The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is an academically-challenging and balanced programme of education that works to develop students who live, learn and work in a rapidly changing world. With a focus on independent thinking, academic rigour, community service, inter-cultural understanding and respect for others, the Programme prepares students for success at university and beyond.

Diocesan and the IB

Diocesan and the IB

Our teaching and learning philosophy is to encourage learners who are open to challenge, willing to develop their abilities and achieve their personal best, take risks and accept mistakes, make ethical decisions and enjoy learning.

This vision complements the IB Diploma programme which aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, open-minded, reflective, caring and principled young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through effective communication, intercultural understanding and respect.

How the IB Diploma prepares students for university

How the IB Diploma prepares students for university

If you're still undecided about the best academic pathway to take, the IB has launched a new video series on how the Diploma Programme prepares students for university, and why universities value the experience that IB students bring along.


View the IB videos

IB at a glance

  • All Year 12 students who meet the entry requirements are welcome to enter the Diploma Programme. It is not limited to only students who achieve highly
  • The Programme is taught over two years in Years 12 and 13 with final exams held at the end of Year 13
  • Students study six subjects chosen from six different subject areas encompassing the mandatory areas of literature, a second language, mathematics, humanities and science. Three or four of these are studied at a higher level and the remainder are studied at a standard level. 
  • The core curriculum requirements of the Diploma are the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and CAS (Creativity, Action and Service).
  • Diocesan IB students have consistently performed favourably against world averages. View our exam results
  • IB students can also take NZQA scholarship exams
  • View the IB Learner Profile
  • Take a look at some of the Universities IB students have gone on to attend

The IB Diploma comprises of the following core elements:

1. Extended Essay

The extended essay of some 4,000 words offers the opportunity for IB students to investigate a topic of special interest, usually one of the student’s six Diploma Programme subjects, and acquaints them with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.

2. Theory of Knowledge

The interdisciplinary theory of knowledge course is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning that transcends and unifies the academic areas and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives. The theory of knowledge course is in part intended to encourage students to reflect on the huge cultural shifts worldwide around the digital revolution and the information economy.

3. CAS (Creativity, activity, service)

Creativity, activity, service is at the heart of the Diploma Programme, involving students in a range of activities that take place alongside their academic studies throughout the IB Diploma Programme. The component’s three strands, often interwoven with particular activities, are characterised as follows.
Creativity—arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking
Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the IB Diploma Programme
Service—an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student