​​​​​Multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) consists of a multi-disciplinary curriculum centred around​ the IBDP core, and underpinned by the ethos of international-mindedness and the IB learner profile. The design of each subject and the overall curriculum structure allow for emergence of an inter-disciplinary education, an increasingly important facet of 21st Century skills (PDF, 13MB).

All candidates study 6 subjects. IBDP subjects are grouped across the disciplines of Language A (English), Foreign language, Individuals and societies (Humanities), Sciences, Mathematics and The Arts.

Students choose a subject from each group, the only exception being The Arts. If a candidate does not wish to study a subject from The Arts they may choose a second subject from Sciences or Individuals and Societies. Alternatively, students may choose 2 Arts subjects but they must choose Environmental Systems and Society as their Sciences and Humanities subject, since it meets the requirements of both.

The subjects typically offered at MCSHS are outlined below with links to example unit plans. Students undertake a preliminary subject selection for the Year 10 Preparatory Program with the final subject availabilities dependent on student numbers and interest. Once a year 11 program has begun, it will continue through to completion in year 12.

Group 1: Studies in Literature

Group 2: Language Acquisition

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

Group 4: Natural Sciences

Group 5: Mathematics

Group 6: The Arts (not compulsory)
If not wanting to do a subject this from list, circle an extra subject from Group 3 or 4.

Descriptions of each subject on offer can be found within the MCSHS IB handbook (PDF, 1MB).

Balancing breadth with depth: Higher-level subject specialisation

Within the 6 subjects, students are required to choose 3 subjects at higher level (HL) and 3 at standard level (SL). This allows students to specialize and develop deeper competency in areas of greater strength and/or interest.

HL and SL courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding, and skills at higher level. Students will be asked to confirm their selections for HL and SL towards the end of year 11 depending on the subject.

Typically, for the vast majority of students at MCSHS, one of the SL subjects must be the Foreign Language choice: Japanese Ab Initio or Spanish Ab Initio. For students with an existing level of skill in another language, there may be the possibility of studying this language at HL within the IBDP. Please see or email the IB coordinator for further inquiries.

Additionally, Environmental Systems and Society (ESS) is only currently offered at Standard Level. The HL ESS course will be introduced from 2024.

Last reviewed 29 July 2021
Last updated 29 July 2021