Individuals and societies

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Individuals and societies incorporates disciplines traditionally studied in the humanities, as well as disciplines in the social sciences. 

In this subject group, students collect, describe and analyse data used in studies of societies, test hypotheses, and learn how to interpret complex information, including original source material.

This focus on real-world examples, research and analysis is an essential aspect of the subject group.

What is the significance of individuals and societies in the MYP?

The subject encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them and equips them with the necessary skills to inquire into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural factors that have an impact on individuals, societies and environments.

It encourages learners, both students and teachers, to consider local and global contexts.

How is individuals and societies structured in the MYP?

To provide a broad and balanced curriculum, schools should develop individuals and societies courses that involve a range of relevant disciplines.

Schools can organize the study of individuals and societies in the MYP as:

  • discrete courses, focused on individual disciplines, in which students receive a grade for each discipline (for example: world, local or national history; geography; economics; global politics or international relations; civics; philosophy; business management; sociology; psychology; anthropology)
  • modular courses, focused on the study of multiple disciplines, one at a time, in which students receive one grade for individuals and societies

integrated courses, focusing on inquiry from a number of perspectives, bringing together knowledge and conceptual understandings from multiple disciplines within the subject group, in which students receive one grade for individuals and societies (for example: social studies or humanities).

Each approach allows students to meet all subject group objectives. Schools offering integrated humanities (including economics, geography and history) can register students to receive IB-validated grades through MYP eAssessment.

Find out more about the MYP curriculum and about becoming authorized to implement the MYP.

Learn more about individuals and societies in an MYP workshop for teachers

Individuals and societies subject brief

Subject briefs are short documents providing an outline of the course. Click on the brief below to find out more information about this subject.


MYP individuals and societies (PDF, 397 KB) pdf