IB DP: Computer Science

The IB DP Computer Science course requires an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computational thinking as well as knowledge of how computers and other digital devices operate. The course, fostered by conceptual thinking, draws on a wide spectrum of knowledge, and enables and empowers innovation, exploration and the acquisition of further knowledge. Students study how computer science interacts with and influences cultures, society and how individuals and societies behave, and the ethical issues involved. During the course the student will develop computational solutions.
This will involve the ability to:
• Identify a problem or unanswered question
• Design, prototype and test a proposed solution
• Liaise with clients to evaluate the success of the proposed solution and make recommendations for future developments.

Aims of the courses

• Provide opportunities for study and creativity within a global context that will stimulate and challenge students developing the skills necessary for independent and lifelong learning
• Provide a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize computer science
• Enable students to apply and use a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize computer science
• Demonstrate initiative in applying thinking skills critically to identify and resolve complex problems
• Engender an awareness of the need for, and the value of, effective collaboration and communication in resolving complex problems
• Develop logical and critical thinking as well as experimental, investigative and problem-solving skills
• Develop and apply the students’ information and communication technology skills in the study of computer science to communicate information confidently and effectively
• Raise awareness of the moral, ethical, social, economic and environmental implications of using science and technology
• Develop an appreciation of the possibilities and limitations associated with continued developments in IT systems and computer science
• Encourage an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method.


Curriculum Model Overview
According to the official subject brief by IB DP-

  • Core syllabus content SL/HL core
    The topics that must be studied, including some practical work, are:
    • Topic 1: System fundamentals
    • Topic 2: Computer organization
    • Topic 3: Networks
    • Topic 4: Computational thinking, problem-solving and programming
    Recommended teaching hours- 80/SL, 80/HL

  • HL extension
    • Topic 5: Abstract data structures
    • Topic 6: Resource management
    • Topic 7: Control
    Recommended teaching hours- 80/HL

  • Option SL/HL core
    Recommended teaching hours- 45/SL, 30/HL

  • HL extension
    Students study one of the following options:
    • Option A: Databases
    • Option B: Modelling and simulation
    • Option C: Web science
    • Option D: Object-oriented programming (OOP)
    Recommended teaching hours- 15/HL

  • Internal assessment Solution
    • Practical application of skills through the development of a product and associated documentation.
    Recommended teaching hours- 30/SL, 30/HL

  • Group 4 project
    Recommended teaching hours- 10/SL, 10/HL


Assessment Model

Having followed the computer science standard level course, students will be expected to-

  1. Know and understand:
    • Relevant facts and concepts
    • Appropriate methods and techniques
    • Computer science terminology
    • Methods of presenting information.

  2. Apply and use:
    • Relevant facts and concepts
    • Relevant design methods and techniques
    • Terminology to communicate effectively
    • Appropriate communication methods to present information.

  3. Construct, analyse, evaluate and formulate:
    • Success criteria, solution specifications including task outlines, designs and test plans
    • Appropriate techniques within a specified solution.

  4. Demonstrate the personal skills of cooperation and perseverance as well
    as appropriate technical skills for effective problem-solving in developing a specified product.

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IB DP: Computer Science
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