Explore the diverse landscape of Individuals and Societies IB subjects with Study Academy Vienna’s comprehensive guide. From IB History’s in-depth analysis of global events to IB Economics’ study of economic systems and policies, each subject equips students with critical skills and knowledge essential for understanding and navigating our complex world.

IB History as part of IB Individuals and Societies Subjects

Overview of the curriculum

The IB History curriculum is structured around four main themes: Causes, Practices, and Effects of Wars; Authoritarian States; The Cold War; and The Move to Global War. Within each theme, students examine specific case studies and historical contexts. Additionally, they engage with primary and secondary sources to deepen their understanding of historical processes and phenomena. Through in-depth research, analysis, and interpretation, students develop the ability to evaluate historical evidence. They construct coherent arguments and articulate their interpretations effectively. Consequently, the IB History curriculum encourages students to consider diverse perspectives, challenge conventional narratives, and appreciate the complexity of historical events. It also emphasizes their implications for the present day.

Key themes and topics covered

Individuals and Societies IB Subjects: A Comprehensive Guide  - Image 1
Causes, Practices, and Effects of Wars:

  • The causes of major conflicts such as World War I and World War II
  • The impact of warfare on societies, economies, and cultures
  • The role of military strategies, technologies, and tactics in shaping the outcomes of wars


Authoritarian States

  • The rise of totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia
  • The methods of control and repression employed by authoritarian leaders
  • The impact of authoritarian rule on individual rights, freedoms, and social structures

The Cold War:

  • The ideological, political, and military tensions between the United States and the

Soviet Union:

  • The proxy wars, espionage, and arms race that characterized the Cold War era
  • The impact of Cold War rivalries on global politics, economics, and culture

The Move to Global War:

  • The causes and consequences of conflicts such as the Spanish Civil War, the Chinese Civil War, and the Korean War
  • The role of nationalism, imperialism, and territorial disputes in fuelling global conflicts
  • The efforts to maintain peace and security through international organizations such as the League of Nations and the United Nations


IB Economics as part of the IB Individuals and Societies Subjects

Overview of the curriculum

  1. Microeconomics: Students explore the behaviour of individual economic agents. They include consumers, producers, and firms, and how their interactions determine market outcomes. Topics include supply and demand, market structures, price determination, and consumer behaviour.
  2. Macroeconomics: Students examine the broader aggregates and trends in the economy, such as national income, inflation, unemployment, and economic growth. They analyse the role of government policy in stabilizing the economy, addressing market failures, and promoting sustainable development.
  3. International Economics: Students investigate the global interconnectedness of economies through the study of international trade, exchange rates, balance of payments, and globalization. They explore the benefits and challenges of international trade and financial integration, as well as the implications for economic policy.
  4. Development Economics: Students study the economic development of nations, focusing on the factors that contribute to or hinder economic growth, poverty alleviation, and human development. Topics include income inequality, sustainable development goals, and the role of international aid and institutions.
  5. Evaluation and Analysis: Throughout the course, students develop critical thinking skills and analytical techniques to evaluate economic theories, policies, and real-world issues. Additionally, they learn to apply economic models, interpret data, and communicate their findings effectively through written analysis and oral presentations.
  6. Internal Assessment: Students complete an internal assessment project that allows them to apply economic concepts and methodologies to a real-world issue or case study of their choice. They conduct independent research, analyse data, and present their findings in a structured report, demonstrating their ability to apply economic theory to practical situations.

Economics subject brief SL and HL

The Economics subject brief for both Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL) in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program provides an overview of the key concepts, skills, and assessment components of the course. Here’s a summary of the Economics subject brief for SL and HL:

  1. Course Content: The Economics course covers a range of topics, including microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, and development economics. Students explore fundamental economic principles, theories, and real-world applications to understand economic systems and behaviour.
  2. Assessment Components: The assessment for both SL and HL consists of three components: Paper 1, Paper 2, and Internal Assessment (IA). Paper 1 assesses students’ knowledge and understanding of microeconomics, while Paper 2 assesses macroeconomics. The IA requires students to conduct independent research and write a report on an economic issue of their choice.
  3. Differences between SL and HL: While both SL and HL cover the same core topics, HL students study additional topics in more depth and complexity. HL students also have an additional Paper 3 exam, which includes quantitative and qualitative analysis questions based on a case study provided by the IB.

IB Business Management as part of the IB Individuals and Societies Subjects

Overview of the curriculum

  1. Business Organization and Environment: Students study the different forms of business organizations, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and nonprofit organizations.
  2. Human Resource Management: Students explore the role of human resource management in businesses, including recruitment, training, motivation, and performance appraisal. They learn about employment laws, labour relations, and ethical considerations related to managing human resources.
  3. Finance and Accounts: Students learn about financial management principles, including budgeting, financial analysis, investment decisions, and sources of finance.
  4. Marketing: Students study marketing concepts, strategies, and techniques used by businesses to identify customer needs, develop products, set prices, promote products, and distribute goods and services. They learn about market research, branding, advertising, and digital marketing strategies.
  5. Operations Management: Students explore operations management principles, including production processes, quality control, inventory management, and supply chain management. They analyse methods for improving efficiency, reducing costs, and meeting customer demand.
  6. Strategic Management: Students learn about strategic planning, competitive advantage, and business growth strategies. They analyse case studies and real-world examples to understand how businesses formulate and implement strategic plans to achieve their goals and objectives.
  7. Ethics and Social Responsibility: Students examine ethical issues and corporate social responsibility in business decision-making. They explore ethical dilemmas, sustainability practices, and the impact of business activities on stakeholders, communities, and the environment.
  8. Internal Assessment: Students complete an internal assessment project that allows them to apply business management concepts and theories to a real-world business issue or case study of their choice. They conduct research, analyse data, and present their findings in a structured report, demonstrating their understanding of business management principles and practices.
Individuals and Societies IB Subjects: A Comprehensive Guide  - Image 2

