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IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme at TOIS prepares students to pursue their post-secondary school goals.

The DP encourages students to discover, connect and achieve their aspirations in a broad array of subject areas, as well as in the specialised fields they will pursue at universities around the world.

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Learning Programme

The IB Diploma Programme (DP)

The IB Diploma Programme is the capstone of the IB Continuum. The DP is the culmination of all the prior learning in EY, PYP and MYP and all the integral aspects of an IB education are continued to be developed in the DP; the IB Learner Profile attributes, international mindedness, and the key IB approaches to teaching and learning.

The award of an IB Diploma at the end of the two-year programme certifies the secondary education completion and eligibility for university entrance. The DP is a rigorous and challenging pre-university programme and because of the high standards of the IB Organisation’s assessment and the unique nature of the programme with its curriculum breadth and depth, IB Diploma graduates are very highly regarded by all universities around the world.

The Diploma Programme Core

At the heart of the Diploma Programme is the unique “Core”, the completion of which is essential to the award of an IB Diploma. The Core consists of the following three components:

Theory of Knowledge

ToK is a subject about knowledge and how we attain it. It is a seminar in which students can develop critical thinking and argumentation as well as gain a multicultural perspective to current issues. ToK is a subject that lends itself to all aspects of the IB Diploma Programme as it has many practical applications in other subjects as well as in life.

The methodology of TOK revolves around knowledge questions (KQ) and knowledge claims (KC). Knowledge claims are claims about knowledge, for example, “people with high blood pressure are more susceptible to heart disease”. Knowledge questions, on the other hand, are questions about knowledge that differ from research questions in the way that they are open-ended and are what we in TOK call 2nd order questions. This means that they are questions about the knowledge of something and not about the thing itself. A good example is a difference between the 1st order question “why is the sky blue?” and the 2nd order question “how can we know when sense perception is a valuable source of knowledge?”

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

CAS involves students in experiential learning through a range of artistic, sporting, physical and service activities alongside their academic studies. CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development and provides an important counterbalance to the academic pressure of the Diploma Programme.

CAS should:

  • be challenging and enjoyable; a personal journey of self-discovery and growth
  • include real, purposeful, achievable, profound and life-changing experiences that have significant outcomes
  • develop self-management skills such as planning, interim reflecting and reporting
  • encourage a sense of responsibility
  • encourage new skills and interests
  • establish connections with local, national and international communities
  • promote international understanding
  • develop attitudes and values that transcend race, religion, gender and politicsencourage cooperation
  • develop self-assessment and self-reflection on outcomes and learning

The Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is a 4,000-word research essay in which students have the opportunity to follow a line of inquiry of their own development relating to any subject and topic that interests them, whether or not they are studying that subject (the only limitation is that the subject must be offered by the IB (30+ subjects). The process begins in February DP1 and concludes in October DP2, and in that time students will research and write the essay largely on their own, with only check-in sessions and three required reflection sessions with a supervisor of their choosing (must be a teacher at TOIS).

The process of completing an Extended Essay will see students:

  • formulating an appropriate research question
  • engaging in a personal exploration of the topic
  • communicating ideas
  • developing an argument
  • learning about their own learning process

The EE also gives students the opportunity to deeply develop their capacity to analyse, synthesise, and evaluate knowledge.

There are three mandatory reflection sessions with supervisors in addition to regular check-in meetings to support students throughout the process. A 500-word reflection document is submitted with the essay and counts as part of the grade. Students are supported by their supervisors and the school throughout the process, but the final grade is entirely a result of the student’s own progress and effort. All Extended Essays are externally assessed by official IB examiners.

The Diploma Programme Subjects

In addition to the IBDP Core, DP students select and study six subject courses over two years, one from each subject group. Below is a list of the DP subjects on offer in each group at TOIS.

Students typically study three subjects at higher level (HL – 240 teaching hours) and three subjects at standard level (SL – 150 teaching hours).

1. Language and Literature: English A, Czech A, Korean A, School Supported Self Taught Language A (SSST)
2. Language Acquisition: English B, Spanish B, German B (or another Language A)
3. Individuals & Societies: History, Psychology, Economics, Business Management, Environmental Systems & Societies
4. Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Environmental Systems & Societies
5. Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches
6. The Arts / free choice: Visual Arts or another subject from Groups 1-4

Assessment in the IB Diploma Programme

The maximum score for the Diploma is 45 points.
Grades awarded for each subject range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest).
6 subjects x 7 points = 42 (+ 3 points derived from ToK & the Extended Essay).

