IB History Syllabus

IBDP History is a demanding Group 3 subject based on a study of international history. So, what exactly is involved in IB History? Here is a summary of the main features to help you understand the expectations and structure of the course.

What is IB History?

During your IB History you will look at history thematically such as economic, political and social as well as chronologically. You will address key concepts including change, continuity, causation, consequence, significance and perspectives.

Not only will it deepen your knowledge and understanding of selected historical topics it will further develop your critical thinking, widen your appreciation of various historical perspectives and promote ‘international-mindedness’.

The different components aim to explore and develop particular skill sets.

Standard and Higher Level

Paper 1 – Externally marked

  • Is assessing your source work skills -your ability to evaluate, compare and contrast and analyse sources.
  • You will study one from five prescribed topics, focusing on two case studies from two different regions.
  • You will analyse four sources based on your prescribed topic in 1 hour.

Paper 2Externally marked

  • You will study a detailed overview of two world history topics, chosen from twelve, across at least two regions.
  • You will be assessed on your extended writing skills, your ability to form an opinion and be able to justify this using your knowledge, understanding and historical approaches.
  • You will be expected to write two well-structured essays in 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Internal Assessment – Internally marked, externally moderated

  • An investigation into an historical topic of your choice.
  • You will develop your own question, carry out your own research, evaluate two sources, write a response to your question, use appropriate referencing and reflect on the role of an historian.
  • 2200 word limit

Higher Level Only

Paper 3 – Externally marked

  • You will study a ‘Depth Study’ focusing on one of four world regions.
  • Like Paper 2, it is assessing your essay writing skills, but this time the question will be narrower. Therefore, you are required to show greater depth of knowledge and understanding.
  • You will be expected to write three in-depth essays in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

For more details please read the subject brief from the International Baccalaureate Organisation.