The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP)  is an academically challenging two-year pre-university curriculum and highly regarded qualification with final external examinations that prepares students aged 16 to 19 for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

Developing Confident Leaders


The broad and balanced curriculum of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme creates a strong pathway to university. It develops students that top universities want: students with expert subject knowledge and the ability to undertake independent research, to write essays and to give confident presentations.

Beyond academic rigour, the Diploma Programme nurtures lifelong learners by putting personal development at its core. It equips students with essential skills and prepares them for the demands and rigours of further study and employment in the 21st century.

In addition to completing college-level courses and examinations, your child is also required to engage in community service, individual research and inquiry into the nature of knowledge.




In the Diploma Programme (DP), the curriculum consists of six subject groups and the three elements of the Diploma Programme core. The DP involves choosing three subjects to study in detail at Higher Level (HL) and three subjects at Standard Level (SL).

Students must select six subjects by choosing one from each of the following groups. In addition, the programme has three core compulsory requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding:

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
  • Extended Essay (EE)
  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)


  • A grade from 1 to 7 will be given for each subject attempted, with 7 being highest
  • The final diploma result score is the combined scores for each subject
  • The student will be awarded a diploma if they gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance, including successful completion of the three essential elements of the DP core
  • The maximum score for a diploma is 45 points

 Click here to learn about the Diploma Programme Assessment.

The DP core elements are Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and Creativity, Activity and Service. These are compulsory if you wish to receive the full IB Diploma.

Theory of Knowledge

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course invites students to reflect on their learning experience by considering ways of knowing and how we use them in the different areas of knowledge so that they can address fundamental questions about themselves as knowers. The fundamental question of the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is ‘how do we know what we know’. The TOK course looks at the ways in which we acquire knowledge and the knowledge problems involved in the IBDP subject areas, as well as in areas such as ethics, law, politics and religion. It also focuses on other influences on our understanding of the world such as the media or our different cultural backgrounds. The TOK is assessed through an oral presentation and a 1600-word essay on one of the six prescribed titles for the examination session. Full IB Diploma students are required to have at least 100 hours of TOK course time by the end of Grade 12.

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay (EE) is an in-depth study of a focused topic of the student’s choice. This is normally one of the student's six chosen subjects for those taking the full IB Diploma or a subject that a Diploma Course student has a background in. It is intended to promote academic research and writing skills, providing students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (an appropriately qualified member of staff within the school). The EE is presented as a formal piece of sustained academic writing containing no more than 4000 words, accompanied by a reflection form of no more than 500 words. It is the result of approximately 40 hours of work by the student.

To find out more about the Extended Essay, please refer to the GEMS World Academy (Singapore) Extended Essay Handbook and Guide.

Creativity, Activity & Service

To be awarded the IB Diploma, students are required to complete a substantial commitment to each of the three Creativity, Activity & Service (CAS) components. CAS is at the heart of the IBDP, involving students in a range of activities that take place alongside their academic studies. Students are involved in a range of activities beyond the academic classroom and encouraged to develop your own projects:

  • Creative - exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance. This may include visual and performing arts, digital design, writing, film, culinary arts and crafts.
  • Active - physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle. Pursuits may include individual and team sports, dance, outdoor recreation, fitness training, and any other form of physical exertion that purposefully contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Service - community and social service activities.

The CAS programme formally begins at the start of the Diploma Programme and continues regularly (ideally on a weekly basis) for at least 18 months with a reasonable balance between creativity, activity, and service.


Group 1:Language AGroup 2 : Language AcquisitionGroup 3: Individuals & Societies
  • English Literature (SL/HL)
  • English Language and Literature (SL/HL)
  • Language A Self taught (SL)*
  • Chinese Literature (SL/HL)
  • French Literature (SL/HL)
  • Japanese A (SL/HL)
  • Spanish Ab Initio (SL)
  • French Ab Initio (SL)
  • Spanish B (SL/HL)
  • French B (SL/HL)
  • Chinese B (SL/HL)
  • English B (SL/HL)
  • History (SL/HL)
  • Economics (SL/HL)
  • Environmental Systems and Societies (SL, Group 3 or 4)
  • Business Management (SL/HL)
  • Psychology (SL/HL)
Group 4: Experimental Sciences Group 5: Mathematics Group 6: Arts and Electives
  • Biology (SL/HL)
  • Chemistry (SL/HL)
  • Physics (SL/HL)
  • Environmental Systems and Societies (SL, Group 3 or 4)
  • Sports, exercise and health science (SL/HL)
  • Design Technology (SL/HL)
  • Maths (SL/HL)**
  • Mathematics: analysis and approaches (SL/HL)***
  • Mathematics: applications and interpretation (SL)***
  • Visual Arts (SL/HL)
  • Theatre (SL/HL)

* Students are able to take this subject offering in lieu of any Language A subjects should GEMS World Academy (Singapore) not offer the language of your choice

** Last last examination will take place in May 2020

*** First examination will take place in May 2020




How to find out more