Constructing a Course of Study

A Diploma Programme course of study is constructed according to IB rules as set out in the General Regulations: Diploma Programme


4 Stages in Constructing a Course of Study

1. Think about yourself as a learner.

  • What types of subjects suit you?
  • What do you want to achieve from your subjects?

2. Read and research the range of subjects on interest:

There are 2 sources of information available to help students find out more information about subjects of interest.  There are 2 locations for information:

Once you have read this information, the following questions will help identify potential subject combinations.

  • Understand each of the Diploma Programme subject groups. What do they cover?
  • What is the nature of the subject? Do you find it interesting?
  • What are the subject aims and objectives?
  • What is the assessment style? Is there a specific proportion of exam / non-exam components that best suits you?
  • Are these subjects available at HL or SL or both?

3. Knowing which pathway to take

Languages and Mathematics are offered at different levels for the DP.

  • In consultation with the senior mathematics staff in addition to your own reading,  it is important to understand which Mathematics course best suits you. For the purposes of university entry prerequisites, UAC identifies comparisons with HSC subjects here.
  • Languages are offered at ab initio level (for beginners with no experience or background in the language) or Language B level (for those who have continuous study in a language over time)

4. Identify a preliminary list of subjects:

Once the steps above have been completed, students are able to identify a preliminary list of subjects. Use the points below to refine the list.

      • Identify the Standard Level (SL) subjects only first and list them in the table below by group number
      • Identify subjects for the remaining groups
      • Identify your other options for SL and HL
      • Ensure you meet the course construction requirements:
        • 3 SL subjects
        • 3 HL subjects
        • 1 subject from Groups 1 – 5 plus either
      • group 6 subject or
      • another subject from groups 2,3 or 4
      • Do you have a subject listed that you can and would be happy to take at either HL or SL? This is highly recommended in case you need to change during the course.

Other considerations for course construction

University prerequisite subjects:

  • Do you have any plans to potentially apply for an overseas university? It is vital that you check whether you require any prerequisite subjects. University websites are the best place to look for this information.
  • Do you have plans to potentially apply for an Australian university interstate or in New Zealand?   It is vital that you check whether you require any prerequisite subjects. University websites are the best place to look for this information.

Prerequisite subjects for local, interstate and overseas university options tend to be found primarily in Mathematics and English. However, this does not preclude other subjects from being listed. It is important to seek clarification from the university if there are any questions during the subject selection process.