IB Diploma Programme


Boost your future.

Do you want to stand out in all areas of your life? If the answer is yes, then the IB Programme is for you:

Programa IB

Access to the best universities in the world

Diploma IB

A solid foundation for a promising future job in Spain or abroad

Bachillerato Internacional

Self-improvement and development of skills such as self-confidence, leadership, determination, conflict resolution...


A framework of practical and stimulating studies perfect for reaching your full potential

Are you interested? 

Are you interested? If you want to bet on a promising future then keep reading. Everything you need to know about the IB is in our practical IB guide perfect for parents and students.

colegio IB

King's College Soto is an IB World School and therefore offers the IB educational programme and the IB Diploma. Since its conception in 1968, this highly regarded curriculum has promoted international mindedness as well as intellectual rigour and academic flexibility.

The IB programme aims to develop critical and compassionate thinkers who, as learners in the 21st century, are prepared for success at university and beyond, in life. To facilitate lifelong learning, a challenging and balanced two-year curriculum is offered.

The programme offers an enriching curriculum through the range of subjects studied, the unifying nature of the Theory of Knowledge programme and the holistic nature of the Creativity, Action and Service programme. At the upper IB level, three subjects are studied in great depth.

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Successful completion of the IB ...

Successful completion of the IB Diploma has proven to be a valuable asset when applying to universities in the UK and around the world. The critical thinking that the IB Diploma provides gives students a significant advantage at university. As an alternative to the full IB educational programme, some students may enrol in individual subjects in order to acquire individual IB Diploma certificates. Both the individual diplomas and the full IB certificate are recognised as university entrance qualifications, and therefore all are highly welcomed by leading universities.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) | A practical guide for parents & students

Every parent and student in search of the best school education has probably heard of the International Baccalaureate (IB), as it is recognised and respected around the world.

But how exactly does the International Baccalaureate work? Is it the ideal choice for every type of student? Is it a safe investment? What return does the IB offer in terms of subsequent academic and career opportunities? In this practical guide, we answer all these questions and more.

How does the IB work?

The history of the IB

“The aim of the IB education system has always been to develop internationally-minded students who are able to face the challenges of the future with optimism and flexibility”.

Founded in the 1960s, the International Baccalaureate Organisation initially aimed to provide a standardised curriculum for students in their final years of school around the world.

Over the years, the IB framework has become globally recognised and has grown to also include Nursery and Primary and Secondary Education (3-16 years). Today, the IB has 1.95 million students in 5,400 schools across 159 countries, and its goal is to develop internationally-minded students who are able to face the challenges of the 21st century with optimism and flexibility.

IB programmes

The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers four high-quality, holistic programmes for students aged 3 to 19. Each programme is focused on the academic and personal growth of students in an international educational setting.

  • Diploma Programme (DP) for students aged 16-19

A rigorous and comprehensive educational programme recognised by universities all over the world, aimed at deepening and broadening the students' knowledge.

How do IB programmes work?

“The focus of IB teaching is on ‘how to learn’ rather than ‘what to learn’, shaping curious, empathetic future adults who have a thirst for knowledge”.

  • The IB academic curriculum is based on practice and real-world application of the learning achieved. 
  • It has a broad spectrum of subjects that lead to a comprehensive and holistic education. 
  • The IB promotes both the academic and personal success of students. 
  • It fosters a passion for learning, a thirst for knowledge, and empathy. 
  • IB assessments are geared towards assessing students' understanding, rather than memorisation and speed. 
  • External assessment tests are not taken until the Middle Years Programme (MYP), from age 11 onwards. 
  • The focus of IB teaching is on “how to learn” rather than “what to learn”. 
  • Teachers are specifically trained to teach their subjects in IB schools. 
  • In addition, the International Baccalaureate Organisation requires teachers to be continuously trained to update their skills and knowledge, and to be adapted to their current circumstances.

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Diploma IB

Advantages of studying the IB

International Baccalaureate® (IB) World Schools offer a unique, diverse, and stimulating education.

“A 360º education for a future full of academic, professional, and personal opportunities and benefits”.

Students who choose to be educated at an IB school:

  • Enjoy a wide variety of subjects with a transdisciplinary approach and aimed at promoting essential skills for their future career, such as research and communication.
  • Take full responsibility for their learning, which drives them to excel and continuously improve, which is key to ensuring their future professional and personal success.
  • Develop critical thinking skills, learning to always question assumptions and trust their own judgement.
  • Acquire a high level of self-confidence and self-assurance in their abilities, allowing them to confidently tackle new ideas, concepts, and even risks.
  • Tend to outperform students that study under other curricula due to their comprehensive education in social, emotional, and academic skills.
  • Are more likely to get into prestigious Ivy League and Russell Group universities than other applicants who have studied under different academic programmes.
  • Are immersed in both national and international settings throughout their schooling, leading them to become adults who are aware and intuitive about the world around them.
  • Acquire an open and international mindset, which will enable them to manage fluently and confidently in an increasingly globalised and constantly changing world.
  • Become multilingual and multicultural professionals, able to understand and adapt to different environments, cultures, and customs.

