IB Geography

Geography is a Group 3 subject (individuals and societies), although it can also be selected as a group 6 subject. It is an IB requirement that one subject is selected from groups 1 to 5. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (HL) and three subjects at standard level (SL). Under exceptional circumstances some students study four subjects at HL. Geography is a unique subject that it offers a link between social sciences (history, business, economics, sociology and psychology) and the hard sciences (physics, biology and chemistry). Because of its cross-curricular nature it teaches and incorporates a wide variety of skills (please read Why Study Geography?).

Geography is a dynamic subject that is extremely important and pertinent in today's world. It studies the interactions between individuals, societies and the physical world. It looks at how individuals and communities respond to an ever changing planet and how they manage these changes.

Geography looks at current global issues like; climate change, globalisation, population growth, multiculturalism, resource management, sustainable development, migration, hazard management, trade and telecommunications.

If you select Geography at SL you have to study four core themes and two optional topics. If you study at HL you also study the four core themes, but do three optional topics and a HL topic on global interactions. Both HL and SL students carry out an internal assessment which will involve data collection.

IB Core Themes: Both HL and SL students have to study the four core themes. The total teaching time of the four core themes is 70 hours.
IB Optional Themes: There are seven optional themes that can be studied. This year the three optional themes that I have taught are; Freshwater - issues and conflict, Hazards and disasters - risk assessment and response and Leisure, sport and tourism. The recommended teaching time for the optional themes is 30 hours each.
IB Global Interactions (HL Extension): Global interactions are only studied by HL students. Global interactions is divided into seven topics. The total recommended teaching time is 60 hours.
  1. IB Populations in Transition
  2. IB Disparities in Wealth and Development
  3. IB Patterns in Environmental Quality and Sustainability
  4. IB Patterns in Resource Consumption
  1. Freshwater - issues and conflict
  2. Oceans and their coastal margins
  3. Extreme environments
  4. Hazards and disasters - risk assessment and response
  5. Leisure, sport and tourism
  6. The geography of food and health
  7. Urban settlements
  1. Measuring global interactions
  2. Changing space-the shrinking world
  3. Economic interactions and flows
  4. Environmental change
  5. Sociocultural exchanges
  6. Political outcomes
  7. Global interactions at the local level
To do well at IB, it is essential that you do wider reading. Throughout the wiki there are hundreds of links to articles that you can read. However, you should not rely on the wiki as your sole source of information, you should do your own wider reading. To help you get started, go to the following links:

IB Geography Case Studies

IB Geography Textbooks and Wider Reading and Viewing

SL students are assessed by two external examinations and an internal assessment. HL students are assessed by three external examinations and an internal assessment. For more detailed knowledge on IB assessments please read: IB internal and external assessment.

For more detailed information about the internal assessment marking criteria and interrupting the marking criteria, please visit: IB Geography Internal Assessment.