Grade 7 – excellent
Grade 6 – very good
Grade 5 – good
Grade 4 – satisfactory
Grade 3 – mediocre but passing
Grade 2 – poor
Grade 1 – very poor

A candidate will be awarded an IB Diploma provided the following conditions have been met:

  • All assessment components have been completed and grades have been awarded in all six subjects, ToK & the Extended Essay
  • Candidate’s total points are 24 or more
  • At least a Grade D has been awarded for both Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay
  • The candidate has met all CAS requirements
  • There are no grade 1s awarded in a subject/level
  • There are no more than 2 x Grade 2s awarded
  • There are no more than 3 x Grade 3s awarded
  • The candidate gained at least 12 points on HL subjects
  • The candidate gained at least 9 points on SL subjects
  • The candidate has not been found guilty of malpractice by the IB Organization

The final grade the candidate is awarded in a subject is decided by his/her performance in:

  • external assessment (approx 75-80%) mainly the final examinations in May of DP2
  • internal assessment (approx 20-25%)

Language & Literature

English A: Language & Literature

Studies in language and literature involve a deep examination of concepts including perspective, representation, communication, creativity, culture, identity, and transformation, to explore the world of words and ideas.

Looking at text (readers and writers), context (time and space), and connections between texts (intertextuality), we are looking to develop strong understandings of big ideas through specific literary works from around the world in a variety of genres, forms, and styles (such as The Storyteller by Mario Vargas Llosa, Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith, or The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy) as well as a great range of non literary bodies of work (such as essays from Jonathan Swift or Roland Barthes, a Nike advertising campaign, the public art spaces of Banksy, the speeches of Greta Thunberg, or any other medium which communicates an idea and can be “read”).

Language and Literature approaches critical theory not just in studying literature but a range of cultural artifacts, using entire bodies of work from unlikely sources to challenge how we think about cultural phenomena and materials from around the world. Students may find surprising connections and draw unexpected conclusions, and may even question what a “text” or “story” is and can be. This course involves global issues as strong anchor points for why we are studying these various documents.

Primarily, students will learn how to think clearly, deeply, and critically about the language we use to tell the stories we tell to make sense of the world and the broader issues of the day. Understanding how language works to create meaning, how it interacts with form, and how the reader’s own interaction with the text can change or manipulate a meaning will allow the students to form new interpretations of the spaces they inhabit. In essence, this is a critical and cultural literacy course.

Czech A: Literature

Studium literárních textů pomáhá porozumět tomu, jakými způsoby nám jazyk může zprostředkovat význam. Texty k nám promlouvají skrze svou formu, obsah, účel i subjekt čtenáře; společenský, kulturní nebo historický kontext jim pak dává určitou hodnotu.

Vycházíme z předpokladu, že literatura je posuzována na základě čtenářových zájmů, představ, postojů a jeho zkušeností se světem. Proto může být studium literatury spatřováno jako zkoumání způsobů, jakými literatura reprezentuje nejrůznější přesvědčení, obavy, radost, strach a mnoha dalších lidských momentů, kterým jsme dennodenně vystavováni.

Toto studium pěstuje kreativitu, povzbuzuje nezávislé, osobité, kritické a jasné myšlení. Rovněž podporuje respekt k představivosti čtenáře a jeho vnímání jako východisko pro porozumění a interpretaci díla. Studenti se učí ocenit umění literatury a rozvíjejí svou schopnost kriticky hodnotit své čtenářské zážitky. Předmět tak zdůrazňuje osobnost čtenáře jako neoddělitelnou součást procesu komunikace mezi autorem, čtenářem a dílem.

Studium nejméně devíti (Standard Level) nebo třinácti (Higher Level) literárních děl různých forem, období a tematické rozmanitosti vede studenty k posuzování literárních světů z různých perspektiv, aby byli schopni ocenit a uměleckou hodnotu díla, stejně jako vztah literatury a světa kolem nás. Abychom podpořili povědomí o univerzální hodnotě literárních děl a jejich propojení s různými kontexty, pracujeme se sedmi základními koncepty, jež jsou: identita, perspektiva, komunikace, kreativita, kultura, reprezentace a transformace.

Korean A: Literature

한국어 A: 문학(Korean A: Literature) 과목은 다양한 장르의 한국, 해외 문학을 이해, 분석하는 과목입니다. 학생들은 DP 과정동안 총 9권(SL) 또는 13권(HL)의 문학 작품에 대해 깊이있게 논의합니다.

