International Baccalaureate (IB)


Program Description

What is it like to study this course and how will I be assessed?

You will study six subjects across a range of disciplines choosing from the list below. You choose one subject from each of groups 1-5, plus one from group 6 or a second choice from groups 2, 3 and 4. (Subjects offered depend on student numbers and timetabling so availability of options may vary).

Three of your subjects will be at Higher (H) level and three at Standard level (S). You will also complete a Theory of Knowledge course, undertake research investigating a topic of special interest which you present in an Extended Essay, and get involved in exciting Creativity, Action and Community-based projects.

You will study through a mixture of group lectures, discussions, practical work, small-group conversation, language laboratory work and individual work. You will sit written examinations in May of the second year. All subjects include internal assessment, for example essays, oral work, and practical work, and this element is worth about 20% of your overall result. The Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge contribute to your overall result.

What topics will I study?

This is an internationally recognised qualification that allows you to study six subjects (three at Higher (H) Level and three at Standard (S) Level) across a wide range of disciplines spanning languages, arts, humanities, maths and sciences as outlined below, as well as a ‘Core’ comprising theory of knowledge, and extended research essay and a portfolio of Creative, Active and Service activities, known as CAS.

Group 1 Language -

English (H and S)

Group 2 Second Language -

  • French (H and S), German (H and S)
  • Italian ab initio (for beginners) (S)
  • Spanish (H and S and for beginners) (S)
  • Spanish ab initio (for beginners)

Group 3 Individuals and Society -

  • Geography (H and S)
  • Psychology (H and S)
  • Philosophy (H and S)
  • History

Group 4 Sciences -

  • Biology (H and S)
  • Environmental Systems and Societies (S) (this can also qualify as a group 3 subject),
  • Physics (H and S)
  • Chemistry – which is taught in Group 6

Group 5 Mathematics -

  • Mathematics (S)
  • Mathematical Studies (S)

Group 6 Electives -

  • Art and Design (H and S)
  • Music (H and S)
  • Film Studies (H and S)
  • Chemistry (H and S)
  • History (H and S)

A second language can also sometimes be offered at H/S level, or you can take beginners (ab initio) alongside your H/S.

What experiences will I get?

Residential language exchanges and/or opportunities for work experience abroad will be offered during the course, as well as an away day introducing Theory of Knowledge and CAS. There will also be opportunities to take part in enrichment in all subjects, for instance through field trips, theatre/cinema outings and other excursions.

What are the entry requirements?

You need at least seven GCSEs most at grade B including English and maths at B or above. For certain subjects (especially higher level) you will need higher grades, for instance A or A* for higher level languages or sciences. If you want to study a language that you have not studied before, you can follow the language for beginners (ab initio) course without a GCSE in that language.

What can I study alongside this course?

This course is studied on its own and cannot be combined with other courses.

What facilities are there?

You will have access to learning centres and extensive electronic support materials including online films and videos. There are cafes and restaurants on all college sites and a gym in Victoria Yard that is open to students.

What can the course lead on to?

The course is recognised and welcomed by all universities in Britain and most universities in the world and prepares you for all courses, depending on your choice of subjects.

Are there any additional costs?

There are some costs of materials and resources.

What do our students think?

"The IB means you study a wide range of subjects which keeps you on your toes. I love how the IB is so close-knit, you get great one on one with tutors because class sizes are small. We went to France and worked in a primary school teaching them English which was good. There are lots of opportunities after studying the IB and my advice would be to keep on top of your work and if you like a challenge, go for it - it's a great course." Robbie

"My favourite part of the IB has been the people - we all get on so well. The classes tend to be fairly small, so you get to know the people in your class really well, and you get to know the teachers well too so they then understand how you learn, which means you can learn better in classes because they can adapt the way they teach. The reason I did the IB is that I couldn’t narrow down all the things I wanted to study, it keeps you really broad…if I change my mind and decide I don’t want to study physics in future and instead want to do English at university, I could. The IB is so broad and employers love it – especially the fact you have English and maths to a higher level.” Susanna

This further education course is free for all 16-18-year-olds who are resident in the UK and the European Economic Area for the last 3 years. (You must be under 19 on 31st August in the calendar year that you start your course).

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

Exeter College is a large, thriving and growing tertiary college which places teaching, learning and student success as our top priority. We enjoy an excellent regional reputation. The College was jud ... Read More

Exeter College is a large, thriving and growing tertiary college which places teaching, learning and student success as our top priority. We enjoy an excellent regional reputation. The College was judged as outstanding by Ofsted in a pilot "no notice" inspection in 2012, and again in a full inspection in 2014. Read less