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Difference between IBCP and IBDP

Both IBDP and IBCP are high school programmes offered by International baccalaureate schools in Bangalore and elsewhere to learners in the age group of 16 to 19 years. The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) has designed the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) as a pre-university course for college aspirants where they choose subjects that are relevant to the college programme to which they want to apply and learn essential skills for college students. The IB Career-related Programme (IBCP) takes a practical approach and, along with some IBDP subjects the students will take vocational courses and learn practical skills for getting entry-level jobs in their field or pursuing a college education.

Difference Between IBDP and IBCP

Bangalore's best IB schools such as Knowledgeum Academy offer the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) as it gives the school the flexibility to design the curriculum to meet their students’ goals. Most learners who take IBDP are on a college track and with IBDP they concentrate on achieving that goal. IBCP is for learners who may not have a strong academic inclination and wish to pursue a programme that takes a practical approach in their field of interest. It gives them the option to go to college or start working after high school.

Number of subjects a student takes 6 DP subjects (at least 3 HL subjects) 2-4 DP subjects (HL or SL) + skill-based courses
Core Component Extended Essay Reflective Project
Programme Length 2 years 1-2 years programme
Assessments Internal and External assessments The school assesses the components.
Programme focus Academic pathway for college programmes Vocation-based programme leading to academic or vocational career

Course Requirements

IBDP learners will take -
  • 6 subjects from the 6 subject groups (At least 3 subjects at Higher Level and the remaining at Standard Level)
  • DP core -
    • Extended Essay
    • Theory of Knowledge
    • Creativity, Activity, and Service
IBCP learners will take -
  • Academic Courses - at least 2 IBDP subjects at HL or SL
  • Career-related courses - one career-focused course in fields such as health sciences, business, information technology, hospitality, or engineering. The course a student takes will depend on whether it is offered in IB curriculum schools in Bangalore like Knowledgeum Academy, where they will apply.
  • Personal and Professional Skills - learners are taught essential skills for communication, time management, social responsibility, and civic engagement.
  • Service learning - learners will perform career service and engage in practical work in the field in which they are taking vocational training.
  • Reflective project - learners conduct independent research in the field to apply their knowledge in real-life contexts.

IBDP or IBCP - the better fit for college

The IBDP and IBCP are both accepted by colleges worldwide (you will have to check individual colleges to see if they accept the course). Both courses are challenging and immersive as they test the academic rigour and practical application of the student. Through both courses, learners cultivate important skills for time management, critical thinking, international-mindedness, interdisciplinary understanding of subjects, and effective communication. Every student is unique and they prefer to take their approach to learning a subject. If you wish to pursue a course which is academic and leads to a doctorate in subjects such as pure sciences or social studies, then IBDP will be a better fit. However, if you are someone who wants to take up a trade or a vocation such as photography, engineering, entrepreneurship, or hotel management, then IBCP will give you more practical experience. Most IB schools in Bangalore like Knowledgeum Academy offer the IBDP as it gives them greater flexibility to prepare a goal-oriented course for college aspirants. However, both IBDP and IBCP alumni have a strong record of gaining acceptance to highly reputed college programmes worldwide.

IBCP is a new course when compared to IBDP, however, it is fast gaining acceptance among international universities because of its comprehensive structure. So, if you want to go to college after the IBCP, then it is possible. A learner must consider where their strengths and interests lie and choose the programme that fits their future goals

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