학생들은 문학 수업에서 작품(독자, 작가, 작품), 맥락(시간과 공간), 작품 간의 연결(Intertextuality), 이 3가지 탐구 영역을 공부합니다. 또한 학생들은 수업을 통해 문학의 본질(문학이란 무엇인가, 왜 문학을 공부해야 하는가, 각 장르의 특징은 무엇인가), 문학 이해 및 해석 방법(문학을 어떻게 이해하고 분석하는가, 작가의 선택이란 무엇이며 이를 찾는 것이 왜 중요한가), 문학과 세계의 관계(문학이 우리와 우리 사회에 미치는 영향은 무엇인가)에 대해 고민해볼 것입니다.

School Supported Self Taught Language A: Literature - SL

At TOIS in Group 1, we teach English A, Korean A and Czech A. Occasionally, we have students who want or need to take final IBDP examinations in their mother-tongue subject. We have had students take courses in Turkish A, Vietnamese A, Polish A, German A, Hindi A, Russian A and Spanish A. At TOIS, we do not "teach" these Language A courses - these students are called SSST students - School Supported Self Taught.

The IB Diploma Programme offers the possibility of studying more than fifty languages at the mother-tongue level (Language A). The syllabus is exactly the same for all Language As, only the works of literature studied are different. The IBO is able to provide final examinations in all these languages each year; again the structure of the assessment is the same for all Language As. The IBO has a vast network of examiners around the world to assess the students' written and oral work.

The school provides the SSST student the syllabus, assignments, projects & deadlines and the student prepares for the final examinations by herself. The SSST Supervisor at the school meets with the student weekly over the two years to check on their progress. Students are also required to have a private tutor who can provide meaningful feedback and guidance to the student and the school can assist in arranging this cooperation. The private tutoring can take place online.

Self-Taught Language A may only be studied at the Standard Level (SL).

As in all Language A Literature SL courses, SSST students are required to read and critically analyse nine works of literature in the target language, from a variety of genres, places, time periods and authors. Most of the authors studied must be native to the target language, but some works must be chosen from international writers whose texts have been translated into the target language. All nine works of literature must be taken from the official IBO Prescribed Reading List. The IBO has taken great care to compile this extensive reading list for all the 50+ languages offered in the Diploma Programme.

Language Acquisition

Language B - English / Spanish / German

Within IBDP Language B, students study the target language as an additional language. The target outcome level at the end of the HL course is CEFR B2 (Upper Intermediate) and CEFR B1 (Intermediate) for the SL course.

The Language B course is designed around developing the student’s reading, writing, listening and speaking. All four language skill areas are given equal attention and equal assessment weight. Furthermore, Higher Level students are required to closely study at least two works of literature in the target language.

Responding to the works of literature forms the basis of the oral component of the assessment in the HL course as does a discussion between the student and the teacher regarding the student’s learning during his/her study of the five central themes of the course (Human ingenuity, Identity, Experiences, Social Organisation, Sharing the Planet). In the SL course, the oral assessment involves a discussion with the teacher based on a thematically-related visual image.

Throughout the course, students enrich their vocabulary and grammar. They also practise their writing composition skills on various text types. They are encouraged to express their opinions and attitudes in numerous class discussions or presentations.

The Language B courses are designed to support the IB Mission and the IB Learner Profile. In an effort to make our world “better and more peaceful”, rather than continue with nationalistic conflict rooted in fear and ignorance, young adults studying Language B will be exposed to a wide variety of information about the world, race and culture, in addition to studying the cultures where the target language is spoken. It is hoped that this course will provide opportunities for self reflection and comparison of cultures and that each student’s level of global awareness will be raised, thereby fostering the development of intercultural understanding and respect for cultural diversity.

Other important concepts to be developed in IBDP Language B include compassion for others, active citizenship, respect for knowledge and learning, curiosity, effective communication, open-mindedness, principled behaviour, critical thinking, balance and courage.

Language ab initio - German / Spanish (SL)

This option is available for students who have had little or no previous experience learning the languages offered at the Language B level, that is, it is a course for beginners. The target outcome expected for ab initio is generally specified as the A1/A2 level. The ab initio course can only be studied at Standard Level.

Because of class size limits, ab initio students usually attend Language B SL lessons but are given moderated tasks. Ab initio students may have extra lessons or consultations.

The aims of the Language ab initio course are to prepare the learner to use the language appropriately in a range of situations and contexts and for a variety of purposes; to develop students’ ability to communicate in speech and in writing in order to enable them to deal adequately with familiar and practical needs; and to introduce students to the culture of German or Spanish speaking countries.

Individuals & Societies

Business Management

The course covers the key characteristics of business organisation 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.

