Learning Framework

Social Science

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In the Senior Years, Social Science offers students the opportunity to study areas of personal interest that will form the foundations for their future.

Year 10

Geography is a core subject and all students are required to complete the course in Years 7–10. Geography is a rich and complex discipline, involving two key dimensions:

  • the spatial dimension — where things are and why they are there
  • the ecological dimension — how humans interact with environments.

In Year 10, students have the opportunity to explore their own interests within the Social Sciences. Both Commerce and International Studies are offered as electives, and allow students to engage in commercial and international community studies, with a greater level of participation.

Be the Change Agent: A Design Thinking Challenge, run in conjunction with Knox Grammar School, provides Year 10 students with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of business. The four-day program sees teams of up to ten boys and girls assume management roles and run a virtual company, under the guidance of an experienced mentor.

Years 11–12

There are a range of elective Social Science courses offered in the Higher School Certificate (HSC), and Individuals and Societies subjects in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.


Courses offered in the HSC include:

  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Society and Culture

Business Studies

Business Studies provides students with a foundation across the four key concepts of Finance, Human Resources, Marketing and Operations. Integrated within these concepts are case studies, which allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge to contemporary business issues. Inflation, economic growth, unemployment, income and wealth distribution, foreign debt, labour markets and exchange rates, are key issues studied.


Economics is a subject that promotes a greater higher order thinking, based on the concept of resolving key economic issues. The incorporation of contemporary economic issues and polices are fundamental. Lessons are life-long and benefit students as they take their place in society.


Geography allows students to enhance their understanding and application of human and natural geography both within their local and global communities. Students are exposed to the world of viticulture, urban growth, ecosystems at risk and world cities. This allows students to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the changing communities that they live in, and become more informed as active and knowledgeable participants.

Society and Culture

Society and Culture allows students to compare their own micro-societies, against others that exist around the world. Belief systems, popular culture, continuity and change are key elements of study. Research skills are developed extensively, and achieved through a personal interest project, based on a topic area of the student's choice.

IB Diploma

Students studying the IB Diploma Program must study at least one subject from the Individuals and Societies Academic Area. Subjects offered include:

  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • Global Politics
  • History
  • Psychology

Studying any one of these subjects provides for the development and critical appreciation of human experience and behaviour, the varieties of physical, economic and social environments that people inhabit and the history of social and cultural institutions. Each subject is designed to foster in students the capacity to identify, analyse critically and evaluate theories, concepts and arguments, relating to the nature and activities of individuals and societies. Each subject is offered at both standard level and higher level.

Business Management

Business Management is a practical subject in which students learn to analyse, discuss and evaluate business activities at local, national and international levels. It covers a range of organisations from all sectors, as well as the socio-cultural and economic contexts in which those organisations operate. Emphasis is placed on strategic decision-making and the operational business functions of human resource management, finance and accounts, marketing and operations management. A holistic view of business management is achieved through the exploration of six concepts: change, culture, ethics, globalisation, innovation and strategy. Business Management students undertake a project that investigates a contemporary issue of a real business organisation.


The Economics course allows students to study microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics and development economics. It emphasises the economic theories of microeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting individuals, firms and markets, and the economic theories of macroeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting countries, government and societies. These economic theories are not studied in a vacuum, rather they are to be applied to real world issues. Prominent among these issues are fluctuations in economic activity, international trade, economic development and environmental sustainability. The Economics course encourages students to develop international perspectives and fosters a concern for global issues.

Global Politics

The Global Politics course explores fundamental political concepts such as power, equality, sustainability and peace, in a range of contexts. It allows students to develop an understanding of the local, national,  international and global dimensions of political activity, as well as allowing them the opportunity to explore political issues affecting their own lives. The course helps students to understand abstract political  concepts by grounding them in real world examples and case studies.


History is offered in both Standard and Higher Levels. Students focus on the 20th Century with an emphasis on international diplomacy, its successes and failures. Through the integration of the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) subject, students tackle the fundamental questions in history of ‘How do we know what we know about the past?’ and ‘How we deal with competing interpretations of the past?’ Students become conscious of the ethical dimensions of history, when they investigate the factors that contribute to the rise and success of authoritarian dictatorships in the 20th Century, and the causes and consequences of war.


The Psychology course allows students to study human behaviour and mental processes. IB Psychology examines the interactivity of biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on human behaviour, thereby adopting an integrative approach. Understanding how psychological knowledge is generated, developed and applied enables students to achieve a greater understanding of themselves and appreciate the diversity of human behaviour. Students select either one (SL) or two (HL) options that interest them, in addition to the biological, cognitive and sociocultural topics. The options are: Abnormal psychology, Health psychology, Developmental psychology, Sport psychology and the Psychology of Human Relationships. These options allow a student to specialise in an area allowing her to become familiar with specific research studies, theoretical linkages and the issues of its practice.