IB Diploma

The IB Diploma (International Baccalaureate) programme is a two-year Level 3 course that students with diverse interests may consider as an excellent alternative to A Levels.

Why study an IB?

If you've enjoyed studying a range of subjects at GCSE and want to continue doing so at an advanced level, then the IB could be a good choice for you.

The diploma is an internationally recognised university entry qualification, offered in more than 140 countries throughout the world. It is fully recognised by all UK universities. As interest in the IB grows, more institutions are offering the diploma. Truro College is the only provider of this programme in Cornwall, and it is one of the biggest and most successful in the UK.

Find out more about the IB Diploma at our IB Diploma Evening at Truro College on January 18, 2018 at 7.30pm, where you can meet tutors and talk to current students. 

Students study three subjects at Higher Level (H) and three subjects at Standard Level (S). The entry requirements are the same as A Level: at least five GCSEs at grade C or above, including grade A or B in subjects appropriate to Higher Level options. Most International Baccalaureate students will have achieved good GCSE grades in a large number of subjects. 

I enjoy the variety of subjects that I get to study and that I close no doors when it comes to university applications. Results wise, it’s the best college in the area. It’s a safe and caring environment for everyone.

Lucy, IB Diploma

Groups, subjects and courses

There are six subject Groups, each containing a number of courses from which you choose your preferred subjects. The Groups are as follows:

Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
Group 2: Language Acquisition
Group 3: Individuals and Societies
Group 4: Experimental Sciences
Group 5: Mathematics
Group 6: The Arts

The introduction of Environmental Systems and Societies, a transdisciplinary subject covering Groups 3 and 4, offers greater flexibility of option choices. It is now possible to opt for up to three subjects in Groups 2, 3 and 4.

Candidates will also follow a Theory of Knowledge course, which stimulates critical reflection on the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside College. Students will undertake original research to investigate a topic of special interest and present findings in an extended essay. All students are involved in Creativity, Action and Service-based projects.

To find out more about studying the IB Diploma, contact Caroline Keech (IB Coordinator) on 01872 267000 or email carolinek@truro-penwith.ac.uk

The Shewula Orphans Charity

Truro and Penwith Colleges’ Geography department and the IB programme have been supporting the children and community of Shewula since 2001, with the main aim being the enablement of AIDs orphans and other vulnerable children in Shewula to access education.

Click here to find out more about The Shewula Orphans Charity

From the course

Ruby Breadon

I did Higher Level Biology, English and Anthropology with Standard level Visual Art, French and Maths. I initially chose the IB because I wanted to do a broad range of subjects as I had difficulty narrowing down my interests into one particular area. Whilst I initially found it hard to organise my time around all the subjects, I feel that looking back, this pushed me to improve my study skills and ways of approaching work, which will hopefully be beneficial in the future.

I loved working in a group that was motivated to learn and succeed whilst having a good time and helping one another through all the coursework, extended essay and revision struggles!

Many of my lecturers were incredibly passionate about their subject areas, which made learning so much more interesting. I feel that they were invested in all of us and were able to push everyone to think and work independently whilst being supportive, which I really enjoyed.

I particularly enjoyed anthropology, which was a new subject for me when I started IB. I love how encompassing a subject it is and the way in which it encourages lateral thinking. It has provided me with opportunities to explore areas of personal interest such as the anthropology of surfing and visual fieldwork techniques within my extended essay.

There’s no denying that the second year of IB was very stressful and difficult at points but in the end, it was definitely worth all the time, effort and organisation. It felt good to work as hard as I could for the exams and I was so shocked and happy with my results!

I currently have an offer from Edinburgh University to read anthropology, however, I am planning to take a gap year to work and travel. I am possibly considering reapplying to university next year in light of my results as I now feel I have the flexibility and time to do so, which I feel very fortunate to have!”

With Ruby’s current place in the GB national surfing team and her plans to travel and work before starting University, her future is looking bright, interesting and ever so exciting. Good luck, Ruby! 

Lowenna Ovens

Lowenna Ovens is now studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University having scored 45 out of 45 in the tests, cementing her place among the very best students across the globe.

The 18-year-old sat her exams in the summer at Truro and Penwith College. Her results are equivalent to more than four A*s or more than five A grades at A Level.

"I chose the IB Diploma because of the breadth of study and the fact I didn't want to narrow down my GCSE subjects too much. I would definitely recommend the course," Lowenna said. 

"Truro and Penwith was the obvious choice because it’s the best for IB."

Lowenna said that future career plans included looking into working at the Foreign Office or for a charity.

And she would definitely recommend the IB course, despite the level of commitment it takes.

“The teaching is the best and I want to say a massive thanks to all the IB teaching staff, the teaching is what makes Truro and Penwith College deserve the outstanding status that it has.” 

The IB diploma offers a broader programme of study than A levels. Students take six subjects including three at "higher level". These can include a second language, biology, chemistry, physics, history, theatre studies and psychology.