The course encourages the appreciation of ethical concerns at both a local and global level. It aims to develop relevant and transferable skills, including the ability to: think critically; make ethically sound and well-informed decisions; appreciate the pace, nature and significance of change; think strategically; and undertake long term planning, analysis and evaluation. The course also develops subject-specific skills, such as financial analysis.


Economics is a dynamic social science, which essentially studies 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 methodologies that include quantitative and qualitative elements.

This course emphasises 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.


This is a modern history course which investigates the forces that have shaped Czechoslovakia/The Czech Republic, Germany, Russia (the USSR), Poland, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and the Balkan states in the 20th century. Students also examine foreign policies of the USA and the UK and domestic and the foreign policies of the People’s Republic of China.

One of the central focuses of the History course is democracy, threats to its stability and alternative systems of government. Students will understand the nature of totalitarian right wing regimes such as in Germany, Japan, Italy and Spain and compare these with the left wing totalitarian regimes of the PR of China and the former USSR. The students will have a strong understanding of the impact of Nazism and Communism on the Czech lands. Students analyse the causes of anti-democratic forces, such as economic crisis, ideology and social disharmony.

Another central focus is the challenges to world peace. Students study and reflect on the global politics that have shaped our world. Students consider the role of the influences and motivations in foreign policies of major nations such as the USA, Russia and China - economic factors such as competition for natural resources & markets, and the arms industry. Students also consider the role of prestige, ideology & domestic unification in driving foreign policy. NATO is an important focus point, as is the role of the United Nations. Students study areas of conflict such as Europe, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.


This course examines the interaction of biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on human behaviour, 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 behaviour. The ethical concerns raised by the methodology and application of psychological research are key considerations in IB Psychology.

Combined Standard/Higher Level topics:

  • Biological level of analysis
  • Cognitive level of analysis
  • Sociocultural level of analysis

SL/HL option:

  • Abnormal psychology

HL option:

  • Psychology of human relationships



Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself from the very smallest particles—currently accepted as quarks, which may be truly fundamental—to the vast distances between galaxies. In Physics we study classical physics, with applications to everyday life, as well as modern and quantum physics that have changed our world over the past century.

Combined Standard/Higher Level Topics:

  • Measurement and Uncertainties
  • Mechanics
  • Thermal Physics
  • Waves
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Circular Motion and Gravitation
  • Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Energy Production
  • Option: Engineering Physics

Additional Higher Level Topics:

  • Wave Phenomena
  • Fields
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Quantum and Nuclear Physics


This course combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills through the experimental approach. Students learn the chemical principles that underpin both the physical environment and biological systems through the study of quantitative chemistry, periodicity, kinetics and other subjects.


  • Stoichiometric relationships
  • Atomic structure
  • Periodicity
  • Chemical bonding and structure
  • Energetics/thermochemistry
  • Chemical kinetics
  • Equilibrium
  • Acids and bases
  • Redox processes
  • Organic chemistry
  • Measurement and data processing


  • Materials
  • Biochemistry
  • Energy
  • Medicinal chemistry

Computer Science

In Computer Science, students study basic computer laws that are fundamental not only for computers but also for other subjects such as Maths and even for ordinary life. Students focus on the deconstruction of various problems into subproblems, learning how to solve them step by step. In particular, students study Boolean logic and this approach may have benefits when studying other subjects as it helps students to understand connections and contexts more and it improves the ability to think more analytically. The projects carried out during the Computer Science course can be modified to meet specific student’s needs, for example, connections with Mathematics, Physics, Economics, or Business Management.

Combined Standard/Higher Level Topics:

  • System fundamentals
  • Computer organization
  • Networks
  • Computational thinking, problem-solving and programming

Additional Higher Level Topics:

  • Abstract data structures
  • Resource management
  • Control

Option (both SL & HL):

  • Object-oriented programming (OOP)


This course develops an understanding of the important underlying biological themes through a focus on acquiring a body of factual knowledge. Four basic biological concepts run through this body of knowledge: the relationship between structure and function; the theme of universality versus diversity; the occurrence of equilibrium within living and non-living systems; and, evolution as an underlying concept for understanding life on Earth. Students will become knowledgeable about the ideas and concepts fundamental to biology and will be challenged to think about how biology and emerging biological technologies exist within a global context. Laboratory work forms an integral part of the course.

