IB Diploma Programme in Madrid

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is considered a gold standard qualification, recognised by the leading universities globally. Designed by the IB Organisation, the IB Diploma is a broad, rigorous and balanced educational programme taught over two years that fosters the holistic development of students between the ages of 16 and 18 years. The IBDP provides students with a competitive advantage, allowing them to accomplish the most ambitious goals in higher education and their future careers. 

At our IB School in Madrid, students receive personalised tuition from exceptional educators, some of whom teach at the university level, to achieve the best learning outcomes and attain a Bilingual Diploma at the end of the programme. The IB Diploma syllabus strongly complements our school's educational project and provides excellent preparation for success in university and adult life. The outstanding results achieved in final IBDP examinations at our school, consistently above the world average, make our programme one of the most complete and successful in Spain in the last decade. 

Due to our unparalleled provision, our IB School in El Soto de La Moraleja, Madrid is almost always full. We recommend that parents apply at least a year in advance to secure a place for their child.

Benefits of Studying the IBDP

More than simply a qualification, the IB Diploma provides a distinctive educational experience. It allows pupils to study a wide range of subjects during their final two years at school while giving them the freedom to choose which subjects they wish to pursue in greater depth in preparation for university study. Students receive a comprehensive and balanced education, graduating with a breadth of skills and a depth of understanding in their chosen subjects. 

DP students are prepared for the demanding workloads of university programmes and are taught how to manage their time efficiently, a valuable skill for the future. 

Colegio San Patricio’s personalised approach to education enables students to fully benefit from the rigorous demands of the IBDP throughout these two years. IB Diploma pupils develop an international mindset and a lifelong love of learning, as well as critical thinking and creativity skills.

Best IBDP Education

A Robust Foundation to Stand Out on a Global Scale

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International Baccalaureate curriculum

A Rigorous & Versatile Curriculum for Well-Rounded Growth

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IB School for university preparation

Best University Preparation & Future-Proof Skills

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Why Choose CSP Madrid to Study the IB?


IBDP Schools with best results

Top Preparation to Reach the Best Results

Our students consistently achieve outstanding results in IB examinations, having surpassed the world average for the past decade. They are fully supported throughout this holistic journey by our expert teachers, ensuring many can score above 40 points, and some can attain the maximum score (45 points), a rare feat accomplished by less than 1% of students worldwide. 

Our IB Maths grades always outperform the global average and most students receive bilingual diplomas, showcasing academic excellence in two different languages. These results, alongside an excellent university and careers counselling programme guiding each student with university applications, including visits and masterclasses from the best universities, ensure that 90% of our graduates are accepted into their first choice of university in Spain and abroad.

The Most Wide-Ranging IB Educational Offer in Madrid

San Patricio El Soto offers the widest IB subject options (over 16 subjects) in the region of Madrid to ensure students can choose the courses that best fit their profile and aspirations, building a unique learning pathway. Another advantage of studying the IB at our school is that every two years, the Harvard Spain Club selects one student to receive the Harvard Book Prize, a recognition that enables students to participate in a specialised counselling programme, including guidance in the application process for Ivy League institutions in the USA.

Additionally, IBDP students at CSP Madrid benefit from exceptional extracurricular experiences that cultivate their talents and skills even beyond IB expectations, with some students becoming professional athletes and artists.

IB Educational Programme

IBDP Programme Curriculum

Our IB Diploma Programme at CSP Madrid offers an expansive and diverse curriculum that empowers students to tailor their educational journey according to their strengths and interests, preparing them for success at university and in their professional lives. 

Prior to the IBDP, students at CSP Madrid El Soto pursue the Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) combined with the Spanish curriculum, which will offer outstanding preparation to excel at the Diploma qualification. 

Our IBDP pupils benefit from the widest range of subject options at our school, and every student has to choose 6 academic subjects, 3 at the Standard Level (SL) and 3 at the Higher Level (HL). Subjects can be taken and assessed in English, French or Spanish. 

In addition to the six subject options, the IBDP curriculum is further enhanced by the three core components of the programme: CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service), TOK (Theory of Knowledge) and the Extended Essay, all of which include specific lessons and periods throughout the week. These are intended to broaden students' educational experience and encourage them to put their knowledge and understanding into practice.

