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IB DP- Geography

Geography is a dynamic subject firmly grounded in the real world, and focuses on the interactions between individuals, societies and physical processes in both time and space. It seeks to identify trends and patterns in these interactions. It also investigates the way in which people adapt and respond to change, and evaluates actual and possible management strategies associated with such change. Geography describes and helps to explain the similarities and differences between different places, on a variety of scales and from different perspectives. Geography as a subject is distinctive in its spatial dimension and occupies a middle ground between social or human sciences and natural sciences. The course integrates physical, environmental and human geography, and students acquire elements of both socio-economic and scientific methodologies. Geography takes advantage of its position to examine relevant concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines, helping students develop life skills and have an appreciation of, and a respect for, alternative approaches, viewpoints and ideas.

Students at both SL and HL are presented with a common core and optional geographic themes. HL students also study the HL core extension. Although the skills and activity of studying geography are common to all students, HL students are required to acquire a further body of knowledge, to demonstrate critical evaluation and to further synthesize the concepts in the HL extension.

Aims of the Course

The aims of the geography course, according to the subject brief, at SL and HL are to enable students to-

  1. Develop an understanding of the dynamic interrelationships between people, places, spaces and the environment at different scales
  2. Develop a critical awareness and consider complexity thinking in the context of the nexus of geographic issues, including-
  • Acquiring an in-depth understanding of how geographic issues, or wicked problems, have been shaped by powerful human and physical processes
  • Synthesizing diverse geographic knowledge in order to form viewpoints about how these issues could be resolved.
  1. Understand and evaluate the need for planning and sustainable
  2. Development through the management of resources at varying scales.


Curriculum Model Overview

Geographic themes (seven options)
(SL—two options; HL— three options)
• Freshwater
• Oceans and coastal margins
• Extreme environments
• Geophysical hazards
• Leisure, tourism and sport
• Food and health
• Urban environments
Reccomended teaching hours- 60/SL, 90/HL

SL and HL core
Geographic perspectives—global change
• Population distribution—changing population
• Global climate—vulnerability and resilience
• Global resource consumption and security
Reccomended teaching hours- 70/SL, 70/HL

Geographic perspectives—global interactions (HL only)
• Power, places and networks
• Human development and diversity
• Global risks and resilience
Reccomended teaching hours- 60/HL

Internal assessment
SL and HL Fieldwork
Fieldwork, leading to one written report based ona fieldwork question, information collection and analysis with evaluation
Reccomended teaching hours- 20/SL, 20/HL


Assessment Model
There are four assessment objectives (AOs) for the SL and HL geography course that are listed in the subject brief. Having taken up the course at SL or HL, students will be expected to have learned the following:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of specified content
    • Between areas of film focus and film elements employed by
    • The core theme—global change
    • Two optional themes at SL and three optional themes at HL
    • At HL, the HL extension—global interactions
    • In internal assessment, a specific geographic research topic.

  2. Demonstrate application and analysis of knowledge and understanding
    • Apply and analyse geographic concepts and theories
    • Identify and interpret geographic patterns and processes in unfamiliar information, data and cartographic material
    • Demonstrate the extent to which theories and concepts are recognized and understood in particular contexts.

  3. Demonstrate synthesis and evaluation
    • Examine and evaluate geographic concepts, theories and perceptions
    • Use geographic concepts and examples to formulate and present an argument
    • Evaluate materials using methodology appropriate for geographic fieldwork
    • At HL only, demonstrate synthesis and evaluation of the HL extension—global interactions.

  4. Select, use and apply a variety of appropriate skills and techniques
    • Select, use and apply:

  • prescribed geographic skills in appropriate contexts
  • techniques and skills appropriate to a geographic research question.
    • Produce well-structured written material, using appropriate

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IB DP- Geography
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