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International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (years 11 to 12)

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The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is an academically challenging pre-university program of education taken in years 11 and 12. It provides university entrance qualification in Australia and in countries worldwide.

Learn about the benefits and structure of the program, and which schools offer this learning experience.

Five public high schools are accredited to provide the IB Diploma Programme:

Benefits of studying IB

The IB Diploma Programme offers a diverse learning experience, encouraging students to pursue subjects across 6 disciplines. Students engage in creative pursuits, community service, and the development of physical and mental wellbeing.

The IB Diploma Programme:

  • provides a balanced and challenging academic experience which emphasises the education of the whole person, thus developing socially responsible citizens of the world
  • promotes international understanding through shared academic experience and development of global awareness
  • builds and reinforces a student’s sense of identity and cultural awareness
  • prepares students to succeed at university and provides an internationally accepted university entrance qualification in Australia and in over 90 countries
  • makes transfer between international schools more convenient for internationally mobile families.

Curriculum framework


IB Diploma Programme students study 6 subjects – 3 subjects are studied at higher level (HL) and 3 at standard level (SL).

Students select 1 subject from each of the following groups:

  • Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
  • Group 2: Language Acquisition
  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies
  • Group 4: Sciences
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: The Arts.

Core requirements

The program has 3 core compulsory requirements (IB core) that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding.

The 3 parts of the IB core are:

Creativity activity and service

This personal development program requires students to be involved in creative pursuits, sports and community service work to foster their appreciation of life and learning outside the academic arena. The program runs for 18 months during which students undertake experiences varying in duration between a month and term.

Students are also required to undertake a creative activity and service project that challenges them to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance and develop skills such as collaboration, problem solving and decision making to better equip them for the world beyond school.

Theory of knowledge

Theory of knowledge explores the nature of knowledge across the disciplines. It encourages students to appreciate other cultural perspectives and understand their own culture. Theory of knowledge has 100 hours of dedicated teaching and is supported by subject teachers in core classes.

Extended essay

The extended essay (4000 words) requires students to engage in an in-depth study of a question relating to one of their subjects. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest using independent research and writing skills expected at university.

Each student has a supervisor who provides support and feedback throughout the process of writing the essay.


The course is examined by international examiners. At the end of the 2-year program, students are assessed internally and externally to measure individual performance against stated objectives for each subject.

Enrolment and fees

Applications are managed and assessed by the individual schools. Visit the relevant school’s website to apply.

Fees are set by the individual schools. More information is available on each school's website.

Enrolment Capacity and Transition Unit

Phone: 8266 3953
EmailEducation.ECTU [at] sa.gov.au