Travis’ IB Psychology Course Outline – New Syllabus

tdixon Curriculum, Themantics 7 Comments

Having a clear course outline is really helpful. Hopefully the lesson-by-lesson structure of our textbook will make this planning process easy for you.

You can see more outlines on these two posts:

Download my course outline here.

You can also find other teachers’ outlines that have been posted on our facebook group for teachers. Feel free  to post any questions about this outline or my course.

Travis’ IB Psychology Course Outline


Semester One (65 lessons)

  • Introduction (8 lessons + 2*)
    • Assessment: Test (Key terms, identifying parts of a study, etc.)
  • Criminology (26 lessons + 4 – includes teaching how to write SARs)
    • Assessment: 1 x take home SAR and 1 x research essay (800 – 1,000 words)
  • Social Influence Part I (17 lessons + 3 – includes more practice on how to write SARs)
    • Assessment: 1 x in-class SAR
  • HL Extensions (Biological – animal studies and the brain)

Semester Two (65 lessons)

  • Social Influence Part II (14 lessons + 1 – teaching how to write “to what extent…” essay)
    • Assessment: 1 x “to what extent” take home essay
  • Quantitative Methods (18 lessons + 2 – teaching how to explain research methods and ethics)
    • Assessment: Test (similar in format to test from introduction)
  • Internal Assessment (20 lessons)
    • Assessment: First draft of the IA
  • End of year exam revision (10 lessons)
    • Assessment: 1 x in-class essay on topics we’ve covered so far


Semester One (70 lessons)

  • PTSD (27 lessons + 3) (SL course finishes)
    • Assessment: 1 x in-class SAR (mid-point) and 1 x in-class essay (end of unit)
  • Love and Marriage (Optional for SL) (15 lessons + 3 – teaching how to write “discuss” essays)
    • Assessment: Research assignment – student choice of topic.
  • + HL Extensions – Cognitive and Genetics (22 lessons)

Additional assessment – IA final draft.

Semester Two (55 lessons)

  • SL/HL Mock Exam Revision (15 lessons – includes reviewing research methods and ethics, and reviewing SAR and essay writing including “Evaluate” and “Contrast” essays.)
    • Assessment: Practice Paper Two
  • Qualitative Research Methods  (15 lessons + 5 – Paper 3 Practice)
    • Assessment: Practice Paper Three
  • IB Exam Revision: 15 lessons
    • Assessment: Practice Paper One
    • Assessment: 1 x in-class essay (practice Paper One, Part B)

*The + lessons indicates additional lessons used for assessment, teaching writing skills, reflections on what we’re doing, or just generally allowing some “breathing room” in each unit.

Comments 7

  1. This outline is really helpful! Thank you, I am really enjoying the thematic approach so far and very much like the Student Guide. But I could use some help understanding how the HL extensions are being allocated across the two years in terms of content and hours.

    1. Post

      Sure, Laurie. No problem. I think there is quite a bit of flexibility in how you introduce the HL content, and much of it will depend on your scheduling. Like, for instance, do you have one HL class each week, or are you like me and can pick and choose when you do HL extensions? In a nutshell, bio extensions work well with criminology, socio-cultural with social influence and cognitive with PTSD.

      1. Ah, I have quite a bit of flex luckily and this is the first year we have offered HL, so figuring it out as we go! I can see that the lessons on animal research would make sesnse with criminology and globalization perhaps with social influence, but I honestly find the lessons on Technology and Cognition hard to feather in with PTSD. Perhaps my inexperience talking here.

        1. Post

          I should’ve been more clear – it’s only the first two lessons in Chapter 8.3 (on working memory and VRET) that go with PTSD. I decided to have the remainder of the cognitive extension as more of a shopping basket filled with one-off interesting lessons, since there’s quite a bit of freedom with topics to choose in this extension and there are so many interesting topics that I wanted to keep a range. So much of the cog ext. can be one-offs/stand alones.

        2. Post

          The sociocultural extension really goes with the acculturation topic in the beginning of social influence. These extensions are so demanding and full on, that I deliberately stacked the odds in the favour of biological approach, as this seems to be the most straightforward. I will be encouraging my HL’s to study this as their #1 option, and the other two as back-ups. I hope this helps.

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