The Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate (IB Diploma) is a course
of study for the last two years of High School. It leads to external examinations and
the award of a diploma which is recognized by leading universities around the world.
IB Diploma candidates are required to study six subjects. Three subjects are taught
at Higher Level (HL), the others at Standard Level (SL). While it is possible to
take four subjects at Higher Level, this is only recommended in exceptional cases.
HL courses represent 240 teaching hours; SL courses represent 150 teaching hours.
One subject is chosen from each of the following groups:
- Group 1: Language A – Studies in Language & Literature
- Group 2: Language B – Language Acquisition
- Group 3: Individuals & Societies
- Group 4: Sciences
- Group 5: Mathematics
- Group 6: The Arts
Language A: Studies In Language & Literature is for students who have
experience using the language of the course in an academic context. The
language background of such students, however, is likely to vary considerably,
from monolingual students to students with more complex language profiles.
Students are expected to develop their proficiency, fluency and linguistic range
and, in particular, to acquire the vocabulary appropriate to the analysis of texts.
They will also deepen their understanding of a wide variety of concepts explored
through literary and non-literary texts in order to interpret, analyze, evaluate
and then communicate this understanding in clear, organized and developed ways.
Studies in language and literature courses each have their own identity
and are designed to support future academic study or career related paths by
developing social, aesthetic and cultural literacy, as well as improving
language competence and communication skills. For each course, the syllabus
and assessment requirements are identical for all languages offered.
The teaching and assessment of any particular studies in language
and literature course will be conducted in that language.
Studies in language and literature courses explore elements of language
and literature. Each also focuses on: the relationships between texts, readers
and writers; the range and functions of texts across geographical space and
historical time and; on aspects of intertextuality. Within this framework,
each course has its own emphases.
Language is crucial to all three courses, but is treated more broadly in the
Language A: Language & Literature course. Literary texts are the sole focus
of the Language A: Literature course, while the Language A: Language &
Literature course examines both literary and non-literary texts. Student
production and textual creation, analysis and response are
elements in both courses.
The study of literary, non-literary, visual and performance texts provides
a focus for understanding how meaning is constructed within belief or value
systems, and how it is negotiated across multiple perspectives generated by
single or multiple readers. Thinking critically about texts, as well as responding
to, producing or performing them, leads to an understanding of how
language sustains or challenges ways of thinking and being. The study
additionally builds an awareness that all texts may be understood in relation
to their form, content, purpose, audience and their associated contexts, such
as social, historical and cultural circumstances.
Assessment of all the courses in Language A include both school based
internal assessment and external IB assessment. A wide range of assessment
types include, orals, presentations and traditional examinations.
Language A consists of two courses:
Language A: Literature is available in English & School Supported Self Taught.
Students will focus exclusively on literary texts, adopting a variety of approaches
to textual criticism. Students explore the nature of literature, the aesthetic function of
literary language and literary textuality, and the relationship between literature and the
world. The School Supported Self Taught (SSST) programme - available at SL only
- allows students to study the literature of their first language under the guidance
of their language tutor and a school coordinator.
Language A: Language & Literature is available in English & Korean.
In this course, students study a wide range of literary and non-literary texts in a variety of media.
By examining communicative acts across literary form and textual types alongside appropriate
secondary readings, students will investigate the nature of language itself and the ways in which
it shapes and is influenced by identity and culture. Approaches to study in the course are
wide ranging and can include literary theory, sociolinguistics, media studies and critical
discourse analysis among others.
Language B: Language Acquisition consists of two modern language options,
Language Ab Initio and Language B. Language Ab Initio is for students who
are beginners in a language and Language B is for those students who have
already studied the language to some extent. They are both language acquisition
courses designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural
understanding to enable them to communicate successfully in an
environment where the language studied is spoken.
The Language Ab Initio course is designed for students with little or no prior experience of the language they wish to study. As with Language B, the focus is on the acquisition and development of language skills. Language Ab Initio courses are only available at Standard Level.
