The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma provides each pupil with a strong blend of subjects designed to provide a fully-rounded education. In addition to studying for the Core elements of the Diploma, pupils choose six main subjects, specialising in three at Higher Level. The resulting Diploma qualification delivers an unparalleled, holistic educational experience.

IB Diploma - subjects offered

IB Subject Choices

The IB Diploma offers a rich and stimulating blend of subjects designed to provide an holistic Sixth Form programme combining academic study with personal development.

Pupils can choose one subject from each of six groups, nominating three as Higher Level (HL) and three as Standard Level (SL). Their Higher Level choices provide for the opportunity of specialising in those subjects and benefit from more tuition and reflect the extra work required.

IB Subject groups

The subject groups are as follows:

Group 1 - Studies in Language and Literature

Pupils are required to study the language and literature of their nominated first - "A" - language. Haileybury offers: English A: Literature; English A: Language and Literature (this course, at either HL or SL, is suitable for pupils who are fluent or near-fluent in English). In addition to this, we also offer German A: Literature and Italian A: Literature. 

Group 2 - Language Acquisition

In line with the international background of the course, the knowledge of a second language is a requirement of the Diploma Programme, but this can be studied at a variety of levels. Pupils with some prior learning of a foreign language (e.g. at GCSE level) can further their language skills through a "B" course; or pupils can start a language from scratch as part of the "ab initio" programme.

Haileybury offers: French B, Spanish B, Latin; ab initio Italian or Spanish (at the School's discretion).

Group 3 - Individuals and Societies

In this group, pupils study a humanities course and consider their chosen subject in a local and global context.

Haileybury offers: History, Geography, Economics, Psychology, Philosophy, Environmental Systems and Societies.


Group 4 - Sciences

Each pupil continues the study of a science, from five available for study:

Haileybury offers: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Design Technology, Environmental Systems and Societies, SL/HL Sports, Exercise and Health Science. 

Group 5 - Mathematics

For September 2018: Integral to the course is the study of mathematics, as an important area of knowledge; as with languages, however, there are varying levels of Maths available to the pupils. Haileybury offers Mathematics HL (for those wishing to do Maths or a related degree at university); Mathematics SL (for those with an interest and good ability in mathematics); and Mathematical Studies SL (for those for whom mathematics is not a strength). 

From September 2019: Haileybury offers four courses: Mathematics, Applications and Interpretation SL and HL. This course (HL covers more breadth and depth than SL) is designed for pupils who wish to pursue studies in Mathematics at university or subjects that have a large mathematical content; it is for pupils who enjoy developing mathematical arguments, problem solving and exploring real and abstract applications, with and without technology. 

Group 6 - The Arts

This group offers some considerable flexibility in the course, allowing pupils to pursue one of the arts, or to become more specialised by picking up a second subject from either Group 2, 3 or 4.

Haileybury offers (Arts): Visual Arts, Theatre, Music or subjects taken from the following groups:

  • From Group 2: French B, Italian or Spanish ab initio

  • From Group 3: History, Economics, Environmental Systems and Societies
  • From Group 4: Chemistry, Design Technology, Biology, Environmental Systems and Societies and Computer Science. 

Points awarded at IB

The IB Diploma is awarded out of a total of 45 points, with 24 points deemed a pass. All subjects are worth 7 points, and the CORE is worth 3.

Advice about IB subjects

For a confidential discussion about subject choices, please contact Dr Kate Brazier, Haileybury's IB Co-ordinator.

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