Differences between SL and HL

In the IB Business Management course, there are differences between Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL) in terms of depth of content, assessment components, and the level of complexity. Here’s a comparison of SL and HL:

  • Depth of Content:

SL students cover the core principles and concepts of business management. In contrast, HL students delve into advanced topics and additional areas of study. They explore a broader range of topics and study them in greater depth.

  • Assessment Components:

Both SL and HL students are assessed through three main components: Paper 1, Paper 2, and Internal Assessment (IA). However, HL students may have additional requirements or components in their assessments. For instance, they encounter more complex questions and additional case studies.

  • Extended Essay:

HL students are required to complete an extended essay in Business Management, allowing them to conduct in-depth research on a specific business topic. This component is not required for SL students.

  • Depth of Analysis:

HL students are expected to demonstrate a higher level of critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis in their responses. They apply theoretical concepts to more complex case studies or real-world scenarios, unlike SL students.

IB Geography as part of the IB Individuals and Societies Subjects

Overview of the curriculum

Individuals and Societies IB Subjects: A Comprehensive Guide  - Image 3
  1. Core Topics: Students study concepts such as ecosystems, hazards, climate change, urban environments, population dynamics, and globalization. They learn about the processes shaping Earth’s physical features and human societies, as well as the interconnectedness of these processes on a global scale.
  2. Optional Themes: These themes may include coastal environments, freshwater systems, hazards and disasters, leisure, tourism, and sport, and geographical perspectives on economic development.
  3. Geographical Skills: IB Geography emphasizes the development of geographical skills, including map reading, data analysis, fieldwork techniques, and spatial analysis. Additionally, students learn to use geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing technologies, and other tools to collect, analyse, and interpret geographical data.
  4. Fieldwork: Fieldwork is an integral part of the IB Geography curriculum, allowing students to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings. Students conduct fieldwork investigations to collect primary data, observe geographical phenomena, and develop fieldwork skills such as data collection, analysis, and presentation.
  5. Assessment Components: Assessment in IB Geography consists of internal assessment (IA) and external assessment. IA tasks may include fieldwork investigations, research projects, or geographical inquiries. Also, external assessment includes written examinations that assess students’ knowledge, understanding, and application of geographical concepts and skills.
  6. Global Perspectives: Students explore case studies and examples from different regions of the world, allowing them to understand the interconnectedness of global issues and phenomena.
  7. Interdisciplinary Connections: Students explore how geographical processes intersect with social, economic, and political factors, and how these interactions shape the world we live in.

IB Psychology as part of the IB Individuals and Societies Subjects

Overview of the curriculum

Individuals and Societies IB Subjects: A Comprehensive Guide  - Image 4
  1. Core Topics: Students study areas such as biological, cognitive, and sociocultural influences on behaviour, as well as the research methods used in psychology to investigate human behaviour and mental processes.
  2. Biological Psychology: Students explore the biological bases of behaviour, including the structure and function of the nervous system, neurotransmitters, genetics, and the influence of biological factors on behaviour and mental health disorders.
  3. Cognitive Psychology: Students study cognitive processes such as perception, memory, thinking, and language. They examine cognitive theories and models, as well as cognitive biases, decision-making, and problem-solving strategies.
  4. Sociocultural Psychology: Students investigate the impact of cultural and social factors on behaviour and mental processes. They explore topics such as cultural norms and values, social identity, socialization, conformity, obedience, and prejudice.
  5. Abnormal Psychology: Students examine psychological disorders, their classification, diagnosis, and treatment. They study different approaches to understanding and treating psychological disorders, including biological, cognitive, behavioural, and sociocultural perspectives.
  6. Research Methods: IB Psychology emphasizes the importance of research methods in psychology. Students learn about experimental design, ethical considerations in research, data analysis techniques, and the interpretation of research findings.
  7. Internal Assessment (IA): Students conduct a psychological investigation as part of their IA, applying their knowledge of research methods to design and conduct a study on a topic of their choice. They collect and analyse data, draw conclusions, and evaluate the strengths and limitations of their study.
  8. External Assessment: External assessment in IB Psychology consists of written examinations that assess students’ knowledge and understanding of core topics in psychology. Also, it assess their ability to apply psychological theories and concepts to real-world scenarios.

Our Take

At Study Academy Vienna, we offer a comprehensive range of IB Individuals and Societies subjects, with highly qualified IB teachers who bring expertise and experience to their teaching. Our dedicated IB team ensures IB students receive top-quality education and support to excel in their IB studies and beyond.