General information

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

The Diploma Programme prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:

  • develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically;
  • acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, studying courses from six subject groups;
  • develop the skills and a positive attitude towards learning that will prepare them for higher education;
  • study at least two languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own;
  • make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course;
  • undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the extended essay;
  • enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action and service.

The curriculum in IB Diploma Programme

Students must choose one subject from each of the five groups, ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics. Students must also choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from groups 1 to 5. DP subjects can be taken at higher level or standard level. At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level (240 teaching hours), while the other subjects are taken at standard level (150 teaching hours).

International School of Nur-Sultan offers the following subjects in Diploma programme:
Language and literature/literatureKazakh literature
Russian language and literature
English language and literature
Language acquisitionEnglish BSL/HL
Individuals and societiesHistory
MathematicsMathematics: analysis and approaches
Mathematics application and interpretation
ArtsVisual ArtsSL/HL

SL – standard level

HL – high level

All students must take 3 core components to get diploma

The Diploma Programme core

  • The extended essay asks students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying. The world studies extended essay option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance which they examine through the lens of at least two DP subjects.
  • Theory of knowledge develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.
  • Theory of knowledge develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.
  • Creativity, action, service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme. Creativity encourages students to engage in the arts and creative thinking. Action seeks to develop a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Service with the community offers a vehicle for new learning with academic value. The three strands of CAS enhance students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery.


Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners. The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on theory of knowledge and the extended essay. The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and to satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement.

The highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points. Assessment is criterion-related, which means student performance is measured against pre-specified assessment criteria based on the aims and objectives of each subject curriculum, rather than the performance of other students taking the same examinations. The range of scores that students have attained remains statistically stable, and universities value the rigour and consistency of Diploma Programme assessment practice.

Conditions for getting IB diploma

The IB Diploma will be awarded to a candidate provided all the following requirements have been met.

  1. CAS requirements have been met;
  2. The candidate’s total points are 24 or more;
  3. There is no “N” awarded for theory of knowledge, the extended essay or for a contributing subject;
  4. There is no grade E awarded for theory of knowledge and/or the extended essay;
  5. There is no grade 1 awarded in a subject/level;
  6. There are no more than two grade 2s awarded (HL or SL);
  7. There are no more than three grade 3s or below awarded (HL or SL);
  8. The candidate has gained 12 points or more on HL subjects (for candidates who register for four HL subjects, the three highest grades count);
  9. The candidate has gained 9 points or more on SL subjects (candidates who register for two SL subjects must gain at least 5 points at SL);
  10. The candidate has not received a penalty for academic misconduct from the Final Award Committee.

Recognition by universities of the world

The International Baccalaureate diploma is recognized in most countries of the world.

Information on the recognition of an International Baccalaureate diploma by universities in a country of interest to you can be obtained at the official cite:  ibo.org/country/ .