search menu
School Curricula Guides


The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a two-year educational programme primarily aimed at students aged 16–19.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is an assessed programme for students aged 16 to 19. It is respected by leading universities across the globe.

Through the DP, schools are able to develop students who:

  • have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
  • flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • study at least two languages
  • excel in traditional academic subjects
  • explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course.

The IB makes the claim that:

"DP students are better able than their peers to cope with demanding workloads, manage their time and meet the expectations placed on them, according to one study".

No evidence is presented in this regard - at least on the IB web site or that we could find, however there is no doubt with more subjects studied over a shorter period of time than its peer, the A' Level, IB students do need to plan their time very, very effectively.

The DP is preceded by the IB’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP).

"The three programmes are philosophically aligned, each centred on developing attributes of the IB learner profile. The programmes are consistent in their pedagogical approach."

Despite this many schools follow the IB at Diploma level do not follow the IB MYP - but instead opt for GCSE.

There are a number of reasons for this. IB requires strong teachers - it is almost entirely dependant on what your school and teachers put into it compared to the GCSE which is considerably more perscriptive in terms of syllabus and methodologies of delivery. Most importantly however there is no paper-based assesment - the MYP does not end in a recognized qualification, while GCSE does. 

In fact for many UAE and some US universities GCSE is sufficient for entrance, while the IB MYP would not be. 

At least partially because of this many UAE schools opt for the GCSE up to 16 and then the IBDP from post 16 education.

For more information on IB, and specifically IB vs A' Level follow these links.

IB versus the Primary Years Programme
2016's Best IB Diploma Schools
IB and A' Levels - the difference is the student
A' Level vs IB - why/when to choose a British based education?
A Level vs IB - why choose IB?
A' Level or IB - Why a combined curriculum works best
The Best IB Diploma Schools in Abu Dhabi



34 UAE Schools offering IB DP

School name Emirate Community
Abu Dhabi International School Mohammed Bin Zayed City
Al Bateen Academy Al Manaseer
Al Mamoura Academy Abu Dhabi Al Nahyan
American Community School Abu Dhabi Khalidiya
American International School Abu Dhabi Al Reehan
Amity International Al Bahya
Australian International School Muweileh
Australian School of Abu Dhabi Shakhbout City
British International School Abu Dhabi Shakhbout City
Dar Al Marefa Mirdif
Deira International School Festival City
Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills
Dwight School Dubai Jumeirah Golf Estates
Emirates International School Jumeirah Umm Suqeim
Emirates International School Meadows The Meadows
GEMS American Academy Khalifa City A
GEMS International School Al Khail Al Khail
GEMS Modern Academy Nad al Sheba
GEMS Wellington Academy, Dubai Silicon Oasis Dubai Silicon Oasis
GEMS World Academy Dubai Al Barsha
Greenfield Community School Dubai Investments Park
Jumeirah Baccalaureate School Jumeirah
Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches Arabian Ranches
Nord Anglia International School Dubai Al Barsha
North London Collegiate School Dubai Sobha Hartland
Raffles World Academy Umm Suqeim
Raha International School, Abu Dhabi Khalifa City A
Repton School Abu Dhabi Al Reem Island
Repton School Dubai Nad al Sheba
Swiss International Scientific School Dubai Dubai Healthcare City Phase 2
Taaleem Jumeirah 1
Towheed Iranian Boys School Al Quoz
Universal American School Festival City
Uptown School Mirdif