Group 3: Individuals and Society

Studies of Individuals and Society provides for the development of a critical appreciation of:

  • human experience and behaviour
  • the varieties of physical, economic and social environments that people inhabit
  • the history of social and cultural institutions.

Group 3: History

This is an exciting course designed to cover social and political history over the past two hundred years allowing students to have an understanding of how British and World history has a direct influence on the way we live today – our struggles and triumphs.

Students will examine the origins and development of authoritarian and single party states. In contrast, students also examine the challenges and threats democratic countries face and their responses. These options concentrate on the themes of nationalism and conflict in the 20th century, with particular emphasis on both how and why ideas about nationhood emerged and developed in particular states. The options then examine the responses that democratic governments give in the face of these growing nationalistic ideas. There is a focus unit on the challenges to people’s civil rights in South Africa during apartheid and during the American Civil Rights Movement in the mid 20th century.

Higher-level students also examine how and why conflicts and crises emerged and were resolved in the United States, Canada and Latin American countries in the 20th century. Assessment is through an internal investigation into a topic that students have a keen interest in historically and via two external exams (three if history is taken at Higher Level).

Group 3: ICT

The IB DP information technology in a global society (ITGS) course is the study and evaluation of the impacts of information technology (IT) on individuals and society. It explores the advantages and disadvantages of the access and use of digitized information at the local and global level. ITGS provides a framework for the student to make informed judgments and decisions about the use of IT within social contexts.

Two courses are offered, Standard Level (SL) that requires 150 hours of teaching time over two years, and Higher Level (HL) that requires 240 hours.

The ITGS course is based on three interconnected strands; Social and ethical significance, Application to specified scenarios, IT systems.

Group 3: Geography

Geographers look at wide range of issues spanning the social and physical sciences. Many of the world’s big issues are studied in Geography – the impact of migration, the future of our water and food as well as climate change are issues that are affecting us directly and will continue to do so in the future.

Why Geography?

• Geography is one of the most employable subjects that you can study: Only 5.8% of geography students were unemployed after 6 months compared to the national average of 7%
• You gain transferable skills which can be applied to a huge variety of jobs ranging from medicine, law, finance and business
• It is one of the most relevant and up to date subjects that you can study

What does this course involve?

You will study key global issues of our times. The purpose is to provide a broad factual and conceptual introduction to each topic 4 compulsory and 2 Optional if studying standard. These range from current issues such as migration crisis through to analysing the impacts of environmental degradation. Higher level will study an additional 7 topics focusing on the political and social changes that are occurring in our world today.

In order to be successful at this subject, you must:

  • Have an interest in people and the environment
  • Enjoy debating and formulating arguments based on a variety of perspectives
  • Have empathy – be able to put yourself in other people’s position and understand their views
  • Be creative: You putting forward solutions

Group 3: Psychology

Psychology is the study of human behaviour. IB Psychology involves studying human behaviour by looking at it from multiple perspectives, called levels of analysis.

What does this course involve?

Paper 1 (Higher and Standard Level)

You will learn about the way in which behaviour is influenced by biological factors (biological level of analysis), cognition (cognitive level of analysis) and the environment including friends and family (sociocultural level of analysis).

Paper 2 (options)

Standard Level = will learn about Relationships.

Higher Level = will learn about Relationships and Developmental Psychology.

Paper 3 (Qualitative Research) – Higher Level only

HL students will learn about the research methods used to analyse written data, they will apply this knowledge to unseen text.

Will I have to do coursework?

HL – you will complete a piece of coursework (internal assessment) worth 25% of your overall grade. SL – complete a piece of coursework (internal assessment) worth 20% of your overall grade. Coursework is a replication of a Psychological study (at the cognitive level only). You will write a report of this study.

Group 3: World Religions (Standard Level Only)

The following three questions underpin the study of all world religions.

  • What is the human condition?
  • Where are we going?
  • How do we get there?

What does this course involve?

Part 1: Introduction to world religions

Five world religions will be studied:

  • Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Taoism

Paper 1

30% Five stimulus response questions, covering at least three religions

Part 2: In-depth studies

Two world religions to be studied:

Buddhism

Christianity

The study of each religion will be guided through the following themes:

  • Rituals
  • Sacred texts
  • Doctrines/beliefs
  • Religious experience
  • Ethics and moral conduct

Paper 2

45% Two (of fourteen possible) essay questions based on guiding themes.

Part 3: Internal assessment Investigative study

Written analysis

25% Structured format based on an investigative study. Internal and externally moderated.

Group 3: Economics

The study of economics is essentially about dealing with scarcity, resource allocation and the methods and processes by which choices are made in the satisfaction of human wants. As a dynamic social science, economics uses scientific methodologies that include quantitative and qualitative elements.

The course emphasises the economic theories of microeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting individuals, firms and markets, and the economic theories of macroeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting countries, governments and societies. These economic theories are not to be studied in a vacuum—rather, they are to be applied to real-world issues. Prominent among these issues are fluctuations in economic activity, international trade, economic development and environmental sustainability.

The ethical dimensions involved in the application of economic theories and policies permeate throughout the economics course as students are required to consider and reflect on human end-goals and values.

The economics course encourages students to develop international perspectives, fosters a concern for global issues, and raises students’ awareness of their own responsibilities at a local, national and international level. The course also seeks to develop values and attitudes that will enable students to achieve a degree of personal commitment in trying to resolve these issues, appreciating our shared responsibility as citizens of an increasingly interdependent world.

What’s the different between Standard and Higher Level?

At both standard level and higher level, candidates are required to study four topics: microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics and development economics with some sub-topics within these reserved solely for higher level. These sections are assessed by two examinations at standard level and three examinations at higher level.

In addition to the examinations, candidates must submit an internal assessment. Both standard level and higher level economics students must produce a portfolio of three commentaries based on articles from published news media.