IB Diploma admission requirements

In order to qualify for the IB Diploma, all students must:

  • Enrol in six IB subjects over a two-year period and meet the assessment requirements for all of them.
  • Take IB examinations in each of the six subject groups.
  • Choose six subjects from the six subject groups according to the Handbook of Procedures for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). At least three of these subjects, and no more than four, must be at Higher Level and the remainder at Standard Level.
  • Write and submit an original essay (the Extended Essay) of approximately 4,000 words.
  • Take the Theory of Knowledge subject for two years and the assessment required for it.
  • Participate in an approved CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) programme and create a portfolio demonstrating that the student has acquired the stipulated Learning Outcomes.
  • Behave in a responsible and ethical manner and avoid any misconduct.

What subjects are taught in the IB?

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)

Who is eligible for the International Baccalaureate?

Any student who enjoys challenges, is passionate about acquiring new knowledge, and wants to develop and succeed will fit perfectly into the IB education system.

Bachillerato Internacional en Madrid

“IB students have two characteristics in common: a passion for learning and an ambition to develop and succeed in an increasingly globalised world”.

The IB educational model admits students from the ages of 3 to 19 who will become active, caring, and committed lifelong learners. Although the IB education system is known for its high standards, it is also enormously rewarding and enriching if undertaken correctly.

Without a doubt, the experiences and learning gained through the IB equip students with a sharp and refined intellect, and open a host of doors for children of all ages.

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Which is better, the International Baccalaureate or the Spanish Baccalaureate?

The International Baccalaureate stands out from the Spanish Baccalaureate because of its broader, more global outlook.


Programa IB
  • In the International Baccalaureate, students do not need  to make the traditional choice between “arts or sciences” to gain access to the university degree they wish to pursue. Students can (and very often do) choose subjects from both disciplines and receive an in-depth and rigorous education in each of them. At the end, they will be able to make a better decision about the university degree they wish to undertake, without any requirement as to the subjects taken during the Baccalaureate.
  • Unlike the Spanish Baccalaureate, the IB does not teach only students how to “get better grades in exams”. The IB education system encourages students to investigate and question why, and to apply their learning to the real world.
  • The IB curriculum includes a varied and dynamic assessment system, with oral and written assessments, experiences, activities, etc. This is a very effective solution for students who are restricted by traditional assessment methods based solely on exams.
  • Studies show that IBDP students are not only more likely to get into top universities than other students, but also to achieve significantly higher grades. This is due to the programme's emphasis on the development of self-management skills, a flexible mindset, autonomous learning, and a global perspective.
  • Independent of other government and national systems, the IB education system is developed based on the best methods and results observed in the network of IB schools around the world.
  • While the Spanish system compartmentalises learning and is quite limited in terms of the range of subjects on offer, the IB offers students a wider range of subjects and focuses on engaging students in the relationships between them.

What is the IB Diploma useful for?

For a student, earning the IB Diploma is a clear distinguishing factor in their academic, professional, and personal future.

  •  A well-rounded and balanced education

Choosing and studying a wide range of subjects from a variety of disciplines instils a liberal perspective in students, which is highly valued in foreign universities.

  • Access to the world's leading universities

Studies suggest that the admission rate of IB Diploma students to Ivy League universities is 18% higher than that of other applicants. In addition, given the IB's worldwide prestige, students with an outstanding academic record enjoy a number of advantages in terms of grades, academic credits, and scholarships.


“Obtaining the IB Diploma puts the student in pole position for any academic or professional career”.

  • The ideal profile to succeed in a globalised world

Through the IB Diploma, students learn to master several languages and acquire an international mindset, opening all doors to success in an increasingly globalised world.

  • The most sought-after life skills

The CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) programme encourages students to continue learning outside the classroom to explore their talents and skills through co-curricular experiences and activities. This results in the acquisition of life skills rarely explored in other curricula but that are highly sought in the real world. In addition, throughout the IB Diploma, students are required to work in groups, fostering social skills that are in high demand in the business world, such as teamwork, collaboration, and leadership.

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How much can an IB Diploma cost?

Undoubtedly, one of the factors to consider when choosing the IB diploma is the price and one of the most frequently asked questions is whether it is worth the financial investment.

