Group 3 Individuals and Societies

Business & Management (Higher Level only) This course covers the following aims and topics:

  • how and why individuals form organisations
  • organisational problems and life cycles
  • the variety of organisations that exist including profit-making and non-profit-making organisations
  • the principles of organisation and the techniques widely practised in the ongoing process of decision-making
  • the interdependency of organisations and the effect on problem-solving
  • the role of individuals and groups within organisations.

Economics (Higher and Standard Level)

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 emphasizes 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. At both standard level and higher level, candidates are required to study four topics:

  • microeconomics
  • macroeconomics
  • international economics
  • development economics

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.

Geography (Higher and Standard Level)

Geography emphasises a variety of geographical skills such as: interpreting and analysing geographical material, formulating and undertaking geographical investigations, using quantitative methods of analysis, reading and interpreting maps, and producing written material. The development of an understanding of the interrelationships between people, places, spaces and the environment; the development of a concern for human welfare and the quality of the environment; understanding of the need for sustainable management, and development of a global perspective, all form the basis of the IB Geography syllabus. Both Standard and Higher Level students examine the core themes of:

  • Patterns and Change
  • Populations in transition
  • Disparities in wealth and development
  • Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability
  • Patterns in resources consumption.

Two optional themes are required at Standard Level; three optional themes are required at Higher Level:

  • Fresh water – issues and conflicts
  • Hazards and disasters – risk assessment and response
  • Food and Health

There are seven compulsory topics in the Higher Level extension of ‘Global Interactions:

  • Measuring global interactions
  • Changing space – the shrinking world
  • Economic interactions and flows
  • Environmental change
  • Sociocultural exchanges
  • Political outcomes
  • Global interactions at the local level.

Fieldwork on drainage basins, settlement and sand dunes succession is a compulsory part of the course and takes place in the spring of the first year in the French regions of The Cevennes or Morocco.

Modern History (Higher and Standard Level)

Far more than a simple narrative of events, the study of history involves recording, reconstructing and interpreting past events through the investigation of a variety of sources. Throughout the course, students engage in dialogue with both primary accounts and the work of historians, and thus develop a deeper appreciation of the limitations of sources of evidence and differing historical interpretations. Underpinning this, students must develop a sound knowledge of the events of the periods studied and a good working knowledge of historical methods. The course equips students with skills required by many of the professions, including analysis, synthesis of information and the capacity to write formal essays and debate. Students have the opportunity to attend historical conferences which afford them the chance to hear distinguished academics speak on topics directly relevant to their studies. Topics include international relations 1918–36; the origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states, the origins of the Cold War; the Russian Civil War, Mao’s China and the causes of World War II. Higher Level students also study the history of Europe and the Middle East and Russia during the tumultuous years of 1853-1924.

Psychology (Standard Level – online course)

This is an online course, whose availability is dependent on an interview to determine student suitability for this type of study. Any student interested in completing this course would need to demonstrate strong independent study skills and a very high level of organisation Psychology is offered as an online course with Pamoja Education. Students would therefore work via the internet with an IB experienced teacher who is external to the school. There is a school-based co-ordinator and all final exams are completed in school. No prior study of psychology is needed for this course. Psychology is the systematic study of behaviour and mental processes with roots in both the natural and social sciences which provides an approach to understanding modern society. IB Psychology adopts an integrative approach – looking at the interaction between biological, cognitive and socio cultural influences on human behaviour. Students also study one of the option topics chosen from: abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology or sports psychology or the psychology of human relationships.