The IB requires students to select six subjects. They must take one from each of the six groups: three at higher level (HL) and three at standard level (SL).
Humankind has been concerned throughout recorded history with religious questions, such as the existence of God, the meaning and purpose of life and death, and the sense we make of our lives. In the contemporary world, religion has a significant influence on individuals and societies across the globe. The power of religion to both unite and divide affects believers and unbelievers alike. Therefore, religion in its varied forms is a distinctive realm of human experience that demands academic inquiry. The Diploma Programme World Religions course is a systematic, analytical yet empathetic study of the variety of beliefs and practices encountered in nine main religions of the world. The course seeks to promote an awareness of religious issues in the contemporary world by requiring the study of a diverse range of religions. The religions are studied in such a way that students acquire a sense of what it is like to belong to a particular religion and how that influences the way in which the followers of that religion understand the world, act in it, and relate and respond to others.
Psychology is the systematic study of behaviour and mental processes and has its roots in both the natural and social sciences, leading to a variety of research designs and applications, and providing a unique approach to understanding modern society. In the first year, students deal with the ethical concerns raised by the methodology and application of Psychological research followed by examining the interaction of cognitive (higher mental process such as memory), sociocultural (the influence of culture, society effect of groups on individuals and vice versa), and biological (the role of neurochemicals, hormones, genetics in the study of human behaviour) influences on human behaviour, thereby adopting an integrative approach. In the second year students utilise these levels of analysis to understand Abnormal Psychology and the Psychology of Human Relationships. Understanding how psychological knowledge is generated, developed and applied enables students to achieve a greater understanding of themselves and appreciate the diversity of human behaviour. Cultural diversity is explored and students are encouraged to develop empathy for the feelings, needs and lives of others within and outside their own culture. This empathy contributes to an international understanding.
Philosophy lies at the heart of all major ideas that have shaped history. This course covers themes of epistemology, political philosophy and philosophy of self. You will encounter many celebrated theories from Western philosophy, but the focus is on philosophy as an activity rather than a catalogue. You will explore the subject through classroom dialogue and should be prepared to question your own beliefs.
Global Politics is a pilot IB course that draws on various disciplines from the humanities and the social sciences, reflecting the complexity of contemporary political issues. You will explore fundamental political concepts such as power, rights, sovereignty, and development on your way to developing an understanding of political activity and issues at the local, national, and global levels. More than just an introduction to international relations, Global Politics includes four core units that together comprise the unifying theme of ‘people, power, and politics.’ This course will only be offered at the Higher Level.
History is more than the study of the past. It is the process of recording, reconstructing and interpreting the past through the investigation of a variety of sources. It is an exploratory subject that poses questions without providing definitive answers. In order to understand the past, students must engage with it both through exposure to primary historical sources and through the work of historians. Historical study involves both selection and interpretation of data and critical evaluation of it. In their first year, students study topics in 20th century world history – e.g. Cold War and Single-Party states, In their second year (not done by SL) students focus on the history of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) in the 19th & 20th Centuries. Political History is stressed by the IB as is the role of powerful individuals in shaping history. Social, cultural and economic History also receive some attention. Students interested in India should do the HL course. The SL is a one year course and focuses on 20th century World History.
The study of economics is essentially about dealing with scarcity, resource allocation and the methods and processes by which choices are made. As a social science, economics uses scientific methodologies that include quantitative and qualitative elements. As part of the IB Diploma Programme, the Economics 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. The 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.