Finally, at the DP level, students maintain P.E. and Sports lessons that enrich their CAS component.

IBDP Subjects

Students of the IB Diploma Programme study six optional subjects in addition to the three core components. They must choose one subject from each group from 1 to 5, to ensure a broad programme of study inclusive of languages, social sciences, and STEAM subjects. The sixth subject may be one of Group 6 (Arts) or of any of the other groups. Students must attend three or four Higher Level subjects (with 240 recommended teaching hours) and the remaining course time on Standard Level subjects (150 recommended teaching hours). This wide range of subject offerings allows students to create unique pathways that fit their interests and harness their unique potential, ensuring they are well-prepared for the challenges of the university course of their choice. Our programme goes beyond offering fixed subject packages, providing a personalised education that takes the best out of each student.

The subjects can be attended - and assessed - in English, French or Spanish.

Subject Options

Courses like Spanish A or Language and Literature develop deep communication and thinking skills with a modern, reflective approach to language and literary texts​​.

This group enhances international-mindedness through the study of languages, cultures, and global issues, fostering communication skills in various contexts and appreciating diverse perspectives​​. Students can choose English B, French B and German for beginners.

At San Patricio, we offer History, Business Management (Spanish and English), Economics (English) and Global Politics. These subjects encourage a systematic and critical study of human behaviour, social and economic environments, and the development of social and cultural institutions​​, providing a strong foundation of general knowledge that will be key for any higher education course and students' professional careers.

Subjects like Biology, Physics or Chemistry, available at both standard and higher levels, integrate scientific theory and practical studies, emphasising critical analysis and empirical understanding through lab work​​. Alongside these main subjects, we also offer Computer Science, Environmental Systems, Societies and Sports, Health and Exercise Sciences.

We offer all four options: Maths - Analysis and Approaches, and Maths - Applications and Interpretation, both at SL and HL. Focused on conceptual understanding, our mathematics courses develop critical thinking skills, encouraging students to apply mathematical concepts and logic to solve real-world problems​​.

Visual Arts and Film Studies. The subjects offered in this group foster a lifelong interest in the arts, encouraging informed, reflective, and critical work. Students explore artistic diversity, express ideas, and develop technical skills for creative expression​​ which can be applied across different art forms. This prepares learners to pursue advanced artistic studies at the university level and embark on a rewarding career in the arts.

Requirements to Study the IBDP in El Soto

At Colegio San Patricio Madrid in El Soto, there are currently no specific requirements to enter the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) beyond those needed to access the National Baccalaureate.

Given that the IBDP is a demanding programme, students must have a solid academic foundation to pursue it. They should have completed the secondary level, possess a good level of English, and demonstrate individual and teamwork skills. In addition, they must have the ability to work hard, and an open mind to fully benefit from studying within this international system. Nevertheless, students will always receive the support of their teachers and programme coordinators to help them achieve their goals.

Pupils who study the IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP), which is also offered at our school, will be even better positioned and prepared to succeed in the IBDP.

For more information about the IBDP or IB MYP entry requirements and curriculum, please contact us. Our admissions team can give you more details about our entrance exams and interviews.

IB Diploma Grades & Assessment

At the end of the programme, students take written exams marked by external IB examiners. Students are also subject to internal assessments delivered by teachers and later reviewed by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.

The subjects are graded ranging from 1 (lowest grade) to 7 (highest grade). The results of the Theory of Knowledge course element and the Extended Essay are combined, adding up to three additional points to the diploma’s total score.

The diploma is awarded to students who earn at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the programme and satisfactory completion of the requirements in CAS. The highest total score that may be awarded is 45.

The assessment is based on criteria, meaning student performance is measured against the established criteria that outline the specific learning aims for each subject. Statistically, the range of scores obtained by students has remained stable, and universities value the rigour and consistency of the Diploma Programme assessments.

Subjects at IB Diploma School nearby

Core Elements

Extended Essay 

The EE requires students to conduct independent research through an in-depth study of a topic related to one of the subjects they study.

Theory of Knowledge   

The TOK course invites students to reflect on the nature of knowledge through a critical analysis of different forms of knowledge (perception, emotion, language, and reason) and types of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical, and historical). 