Indeed, because of the excellent quality and multidisciplinary nature of the academic curriculum, an international education and opportunities, and the highly qualified and specialised teaching staff, an IB education may seem more expensive than others.

But if students really make the most of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) at its fullest, the return on this investment is unparalleled in terms of the development of critical life skills, university offers, and success in the world of work.


Nearly 100% of educators, specialists, and counsellors attest to the fact that the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme offers far more meaningful and beneficial educational experiences than others. The IBDP not only leads students to academic success, but also teaches them to understand life, the world around them, and its complexities with a positive, flexible, and healthy outlook.

With all these benefits, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is undoubtedly a rewarding and profitable investment with a lifelong return.

International Baccalaureate Assessment

Assessment of student performance in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme® (IBDP) is based on internal and external elements.

Performance in each of the six IB Diploma subjects is graded on a scale from 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum). The grades for each subject are combined to form the student's final Diploma grade.


Performance in Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay is assessed on a scale from A (maximum grade) to E (minimum grade). The combination of these two core subjects is graded with a maximum of 3 points. The maximum total score for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is 45.

Moreover, the CAS programme, an integral element of the IBDP core subjects, is not graded, but certified participation is a prerequisite for the award of the diploma.

The diploma is awarded only to those students who obtain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum performance levels, including the successful completion of the three IBDP core subjects.

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The equivalence between International Baccalaureate grades and Spanish grades

  • The Spanish Ministry of Education and the Department of Education recognise the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) as a certified pre-university qualification.
  • No approval from any other official authority is required for admission to a Spanish university.
  • In addition, students of the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) do not have to take the Spanish Selectividad (University Admission Tests) in order to gain admission to a Spanish university. The grades obtained in the IB are therefore equivalent to the Selectividad grades:
  • Due to the worldwide recognition of the programme, many universities offer direct access for IBDP students. Students should therefore check if this option is available at the university they wish to attend.

How many points are needed to obtain the IB?

The minimum score required to obtain the IB Diploma is as follows:

Colegio en Tres Cantos
  • A minimum of 24 points or a four out of seven possible points (or a “C” grade) average score in six subjects
  • A minimum of 12 points in Higher Level subjects
  • A minimum of 9 points in Standard Level subjects
  • Fulfilment all conditions for the Extended Essay, CAS, and Theory of Knowledge
  • A maximum of three grades of 3 or lower in Higher Level or Standard Level subjects
  • A minimum of one “D” grade for Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay
  • If the requirements associated with the CAS are not met, the IB Diploma will not be awarded
  • regardless of the points obtained.
  • No sanction is issued by the committee for academic misconduct

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Where can students take the International Baccalaureate?


Once the decision has been made, students wishing to participate in IB programmes should start looking for approved IB schools in their area. There are several schools offering the International Baccalaureate in Spain, and King's College School, the British School of Madrid, proves to be the best option.

“At King's College, the British School of Madrid, we are building on King's glorious 50-year history of academic excellence to improve IB education”.

Studying the International Baccalaureate at King's College School, the British School of Madrid, opens up a world of endless possibilities, as we offer unrivalled international experiences, guaranteed academic success, and access to the best universities.

Discover the most honest opinion of our students about the IB program:

IB student testimonials


I liked the assurances and the possibility of attending the best universities because the IB is recognised worldwide, and those who obtain the diploma are treated with respect.

— IB alumni

It was very liberating to be able to choose between six subjects that allowed me to narrow down my preferences and focus only on what I am interested in.

— IB alumni

It gives me a good competitive advantage. As a globally recognised curriculum, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme opens up many avenues and opportunities for me in the future.

— IB alumni

Through a broad and holistic curriculum, the IBDP gives me a huge advantage by providing me with a solid foundation of comprehensive subject knowledge.

— IB alumni

The IBDP has made me a much more balanced student. Academic tasks are a priority, but I don't forget to find time for my hobbies and to unwind.

— IB alumni

Because of the practical approach of the IBDP, I'm able to set realistic academic goals and I'm also more creative in deciding the best way to tackle a problem.

— IB alumni

I'm more involved in global issues such as plastic pollution and international relations, as I deepen my understanding of foreign cultures by expanding my knowledge across the six topics I chose.

— IB alumni

I'd highly recommend studying the IB Diploma as it prepares you well for university and the real world. You learn about a wide range of subjects and acquire vital skills such as how to work efficiently and independently.

— IB alumni

Want to take the right steps towards having a promising future? Fill out the form below, and we'll be more than happy to answer any doubts you may have about the IB Programme.

We look forward to hearing from you!

colegio IB
IBO ha autorizado a King’s College, The British School of Madrid como un Centro de IB:

You can read the full report on the authorisation here.

For more information about the IB Programme, please visit the official website: http://www.ibo.org