Group 3 (Individuals and Societies)


Courses offered:
Economics (SL, HL)
History (SL, HL)

The aims of all subjects in Group 3, Individuals and Societies are to
Encourage the systematic and critical study of human experience and behavior; physical, economic and social environments; the history and development of social and cultural institutions;
Develop in the student the capacity to identify, to analyze critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments about the nature and activities of the individual and society;
Enable the student to collect, describe and analyze data used in studies of society, to test hypotheses and interpret complex data and source material;
Promote the appreciation of the way in which learning is relevant to both the culture in which the student lives, and the culture of other societies;
lives, and the culture of other societies
Develop an awareness in the student that human attitudes and opinions are widely diverse and that a study of society requires an appreciation of such diversity;
Enable the student to recognize that the content and methodologies of the subjects in Group 3 are contestable and that their study requires the toleration of uncertainty.

A. Economics (SL, HL)

Economics is a dynamic social science, forming part of the study of individuals and societies. The study of economics is essentially about the concept of scarcity and the problem of resource allocation. Although economics involves the formulation of theory, it is not a purely theoretical subject: economic theories can be applied to real-world examples. Neither is economics a discrete subject, since economics incorporates elements of history, geography, psychology, sociology, political studies and many other related fields of study. Economics does not exist in a vacuum, because it naturally must consider how economic theory is to be applied in an international context.

The scientific approach characterizes the standard methodology of economics. This methodology can be summarized as a progression from problem identification, through hypothesis formulation and testing, arriving finally at a conclusion. Alongside the empirical observations of positive economics, students of the subject are asked to formulate normative questions. Encouraging students to explore such questions forms the central focus of the economics course.

The HL course in economics differs from the SL course in economics in terms of the
devoted to teaching (240 hours for HL compared to 150 hours for SL)
extra depth and breadth required (HL extension topics)
nature of the examination questions.

The following topics are studied in this particular economics course at both HL and SL:

Section 1: Microeconomics
1.1 Competitive markets: demand and supply (some topics HL only)
1.2 Elasticity
1.3 Government intervention (some topics HL extension, plus one topic HL only)
1.4 Market failure (some topics HL only)
1.5 Theory of the firm and market structures (HL only)

Section 2: Macroeconomics
2.1 The level of overall economic activity (one topic HL extension)
2.2 Aggregate demand and aggregate supply (one topic HL only)
2.3 Macroeconomic objectives (some topics HL extension, plus one topic HL only)
2.4 Fiscal policy
2.5 Monetary policy
2.6 Supply-side policies

Section 3: International economics
3.1 International trade (one topic HL extension, plus one topic HL only)
3.2 Exchange rates (some topics HL extension)
3.3 The balance of payments (one topic HL extension, plus some topics HL only)
3.4 Economic integration (one topic HL extension)
3.5 Terms of trade (HL only)

Section 4: Development economics
4.1 Economic development
4.2 Measuring development
4.3 The role of domestic factors
4.4 The role of international trade (one topic HL extension)
4.5 The role of foreign direct investment (FDI)
4.6 The roles of foreign aid and multilateral development assistance
4.7 The role of international debt
4.8 The balance between markets and intervention

Group 3 - Economics (HL/SL) Assessment Outline
HL SL % of Final Grade
Portfolio of 3 Commentaries, each of which is up to 750 words and based on a different section of the syllabus Portfolio of 3 Commentaries, each of which is up to 750 words and based on a different section of the syllabus 20 (HL) / 20 (SL)
Paper 1 - 1of 2 ?'s on Section 1 of syllabus and 1 of 2 ?'s on Section 2 Paper 1 - 1of 2 ?'s on Section 1 of syllabus and 1 of 2 ?'s on Section 2 30 (HL) / 40 (SL)
Paper 2 - 1of 2 ?'s on Section 3 of syllabus and 1 of 2 ?'s on Section 4 Paper 2 - 1of 2 ?'s on Section 3 of syllabus and 1 of 2 ?'s on Section 4 30 (HL) / 40 (SL)
Paper 3 - 2 of 3 ?'s on all sections of syllabus NA 20 (HL only)

B. History (SL, HL)

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.

At MEF, the following subjects are studied:
Prescribed Subject: The Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-79 (SL/HL)
Topic 3: Origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states (SL/HL)
Topic 5: The Cold War (SL/HL)
Option 5: Aspects of the history of Europe and the Middle East (HL only)
European diplomacy and the First World War, 1870-1923
Imperial Russia, revolutions, emergence of Soviet State, 1853–1924
The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1924-2000

The aims of the history course at SL and HL are to
promote an understanding of history as a discipline, including the nature and diversity of its sources,
methods and interpretations
encourage an understanding of the present through critical reflection upon the past
encourage an understanding of the impact of historical developments at national, regional and
international levels
develop an awareness of one's own historical identity through the study of the historical experiences of
different cultures.

Group 3 - History (HL/SL) Assessment Outline
HL SL % of Final Grade
Hist. Investigation (Essay) Hist. Investigation (Essay) 20 (HL) /  25 (SL)
Paper 1- Prescribed Subject Paper 1- Prescribed Subject 20 (HL) / 30 (SL)
Paper 2 on Topics 3 and 5 Paper 2 on Topics 3 and 5 25 (HL) / 45 (SL)
Paper 3 on Option 5 NA 35 (HL only)