Students entering Year 12 at Saint Kentigern College have a choice of qualifications. They may choose to continue with NCEA or elect to enter the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP); a two-year course that leads to a qualification internationally recognised by universities around the globe.


Research suggests that there are many benefits to choosing the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP). The IBDP aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge. 

The IBDP was established in 1968 after a group of teachers in Switzerland felt a need existed to better prepare students for university level education. The Diploma Programme is aimed at average to good students who are intending to go to university. Students do not have to be the top academics to undertake the IBDP. However, they need to be motivated, prepared to look at issues from different perspectives and willing to learn. 

IB Diploma students take six subjects. Three subjects are studied in greater depth at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL). One of the subjects must be a second language.

In addition, the programme has three compulsory core requirements that are intended to broaden the educational experience and to challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding. Students are required to complete a formal Extended Essay (EE), a course in the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and participate in Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) across the two years. 

IBDP subjects are assessed by a combination of continuous coursework and external examinations at the end of the two year programme.


Understanding IB Diploma

How does the Diploma programme work?
IBDP students study six subjects (usually one selected from each subject group). The IBDP curriculum contains six subject groups and the compulsory 'Core' subjects that are central to the philosophy of the Diploma: The Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Activity and Service.

Higher Level/Standard Level

Each of the 3 Higher Level courses represent 240 teaching hours

Standard Level courses represent 150 teaching hours 

The requirement to select a subject from each group ensures that the science-orientated student is challenged to learn a foreign language and the natural linguist becomes familiar with the scientific process. Whilst balance is maintained, flexibility is catered for with a student choosing Higher Level subjects to pursue areas of personal interest and to meet special requirements for university entrance.

Click here to download the 2022 Senior School Course Handbook

For more information about the International Baccalaureate Organisation Worldwide, visit their website: