Group 4 – Natural Sciences

Biology

Biology is the scientific study of living things and how they function. It is an experimental science that combines academic study with practical and investigational skills. The core themes are: cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, ecology, evolution and biodiversity, and human physiology. HL students study some topics in greater depth and some additional topics, such as plant biology and animal physiology.

Chemistry

Chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems, and chemistry is a pre-requisite for many science higher education courses. It is an experimental science that combines academic study with practical and investigational skills. The core themes are: stoichiometric relationships, atomic structure, periodicity, chemical bonding and structure, energetics, chemical kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, redox processes, organic chemistry, and measurement and data processing. The HL course goes into greater depth.

Physics

Physics is the study of the properties and interactions of matter and energy. It is an experimental science that combines academic study with practical and investigational skills. The core themes are: measurement and uncertainties, mechanics, thermal physics, waves, electricity and magnetism, circular motion and gravitation, atomic, nuclear and particle physics, and energy production. The HL course goes into the topics in greater depth. No specific level of achievement in mathematics is required for any IB science course, but HL physics students are often advised to combine it with HL mathematics, and SL physics students are advised to take SL mathematics.

Sports Exercise and Health Science

Offered at SL only, sports, exercise and health science studies physical performance in sport and health. It includes a consideration of the physiological, biomechanical and psychological demands relating to high level performance in an activity. The course is largely classroom-based and follows normal scientific inquiry. The traditional disciplines of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, psychology and nutrition are studied.

Computer Science

Computational thinking lies at the heart of the course and is integrated with other topics. This will be supported by practical activities including programming, a case study and a project to develop a product and associated documentation. Themes covered include computer systems, computer organization and networks. HL students additionally study abstract data structures, resource management and control.

Design Technology

Design technology is a way of thinking and a set of processes and practices that aims to use technology to develop improved solutions to human needs. The course consists of six core topics: human factors and ergonomics, resource management and sustainable production, modelling, final production, innovation and design, and classic design. HL students additionally study user-centric design, sustainability, innovation and markets and commercial production. Practical work is a big part of the course, culminating in a design project.

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