IB Group 3
Individuals and Societies

Nature of the Study

In contemporary society, issues such as urbanisation, population, development and environmental quality are increasingly important. These, and other themes that express the major concerns of our times, reflect the consequences of decisions about how resources are to be used.

Geography combines elements of the humanities and the sciences to examine how people live, where they live and how they interact with their environment.  Geography has an important role in planning, encouraging international understanding and respect for different cultures.

Higher and Standard Level


All students study the core topics, which include:

  • Populations in Transition – Population growth and migration issues
  • Disparities in Development – The natures and causes of differences in wealth between nations
  • Patterns of Environmental Quality and Sustainability – climate change, soil degradation, water use and sustainable environmental development
  • Patterns in Resource Consumption – energy consumption, conservation of resources


Higher Level students study three, and Standard Level students study two, from this selection:

  • Freshwater – issues and conflicts
  • Oceans and their Coastal Margins
  • Extreme Environments
  • Hazards and Disasters
  • Leisure, Sport and Tourism
  • The Geography of Food and Health
  • Urban Environments

Higher Level Extension

Higher Level students study the following topics:

  • Measuring Global Interactions
  • The Shrinking World
  • Economic Interactions and Flows
  • Environmental Change
  • Sociocultural Exchanges
  • Political Outcomes
  • Global Interactions at a Local Level


Standard Level

Core Topic examination (1.5 hours) – 40%

Optional Topic examination (1.3 hours) – 35%

Internal Assessment – 25%

Higher Level

Core Topic examination (1.5 hours) – 25%

Optional Topic examination (1.3 hours) – 35%

Extension Topic examination (1.0 hour) – 20%

Internal Assessment – 20%

Group 3 – Geography