ISS High School Diploma

As an alternative to the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP), the ISS High School Diploma (HSD) programme will be offered for Grade 9 (G9) to Grade 12 (G12) students. 

For students who prefer not to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP), the ISS HSD is an option that will enable students to graduate at Grade 12 and apply for entry into Universities, in Australia, Europe, USA, under certain conditions*.

The ISS HSD includes practical vocational experience through service learning projects. The core benefit of the ISS HSD is that students will be given the opportunity to pursue a vocation that they are passionate about or have a strong interest in, thereby helping our students realise their individual potential in a more personal, tangible and pronounced manner.


Student Suitability with the ISS HSD

The ISS HSD is intended for students who:

  • would prefer to focus on a narrower range of subjects, English acquisition, vocational courses, or work experience
  • do not meet the English entrance requirements for the Diploma Programme
  • do not meet the academic entrance requirements for the Diploma Programme


Subjects pursued in the ISS HSD

The ISS HSD student has the opportunity to pursue a blended combination of IB and ISS core subjects, as well as elective subjects:

    • Studies in Language and Literature
    • Mother Tongue (for Grades 11 and 12 )
    • Mathematics
    • Sciences
    • Social Studies
    • Elective (1 per semester)
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • Physical Education
  • Students in Grades 9 and 10 will be required to complete a Service as Action programme, and a Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) programme in Grades 11 and 12.
  • Practical vocational experience through service learning projects


ISS HSD Graduation Requirements

The ISS HSD offers a blended academic pathway for students. Students who choose the ISS HSD can take a combination of IB and ISS-designed courses with no restrictions on the number of required external examinations or HL/SL subject combinations.

Regardless of their subject choice, students are required to attain a minimum of 21 credits over their 4 year** journey in order to graduate and move on to university applications. Please refer to this link for details of the grading criteria.

** Credits accumulated from other educational institutions can be used to meet the minimum credit requirement

How are the examinations developed /administered in the ISS HSD?

As there is a combination of IB subjects and ISS-designed subjects in the ISS HSD, examinations are developed by both the IB and ISS International School. As an accredited Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and Council of International Schools (CIS) educational institution, ISS is recognised to meet the examination criteria and standards required of *universities globally.

*Universities that an ISS HSD Graduate can select

University admission requirements differ, depending on the course that the student wants to study. Some colleges in the USA and Europe may accept students with a high school transcript and the HS Diploma (which includes some IB certificates) directly into an undergraduate programme. Most universities in the UK and Australia will require students with the ISS HSD qualification to complete a one-year foundation programme.

As admission requirements for universities  are different, please refer to our University Advisor, who will be able to personally guide and advise each student on their options and choices.

A comparison of the ISS HSD and the IB DP

Entry requirements

  ISS High School Diploma Programme

IB Diploma Programme*

Years to complete programme 4
(for Grades 9 to 12)

(Grades 11 and 12)

*As a prerequisite to IBDP, Students must complete Grades 9 and 10

Who is this programme suitable for?
  • The ISS High School Diploma is a blended academic pathway to University, for students aged 14-18.  
  • This enables students to choose from a combination of IB and ISS-designed courses, with no restrictions on the number of required external examinations or HL/SL combinations.
  • At the same time, students are able to focus on English acquisition and acquire practical vocational experience.
  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is an academically challenging, broad and balanced course of education for students aged 16-18, that prepares students for success in university and life beyond. It is a widely recognised pre-university qualification welcomed by leading universities in numerous countries.
  • It is intended for students intending to go to university to pursue an academic course of study.
Curriculum structure
  • A combination of several Diploma Certificate subjects
    • English
    • Mother Tongue
    • Mathematics
  • Service as Action / CAS Programme
  • Practical vocational experience through service learning projects
  • Enrichment Programmes
  • 6 core subjects
    • 3 Higher Level subjects (required)
    • 3 Standard Level subjects
  • Theory of Knowledge (taught course)
  • Extended essay (4000 word research essay)
  • CAS Programme
What is the grading system and minimum requirement to graduate?
  • IB and ISS examinations
  • The option to choose either to take externally or internally set examinations
  • Externally set examinations by the IB

For more information and enrolment requirements, please do contact our Admissions Team at +65 6475 4188, email .

Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to fill out our Inquiry Form.