Extended Project Qualification

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will develop and extend from one or more of the student’s study areas and/or from an area of personal interest or activity outside their main programme of study.

It will be based on a topic chosen by the student and agreed as appropriate by the School.

During the EPQ, students will learn to:

  • Manage – identify, design, plan, and complete a project (or task within a group project), applying organisational skills and strategies to meet their stated objectives
  • Use resources/research – obtain and select information from a range of sources, analyse data, apply it relevantly, and demonstrate understanding of any appropriate connections and complexities of their topic
  • Develop and realise – use a range of skills, including using new technologies, to solve problems, to take decisions critically, creatively and flexibly, and to achieve their aims
  • Review – evaluate the outcome, including their learning and performance.

The EPQ involves some teaching of the necessary skills, supervision and assessment of students’ progress. This will take place in timetabled lesson for those who are studying EPQ as a +1 option.  Students who are studying 4 subjects will have EPQ lessons in place of the enrichment programme.

The project will involve extended autonomous work by the student.

Students are required, with appropriate supervision, to:

  • Choose an area of interest
  • Draft a title and aims of the project for formal approval by the School
  • Plan, research and carry out the project
  • Deliver a presentation to a non-specialist audience
  • Provide evidence of all stages of project development and production for assessment
  • Have regular meetings with a supervisor who will guide students through their project
  • Complete a minimum of 90 hours of independent work on this project in students’ own time

The EPQ is equivalent to just over half an A Level and is worth the same UCAS points as an AS Level eg A* = 28 points.

There are 3 aspects to this qualification that students need to complete: Research Project, Production Log and Oral Presentation. All 3 aspects need to be submitted to meet the assessment criteria.

Part 1:

  • 5,000 word essay on the chosen question
  • Or an artefact and 1,000 word research analysis

Part 2:

  • Answer a research based question
  • Complete a weekly log to include all progress and upload this on a shared area and meet with a designated supervisor on a regular basis

Part 3:

  • Oral presentation (this will be held in front of peers and the supervisors)

Each student will have a supervisor and a mentor. The supervisor agrees the title with the student, meets with them on a regular basis, keeps track of deadlines, checks that they are completing their Project Log, Production Log and Gantt Chart, marks the student’s project and grades the final presentation.

The Mentor will meet less formally with the student to give guidance on the subject matter.

Cambridge: “we… would encourage you to take one.”

Bristol: “admissions tutors may make two alternative offers… AAA or AAB+EPQ”.

Oxford: “we recognise that the EPQ will provide an applicant with the opportunity to develop research and academic skills relevant for study at Oxford.”

Newcastle: “If you offer an EPQ, it will be taken into account. Your offer may be varied as a result…”

Exam Board: AQA