The IBDP circle articulates graphically the conceptual framework of the IB programme and the collaborative nature of each component with the student at the centre.
In the IB Diploma Programme students study six courses at higher level (HL) or standard level (SL). Students must choose one subject from each of groups 1 to 5, thus ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics. The sixth subject may be an arts subject chosen from group 6, or the student may choose another subject from groups 1 to 5.
In addition the programme has three core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding. These are:
- Theory of Knowledge, which is a course designed to encourage students to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing (perception, emotion, language and reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical).
- The Extended Essay, which is a requirement for students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the subjects they are studying.
- Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), which requires that students actively learn from the experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom. Students can combine all three components or do activities related to each one of them separately.
In addition, approaches to Teaching and Learning provide a pedagogical framework that focuses on teaching techniques that foster creative thinking and problem solving and identify the skills needed for success in each subject.