Combined Standard/Higher Level Topics:

  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology
  • Genetics
  • Ecology
  • Evolution and biodiversity
  • Human physiology

Additional Higher Level Topics:

  • Nucleic acids
  • Metabolism, cell respiration and photosynthesis
  • Plant biology
  • Genetics and evolution
  • Animal physiology

Option (both SL & HL):

  • Neurobiology and behaviour
  • Biotechnology and bioinformatics
  • Ecology and conservation
  • Human physiology


Mathematics – Analysis & Approaches

This course develops fluency in the construction of mathematical arguments and strong skills in mathematical thinking, problem solving and generalization. Students explore real and abstract applications of mathematical ideas, with and without technology. Facts and skill development will be used to build a foundation for the conceptual understanding and application of mathematics. To begin the course, students should be comfortable in the manipulation of algebraic expressions and enjoy the recognition of patterns and understand the mathematical generalization of these patterns.

This course recognises the need for analytical expertise in a world where innovation is increasingly dependent on a deep understanding of mathematics. This course includes topics that are both traditionally part of a pre-university mathematics course (for example, functions, trigonometry, calculus) as well as topics that are relevant to investigation, conjecture and proof, for instance the study of sequences and series at both SL and HL, and proof by induction at HL.

The course allows the use of technology, as fluency in relevant mathematical software and hand-held technology is important. However, Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches has a strong emphasis on the ability to construct, communicate and justify correct mathematical arguments.

The Arts

Visual Arts

The visual arts are an integral part of everyday life, permeating all levels of human creativity, expression, communication and understanding. They range from traditional forms to the divergent practices associated with new, emerging and contemporary forms of visual language.

This studio-based course emphasizes both students' creative process and their final artistic product in 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional arts forms. As students develop their craft, they will conduct thoughtful inquiry into their own thinking and art making processes, recording this learning in written and visual formats. All stages of the creative process must be thoroughly documented and evidence of in-depth research into chosen areas of interest and ideas for work must be shown and explained in detail. Students are expected to be independently motivated as they research the history and practice of a chosen art form and “big idea”/thesis across cultures, time periods and disciplines. They will learn how to connect their research to their own work, creating art that expresses personal meaning within a cultural, historical and discipline-based context.

The visual arts syllabus demonstrates a clear distinction between the course at SL and at HL, with additional assessment requirements at HL that allow for breadth and greater depth in the teaching and learning. The assessment tasks require HL students to reflect on how their own work has been influenced by exposure to other artists and for them to experiment in greater depth with additional art-making media, techniques and forms. HL students are encouraged to produce a larger body of works and to demonstrate a deeper consideration of how their works could communicate with a viewer.

Transdisciplinary Course

Environmental Systems & Societies - SL

ESS is a transdisciplinary course that can be studied to satisfy the requirement for Group 3 or Group 4 or both simultaneously. Note that ESS is only offered by the IB as a standard level subject. The following big questions are intended as a guide to shape an overall concept-based approach to this subject, and to encourage a holistic perspective on the relationship between human societies and natural systems. They have been designed to engender a vision of the overarching principles that are central to the course, and to encourage students to revisit central ideas in different contexts.

Which strengths and weaknesses of the systems approach and of the use of models have been revealed?
To what extent have the solutions been directed at preventing environmental impacts, limiting the extent of the environmental impacts or restoring systems in which environmental impacts have already occurred?
What value systems are at play in the causes and approaches to resolving the issues?
How does your personal value system compare with the others you have encountered in the context of issues raised?
How are the issues addressed relevant to sustainability or sustainable development?
In which ways might the solutions explored alter your predictions for the state of human societies and the biosphere decades from now?

Units of Study:

  • Foundations of environmental systems
  • Ecosystems and ecology
  • Biodiversity and conservation
  • Water, food production systems and society
  • Soil systems and society
  • Atmospheric systems and society
  • Climate change and energy production
  • Human systems and resources


In the Diploma Programme, students dive deep into a wide variety of specialist subjects over an 18-month period to prepare for university.


TOIS’ highly qualified staff lead small groups of students through the rigourous challenges of the Diploma Programme. Public service, reflections on the Theory of Knowledge, and the Extended Essay round out this prestigious programme.


TOIS alumni frequently declare that by completing the Diploma Programme, their first year of university was much easier that it would have otherwise been.

What They Say

The DP Programme set my daughter on the right track to university. It was extremely challenging, but the teaching staff was absolutely focused on helping her to get to where she wanted to go.

— A TOIS Parent with a child

in Early Years

I can't say I loved every day of the DP Programme. But it helped me to grow, and to grow up, and understand what a big world it is out there.

— A TOIS Learner

in the DP

The DP Programme means I get to know my students inside and out, to be a part of their victories, and to share their challenging moments.

— TOIS DP Teacher