International Baccalaureate Diploma at Varndean College
The IBD is an exciting and increasingly popular alternative to A Levels.
You should consider it seriously if you:
- are a well-organised student who enjoys a wide range of subjects and activities and who is keen not to narrow your education too early
- want a course that will extend and challenge you personally and intellectually
- want a course that will encourage you to think independently and to speak and write well in more than one language.
- want to keep all your university and career options open at 16 plus
- want an international qualification which is recognised all over the world for your future career
The IBD is taught worldwide and is internationally recognised and understood by universities and employers as an excellent preparation for further study or employment. It is administered by the International Baccalaureate Organisation, a body which is independent of any government and which has an international perspective. Students wishing to study at university abroad should check country-specific requirements and the entry requirements of individual universities on the IBO website.
Varndean College is the college designated by the Government to offer the
International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD) in Brighton & Hove and is now in its tenth
year of running the programme.
You choose one course from each of the following six subject areas listed below, three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. The content of Standard Level courses is smaller than that of Higher Level courses.
Group 1: Literature
Group 2: French, German or Spanish
Group 3: History, Global Politics or Psychology
Group 4: Biology or Physics
Group 5: Mathematics or Mathematical Studies
Group 6: Chemistry, Film, German, Philosophy, Spanish, Theatre, Visual Arts
Everyone also follows the core programme which is made up of:
Extended Essay: 4,000 words on a topic of particular interest in any subject
Theory of Knowledge: A study of the foundations of knowledge
Creativity, Action, Service: A programme of extra-curricular activities
The IBD requires a mixture of at least 6 GCSEs at grades 9-6 (or A*-B) including English, Maths and Science.
In addition, certain subjects at both Standard and Higher Level have particular subject requirements. For further information please refer to our separate IB Prospectus. This can also be downloaded from the Varndean College website.
The maximum possible score is 45. In order to pass the Diploma you need 24 points. There are no external examinations at the end of Year 1. All the written exams take place in May of Year 2 and the results are published in July. In many subjects there is a substantial amount of coursework and assessed oral presentation. Theory of Knowledge is assessed by an externally-marked coursework essay.
In the 2016 UCAS round, 53% of Varndean College IB UCAS applicants went to Russell Group universities, including 21% at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
IBD students will have a fuller timetable than A Level students but less written assessment.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Varndean College directly.