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Study the International Baccalaureate Diploma | UK

The International Baccalaureate Diploma, known as the IB, is a globally-recognised qualification that challenges, encourages and inspires you to become a creative problem-solver and lifelong independent thinker ready for university study and an international career. 

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What is the International Baccalaureate Diploma?

The International Baccalaureate® (IB)  Diploma Programme is for students aged 16-19. Through the IB Diploma Programme, we help students develop:

  • an excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
  • physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • their language skills through the study of languages
  • their knowledge of traditional academic subjects
  • explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique Theory of Knowledge course.

Quick facts

  IB Diploma course
Entry requirements 15.5+ years and a good school report
What are the English language requirements? IELTS 5.5+
How long will I study each week? 32+ hours of study per week
Where can I study? At our Canterbury campus
When can I start? September (A two year, 6-term, programme)
How much does it cost? Visit our admissions section for our IB Diploma Programme fees

Reasons to choose a CATS College


Study in a top university city

Study your IB Diploma in Canterbury, one of the safest cities in the UK.

Study in a top university city

Prepare for your dream career

Prepare for competitive careers such as Medicine, Business and Law on the CATS Key Professions programme (KPP).

Prepare for your dream career

Small class sizes and expert teachers

Get individual attention from your teachers, who are all teachers of English and include published authors and examiners.

Small class sizes and expert teachers

Conditional progression to a UK university

Receive one-to-one guidance to help you prepare your application for university. You can also take advantage of conditional progression to one of over 30 universities.

University application support
  • Lea
    Lea
    "IB IS VERY BROAD AND THE BEST WAY TO PREPARE FOR UNIVERSITY IF YOU’RE NOT SURE WHAT DEGREE TO CHOOSE"
    Lea from Germany progressed from CATS Canterbury to study Business Economics at the University of Leeds
  • Eduardo
    Eduardo
    "ME AND MY BROTHER SIGNED UP TO MEDICINE CLUB, SO WE WOULD KNOW HOW TO APPLY TO STUDY MEDICINE IN THE UK"
    Eduardo from Brazil, and his twin brother Rodrigo, progressed from CATS Canterbury to study Medicine at Hull York Medical School
  • Wylan
    Wylan
    "CATS COLLEGE ENCOURAGED ACTIVE LEARNING - TO WORK THINGS OUT AND UNDERSTAND THEM. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I AM DOING RIGHT NOW AT UNIVERSITY"
    Wylan achieved 43 points in the IB Diploma, placing him in the top 1% of students in the world. He’s now studying Biotechnology at Imperial College London

Choosing your subjects 

You must choose one subject from each of the groups ensuring experience in Languages, Social Studies, Experimental Science and Mathematics. Your sixth subject may be an Arts subject chosen from group 6, or, you can choose to take another subject from one of groups 2 to 4 so you can specialise in a specific field of study, like medicine.

Where IB fits into the overall UK education system

In addition to these six subjects you also study three core areas that help your academic study and broaden your education.

  • Theory of Knowledge (ToK): You study an introduction to the critical evaluation of all knowledge. The core modules encourage you to question, explore theory and engage in real-world comparison and critical thinking.
  • Extended Essay (EE): You undertake a research project and write it up as a 4,000 word essay based on a personal theme, similar to a university dissertation.
  • Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS): This is a programme of arts, sports and community service that helps you become a reflective, open-minded individual.

How will I be assessed?

Subjects are assessed through both internal and external coursework which is written or practical work that you complete during the year and which counts towards your overall grade. You also take examinations at the end of Year 2 in May and June. To ensure that you are well prepared, you will also take CATS mock exams so that your teachers can help with anything you are finding difficult. English is assessed through an IELTS examination, ready for university admission.

When are results published?

IB results are published every July. Your IB Diploma is marked on a numbered scale. Each of the six subjects taken is marked out of 7, and there are an extra 3 points available for the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge parts of the programme. To gain the Diploma, you need at least 24 points, and the maximum score available for the most academically gifted students is 45 points – equivalent to six A levels at grade A*.

Comparison between IB points and A level grades

IB points IB points UCAS (university points) A level grades
45 720 A* A* A* A* A* A*
35 400 A* A* A*
28 348 A A B
24 280 B C Social

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