Digital society updates

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This page contains the latest updates on the Diploma Programme (DP) digital society course.

The new DP digital society course will be launched in 2022, with assessment taking place in May 2024. This course is replacing the former information technology in a global society (ITGS) subject, which was no longer fit for purpose.

We are in a digital revolution that is changing the way people communicate, create and connect. Digital society invites students and teachers to work together to explore the challenges and changes faced today in technology, media, ethics and policy through conceptual and contextual lenses. 

The entire curriculum and assessment structure has been updated to reflect more timely, relevant and authentic student outcomes. A collaborative process of backward design was undertaken by educators and IB staff to ensure coherent and meaningful connections between the subject design, learning outcomes and assessment objectives.

The subject includes an explicit inquiry model as well as a skills-based toolkit to support student success. Subject topics are open-ended rather than limited and can evolve according to new developments, examples, and emerging technologies. This new subject is adaptable to teacher and student interest allowing for “big ideas”.

Below you will find an overview of the course. For a technical breakdown of the DP curriculum and assessment methods for this course, read the digital society subject brief (SL & HL)(PDF, 452 KB).

An inquiry-driven approach 

Digital society is driven by a student-centered flexible curriculum model that integrates concepts, content and context through inquiry. Teachers and students are encouraged to let their interests and passions guide their way through the course. 

Digital society students

Digital society students embody attributes inspired by those in the IB Learner Profile

Future-ready assessment in digital society 

Digital society assessment prepares students with future-ready skills, knowledge and competencies that are important for their success. 

Paper 1: Making connections 

Paper 1 invites students to "think like a social scientist" by simulating inquiries through dynamic combinations of course concepts, content and contexts. 


About this assessment task

SL and HL versions

  • Students respond to sequentially scaffolded questions that build to and support higher-order thinking. Students must integrate real-world research and examples.  
  • HL students are asked to consider powerful, open-ended "big questions" involving global challenges of importance within digital society.

Paper 2: Working with sources 

Paper 2 invites students to demonstrate media literacy skills by considering the claims and perspectives of diverse real-world sources.  


About this assessment task

Common SL and HL

  • Students respond to sequentially scaffolded questions that build to and support higher-order thinking. 
  • Students may be asked to analyze and evaluate, for instance, a source's origin and purpose, the qualitative and/or quantitative methods it employs or how well it corroborates findings from other sources.

Paper 3: Cultivating a challenge mindset 

Paper 3 invites HL students to cultivate a challenge mindset by responding to a proposed digital intervention to a real-world global challenge.  


About this assessment task

HL only

  • A pre-release statement describing the real-world nature of a selected challenge (250-400 words) will be released four months prior to the exam. Students are recommended to spend about 30 hours on extended inquiries based on the pre-release statement. 
  • On the exam, students evaluate a specific intervention using a rigorous policy-informed framework and to make recommendations for future action.

Inquiry project: Leading and designing a digital design inquiry 

A student-led digital design component investigating impacts and implications of a real-world digital system through first-hand research.  


About this assessment task

Common SL and HL

  • An inquiry process document indicates the inquiry focus and addresses the claims and perspectives of three essential sources. 
  • A recorded multimedia presentation conveys the inquiry's analysis, evaluation and conclusions.

Future pathways for DS students 

The course prepares DS students for several future pathways in their future studies and work. 


Possible pathways



STEM fields

STEM is short for science, technology, engineering and maths and encompasses fields interested in the design and innovative use of digital systems and technologies.  

  • Digital society is a STEM subject that approaches technology from a social perspective.
  • Computer science
  • Medicine 
  • Applied engineering 
  • Data science

Social sciences, humanities and related fields

Diverse fields that integrate digital tools to better understand human behaviours and relationships in time and space. 

  • Digital society invites young people to think deeply and act responsibly in response to important social issues and global challenges.
  • Law
  • History 
  • Sociology 
  • Public policy

Interdisciplinary fields

Fields that combine tools, methods and approaches of multiple disciplines to focus on complex issues or problems that cut across many different areas. 

  • Digital society is an interdisciplinary course in the Individuals and Societies subject group.
  • Science, technology and society studies 
  • Digital arts and media 
  • Global challenges

Workplace readiness

Digital society students are well prepared for workplace success.  

  • Skills developed in Digital society are considered vital for contemporary ways of working.
  • Project management 
  • Research 
  • Critical and creative thinking 
  • Multimedia communication

What are universities saying about the subject?

“The Singapore Management University (SMU) practises a holistic admissions process and candidates across a wide range of academic backgrounds, including the IB Diploma Programme, are most welcome to apply. SMU generally does not have subject pre-requisites for our undergraduate degree programmes and will consider IBDP students who have taken any of the IBDP subjects, including Digital Society.

Digital transformation is a key area of focus identified by SMU to prepare its students to be multi-disciplinary in the new economy. SMU offers myriad degree programmes focusing on computer science, intensive programming and technology development, which will nurture students to be valuable to businesses and organisations looking to use technology to stay competitive. As such, we look forward to admitting IBDP students who had taken Digital Society as a subject.”

The Singapore Management University