Group 3 subjects study individuals and societies. More commonly, these subjects are collectively known as the human sciences or social sciences. In essence, group 3 subjects explore the interactions between humans and their environment in time, space and place.
History is more than the study of the past. It is the process of recording, reconstructing and interpreting the past through the investigation of a variety of sources. It is a discipline that gives people an understanding of themselves and others in relation to the world, both past and present.
Students of history should learn how the discipline works. It is an exploratory subject that poses questions without providing definitive answers. In order to understand the past, students must engage with it both through exposure to primary historical sources and through the work of historians. Historical study involves both selection and interpretation of data and critical evaluation of it. Students of history should appreciate the relative nature of historical knowledge and understanding, as each generation reflects its own world and preoccupations and as more evidence emerges. A study of history both requires and develops an individual’s understanding of, and empathy for, people living in other periods and contexts.
Diploma Programme history consists of a standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) core syllabus comprising an in-depth study of an individual prescribed subject and the selection of two topics. At HL students select from a range of optional syllabuses that cover a wider time span encouraging in-depth study.
Thus Diploma Programme history provides both structure and flexibility, fostering an understanding of major historical events in a global context. It requires students to make comparisons between similar and dissimilar solutions to common human situations, whether they be political, economic or social. It invites comparisons between, but not judgments of, different cultures, political systems and national traditions.
The international perspective in Diploma Programme history provides a sound platform for the promotion of international understanding and, inherently, the intercultural awareness necessary to prepare students for global citizenship. Above all, it helps to foster respect and understanding of people and events in a variety of cultures throughout the world.
Prior learningStudents need not have studied history prior to starting this course. In particular, it is neither expected nor required that specific subjects have been studied for national or international qualifications in preparation for this course. The specific skills and knowledge required are developed throughout the course itself.
Difference between SL and HLThe model for Diploma Programme history is a core curriculum for SL and HL students, consisting of prescribed subjects and topics. HL students are required, in addition, to undertake an in-depth study of a period of history. While many of the skills of studying history are common to both SL and HL, the HL student is required, through in-depth study, to synthesize and critically evaluate knowledge.