IB DP Subject Choices for the Future part.2
This is the second blog post in a series looking at how the IB curriculum can be tailored to support routes into specific careers. Click here to read the previous post of the series.
Law courses at international universities traditionally require a high quality of analytical skills, along with extended reading and writing. For these reasons, students are highly encouraged to study both English A and history, both at Higher Level. The remaining four subjects should consist of those from which the student is most likely to score the highest points. This is because entry to law degrees can be very competitive so a high points score is required to get into the more prestigious universities. For example, a law degree at the University of Oxford requires a minimum entry of 38 IB points, with at least level 6 in each of the three HL subjects. Less prestigious universities will accept 28 points, but will still require a very good command of the English language.
Unsurprisingly a course in biochemical engineering requires a very solid foundation of science and maths. Therefore students who want to follow this path should study 2 sciences and maths (with at least 2 of these at a higher level). The specific science balance is dependent upon the university, however, chemistry is nearly always preferred, with either physics or biology alongside it. There are very few university courses that require all three sciences to have been studied. In fact, IB discourages this route as it does not provide a very balanced curriculum, which is one of the cornerstones of the IB philosophy. However, IB may allow this route to be followed upon a special application, containing a letter from the university in question stating that they do require all 3 sciences.
Linguistics is the study of language and can lead to a variety of language-focused careers, including translator, lexicographer, journalist, higher education professor or teacher, among many others.
Most international universities offer courses in linguistics, and their entry requirements will all be different. However, generally speaking, students will need to prove a good language base, therefore they will need to perform well in both IB language courses. A popular subject to supplement the languages is history, with its strong emphasis on essay writing and analytical skills.
As with all university courses, the specific entry requirements will depend on the country and the university itself. The University of Cambridge, for example, requires 40-42 for its linguistics course, with 776 in the three higher level subjects. However, a lower-tier university, such as the University of Manchester, only requires 34 points with 655 in the higher level subjects.
Whichever university and career path students feel they would like to follow, it is very important that they do research early about the entry requirements. Choosing the correct subjects at the correct levels from the beginning of the IB Diploma is one way to maximise the effectiveness of the programme.
*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org