All final decisions on the appropriateness of the course for which students are entered are taken by coordinators in liaison with teachers, using their experience and professional judgment to guide them. The most important consideration is that the Language Ab Initio course should be a challenging educational experience for the student.
There are five assessment objectives for the Language Ab Initio course.
Students will be assessed on their ability to:
• Communicate clearly and effectively in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes.
• Understand an use language appropriate to a range of interpersonal and / or intercultural contexts and audiences.
• Understand and use language to express and respond to a range of ideas with fluency and accuracy.
• Identify, organize and present ideas on a range of topics.
• Understand, analyze and reflect upon a range of written, audio, visual and audio-visual texts.
Ab Initio Languages are offered in:
Language B is an additional language-learning course designed for students with some previous learning of that language. It may be studied at either Standard Level or Higher Level.
The main focus of the course is on language acquisition and development of language skills. These language skills should be developed through the study and use of a range of written and spoken material.
Such material will extend from everyday oral exchanges to literary texts, and should be related to the culture(s) concerned. The material enables students to develop mastery of language skills and intercultural understanding. It should not be intended solely for the study of specific subject matter or content.
There are six assessment objectives for the language B course.
Students will be assessed on their ability to:
Communicate clearly and effectively in a range of situations, demonstrating linguistic competence and intercultural understanding.
Use language appropriate to a range of interpersonal and/or cultural contexts.
Understand and use language to express and respond to a range of ideas with accuracy and fluency.
Organize ideas on a range of topics, in a clear, coherent and convincing manner.
Understand, analyse and respond to a range of written and spoken texts.
Understand and use works of literature written in the target language of study (Higher Level only).
Language B courses are offered in:
The main aim of Individuals and Societies is to encourage the
systematic and critical study of: human experience and behavior;
physical, economic and social environments; and the history and
development of social and cultural institutions.
We also develop in our students the capacity to identify, to analyze
critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments about
the nature and activities of the individual and society.
We help enable the student to collect, describe and analyze data
used in studies of society, to test hypotheses, and to interpret
complex data and source material.
We promote the appreciation of the way in which learning is
relevant both to the culture in which the student lives, and to the
culture of other societies. We aim to develop an awareness in the
student that human attitudes and beliefs are widely diverse and
that the study of society requires an appreciation of such diversity
and enable the student to recognize that the content and
methodologies of the subjects in Group 3 are contestable and
that their study requires the tolerance of uncertainty.
In Group 3 – Dwight School Seoul offers:
The study of Economics is essentially about dealing with scarcity, resource allocation and the methods and processes by which choices are made in the satisfaction of human wants. As a social science, Economics uses scientific methodologies that include quantitative and qualitative elements.
The IB Diploma Programme Economics course emphasizes the economic theories of microeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting individuals, firms and markets, and the economic theories of macroeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting countries, governments and societies.
These economic theories are not to be studied in a vacuum—rather, they are to be applied to real-world issues. Prominent among these issues are fluctuations in economic activity, international trade, economic development and environmental sustainability.
The ethical dimensions involved in the application of economic theories and policies permeate throughout the Economics course as students are required to consider and reflect on human end-goals and values. The Economics course encourages students to develop international perspectives, fosters a concern for global issues, and raises students’ awareness of their own responsibilities at a local, national and international level.
The course also seeks to develop values and attitudes that will enable students to achieve a degree of personal commitment in trying to resolve these issues, appreciating our shared responsibility as citizens of an increasingly interdependent world.
History is more than the study of the past, it is the process of recording, reconstructing and interpreting the past through the investigation of a variety of sources and a discipline that gives people an understanding of themselves and others in relation to the world, both past and present.
Students of history should learn how the discipline works. It is an exploratory subject that poses questions without providing definitive answers. In order to understand the past, students must engage with it both through exposure to primary historical sources and through the work of historians.
