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Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate is a non-profit foundation that offers internationally recognized and highly valued study programmes, which equip the student with extensive skills and better-than-average qualifications for admission to both domestic and foreign universities. Currently 157  countries all over the world have IB-schools teaching the Diploma Programme.


IB-studies differ remarkably from the national upper secondary schooling. The IB curriculum serves as a framework in all the IB schools the world over.  The IB-equivalent of the Finnish upper secondary studies is called the Diploma Programme. A DP-student studies fewer subjects than an upper secondary student but there is more substance and scope to each subject with the focus on critical, innovative and scientific analysis rather than learning by heart. For instance in sciences, laboratory work accounts for at least 25 % of the course work whereas in languages the emphasis is on literature. All the teaching in the IB Diploma Programme is done in English, except for the first language studies (Literature) where the language of instruction is always the mother tongue.

A Diploma Programme student must choose six subjects, three of which are studied in higher level (HL) and the other three in standard level (SL). The subjects are picked from six subject groups, basically one from each. Three choices are compulsory: First language from group 1, another language from group 1 or 2 and an option of Mathematics from Group 5.

The IB-Learner Profile sets the framework for all students studying in the diploma programme.