Why study the International Baccalaureate? - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Choosing what to do after school can be hard.  Every course is different, so it’s important to know what’s on offer before deciding which option is best for you.  Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) provides five different types of course or ‘pathway’ (IB, A Levels, BTEC/vocational, Apprenticeships, T Levels).  Each one is different, so it’s important to pick one which suits you, how you like to learn, and the career or job you would like to have in the future.

Have you heard of the International Baccalaureate or IB?  If it’s new to you, you’re not alone.  Despite being highly regarded by prestigious universities and top employers worldwide, it’s only offered by a handful of providers in Somerset, many of which are fee-paying schools.  But could it be the best course for you?

What’s special about the International Baccalaureate at BTC?

  1. The IB is a step towards Oxbridge – The International Baccalaureate is an established qualification that is accepted and valued by Russell Group universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. If you’re academically able and intellectually curious, it will help you develop the skills needed to thrive at top institutions like these.
  2. The IB is an internally recognised alternative to A Levels – Like A Levels, the IB is a Level 3 programme. It also offers you a breadth of academic subjects and enrichment so you get a well-rounded experience.
  3. IB students achieve excellent results – BTC International Baccalaureate students consistently achieve results above the global average. Over the past five years, on average, BTC students’ results have been more than 2.5 points higher, peaking at 5.4 above the global figure in 2020 despite the effect of the global pandemic.
  4. IB students learn in small, supportive groups – When asked about what helped them succeed, former IB students highlight the small class sizes, strong working relationships with staff and the supportive environment at BTC.
  5. IB students receive iPads to support their learning – As part of BTC’s digital transformation project, every student studying the International Baccalaureate receives an iPad. The tech enables you to develop academic independence, complete research and wider reading, and collaborate with your classmates.
  6. IB students have dedicated facilities – The IB is studied at our Taunton campus. Alongside new developments for T Level and BTEC/vocational courses, spaces have been created specifically for IB students, including a common room area.
  7. IB students get support from the Honours Academy – The Honours Academy is an enrichment option that supports your progression to top universities. Honours Academy offers master classes, practice interviews and other activities that stretch and challenge – and look great on your university application and CV. If you aspire to Oxbridge or a career in medicine, there is specialist support to help you.
  8. IB students benefit from great partnerships – The IB team at BTC is working closely with other institutions to give you additional opportunities to grow and succeed, including the universities of Exeter and Bath, the University Centre Somerset (UCS) and Midwestern State University in Texas.
  9. IB students are driven and academically curious – The IB encourages you to think critically and solve complex problems, drive your own learning, and become more culturally aware. It helps you understand what it means to be the kind of independent inquirer sought by top universities and employers.
  10. IB students’ progress to prestigious degrees and institutions – BTC IB students gain sought-after places at top Higher Education providers. Recent students have been accepted by universities including Cardiff, Plymouth, Exeter and Manchester to study subjects including Genetics, Biomedical Science, Medicine, English Language & Linguistics, and Cognitive Neuroscience & Psychology.

The International Baccalaureate is just one of the options you can choose from after school. Every course – IB, A Levels, BTEC/vocational, Apprenticeships, T Levels – offers you something different, so it’s important to weigh up your options and pick the right one for you.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Bridgwater & Taunton College’s Information and Advice team on 01278 441234 or email info@btc.ac.uk. Our website www.btc.ac.uk will also allow you to view the course options, enrichment opportunities and support services available for you to access. Alternatively, come along to one of our open events; view our facilities, speak with our experienced staff and experience the BTC atmosphere.

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