High School Diploma

High School Diploma

High School Diploma

Year 10 - 13 Programme (High School Diploma)

A high school diploma is an accredited academic award in recognition of a student’s satisfactory completion of the courses undertaken in Years 10 to 13 (final four academic years in secondary school). All students who achieve the minimum credit requirements will be awarded a High School Diploma in addition to IGCSE and IB qualifications. This will be awarded at the final Year 13 Graduation ceremony.

What is a High School Diploma?


The Uplands High School Diploma is a flexible study package in Years 10 to 13 that is tailored to suit an individual’s needs and consists of subjects selected from IGCSE course offerings, and groups one to six in the IB Diploma framework. It may also include Special Elective courses, eg accredited online courses or school designed programs, may also be possible after discussion with the Head of Secondary and the agreement of teaching departments and supervisors.

The Uplands High School Diploma was introduced to Uplands in August 2019 to complement our IGCSE and IBDP programmes. It is the recommended minimum graduation qualification for all students entering Year 10. All Year 10 students are encouraged to begin their program with the intention of meeting the minimum requirements for the HS Diploma. The Uplands High School Diploma will be offered as an optional pathway for all students in Year 11, 12, and 13 as well.

Who might consider a High School Diploma?

The Uplands High School Diploma is intended for students who:

  • Would prefer to focus on a narrower or different range of subjects, English acquisition, vocational courses, or online courses.
  • Are considering a university pathway that does not require the IB Diploma (eg USA universities)
  • Are targeting foundation or other entry pathways
  • knowing that their post secondary choices do not include university study (eg apprenticeship, military service)
  • May struggle or do not wish to meet the successful completion requirements for the IB Diploma Programme but wish to experience parts of the IB programme.

High School Diploma students have a great deal of flexibility when deciding on the high school diploma programme.

For example:

  • They can elect to follow fewer subjects at Higher Level than the three demanded by the IB Diploma;
  • They can also elect to study all subjects at Standard Level;
  • They can elect to study a combination of IB Certificate courses and other options (with approval of the Head of Secondary).
  • They can choose to pursue fewer courses at certain points (as long as their credit requirements are met).

High School Diploma Structure

High School Diploma students must achieve 24 credits in order to obtain their Diploma. Students should aim to follow the most rigorous programme that they are capable of and it is expected that most Uplands students will graduate with well in excess of this requirement. Each year long course receiving a passing grade in Years 10 through to 13 will be recorded on the official Uplands transcript as 1 credit. The minimum credit that may be awarded is 0.5 – equivalent to Term 1 or Term 2 & 3. Students continuing into further or higher education may be required to produce this document for entry into colleges and universities.

Students transferring to Uplands mid-way through Year 10 or later may receive credit for equivalent courses at other schools or have certain requirements waived with the approval of the Head of Secondary.

To receive an Uplands High School Diploma, a minimum of 24 credits must be earned over Years 10-13. Year 10 students are expected to take one subject from each subject area in order to ensure that a full and appropriate academic track can be completed (minimum 8 subjects).

High School Diploma Regulations

  1. Satisfactory completion of IB CAS requirements or High School Diploma modified CAS.
  2. Comply with the minimum 90% attendance requirement for all Uplands students.
  3. Students must attend for 3 consecutive terms (equivalent of one school year) and gain at least 6 Uplands credits.
  4. Students must be enrolled in the graduation year at the time of graduation.
  5. Credit is given only to courses in Years 10 to 13.
  6. A maximum of 4 credits only will be approved for Special Elective courses. Prior approval from the Head of Secondary is required before pursuing these courses.
  7. EAL and Learning Support are considered an elective.
  8. Courses may only be waived at the discretion of the Head of School. Waivers for students with Learning or Language needs must have an educational assessment to support the application.
  9. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits per year.
  10. Credit recovery will be offered to students who fail to meet the success criteria. Depending on the circumstance this may require additional study or further assessment evidence.
  11. A passing grade for IGCSE subjects is a C or 4, for IB is a 3. 

Uplands IGCSE and IB subjects taken at High School level – assessment may be determined through a modified rubric. All IGCSE and IB subjects taken at the High School level will be identified on the transcript with the initials HS as part of the subject name eg. HS Literature