Historical study involves both selection and interpretation of data and critical evaluation of it. Students of history should appreciate the relative nature of historical knowledge and understanding, as each generation reflects its own world and preoccupations and as more evidence emerges. A study of history both requires and develops an individual’s understanding of, and empathy for, people living in other periods and contexts.
Psychology is the systematic study of behavior and mental processes. Psychology has its roots in both the natural and social sciences, leading to a variety of research designs and applications, and providing a unique approach to understanding modern society.
IB psychology examines the interaction of biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on human behavior, thereby adopting an integrative approach.
Understanding how psychological knowledge is generated, developed and applied enables students to achieve a greater understanding of themselves and appreciate the diversity of human behavior. The ethical concerns raised by the methodology and application of psychological research are key considerations in IB psychology.
The course covers the key characteristics of business organization and environment and the business functions of human resource management, finance and accounts, marketing and operations management. Links between the topics are central to the course. Through the exploration of six underpinning concepts (change, culture, ethics, globalization, innovation and strategy), the course allows students to develop a holistic understanding of today’s complex and dynamic business environment. The conceptual learning is firmly anchored in business management theories, tools and techniques and placed in the context of real world examples and case studies.By the end of the Business Management SL and HL course, students are expected to reach the following assessment objectives.
The syllabus consists of five sections:
1. Business Organization and Environment.
2. Human Resource Management.
3. Finance and Accounts.
5. Operations Management.
To help students develop a deeper, more holistic and more integrated understanding of business management in today’s global context, six concepts have been identified as underpinning the course:
• Change, reflecting the greater speed with which decisions need to be made and circumstances change in the operating environment of most businesses.
• Culture, appreciating the broad spectrum of individual, collective and societal goals and ways of achieving them in businesses and yet the need to align these for shared results.
• Ethics, emphasizing the fact that ethical considerations businesses face are substantial and near all-pervasive, instead of being peripheral and isolatable.
• Globalization, reflecting the interconnected patterns of production and consumption shaped by businesses and affecting them.
• Innovation, emphasizing the need of businesses to renew themselves in the competitive, technologically advanced marketplace with increasingly sophisticated customers.
The study of DP Geography integrates both physical and human geography, and ensures that students acquire elements of both scientific and socio-economic methodologies.
Geography helps students develop an appreciation of, and a respect for, alternative approaches, viewpoints and ideas. Our course embodies global and international awareness in several distinct ways. It examines key global issues, such as poverty, sustainability and climate change. It considers examples and detailed case studies at a variety of scales, from local to regional, national and international.
The aims of the geography syllabus are to enable students to:
• Develop an understanding of the interrelationships between people, places, spaces and the environment.
• Develop a concern for human welfare and the quality of the environment, and an understanding of the need for planning and sustainable management.
• Appreciate the relevance of geography in analyzing contemporary issues and challenges, and develop a global perspective of diversity and change.
By the end of the Geography Standard Level and Higher Level courses, students are expected to reach the following assessment objectives:
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of specified content.
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the core theme - patterns and change.
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of two optional themes at SL and three optional themes at HL.
• At HL only, demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the HL extension - global interactions.
• Demonstrate application and analysis of knowledge and understanding.
• Apply and analyze geographic concepts and theories.
• Identify and interpret geographic patterns and processes in unfamiliar information, data and cartographic material.
• Demonstrate the extent to which theories and concepts are recognized and understood in particular contexts.
• Demonstrate synthesis and evaluation.
• Examine and evaluate geographic concepts, theories and perceptions.
• Use geographic concepts and examples to formulate and present an argument.
• Evaluate materials using methodology appropriate for geographic fieldwork.
• At HL only, demonstrate synthesis and evaluation of the HL extension—global interactions.
• Select, use and apply a variety of appropriate skills and techniques.
• Select, use and apply the prescribed geographic skills in appropriate contexts.
• Produce well-structured written material, using appropriate terminology.
• Select, use and apply techniques and skills appropriate to a geographic research question.
