Diploma Programme

The Diploma Programme at the International School of Helsingborg (ISH) is designed not only to provide an excellent foundation for attending university either in Sweden or abroad but also to develop a mindset that can help change the world.

As an ISH student, you’ll receive an education using the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme framework . Recognised and respected by leading academic institutions around the globe, attaining an IB diploma increases educational opportunities, instils strong critical thinking skills, and features a more customised learning experience. That’s all alongside ISH’s unique approach to encouraging your own personal growth and forming a worldview focused on compassion and responsibility.

We Model Action to Inspire Action

At ISH, we consciously demonstrate and explore ways to act on our values. Every day, our students ask themselves: “How can I have a positive impact on my local community, my country, and the world?” “How do you approach the challenges we face as a global society intelligently?” “How does someone improve their own life as well as the lives of others?” and more.

If these are the types of questions you find yourself wondering about, the ISH Diploma Programme can show you how to find your own answers for them.

How the IB Diploma Programme is implemented at ISH

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There are approximately 140 students enrolled in the ISH Diploma Programme throughout the academic year. About half have usually advanced from ISH’s Middle Years Programme (MYP), while the rest have completed up to grade 9 of Sweden’s school system or its equivalent level of education in another country. Depending on your proficiency in English, you can be invited to enter as a fifth-year MYP (MYP5) student or as a first-year Diploma Programme (DP1) student. But no matter at what level you join our programme, it’s all part of the same secondary school (gymnasium).

Michael McAneney

Diploma Programme Principal

+46 (0) 42 10 67 40

Gymnasie curriculum – Middle Years Programme 5 (Year 1)

MYP5 is a one-year preparatory programme that lays the groundwork for success in IB’s Diploma Programme curriculum. It’s essential for helping students from Swedish or other foreign-language-based school systems improve their proficiency in English while studying a broad range of subjects. The lessons emphasise learning the critical terminology for each subject. What matters most in this programme will be your eagerness to practise and refine your English language skills, both in writing and speaking. Many MYP5 and Diploma Programme students also continue to study Swedish, sometimes even in combination with a third language, like French or Spanish.

In the spring term, students choose six subjects to study for the IB –Diploma Programme.

Gymnasie curriculum – Diploma Programme 1 and 2 (Year 2–3)

This two-year programme is an academically challenging yet balanced approach to qualifying for an IB diploma. Students choose the subjects they study from within six subject groups as well as the level of study for each one (either standard level or higher level). In addition, you’re required to complete coursework for the three core components of the IB Diploma Programme: Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, and participation in CAS (Creativity, Action, Service). These core components are central to the philosophy of the IB curriculum and help you channel your passion into academic and personal growth.

Subject Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
English A Literature
English A Language and Literature
Swedish A Language and Literature
Self-Taught A Literature (standard level only)

Subject Group 2: Language Acquisition
English B
French B
Spanish B
Spanish ab-initio
Swedish B

Subject Group 3: Individuals and Societies

Subject Group 4: Sciences

Subject Group 5: Mathematics
Analysis and Approaches
Applications and Interpretation

Subject Group 6: The Arts
Higher Level and Standard Level: Visual Arts.

Interdisciplinary Subjects
Environmental Systems and Societies – Standard Level only (Groups 3 and 4)

A degree in what you want to study

At ISH, we believe learning has no boundaries. That applies to our global focus and the underlying international essence of our school community, but also the freedom afforded to our students in choosing what they study, especially in our Diploma Programme. The IB framework doesn’t require you to select a single academic field for your degree, like natural sciences or humanities. Rather, you choose the subjects you’re interested in or need to attend your preferred university.

Each student must select three subjects for standard level of study (meaning 150 teaching hours per subject throughout the programme) and three subjects for higher level of study (240 teaching hours per subject) from the six groups listed below. You also have to choose one subject from each subject group.

Please note: Visual Arts in Subject Group 6 is an elective at ISH, so students who don’t want to take Visual Arts can choose their sixth subject from Subject Groups 1, 2, 3, or 4. Also, if you want to attend university in Sweden, you should select Swedish A in Subject Group 1 to qualify for admission. However, you can earn the necessary Swedish language qualifications through Sweden’s adult education system (Komvux).

Assessment and grading for your IB diploma

At the completion of your second and final year in ISH’s Diploma Programme, you’ll receive a grading assessment of 1–7 points for each of the subjects you choose to study. You’ll also receive 1 point for each of the three completed core components, which – when added to the maximum possible subject assessment grade of 7 points per six subjects – means the highest possible grade is 45 points. A total of 24 points, including the 3 points for completing the IB core components, is the minimum grading score needed to qualify for an IB d iploma.

Continuing on to university

Students enrol in the ISH’s Diploma Programme because they plan to attend university. But helping you attain that goal involves more than just providing a curriculum. We also give guidance on planning your future education and applying to universities, with a focus on international college placement. As a result, many of our graduates have continued on at universities in Sweden and around the world.

You can find more information on the International Baccalaureate Organisation’s website, including an up-to-date list of countries and universities that recognise the IB diploma. The official website for all university admissions in Sweden also has a list of basic eligibility requirements for IB diploma students applying to Swedish universities.

Alumni of ISH’s Diploma Programme have gone on to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at:  

  • Lund University in Southern Sweden
  • The Stockholm School of Economics
  • Cambridge University in the United Kingdom
  • Kings College in London
  • The University of Edinburgh in Scotland
  • Trinity College in Dublin
  • The University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands
  • Harvard University in the United States
  • And many more!

Applying to the Diploma Programme at the International School of Helsingborg

ISH’s Diploma Programme is open to all students who have completed up to grade 9 of Sweden’s school system or an equivalent level of education, including an IB Middle Years Programme. You can apply just as you would for any other secondary school or gymnasium programme in the Swedish educational system.

To be considered for admission to the programme, applicants must:

  • submit their most recent school transcripts,
  • take an entrance exam to demonstrate their proficiency in mathematics and English,
  • and sit down for an interview with ISH representatives.