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Senior School Prospectus.

Subject Groupings and Descriptions

Group 6: The Arts

At Discovery College, we offer the following Group 6 subjects: Theatre, Music, Visual Arts and Film.  Students can take one Group 6 subject or alternatively take a second subject from any of Groups 1, 3 or 4.  It is also possible to take two Group 6 subjects, when Environmental Systems and Societies is taken to cover Groups 3 and 4.

Theatre (SL and HL)

Theatre is a dynamic art form that encourages discovery through experimentation, the taking of risks and the presentation of ideas to others. It results in the development of life skills, the building of confidence, creativity, and working collaboratively.

The Theatre course allows for personal exploration and experimentation with conventional and unconventional performances, discovery of world theatre practices, design and production elements, and creation of original material. The course is a balance of individual and collaborative work, through theoretical and practical components.

Theatre and thinking creatively is an area which is highly sought after in the workforce. Leading global companies often incorporate creativity tests into their interview process to determine the best candidates. Studying Theatre at DP/CP level can give students a leading edge during this process, and help them to secure prestigious jobs in law, politics and the public sector, among others.

What does the course entail? 

All the work in Theatre is coursework, spread over two years of study. Students can explore performance, technical and production techniques, directing, designing lighting, sound and staging, as well as costume and production management.

The coursework components are as follows:

  • Collaborative project: Students at SL and HL collaboratively create and perform an original piece of theatre (lasting 7–10 minutes) created from a starting point of their choice. The piece is presented to an audience as a fully-realised production.

  • Production proposal: Students at SL and HL choose a published play text they have not previously studied and formulate a vision for the design and theoretical staging of the entire play text for a contemporary audience. These ideas are presented in the form of a proposal. 

  • Research Presentation: Students at SL and HL plan, deliver and video record an individual presentation (15 minutes maximum) in which they provide evidence of their academic and practical exploration and learning of a world theatre tradition.

  • Solo Theatre Piece: Students at HL only research a theatre practitioner, identify aspects of theory, then create and present a solo theatre piece (4-7 minutes) that demonstrates the practical application of this theory to a theatre piece, for an audience. This is supported by evidence of their research in the form of a report.

Music (SL and HL)

Music is an essential part of the human experience and a unique and enjoyable mode of creativity, expression and communication. The new IB Diploma Music syllabus has been introduced starting August 2020 with some significant changes. The new DP Music syllabus is authentic, very practical and collaborative. Students will explore, create and perform music from a diverse range of musical cultures and styles by taking on the roles of researcher, performer and composer. This new course acknowledges the connections between exploring the music of others and creatively applying their discoveries through composition and performance practice. There is also a greater emphasis on the important role that music technology plays in contemporary music making. 

Students undertaking this course will develop collaborative skills, problem solving, research skills and critical thinking as well as having the opportunity to pursue an expressive art form they are passionate about. 

This course not only provides students with the confidence needed to pursue further study of Music at tertiary level or a career path in music, but also to develop many attributes highly sought after in today’s ever changing workforce and academic institutions.

Course Components

DP Music is a student-centred coursework subject where students present music in authentic ways. There is no exam in this course. Students will submit portfolio excerpts that include program notes, performances and compositions. Music technology is also an important inclusion in the new syllabus acknowledging the important role of this medium in contemporary music. The aims of this music course are:

  1. explore a range of musical contexts, practices, conventions and forms of expression

  2. acquire, develop and experiment with musical competencies through playing, improvising and composing. 

  3. evaluate and develop critical perspectives on their own music and the music of others. 

Contemporary Music Maker - HL only - 30%

This is a collaborative real-life contemporary music project. This is an exciting opportunity for HL students to investigate the potential opportunities, limitations and demands of being a musician in the 21st century. Students submit a continuous multimedia presentation (maximum of 15 minutes) documenting their real-life project that includes the final presentation.

Experimenting with Music - SL  30% and HL 20%

Experimenting is a dynamic process and fundamental to creative music-making. Students will connect listening and analytical studies to practical work. Students will be exposed to both new music and their own selection of musical stimuli to research, analyse and most importantly creatively experiment with the musical concepts and conventions learned as both a performer and a creator of music. This will be done through a range of activities including composing, arranging, improvisation and performance. Students will submit portfolio excerpts (max 1,500 words) and samples of their creating and performances (max 5 mins each).

Exploring Music in Context - SL 30% and HL 20%

Exploring music is one of the processes of studying and investigating music. Students will explore and investigate both familiar and unfamiliar music and extract and apply their discoveries to create and perform music. Students will submit written work (max 2,400 words) evidencing research and the practical implications of composing and performing music. This will be accompanied by one example of a creating exercise and one example of a performed adaptation as evidence of their practical understanding (max 5mins each). 

Presenting Music - SL 40% and HL 30% 

Presenting music is a process inherent to music-making and students will engage in public performances or the sharing of compositions regularly as part of the course. Students will submit a selection of their compositions or improvisations (max 6 mins) and performances (max 12 mins). This portfolio will include program notes detailing how they have applied their discoveries as music researchers to the process of presenting music (max 600 words).

Visual Arts (SL and HL)

Through the IB Diploma Visual Arts course, students become informed, reflective and critical artists. Students create artwork that is influenced by personal and cultural contexts, and develop skills, techniques and processes to communicate concepts and ideas. 

Students are encouraged to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop their own thinking skills, while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. As well as developing and creating their own artworks, students are expected to explore and critique art from diverse perspectives and contexts. 

All the work in DP Visual Arts is coursework-based and there is no final exam. There are three components to the course:


  1. A Comparative Study in which students analyse and compare different artworks by different artists. This independent critical and contextual investigation explores artworks, objects and artefacts from differing cultural contexts (20%).

  2. Process Portfolio with evidence of experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of visual arts activities during the two year course (40%).

  3. An Exhibition presents selected resolved pieces that demonstrate evidence of technical accomplishment, understanding of the use of materials, and ideas, and curatorial practice appropriate to visual communication  (40%).

Film (SL and HL)

The Diploma Programme Film course aims to develop students’ skills so that they become adept in both interpreting films and making their own films. Through the study and analysis of films, the course explores film history, theory and cultural context. The course develops students’ critical thinking in order to appreciate a range of cultural perspectives in film. The course also provides the opportunity to explore a range of film-making roles, such as cinematographer, director, editor, screen-writer and sound designer.

All the work in DP Film is coursework-based and there is no final exam. The coursework components are as follows:

  1. Textual Analysis: Students complete a 1,750 word essay in which they analyse a five minute sequence from a prescribed film.

  2. Comparative Study: Students create a 10-minute multimedia presentation in which they compare clips from two films of their choice through the lens of a chosen genre, film movement or film theory.

  3. Film Portfolio: Students work in three different production roles to create short clips and short films that show the development of their skills in those roles.

  4. Collaborative Film (HL only): Students work in their chosen role as part of a team to create a 7-minute narrative film.

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