ACS Hillingdon International School

Page in this Section

The IB Diploma Programme continues to set the global standard in High School education.

Reassuringly independent and rigorous, the IBDP is a premium entrance qualification to universities around the world, recognised for its academic integrity, range, and the high level of study skills each student must develop to succeed. 

ACS students and teachers discuss the IB Diploma advantage

Programme requirements and model

The IBDP has six groups of subjects
  • Studies in Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Experimental Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts/Electives

Students study six courses – usually three at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL). Students must choose one subject from each of groups 1 to 5 – ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, sciences and mathematics.

The sixth subject may be an arts subject chosen from group 6, or the student may choose another subject from groups 1 to 4.

Knowledge depth is ensured by requiring three or four subjects at Higher Level.


University Recognition

Since 2002, ACS Hillingdon graduates have won places at a wide range of universities and colleges around the world. Every university in the UK now accepts the IB Diploma, and our students regularly enter top-tier institutions including Imperial, UCL, LSE, as well as many within the Russell Group. In the US and Canada, the IBDP and Course Certificates (Higher Level) are increasingly recognised, with many universities conferring credit or advanced placement of up to one year for them.

IB Diploma Grades and Assessment

Each examined subject is graded on a scale of 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum). The award of the IB Diploma requires a minimum total score of 24, based on the principle that a grade 4 represents a passing level in each of the six subjects. Excellent performance in the six subjects results in a grade 7 for each, or a total score of 42 points. Students can earn an additional 3 points for superior work on the Extended Essay and Theory Of Knowledge. 

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

This course is focused on developing interdisciplinary and critical-thinking skills. TOK explores the interdisciplinary nature among subject disciplines and encourages critical reflection and analysis.

Extended Essay

  • Students must select, research, and write an in-depth, independent research work of 4000 words in one of their six subjects areas. The Extended Essay requirement offers IB Diploma candidates the opportunity to become familiar with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.

In addition

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

  • All IB Diploma students get involved in Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) work. CAS is a fundamental part of the Diploma experience (and one that sets it apart), helping students to grasp the importance of extracurricular activities as an integral part of life, and as a healthy counterbalance to the world of pure scholarship and study. These initiatives and activities are a key part of our student’s education, and include:
    • local and global community outreach projects
    • Model United Nations
    • Charity drives
    • Model United Nations
    • Sports
    • And many, many more.

IB courses at ACS Hillingdon

Studies in Language and Literature
Language Acquisition
English A Literature (SL/HL)
English A Language/Literature (SL/HL)
Japanese A Literature (SL/HL)

Other Group 1 native / mother tongue or self-taught languages are sometimes available on request, depending on availability of Tutors.

French B (SL/HL)
Spanish B / Ab Initio (SL/HL)
English B (SL/HL)
Italian ab initio (SL)
Spanish ab initio (SL)


Individuals and Societies

History (SL/HL)
Economics (SL/HL)
Psychology (SL/HL)
Business & Management (SL/HL)      

Biology (SL/HL)
Physics (SL/HL)
Chemistry (SL/HL)
Environmental Systems and Societies (SL)


The Arts

Mathematics (SL/HL)
Mathematics Studies (SL)


Visual Arts (SL/HL)
Film (SL/HL)

Or a second Science/Individuals in Society

To earn an IB Diploma, students are required to study six subjects (at least three at Higher Level, and three at Standard Level)

HL = Higher Level

SL = Standard Level

Note: The school reserves the right to add or delete courses according to student demand and staff availability.

Page in this Section

Main Menu