The aims of the geography syllabus at SL and HL are to enable students to:-

  • Develop an understanding of the interrelationships between people, places, spaces and the environment
  • Develop a concern for human welfare and the quality of the environment, and an understanding of the need for planning and sustainable management
  • Appreciate the relevance of geography in analysing contemporary issues and challenges, and develop a global perspective of diversity and change.


  • Locate and differentiate elements of the Earth’s surface
  • Interpret, analyse and, when appropriate, construct tables, graphs, diagrams, cartographic material and images
  • Undertake statistical calculations to show patterns and summarize information
  • Research, process and interpret data and information
  • Collect and select relevant geographic information
  • Evaluate sources of geographic information
  • Produce written material (including essays, reports and investigations.)


There are four assessment objectives (AOs) for the SL and HL Diploma Programme geography course.:-

  • AO1 - Knowledge and understanding of specified content
  • AO2 - Application and analysis of knowledge and understanding
  • AO3 - Synthesis and evaluation
  • AO4 - Selection, use and application of a variety of appropriate skills and techniques.

Students will be formatively and summatively assessed using a wide range of assessment tasks. This may include, for example, essays, presentations, case studies, worksheets, statistical analysis, graphing, past paper questions and tests.

Distinction Between HL/SL

Students at standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) in geography are presented with a syllabus that has a common core and optional themes. HL students also study the higher level extension. The syllabus requires the development of certain skills, attributes and knowledge as described in the assessment objectives of the course.

Grade 11

Part 1: Core theme—patterns and change (SL/HL) – Content is examined in Paper 1 in the I.B Geography examination

There are four compulsory topics in this core theme:-

  • Populations in transition
  • Disparities in wealth and development
  • Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability
  • Patterns in resource consumption

Students will be introduced to Optional theme - Hazards and disasters—risk assessment and response. They will undertake fieldwork locally and produce a piece of internally assessed coursework of 2,500 words in May.

Grade 12

Part 2: Optional themes (SL/HL) – Content is examined in Paper 2 in the I.B Geography examination

Two optional themes are required at SL.

Three optional themes are required at HL.

We cover three optional themes:-

  • Hazards and disasters—risk assessment and response
  • The geography of food and health
  • Oceans and Their Coastal Margins ( Internal assessment will be done on ‘Coasts’/2 day Field trip to Shimoda to gather data.

Part 3: HL extension—global interactions (HL only) There are seven compulsory topics in the HL extension. Content is examined in Paper 3 in the I.B Geography examination

  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