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Environmental Systems & Societies IB SL Level 3 Group 4 at Tonbridge Grammar School

Course description

Environmental Systems & Societies is a trans-disciplinary subject, crossing Group 3 and Group 4 and, as a result, calls upon and develops the skills of both areas. The course combines the skills from Biology and Geography, but also includes Economics and Philosophy. Students do not need to have a GCSE in Biology or Geography to do the course, although both are beneficial. Students who have an interest in the environment will find the course relevant.

Course content

Students develop a wide range of skills during the course including practical skills, use of statistics, interpreting, analysing and evaluating information, graphical skills, working systematically, considering opinions and values and independent thinking.

Students study eight units during the course: Foundations of environmental systems and societies, Ecosystems and ecology, Biodiversity and conservation, Water and aquatic food production systems and societies, Atmospheric systems and societies, Climate change and energy production, Human systems and resource use. 

Entry requirements

All candidates should have GCSE Grade 6 or above (or its equivalent) in English, Mathematics, at least one Science and one language where studied. Where equivalence cannot be established the School will set appropriate I/GCSE papers to confirm that the applicant is capable of satisfying the academic profile required for the subjects to be studied and the IB Diploma Programme as a whole


Students are assessed by two written papers and one internal assessment. The internal assessment consists of a written report focussed upon a unique ESS research question. Practical skills and analytical techniques needed to complete the individual investigation will be delivered throughout the course as the programme is delivered in an applied, practical manner wherever possible.

Future opportunities

ESS is particularly useful to those wishing to go onto study any environmentally or ecologically based course.
As a trans-disciplinary subject it provides the skills required for a wide range of scientific and humanities
based courses / jobs.
Students who study ESS go on to study a wide range of subjects at University including Languages at Oxford
and Architecture at Bath.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Tonbridge Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 15 September 2016
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