Creativity, Activity, and Service   

In the CAS module, students are actively involved in projects outside the classroom and learn from this experience. They can then participate in activities that combine these three components or activities specific to each of them.  

Learn More About the IB Diploma

The IB Learner Profile 

Students will understand and become familiar with the IB learning community profile throughout the programme. The ten attributes that comprise it inspire and motivate the work of teachers, students, and the entire IB community at our school, providing them with a statement of the IB's goals and values and a definition of what is meant by an "international mindset". Members of the IB learning community strive to be inquiring thinkers, communicators, bold, informed and educated, honest, open-minded, supportive, balanced, and reflective, all of which align with our School's goals since its foundation.

Benefits of IB Diploma Programme

How is an IB Diploma Useful, and How Does it Compare to the Spanish Curriculum?

The International Baccalaureate programmes are globally recognised and respected, with the IB Diploma certificate opening doors to the best universities, many of which have specific protocols and admission processes for students with an IBDP qualification.

The benefits of choosing the IBDP over the Spanish national curriculum for the final years of high school include: 

  • Developing an international mindset which prepares students to excel in a globalised world, in addition to cultivating intellectual, emotional, and ethical intelligence.
  • IBDP students study a more challenging and broader curriculum, fostering a truly holistic development. Students graduate with a breadth of skills and a depth of understanding in their chosen subjects. 
  • In the IB programmes, students are encouraged to adopt a positive attitude towards learning which truly prepares them for university education.
  • Students learn how to study efficiently to excel in rigorous external assessments based on global standards.
IB Diploma Exams

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Qualification

Upon completing the IBDP, CSP Madrid graduates receive an internationally recognised qualification (and most receive the Bilingual Diploma) that is highly regarded among the world’s leading universities for its depth and rigour. It is an equivalent qualification to the Spanish National Baccalaureate, and IB graduates enter university under the same conditions as the students who pursued the Spanish curriculum.

Bilingual IB Diploma

IB Bilingual Diploma

Students who complete and receive a grade 3 or higher in two languages selected from the DP course Studies in Language and Literature are awarded a bilingual diploma.

Students who attain a grade 3 or higher in Studies in Language and Literature and a grade 3 or higher in an Individual and Societies or Science subject, completed in a different language, will also receive the bilingual diploma.

IB School Subject Options

Choosing IB Subject Options at CSP Madrid

At our IB School in Madrid, we run an Options Fair for both parents and students to explore the course components and the subject options available for the IBDP.

Please note that if your child is planning to undertake the IB Diploma as a pathway to a European university, it is important that your family is aware of specific country/university requirements regarding the Diploma.

Teachers of the IB program

IB Teachers at our IB school in Madrid

Our personalised educational approach at San Patricio, with continuous feedback and support from our expert IB teachers, ensures students excel through this demanding and ambitious programme. Pupils receive top-tier guidance and preparation to succeed in IBDP examinations and to secure admission to their preferred university courses.

With 13 official IB examiners, workshop and evaluation leaders among our staff, our students in the El Soto campus have access to instructors who are deeply involved and qualified to teach the IB programme, offering an unparalleled understanding of its requirements and assessment.

Additional IB Options at our IB school in Madrid

Students may take only a few subjects rather than the entire programme. In these cases, the students receive a certificate for the subjects they pass. At Colegio San Patricio, students can only attend one independent CAS subject, obtaining a certificate that may be attached to their academic experience.

How do you choose the right school to follow the IB Diploma Programme?

There are a few centres in Spain, both public and private, in which pupils can study this fantastic programme. When choosing a school to pursue the IBDP, in Spain or abroad, it is important to check: 

  • Is the school accredited by the International Baccalaureate Association (IB)? 
  • Does it have a strong track record in the implementation of the programme?
  • Are the results in IB examinations of previous years good?
  • Are the IB teachers and coordinators properly trained and qualified to teach the IBDP? 
  • Have most IB graduates been accepted at their first choice of university in past years?
  • Are there co-curricular and extracurricular activities available to enrich the IBDP students' journey and develop their skills?

The IB programme at Colegio San Patricio El Soto checks all of the above and offers an education based on Christian values within a familiar and nurturing atmosphere.

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Discover how the distinctive approach to the IBDP at our high school in Madrid not only prepares your child to access the university of their dreams but also equips them with key skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.