Philosophy SL

Part of the IB subject group 3, Individuals and Societies, Philosophy SL is a course that tackles questions important to humanity. For example, what is it to be a human being and how do I know what is the right thing to do?
Students learn how to think systematically, analyse arguments, and study philosophical themes. They also look at problems facing contemporary society, including those resulting from increased international interaction.

What is different in taking Philosophy SL online?

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • study alongside students from around the world
  • exchange ideas with people from very different philosophical backgrounds
  • access source material in a variety of media
  • learn at their own pace and in a location of their choice
Some things won’t be different though. Standards and expectations will be just as high as in a face to face classroom.

Themes covered through the course

IB Philosophy SL covers major philosophical themes such as moral values, relativism, utilitarianism as well as major philosophical thinkers such as Plato, Socrates, Hegel and Iris Murdoch.
Students look at questions such as: are human beings special? Are we free and are human beings naturally selfish? They also get the chance to study an optional theme of their own choice.

Activities and assessment

Activities include watching videos, reading notes, independent research, listening to podcasts by leading philosophers, writing personal reflections, essay writing, analysing and evaluating texts, external websites, or online discussions with classmates.
Students take quizzes and carry out activities for authentic examination preparation.

Advice from our teachers

In order to succeed in Philosophy SL, we recommend students set aside five to six hours a week.

Benefits to students

Taking Philosophy SL online will enable students to:

  • sharpen their intellectual skills
  • develop perspectives that encompass cultural pluralism and an awareness of the international context within which it unfolds
  • develop intercultural understanding which is sought by the world’s top universities
  • develop 21st century skills like time management, communication and digital literacy which are much in demand by employers

Words from our students

I could do my work whenever I wanted, not just when I had to go to class but when I actually wanted to learn.

Tara Philosophy SL student

I think this type of stimulating, inclusive learning experience epitomises everything that is right with the IB ethos. I have only to thank my teacher and the Pamoja Education staff for making the past two years the best of my academic life.

Christopher Film SL student

You have several ways to  contact everyone and you always interact with everyone weekly through discussions.

Anda Psychology HL student

My online learning experience definitely taught me self-motivation and that’s been so important for starting university.


Hollie Psychology alumna, Psychology with American Studies student, University of Sussex

The course was rigorous and challenging, yet at the same time provided me with freedom and independence which taught me self-discipline and encouraged me to organize my workload.

Alexandra Economics HL student

The online Math HL course has prepared me for university in ways that a traditional course cannot, both in terms of the quality of the teaching, and of the time management skills that I developed during the course.

María Mathematics HL alumna and Engineering student at Cambridge University

Interacting with people from other countries all over the world and other cultures brings in more of the IB idea, where we’re a global community and we can interact with each other using the internet.

Rocio Psychology SL student

You really learn how to schedule your own time. I think it prepares you for college, when you have fewer classes and more flexibility with your time.

Jun Film SL student

The online Mandarin ab initio course allows me to make a personal connection to my teacher. I have weekly conversations with an online tutor that the Pamoja Education system sets up so that we can practice our speaking.

Carsten Mandarin ab initio student

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