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Psychology SL

Part of the IB subject group 3 individuals and societies, Psychology is the systematic study of behaviour and mental processes. Psychology has a variety of research designs and applications, and provides a unique approach to understanding modern society.

Course structure

The course covers the following topics:

Year 1

  • Introduction to IB Psychology
  • Approaches to Research
  • Biological Approaches
  • Cognitive Approaches
  • Sociocultural Approaches
  • Exam and Sociocultural Approaches 2
  • Introduction to the IA

Year 2

  • IA
  • Social and Cultural Approaches Part 3
  • Abnormal Psychology part 1 and IA
  • Review and Trail Exam
  • Abnormal Psychology Part 2
  • Abnormal Psychology Part 3
  • Exam Preparation

This course covers the following applied psychology option:

  • Abnormal psychology

What is different in taking Psychology SL online?

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • access source material in a variety of media
  • learn, practise and review much more at their own pace than in a traditional classroom
  • study alongside students from around the world
  • gain experience of using the latest online learning tools
  • regularly communicate with teachers and fellow students

Some things won’t be different though. Standards and expectations will be just as high as in a face to face classroom.

Activities and assessment

A typical week in IB Psychology would involve a reading assignment and an activity that requires students to engage with the content of the course, for example a discussion forum, a blog post or a worksheet. Students will generally undertake one to two wiki assignments, which are collaborative tasks that the whole class works on. Once a semester students will complete a group project. Lastly students will be assigned IB style assessment tasks once they have mastered the course content of each of the units of study. The Internal Assessment that is assigned involves conducting a psychological experiment and writing a report.

There are two types of assessment in IB Psychology. Formative assessment focuses on student engagement and involvement in the course activities such as the discussion forums and wikis, blog posts and worksheets. These activities are designed to consolidate student understanding of course content.

Advice from our teachers

In order to succeed in Psychology SL, we recommend students set aside four to six hours a week.

Benefits to students

Taking Psychology SL online will enable students to:

  • access a rich source of information about factors that influence human behaviour
  • develop their understanding of people in general and themselves in particular
  • acquire effective work habits to regulate their own learning
  • become experienced in a wide range of technical and social tools

Next steps

Request further information

Talk to your school's IB DP Coordinator

Register your students

How does it work?

Watch our video to find out how IB Diploma Programme students use the Pamoja Taught learning platform on a day-to-day basis throughout the duration of their two-year courses.


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