university and in life beyond.

It addresses students’ intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being. The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

Unlike most national curriculums, the IB has a reputation for consistency and stability, free from unwanted government interference. It is:

  • Broad and flexible, requiring 6 subjects which can be configured to differentiate and maximise each student’s strengths.
  • An academic programme that encourages university-level skills, and the development of skills outside of the classroom.
  • A reliable benchmark of attainment – grade inflation free.
  • A very popular entry qualification with UK, US, and other overseas universities, with many lowering entry requirements for IB students.
  • Known to offer students more options when applying to university.
  • More likely to get students into a Russell Group university, where they are more likely to earn a first-class degree.*
  • Very appealing to employers, who value its breadth.
  • Tailor-made for the world we now live in.

*Analysis by the Higher Education Statistics Agency

Simply put, the IB is the best-established alternative to A Levels, and the world’s most recognised 16-19 programme.
ACS Egham 2018 graduates in a group photo

IB & A Levels grading compared

The percentage of students achieving a Diploma each year has remained constant over the last decade which indicates that, unlike the A Levels, there has been little grade inflation.

The highest possible score for the IB is 45 points – only 0.2% of students worldwide are able to achieve this each year. The pass mark is 24 points, which is achieved by 79% of students. Compare this with the A Levels where hundreds of schools are able to report a 100% pass rate each year.

According to the UCAS tariff, 45 points is the equivalent of five grade A* at A Levels, 40 points is the equivalent of four grade A* at A Levels and 35 points is equivalent to two grade A* at A Levels, and one grade A.

A group of High School science students raising their hands to ask questions in class

Course requirements in two parts

Subject Groups – students take six subjects, three at Higher and three at Standard Level. They must take Mathematics, Science, Studies of Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies and optional The Arts or another from Science or Individuals and Societies.

The Core – contains three elements: Theory of Knowledge explores the foundations of knowledge and introduces students to university-level thinking; the Extended Essay is 4,000-words of self-directed research; and Creativity, Activity and Service aims to develop global citizens by students engaging with local and global communities. It is at the heart of the Diploma Programme.

The IB Diploma champions group work, discussions, presentations and developing skills required at university and employment.

Global Recognition Image

Global Recognition

IB Diploma students gain competitive offers for further study from prestigious universities around the world. Higher education institutions in more than 90 countries admit students based on their IB credentials, and many US public and private colleges and universities offer credit or accelerated courses of study for successful Diploma examination results. 

A growing body of evidence documents higher rates of college-going, the wide range of institutions to which IB students gain admission, their preparedness for university-level study, and their successful adjustment to university life.

IB Diploma Grades & Assessment

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

In the IB’s signature Theory of Knowledge course, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction. 

Extended Essay

IB Diploma students also complete a major independent research project - an Extended Essay, in which they conduct in-depth study of a question from one of their Diploma subjects. 

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

CAS provides opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, individual growth and accomplishment, and personal enjoyment. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies that promote originality, healthy lifestyles, and responsible membership in local and global communities through reciprocal service.

These initiatives and activities are a key part of our student’s education, and include:

  • the Nepal school building project
  • support of the local Englefield Green Dementia society
  • a commitment to fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • support for the Street Invest Charity
  • Model United Nations
  • Sports
  • And many, many more.

IB Courses at ACS Egham

Group 1 - Studies in Language and Literature A

English Language/Literature (SL/HL)
Spanish Language/Literature (SL/HL)
French Language/Literature (SL/HL)

Other Group 1 native / mother tongue or self-taught languages are sometimes available on request, depending on availability of Tutors.

Group 2 - Language Acquisition B

French B (SL/HL) / Ab Initio (SL)
Spanish B (SL/HL) / Ab Initio (SL)

Group 3 - Individuals and Societies

History (SL/HL)
Economics (SL/HL)
Psychology (SL/HL)
Business and Management (SL/HL)

Group 4 - Experimental Sciences

Biology (SL/HL)
Physics (SL/HL)
Chemistry (SL/HL)
Environmental Systems (SL)
Design Technology (SL/HL)
Sports and Exercise Science (SL/HL)

Group 5 - Mathematics

Mathematics: Analysis and approaches (SL/HL) 

Mathematics: Applications and interpretation (SL/HL)

Group 6 - The Arts

Visual Art (SL/HL)
Music (SL/HL)
Theatre Studies (SL/HL)

Other High School Programmes

ACS Egham's rigorous academic programmes help highly-ambitious learners excel in the widely-respected international qualifications that support strong applications to selective and highly-selective (Russell Group and Ivy League) universities.