IB Diploma

Are you interested in studying for the IB Diploma at Hansa-Gymnasium? Find out more here….

What is the IB “Profileˮ?

In year 11, all our students choose a profileˮ, i.e. a combination of subjects that determines the focus of their exams. The International Baccalaureate profile at Hansa-Gymnasium is a bilingual programme that prepares students both for the German Abitur exams and the IB Diploma.

The IB Diploma is an internationally recognised school-leaving exam that facilitates access to international universities, in particular in Anglophone countries.

What subjects can I study?

You can take six subjects which are taught in English (English, Biology, Geography, Maths, Theatre and Theory of Knowledge). Two subjects – German and P.E. – are offered in German. You may also choose French or Spanish as an optional subject. We teach Biology, English and German at higher level and the other subjects at standard level.

Please note: You will have to sit both the Abitur exams and the IB exams. It is not possible to take exams in the IB Diploma only.

You can find an overview of the syllabus of some of our subjects in our IB Handbook.

What are the advantages?

The IB programme has an established reputation for preparing candidates thoroughly for university study. This is particularly the case in the so-called “IB core elements”: the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) programme.

If you join the programme, you will write a 4000-word essay on a subject of your choice. During the process you will learn how to do research, how to source appropriate literature, how to use university libraries, how to write an academic piece of work and put together a bibliography.

You will also attend a Theory of Knowledge class in which you reflect on the nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know.

Additionally, the CAS programme supports students’ personal development and maturity. You will complete projects that help you to acquire intercultural and communicative skills and respect for others. For many students, this is an enjoyable and valuable part of the programme because it provides opprotunities to discover new interests. Some students learn a new language or try out a new sport, some work with disadvantaged children or with people with disabilities or take part in an environmental project.

Besides receiving rigorous training in academic research and study, you will acquire a high level of English, which is a definite advantage in an increasingly globalised labour market.

As many of our graduates can attest, the IB Diploma with its international focus and intellectual challenges, is particularly helpful when applying to university abroad, as many universities view it as excellent preparation for successful higher education. UCAS, the British organisation for the distribution of university places, rates the IB Diploma higher than other school-leaving qualifications. Some universities consider IB graduates for tuition grants or accept our graduates because they have a dual qualification (Abitur + IDP).

How do I apply for a place on the programme?

You will benefit personally from the IB Diploma Profile, but you will find the programme challenging. You need to be able to manage your time effectively, study independently and be prepared to commit to a considerably greater workload than other students. Our application and selection process reflects these requirements.

You will need to hand in a full application (which includes the application form, reports and a letter of reference), pass an English language test and attend an interview. The interview will be conducted both in English and German. We will let you know if we can offer you a place before the March holidays.

It is advisable to read the IB Handbook and make an appointment with Ms Schubert before applying to the programme. All the teachers who are involved in the programme are also happy to give information and advice.

Please note that the Abitur is our primary qualification. All students need to be fluent in German, both in speaking and writing (at least C1 level) to be accepted into the programme.

If you graduated from middle school outside of Germany, you will need to contact the Schulinformationszentrum, which can help with accreditation (this, of course, doesn’t apply to German students who only spent a year abroad). You can find the link in the list below.

Do I have to pay fees?

Most of the costs connected to the IB Diploma programme are paid by the local Hamburg school authority and by our school association (Schulverein). Participation in the IB Profile at Hansa-Gymnasium is free; our students only have to pay the exam fee (currently around 530 Euro). You can apply for financial support or organise sponsors.

Where can I find out about more the syllabus?

In the Hansa IB profile, we combine the Hamburg state curriculum and the IB curriculum. Information can be found in our IB Handbook and on this website.

Where can I find further information?

You can download our IB handbook here or contact Carsten Schenk

Carsten Schenk
IB Coordinator, ib(at)hansa-schule.net

Read about a former student’s experience here.

General information about the IB Diploma programme can be found on the IBO website http://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/what-is-the-dp/

If you would like to learn more about the requirements of the Hamburg Abitur, please visit the website of the Schulinformationszentrum which advises international students on educational opportunities in Hamburg and helps with accreditation. http://www.hamburg.de/bsb/siz

More information on university recognition of the IB Diploma can be found here: http://www.ibo.org/university-admission/recognition-of-the-ib-diploma-by-countries-and-universities/

Information for parents: http://www.ibo.org/information-for-parents/