Through studying any of the group 4 subjects, students should become aware of how
scientists work and communicate with each other. It is the emphasis on a practical
approach through experimental work that distinguishes the group 4 subjects from
other disciplines and characterizes each of the subjects within group 4.
Biologists have accumulated huge amounts of information about living organisms, and it would be easy to confuse students by teaching large numbers of seemingly unrelated facts. In the Diploma Programme biology course, it is hoped that students will acquire a body of facts and, at the same time, develop a broad, general understanding of the principles of the subject.
Although the Diploma Programme biology course at standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) has been written as a series of discrete statements (for assessment purposes), there are four basic biological concepts that run throughout:
Structure and function
Universality versus diversity
Equilibrium within systems
Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is called the central science, as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, chemistry is a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science, and serves as useful preparation for employment.
The Diploma Programme chemistry course includes the essential principles of the subject but also, through selection of options, allows teachers some flexibility to tailor the course to meet the needs of their students. The course is available at both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL), and therefore accommodates students who wish to study science in higher education and those who do not.
Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles—quarks, which may be truly fundamental—to the vast distances between galaxies.
The Diploma Programme physics course allows students to develop traditional practical skills and techniques and to increase facility in the use of mathematics, which is the language of physics.
It also allows students to develop interpersonal skills, and information and communication technology skills, which are essential in modern scientific endeavour and are important life-enhancing, transferable skills in their own right.
Computer science requires an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computational thinking as well as knowledge of how computers and other digital devices operate. The Diploma Programme computer science course is engaging, accessible, inspiring and rigorous.
It has the following characteristics:
• Draws on a wide spectrum of knowledge.
• Enables and empowers innovation, exploration and the acquisition of further knowledge.
• Interacts with and influences cultures, society and how individuals and societies behave.
• Raises ethical issues.
• Is underpinned by computational thinking.
Because individual students have different needs, interests and abilities, there are
three different courses in mathematics. These courses are designed for different types
of students: those who wish to study mathematics in depth, either as a subject in its own
right or to pursue their interests in areas related to mathematics; those who wish to gain
a degree of understanding and competence to understand better their approach to other
subjects; and those who may not as yet be aware how mathematics may be relevant to
their studies and in their daily lives. Each course is designed to meet the needs of
a particular group of students.
The three Mathematics courses offered at Dwight School Seoul are:
Mathematics Higher Level caters for students with a good background in mathematics who are competent in a range of analytical and technical skills.
The majority of these students will be expecting to include mathematics as a major component of their university studies, either as a subject in its own right or within courses such as physics, engineering and technology.
Others may take this subject because they have a strong interest in mathematics and enjoy meeting its challenges and engaging with its problems.
Mathematics Standard Level caters to students who already possess knowledge of basic mathematical concepts, and who are equipped with the skills needed to apply simple mathematical techniques correctly.
The majority of these students will expect to need a sound mathematical background as they prepare for future studies in subjects such as chemistry, economics, psychology and business administration.
Mathematical Studies Standard Level is available only at standard level, and is equivalent in status to Mathematics Standard Level, but addresses different needs.
It has an emphasis on applications of mathematics, and the largest section is on statistical techniques. It is designed for students with varied mathematical backgrounds and abilities.
It offers students opportunities to learn important concepts and techniques and to gain an understanding of a wide variety of mathematical topics. It prepares students to be able to solve problems in a variety of settings, to develop more sophisticated mathematical reasoning and to enhance their critical thinking.
The individual project is an extended piece of work based on personal research involving the collection, analysis and evaluation of data. Students taking this course are well prepared for a career in social sciences, humanities, languages or arts.
These students may need to utilize the statistics and logical reasoning that they have learned as part of the mathematical studies SL course in their future studies.
Consistent with the educational philosophy of the IB, the Diploma Programme
Arts curricula aim for a holistic approach to the arts, and embraces a variety
of traditions and cultures—past, present and looking towards the future.
Creativity and analytical skills are mutually developed and valued
throughout each of the Arts.
