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, or you can learn more about the IB's global community through watching 'A Better World Through Education', a new programme by ITN and the International Baccalaureate to mark their 50th anniversary.

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

Shosha Adie - IB Diploma Alumni

Shosha Adie

While studying the IB Diploma, Shosha Adie discovered her love of Anthropology and the environment. This passion led to Shosha heading to UCL to study Anthropology, a decision that led to an incredible opportunity. After a talk by Operation Wallacea, a conservation research organisation, Shosha realised her dream of studying wildlife in the Amazon rainforest wasn't as unrealistic as she first thought.

“I was lured into the talk by cute pictures of monkeys and chameleons,” began Shosha. “But when I listened to the researchers talking in depth about the projects they are undertaking across the world, and how vital they are in the face of climate change, I realised that this was something I really wanted to be part of.”

The month-long expedition will take Shosha to the Peruvian Amazon, where she will be able to live out her dream of working alongside the indigenous communities who live there while tracking the effects of climate change on the animals and plants. “The idea that I could go to Peruvian Amazon, and actively contribute to the conservation with my own two hands is just incredible,” exclaimed Shosha.

Shosha described the IB as an “intense experience” but the help she received from lecturers and members of staff was “invaluable”, saying: “Without me having taken away these learning experiences from the IB, I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to tackle such a daunting task as heading to the Amazonian rainforest to join a research team, and raising £3000 at the same time as taking on my second year at UCL.”

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.