• Introduction to the new IB Business Management course (first exams 2024)


     Nature of the subject 

    IB DP Business Management is a rigorous, challenging, and dynamic discipline in Group 3 (Individuals and Societies) within the IB Diploma Programme (and IB Career-related Programme). The course is designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of Business Management tools and theories, as well as their ability to apply a range of subject-specific techniques.

    Business Management students learn to analyze, discuss, and evaluate business activities at local, national, and international levels. The course covers a range of organizations from all sectors, as well as the socio-cultural, economic, and international contexts in which those organizations operate.

    The IB DP Business Management course continues to grow each year. In 2022, there was a total of 32,773 candidates who studied the subject. The chart below shows that the number of BM candidates has grown by 804.8% during the given time period (a highly impressive growth rate by any measure!)


    With the new syllabus comes many more exciting opportunities to engage the growing number of students learning about Business Management.

    Aims of the IB Business Management course 

    The aims of the IB Business Management course at Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) are to:

    • Develop as confident, creative and compassionate business leaders, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs and as change agents.
    • Foster an informed understanding of ethical and sustainable business practices.
    • Explore the connections between individuals, businesses, and society.
    • Engage with decision-making as a process and a skill.

    In a nutshell - The new BM syllabus at a glance 

    • Four key concepts, which are assessed in the new internal assessment
    • New external assessments, including a new Paper 3 (HL only)
    • Introduction of the Business Management Toolkit (BMT), consisting of 15 tools in total
    • Changes to the contents of the syllabus
    • New internal assessment (common to SL & HL)

    The key concepts 

    The four interdisciplinary concepts for the course are:





    Using these four concepts in an authentic way (concept based learning) will enable students to explore the content of the  syllabus from multiple lenses or perspectives. Each unit in the new course will begin with conceptual understandings statements that include the 4 key concepts and summarize important ideas and core processes that are central to the unit (such as Marketing or Operations Management). Inquiry statements are also included for each unit of the syllabus to support teachers and students.

    Note that assessment of conceptual understandings is a formal requirement for students in their Internal Assessment, based on a real-world issue or problem faced by an actual organization using one of the four prescribed key concepts (in addition to applying their knowledge of appropriate Business Management tools, theories, and techniques).

    Find out about the new key concepts here.

    The Business Management Toolkit (BMT) 

    In additional to the taught contents of the syllabus, the course also includes a prescribed Business Management Toolkit (BMT). This is a set of tools, theories, and techniques that can be used by students in different contexts across the contents of the syllabus, including formal assessments (such as the IA and the EE).

    The BMT provides a valuable set of 15 different tools or frameworks to analyze various topics and situations in the context of the BM course.

    Although the BMT is a separate part of the syllabus content, it is expected that teachers will integrate the toolkit throughout the teaching of the course.

    Click the icon below to read about the two main approaches to using the BMT in the new course:

    External assessments 

    Exam Paper




    Total marks

    Paper 1

    1 hr 30 mins

    Structured questions based on a pre-released statement, with a qualitative focus. This is a common paper for SL and HL.


    30 marks

    Paper 2

    1 hr 30 mins (SL)

    Structured questions based on stimulus material, with a quantitative focus.


    40 marks (SL)