The International Baccalaureate is an internationally recognized matriculation examination which qualifies candidates for admission to universities and colleges all over the world. The programme consists of a two-year course (grades 11-12) preceded by a preparatory year (grade 10). The IB Diploma Programme is demanding and it differs in many respects from the Finnish national curriculum. Some of the remarkable differences are that students study the same 6 subjects for the 2 years of the Diploma Programme, all subjects are examined at the end of the 2 years, and each subject involves an internal assessment component (e.g. oral assessment in languages and lab reports in the sciences). The examinations mentioned above take place in May on the same days in every country in the northern hemisphere. The unity of standards is ensured by identical exam papers and assessment.

The IB Diploma Programme consists of six subject groups and the students choose one subject from each of the groups (if a subject isn’t chosen in the arts, then a second subject is chosen from another group). Three of the subjects must be studied at higher level (HL) and three at standard level (SL). The subjects offered at Mattlidens gymnasium are as follows:

Studies in language and literature. English/Finnish/Swedish A: literature (HL/SL), English A: Language and Literature (HL/SL)

Language acquisition. Finnish B (HL/SL), French B, Spanish B, Swedish B (SL)

Individuals and societies. History, Economics, Global Politics (HL/SL)

Sciences. Biology, Chemistry, Physics (HL/SL)

Mathematics. Last examinations in May 2020: Mathematics (HL/SL). First examinations in 2021: Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches OR Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation (HL/SL)

The Arts. Visual Arts, Music (SL)

Due to factors such as the size of groups and scheduling, it is impossible to carry out all desired combinations of subjects and levels. For a group to be formed or a higher level subject to be taught there needs to be a sufficient number of students interested in studying the particular subject and level. We cannot guarantee that all languages and all HL subjects will be taught every year.

Alongside the diploma subjects, each student must also successfully complete the IB core in order to qualify for the IB diploma. The core elements are:

CAS (Creativity, Action, Service): Students participate in and organize activities linked to creativity (e.g. music and art), action (e.g. sports), and service (e.g. volunteer work). Upon the completion of an activity, students must reflect upon the experience.

EE (Extended Essay): Each student writes a 4000 word essay in a subject and on a topic of their own choice. They are supervised by a teacher in that subject.

TOK (Theory of Knowledge): A course in critical thinking where students are encouraged to question the nature of knowledge. Assessment involves a presentation and an essay on a prescribed title.

For more information on subjects, or any other questions concerning the IB Diploma Programme at Mattlidens Gymnasium, please contact:

DP Coordinator Ms. Anna Martikainen


mobile +358 43 827 1414