Dwight School Seoul offers three distinct IB Diploma Arts courses:
Music functions as a means of personal and communal identity and expression, and embodies the social and cultural values of individuals and communities. This scenario invites exciting exploration and sensitive study.
Music, and all of its associations, may vary considerably from one musical culture to another: yet music may share similarities. Such richness offers a variety of ways to encounter and engage with a constantly changing world.
A vibrant musical education fosters curiosity and openness to both familiar and unfamiliar musical worlds. Through such a study of music we learn to hear relationships of pitch in sound, pattern in rhythm and unfolding sonic structures.
Through participating in the study of music we are able to explore the similarities, differences and links in music from within our own culture and that of others across time. Informed and active musical engagement allows us to explore and discover relationships between lived human experience and specific sound combinations and technologies, thus informing us more fully of the world around us, and the nature of humanity.
The Diploma Programme music course provides an appropriate foundation for further study in music at university level or in music career pathways. This course also provides all students with the opportunity to engage in the world of music as lifelong participants.
The Diploma Programme theatre course is designed to encourage students to examine theatre in its diversity of forms around the world.
This may be achieved through a critical study of the theory, history and culture of theatre, and will find expression through workshopping, devised work or scripted performance. Students will come to understand that the act of imagining, creating, presenting and critically reflecting on theatre in its past and present contexts embodies the individual and social need to investigate and find explanations for the world around us.
The theatre course emphasizes the importance of working individually and as a member of an ensemble. Students are encouraged to develop the organizational and technical skills needed to express themselves creatively in theatre.
A further challenge for students following this course is for them to become aware of their own perspectives and biases and to learn to respect those of others. This requires a willingness to understand alternative views, to respect and appreciate cultural diversity, and to see the varied role that theatre plays in reflecting these.
As a result, the theatre course can become a way for students to celebrate the international and intercultural dynamic that inspires and sustains some forms of contemporary theatre, while appreciating the specifically local origins that have always given rise to performance, and which, in many parts of the world, still do.
At the core of the theatre course lies a concern with clarity of understanding, critical thinking, reflective analysis, effective involvement and imaginative synthesis — all of which should be achieved through practical engagement in theatre.
The impulse to make art is common to all people. From earliest times, human beings have displayed a fundamental need to create and communicate personal and cultural meaning through art.
The process involved in the study and production of visual arts is central to developing capable, inquiring and knowledgeable young people, and encourages students to locate their ideas within international contexts.
Visual arts continually creates new possibilities and can challenge traditional boundaries. This is evident both in the way we make art and in the way we understand what artists from around the world do. Theory and practice in visual arts are dynamic, ever changing and connect many areas of study and human experience through individual and collaborative production and interpretation.
New ways of expressing ideas help to make visual arts one of the most interesting and challenging areas of learning and experience.
The processes of designing and making art require a high level of cognitive activity that is both intellectual and affective. Engagement in the arts promotes a sense of identity and makes a unique contribution to the lifelong learning of each student. Study of visual arts provides students with the opportunity to develop a critical and intensely personal view of themselves in relation to the world.
The Diploma Programme visual arts course enables students to engage in both practical exploration and artistic production, and in independent contextual, visual and critical investigation, with option A students focusing more on the former and option B students on the latter. The course is designed to enable students to study visual arts in higher education and also welcomes those students who seek life enrichment through visual arts.
Students can substitute their group 2 subject for an additional group 1 subject
and they can also substitute their group 6 subject for an additional group 3 or 4 subject.
All Diploma Programme students participate in the three course requirements
that make up the core of the programme. Reflection on all these activities is a
principle that lies at the heart of the thinking behind the Diploma Programme.
The Theory of Knowledge 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 Diploma Programme course, and to make connections across the academic areas.
This course is obligatory for every candidate for the diploma, and highly recommended for students taking either of the other two tracks available at Dwight School Seoul.
It is a key element in the educational philosophy of the IB. Its purpose is to stimulate critical reflection upon the knowledge and the experience of students both in and outside the classroom.
