Should I study an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)? (Sixth Form)

In 2017, the Sixth Form students who completed an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which is worth half an A Level, gained excellent results. 100% of the students achieved A*- B, 83% achieved A*-A, and 67% achieved A*.

We asked some of the students why they decided to study an EPQ and why they picked their chosen topic.

Beth said: “I chose to do an EPQ as I knew that it would enhance my UCAS application and allow me to produce a piece of work that was truly individual and provides freedom to do research on any particular topic that I desired to do.

“I knew that with doing an EPQ I would be able to develop skills that would be very beneficial to me. I chose the topic of human geography because I hope to further a career in this field of work which demonstrates to universities that I am passionate about this subject that I wish to apply for next year.”

Adam, who achieved full marks, said: “I wanted to do an EPQ because I saw it as the first of the steps into an academic career of writing articles. I knew that it would be an excellent opportunity to learn the core skills in scientific writing such as referencing and critically analysing articles. I wanted to face the challenge of writing about relatively complex topics in easy and understandable language.

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“I chose the topic of ‘pandemics’ because I have always had an interest in infectious disease. It is fascinating that such small microbes can cause so much damage to such relatively massive hosts. I really wanted to learn about the key organisms of threat to us as well as past pandemics and how we have changed since them.”

Ollie said: “Originally, I actually decided against doing an EPQ because I was dissuaded by its structure and the idea you have to do all the work yourself. However, in late September I swapped Biology for an EPQ. Contrary to what I first thought, I really enjoyed it. No doubt there were many challenges I faced along the way and there were periods of peak stress, but this comes with most subjects. The fact you can choose your own topic about what interests you most helps keep you passionate about your EPQ.

“I chose my title – ‘What is the most desirable city in the world for a Generation Z Mancunian to live?’ I knew immediately I didn’t want to create an artefact and instead chose to do a report. There is lots of scope with the EPQ so it is ultimately your choice what you want to do. I enjoy Geography and also take it as an A Level and plan to go on to do it at University.

“Although a challenge, it was a very interesting project which will help me get lower predicted grades for University and also give me something to talk about in an interview, as well as enhance my research skills and develop a further interest for my topic.”

Carla chose a topic that was close to her heart. When asked why she chose an EPQ she said: “I really enjoy self-directed learning and coursework. Additionally, an EPQ gave me a really good foundation for any future university type dissertations.

“The focus of my EPQ was on Alzheimer’s disease which was an easy choice because I helped to support a close family member through the devastating disease and subsequently want to help the cause to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

“The staff at CHS continuously supported me with my EPQ journey, especially my mentor and supervisor, whilst additionally receiving wider participation from numerous staff at CHS who kindly completed my questionnaire. “


We are very proud of our students and know they will go on to great things. Good Luck to all our Sixth Form students this year.