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ISM adds career-related diploma to IB programme

ISM adds career-related diploma to IB programme

By Cassandra Tanti - May 22, 2020

Come the next academic year, the ISM will be offering an exciting new diploma for students wishing to pursue career-related learning.

We spoke to Head of Secondary James Wellings about why the IBCP is a perfect fit for the Monaco-based school.


Monaco Life: Can you tell us about the new diploma being offered at the International School of Monaco (ISM) from August?

Currently, we offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), which is an exceptionally well-recognised, very good but extremely challenging programme. It’s probably the most challenging post-16 programme that exists in education, because it draws on six core subjects which are done to a high academic standard. It is brilliant for many students, but some just don’t want to do six subjects academically.

So, we wanted to find an alternative that would suit anybody. The International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) incorporates the educational principles of the IB into a programme specifically developed for students who wish to engage in career-related learning.

There are two subjects instead of six, and they study enterprise and entrepreneurship which is very hands-on. They actually start their own enterprise and do placements with businesses in Monaco, and they have a business mentor who is actually a successful entrepreneur.

There are no formal examinations, it is all done through coursework, so, it’s a really nice hybrid of an academic and vocational approach.

And Monaco is a city of entrepreneurs, so I don’t think there is any better place in the world to offer this course and provide a great opportunity for students.

Who is this diploma suited to?

Any student could do the IBCP. Traditional thinking is that top A-star students would always go on to do the IBDP, and many of them do because they love that academic challenge. But the IBCP can still create a lot of challenges, just in a different way. For students who don’t want to or don’t thrive in the challenge of an academic environment of six high-stakes examinations at the end of a two-year programme, this is another option for them.

We are starting with a relatively limited programme, so we are only offering enterprise and entrepreneurship for students who want to access marketing and business management degrees at university. In the future we may add more subjects, such as a sports-based subject for students who play high-level sport, and a tourism-based programme for events management.

Students who want to be a doctor or engineer, for example, do the IBDP programme, but if they want a broader range of learning in business and entrepreneurship, then the CP is just as good as the BP. So students obtain a Pearson BTEC International Level 3 Diploma in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

Does this diploma have a good standing at universities?

We have done a lot of due diligence, and one of the reasons we chose this particular programme is because it is accredited by the International Baccalaureate, the same organisation that created the DP programme. It is taught in more than 100 schools in 14 different countries across the world.

Do you think this may become more popular than the traditional IB diploma?

My prediction is that the IBDP will remain the most popular programme because of the standing it has within the world of education and with universities, and we think it’s a great programme, we just want to provide more choice. So, I suspect in this first year, we will have about three quarters of our students doing the DP and one quarter doing the CP. That might change a little bit in the coming years.

For parents and students who are interested in the IBCP, where can they find out more information?

Parents can just email and we will send out all the details. There is also plenty of information for current and prospective parents on the ISM website



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