Senior School Prospectus.
Subject Groupings and Descriptions
Group 3: Individuals and Societies
Business and Management, Economics, Geography, History and Psychology are offered at both Higher and Standard Level.
Business Management (SL and HL)
The Business Management course introduces students to business theory and guides them in the application of fundamental business principles, tools, practices, and skills. The course explores the diverse range of business organisations and activities within their cultural and economic contexts. Emphasis is placed on strategic decision-making and the daily business functions of marketing, production, human resource management, and finance. Students will gain an awareness of the social, ethical, and environmental considerations that influence organisations and consider the implications of responsible business practices for individuals and the global economy.
Students study five topics: Introduction to Business Management, Human Resources, Accounts and Finance, Marketing, and Operations Management. Students will compose a business analysis for their internal assessment piece, and sit two written exams (three for HL) for the final assessment at the end of the course. These topics will be presented in relation to 4 key concepts: change, creativity, ethics and sustainability.
While no prior knowledge is necessary for enrolment, students will be encouraged to keep abreast of significant local and global affairs throughout the course to apply and reinforce their learning. The decision-making and critical thinking skills acquired in Business Management will enhance the ability of students to participate in commercial industries. This is an ideal course for any student considering university studies or careers in business administration, human resources, the fashion industry, advertising, logistics, finance, and the arts, as well as for anyone interested in how business affects the world around them.
Economics (SL and HL)
The IBDP Economics programme examines how individuals and societies address the basic economic problem of scarcity. The questions of what goods and services should be produced, as well as how they should be produced and distributed given limited resources, are at the heart of this course. The course is built around nine Economic Concepts: Scarcity, Choice, Change, Efficiency, Intervention, Equity, Economic Well-being, Sustainability and Interdependence. After studying the concepts, students learn about the theoretical models and their implementation in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Microeconomics looks at individual consumers and firms, whereas Macroeconomics looks at society and the economy as a whole. In the third section, students explore issues pertaining to the Global Economy. Topics for this unit are International Trade, Protectionism, Exchange Rates and Sustainable Economic Development. These topics help students appreciate the impact of global economic interactions on individuals and societies.
All students (SL & HL) cover all three sections: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and the Global Economy. However, HL students cover extended material within each section.
All students (SL & HL) prepare an Internal Assessment (IA) portfolio containing three IA commentary pieces that apply economic concepts and models to extracts from news media. The external IB examination at the end of the two-year course consists of two written papers with calculations of key areas, with HL students writing an additional policy paper.
Students enrolling in IBDP Economics need not have taken related courses previously, but they would benefit from a review of introductory economic concepts such as scarcity, opportunity cost, production possibilities and the factors of production. Furthermore, a review of the nine economic concepts would greatly benefit the student.
The exposure to theoretical concepts and models gained in Economics will enable students to pursue challenging university courses and prepare them to conduct quantitative and qualitative research in business and academia. Students interested in undertaking this course will most likely be considering further studies or careers in Finance, Logistics, Politics, Law, Non-profit organisations, or International Business.
Geography (SL and HL)
The world is going to change in significant ways over the next 50 years, with most of the world’s issues - at a local & global scale - boiling down to Geography. The Geographers of the future will be needed to help understand and solve issues like climate change, food and energy security, the rapid growth of megacities, the over-consumption of resources and the impact of economic change on communities.
As an interdisciplinary subject, Geography is uniquely positioned between the physical and social sciences to put the understanding of social and physical processes within the context of place. Geography takes advantage of this position to examine relevant concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines, including Biology, Physics, Sociology, Economics and Politics. This position enables Geography students to recognise the great differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes and environments across the world, and therefore explore the links between them.
Both Higher & Standard Level students study the core topics of Population Change, Climate Change and Consuming Resources. Higher Level students then study three additional units of Urban Environments, Geophysical Hazards and Geographies of Food and Health, and Standard Level students pick two of the three. Both Standard and Higher Level students complete an Internal Assessment project involving a one-day field trip within Hong Kong. Higher Level students also study a further core extension of three units related to Globalisation and Global Interactions.
Geography students learn and develop a number of transferable skills - such as problem-solving and critical thinking - that are seen as highly desirable for university courses and employers alike; even for those degrees and careers that appear more loosely related to the subject. Students who study Geography go on to a wide and varied number of careers, including resource & environmental management, town planning, travel & tourism, consultancy, architecture and business management to name a few.
The study of Geography enriches lives by promoting curiosity about other people and places, and develops an appreciation of the patterns, environments, and peoples that make up this endlessly fascinating and varied planet on which we live.
History (SL and HL)
The DC History course is a 20th century world history course. We cover three core units; a) the move to global war, focusing on military expansion in Japan, Germany and Italy from 1931-41 b) authoritarian and single-party states focusing on Mao Zedong and Adolf Hitler c) The Cold War and superpower tensions since 1945.
In addition to the core study of 20th century world history, Higher Level students study three additional units; a) the inter-war years, looking at the rise of Hitler, Mussolini and the Spanish Civil War b) Diplomacy in Europe, exploring different peace settlements, appeasement and the impact of World War 2 c)The Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia, examining the rise and rule of Stalin, Post war developments, and the transformation and collapse of the Soviet-Union.
Students learn from a wide range of sources including many authentic works of history. The emphasis is on developing skills such as analysing and evaluating historical sources and arguments, and essay writing. In the second year of the course, students complete an internal assessment activity that is an in-depth analysis of one topic of personal interest, this is worth 20% (SL) /25% (HL) of the final grade. The remainder of formal assessment comes from the external examinations at the end of the course.
No prior study of History is needed. This course is valuable for students with an interest in History as well as students interested in further studies/careers in areas such as history, politics, law, and international business.
Psychology (SL and HL)
Psychology is the systematic study of behaviour and mental processes. Psychology 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. IB Diploma psychology examines the interaction of biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on human behaviour, thereby adopting an integrative approach. 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. This may help students to better understand the influences on, and motivations for, human behaviour. Students of psychology may also become better communicators and improve their empathy and interpersonal skills. The ethical concerns raised by the methodology and application of psychological research are key considerations in DP psychology. Learning about the scientific method and topics such as decision-making and problem-solving will hone critical thinking.
In addition to biological, cognitive, social and cultural perspectives on psychology, students will study subfields of psychology, for example abnormal, developmental, social or health psychology. Standard level students will study one of these options whereas Higher Level students will study two. Both standard and higher level students will learn to understand quantitative research methodology and will design and carry out one psychology experiment during the course. In addition, higher level students will learn to apply qualitative research methods, such as interviews, observations and case studies.
No prior study of psychology is expected. No particular background in terms of specific subjects studied for national or international qualifications is expected or required of students. The skills needed for the psychology course are developed during the course itself.