International Baccalaureate

Bedford offers the globally recognised and highly regarded International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma as an alternative to A-Levels. By requiring the study of six subjects, the IB allows students to achieve depth of knowledge within their specialist areas while preserving breadth; it also recognises the importance of continuing, at some level, the study of the student’s mother tongue, a foreign language, mathematics and science up to the end of formal secondary education.

In addition to this, all IB students follow a course in Theory of Knowledge, write an extended essay on a topic that holds particular interest for them and follow an extra-curricular programme of Creativity, Action and Service. All of these additional components are hugely beneficial for our boys when applying for places at university.

Bedford School has recorded outstanding results in each of the eleven years in which it has presented candidates for the IB Diploma examinations. We believe that it gives our students an edge as they seek a place on particularly competitive university courses, and that it is an asset to those who recognise that their future career may include an international dimension.

The subjects we offer within the Diploma programme are shown below; if you require further information, please contact the Director of IB, Mrs Emma Murray, on tel. +44 (0)1234 362200, or email her at You are more than welcome to visit us and see the Diploma Programme in action.

Group 1 - Language A

English Literature HL SL
English Language & Literature HL SL

Group 2 - Second Language

German A HL SL
Mandarin Chinese B   SL
French B HL SL
German B HL SL
Spanish B HL SL
Latin HL SL
Mandarin Chinese
N.B. Language options are subject to demand, and some options may not be possible depending on numbers choosing each option.

Group 3 - Individuals and Societies

Economics HL  SL 
Geography HL SL
History HL SL
Philosophy HL SL

Group 4 - Experimental Sciences

Biology HL SL
Chemistry HL SL
Physics HL SL
Design Technology HL SL

Group 5 - Mathematics 

Mathematics HL SL
Mathematical Studies   SL
Mathematical Studies in one year   SL

Group 6 - The Arts / Elective 

Music** HL SL
Theatre Arts HL SL
Visual Arts HL SL
Chemistry (elective) HL SL
Economics (elective) HL SL

For full curriculum information on each subject please refer to our IB Courses Guide.

*Ab initio - means 'from the start', no prior knowledge of the language required

**Performance (solo or group) option

Please visit the Director of IB at the school to discuss your particular subject choices.

Whilst the school endeavours to meet the requests of all boys, this is subject to timetabling feasibility and sufficient numbers opting for subjects. We reserve the right to remove subjects subsequently from options blocks, and may request boys to alter their options subsequently too.


In preparation for the IB Diploma we offer a limited number of places in Year 11 for Pre-IB.  Please refer to the booklet below for further details.

Pre-IB Advance Provision