IB Diploma Programme

dp-model-de1What is the Diploma Programme?

The IB Diploma Programme is designed as an academically challenging and balanced programme of education that prepares students for success at university and life beyond.  Within ABA, the programme is taught over the final two years of school. The IB Diploma has gained recognition and respect from the world's leading universities.

The curriculum

IB Diploma students study six courses at higher or standard level. 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.

At ABA we offer the following options:

  • Group 1:
    • English Literature
    • English Language and Literature
    • Arabic Language and Literature
  • Group 2:
    • Arabic B
    • French B
    • Spanish B
    • Spanish ab initio
    • Externally Tutored languages
  • Group 3:
    • History
    • Geography
    • Economics
    • Business and Management
    • Environmental Systems and Societies.*
  • Group 4:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Environmental Systems and Societies. **
  • Group 5:
    • Mathematics
    • Mathematical Studies
  • Group 6:
    • Visual Arts
    • Theater

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:

  • The Extended Essay(EE) 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.
  • Theory of Knowledge(TOK) is a course designed to encourage each student 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).
  • Creativity, Activity, Service(CAS) 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.


Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.

The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and to satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement. The highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points.