Career-related Programme (CP)

What is the CP?

Discovery College offers a programme called the ‘IB Career-related Programme’ (CP), alongside the IB Diploma Programme (DP), as an option for students in Years 12-13. This programme provides a pathway in which students in these year groups can learn and progress to Higher Education. Students in the current Year 11 will be able to choose between studying the DP and studying the CP.

The CP is the fourth International Baccalaureate programme (along with the PYP, MYP and DP) and it is aimed at students entering the last two years of Secondary School who have a particular career path in mind. The CP allows students to specialise and dedicate themselves to an area of learning they know they want to pursue. CP students undertake a minimum of two IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses, a core consisting of four components and a career-related study.

For CP students, DP courses provide the theoretical underpinning and academic rigour of the programme; the career-related study further supports the programme’s academic strength and provides practical, real-world approaches to learning; and the CP core helps them to develop skills and competencies required for lifelong learning. (IBO, 2020)

How is the CP structured?

The CP encompasses some elements of the IB Diploma Programme (DP) within its structure. It also encompasses the IB’s educational philosophy and mission.

Curriculum Model

CP students take four core elements consisting of:

  • Reflective Project (RP)
  • Service Learning (SL)
  • Language Development (LD)
  • Personal and Professional Skills (PPS)

Students also take two to four DP subjects (see Diploma Programme page for details of subjects available) at Standard or Higher level and one career-related course.

Core Components

Core Component Description of course Study mode
Personal and Professional Skills (PPS) course Course that aims to support students in developing practical life and career-related skills.

5 main themes:

1. Personal development

2. Intercultural understanding

3. Effective communication

4. Thinking processes

5. Applied ethics

2 blocks per cycle
Language Development course
 Student must study a language that is NOT their best language. Some languages are available to be studied as one of the DP course. Any other language can be studied with an outside service provider or online. 1 block per cycle to work on portfolio with the teacher’s guidance and 2 blocks per cycle to do independent study of language
Reflective Project Student will have to produce a written essay about an ethical dilemma directly linked to the student’s career-related study.

They will also have to complete a Reflections on planning and progress form (RPPF).

Independent learning + support from a supervisor
Service Learning
 For Service Learning, students work with community members to undertake service activities that satisfy identified community needs. They will need to reflect about their learning and the impact of their actions. At least one Service learning experience should be related to the student’s chosen career path. Independent learning + support from a supervisor

Comparison of CP and DP course elements

CP Pathway   DP Pathway  
2-6 IBDP courses + Externally provided Career-related study (CRS) course 6 IBDP Courses (3 HL)
Personal and Professional Skills (PPS) course Theory of Knowledge course
Language Development course Language is one of the 6 IBDP courses
Reflective Project Extended Essay
Service Learning CAS

What does the CP offer in comparison to the DP?

 The CP can be   characterise as… The DP can be characterised   as…

Specialised – studies focus on areas relevant to a chosen career path

Broad – studies encompass six different subject groups

Career-related – studies are framed around a career    path and the way learning can be applied to this field of employment

Academic – studies draw on knowledge and understanding from across a number of academic disciplines

What Career-related study specialisms are available to Discovery College students from August 2024?

Career-related studies occur through a partner provider. Partnerships with the following institutions have been/are being established for August 2024.

What qualifications do students receive at the end and how does this relate to university admissions?

An important feature of the CP is that it is a framework of different learning experiences.

Firstly, the CP is a qualification in its own right, similar to the DP. Students satisfying the passing conditions will emerge with the CP certificate.

Secondly, completion of the CP will facilitate graduation from Discovery College. Universities, particularly in the USA, look for High School graduation as an indicator as part of their admissions process.

Thirdly, the career-related study aspect of the CP will offer a qualification that they can use as part of university admissions. For instance, students taking their career-related study via HKAPA will complete a BTEC qualification. Students studying with SCAD and BSD will complete a series of foundation degree modules, which in some circumstances can be transferred as university credit to offset against future university studies.

Fourthly, students will usually complete between two and four DP subjects but can select up to six DP subjects. These subjects can be the basis for admission to a university.

So the CP provides a number of ways in which students can gain access to a broad range of university courses in different countries around the world.


Students are assessed using a variety of methods, including essays, case studies, oral presentations, fieldwork, investigations and artistic performances. Some assessment tasks are marked internally by teachers and some are assessed internally but externally moderated by the IB. Some assessments are conducted by the career-related provider.

Further information

For general information on the CP, see the IBO website:

More information on the IB Diploma at Discovery College, see our Senior School Prospectus.



Raina Zhaparova, Career-related Programme (CP) Coordinator