What is DP?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is a comprehensive and rigorous two-year curriculum for students aged between sixteen and nineteen. Based on the pattern of no single country, it is a deliberate blend of specialisation and breadth of study.

The general objectives of the IB are:

  • to provide students with a balanced education
  • to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility
  • to promote international understanding through a shared academic experience

The course is presented as six academic areas enclosing the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay (EE). The DP core aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

Diploma Programme curriculum framework (IBO 2013)


Subject Groups

Diploma candidates are required to select one subject from each of the six subject groups. Usually, three subjects are taken at higher level (HL), and the others are taken at standard level (SL). The IBO recommends 240 hours for HL and 150 hours for SL.

Group 1 – Studies in Language and Literature
This course, offered at both higher and standard levels, requires very good writing and oral skills on the student's part. It includes a study of the literary heritage of the student's first language, complemented by an international perspective gained from translated works of world literature. At DIS we offer currently English A1, German A1 and Japanese A1. It is also possible to enroll in self-study courses in other languages (at a standard level only). In the past, our students have done so with Russian A1, Lithuanian A1 and Polish A1.

Group 2 – Language Acquisition
All diploma candidates are examined in a second language. For students at mother-tongue proficiency, studies of the literature of this language may be pursued in a Language A2 course. For those students wishing to study the structure and use of a second language, Language B and Ab Initio levels are available for German and Spanish. The courses focus on written and spoken communication.

Group 3 – Individuals and Societies
At DIS we offer History and Geography at both the standard and higher levels. This course is concerned with the political, social, economic, religious, technological, and cultural aspects of individuals and societies in the widest possible context. The opportunity for the students to further develop their skills of rational argument, critical judgment and writing clearly is strongly emphasized. Students' argumentative essay skills are assessed internally, whereas their knowledge and understanding of historical facts and concepts are assessed by externally-set exams.

Group 4 – Sciences
At DIS we offer Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students can choose among those three (at HL if they intend to enroll in a German university) subjects. Students are assessed externally by written examinations and internally with respect to their experimental skills.

Group 5 – Mathematics
All candidates for a diploma are required to complete a mathematics course. At DIS we offer three levels of math courses – Math Studies, Math Standard and Math Higher. One of the requirements for the courses is the submission of math portfolios completed by the students over the two-year program. These are graded by the math teacher and samples of the graded portfolios are sent to IBO for moderation of the teacher's internal assessments. There are also externally set final exams.

Group 6 – The Arts and Electives
Visual Arts and Theatre Arts are offered at DIS at both higher and standard levels. In addition, we offer Business Management. Portfolios, journals, research workbooks and studio presentations are integral parts of the student's internal and external assessments.

The Core of the Diploma Programme

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
The TOK course encourages students to think about the nature of knowledge, to reflect on the process of learning in all the subjects they study as part of their DP course, and to make connections across the academic areas.

Extended Essay
The extended essay, a substantial piece of writing of up to 4,000 words, enables students to investigate a topic of special interest that they have chosen themselves.

Creativity, Activity & Service (CAS)
CAS encourages students in experimental learning through a range of artistic, sporting, physical and service activities. Creativity is interpreted broadly. It includes a wide range of arts activities but can also be defined as the creativity that students show in designing and implementing service projects. Activity can include not only participation in individual and team sports but also taking part in expeditions and in local or international projects. Service encompasses a host of community and social service activities, such as helping children with special needs, visiting hospitals, working with community volunteer organizations, and so on.

Curriculum Information

DP Guide 2017-2019
Information Degrees (available soon)

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Dresden International School
Annenstr. 9, 01067 Dresden, Germany
Phone +49 351 44007 0, Fax +49 351 44007 23
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