The course is thus “philosophical” in the sense that it is meant to encourage students to acquire a critical awareness of what they and others know through analyzing concepts and arguments as well as the bases of value judgments, which all human beings have to make.
Introduction: What is TOK?
Shared and Personal Knowledge.
Knowledge Claims & Questions.
Ways of Knowing:
Areas of Knowledge:
religious knowledge systems
indigenous knowledge systems
Areas of Knowledge & Knowledge Framework.
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. It also encourages them to develop the skills of independent research that will be expected at university.
All Diploma students must undertake an Extended Essay on a topic of their choice within an IB subject. This requirement reflects the principle that independent research skills are vital to all areas of study and deserve a central role in the curriculum.
With the Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Action and Service components, the Extended Essay provides the ‘glue’ that makes the Diploma a coherent and integrated qualification. Despite the title, projects can be undertaken in any subject, not just those traditionally associated with formal essay writing.
The Extended Essay is an in-depth study of a limited topic within an IB subject. It is recommended that students spend a maximum of 40 hours on it, though many willingly exceed this, often by a significant amount.
Students have around 5 hours of contact time with an academic supervisor, who is usually a teacher within the school, and are expected to work independently for the remainder of the time.
The supervisor provides the candidate with advice and guidance in the skills of undertaking research, by assisting, for example, with defining a suitable topic, with techniques of gathering and analyzing information, evidence and data, with documentation methods for acknowledging sources and with writing an abstract. The work is typically undertaken over several months.
Marks for the essay are based on subject-specific content and specific research skills which are common and highly-transferable:
Creativity, activity, service (CAS) is one of the three essential elements that every student must complete as part of the Diploma Programme. Studied throughout the Diploma Programme, CAS involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies. CAS is not formally assessed. However, students reflect on their CAS experiences as part of the Diploma Programme, and provide evidence of achieving the seven learning outcomes for CAS.
CAS is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. The students will be involved in a range of experiences beyond the academic classroom. CAS enables them to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. It provides a counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the Diploma Programme.
CAS is organized around the three strands of Creativity, Activity and Service defined as follows:
Creativity: Exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance.
Activity: Physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
Service: Collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need.
CAS enables students to demonstrate attributes of the IB learner profile in real and practical ways, to grow as unique individuals and to recognize their role in relation to others. Students develop skills, attitudes and dispositions through a variety of individual and group experiences that provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and express their passions, personalities and perspectives. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment.
CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development. A meaningful CAS programme is a journey of discovery of self and others. For many, CAS is profound and life-changing. Each individual student has a different starting point and different needs and goals. A CAS programme is, therefore, individualized according to student interests, skills, values and background.
The CAS programme formally begins at the start of the Diploma Programme and continues regularly, ideally on a weekly basis, for at least 18 months with a reasonable balance between creativity, activity, and service.
The school’s CAS Coordinator will monitor student planning and performing.
All final written examinations are taken at Dwight School Seoul in May of 12th grade, but they are set and assessed by external examiners.
For most subjects, approximately 25% of the assessment is done internally.
The marking scheme for each subject is as follows:
7 = excellent
6 = very good
5 = good
4 = satisfactory
3 = mediocre
2 = poor
1 = very poor
The Diploma of the International Baccalaureate will be awarded to a candidate provided all the following requirements have been met:
Meet all the requirements of CAS.
Attain at least 24 points (from their 6 subjects and TOK/EE).
Not been awarded a ‘N’ or “E” in either the EE or TOK.
Achieved at least a 2 in all subjects.
Achieved no more than two 2s in all subjects.
Achieved no more than three 2s and 3s in all subjects.
Gained at least 12 points from HL subjects.
Gained at least 9 points from SL subjects.
The final award committee has not judged the candidate to be guilty of malpractice.
Note: These criteria change for students studying four Higher Levels.
Click here to read our Academic Honesty Policy.