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Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Qualifications needed: Teacher recommendation and positive learning behaviours across all subjects in Year 12. Students will write a letter of application, proposing a broad area of study by Term 4 in Year 12.

Course content: The EPQ is an opportunity for students to produce an extended piece of work of their own choice, with guidance from staff, which is assessed at school and then moderated by the exam board. This could be in the subject area the student wishes to study at university but that is not part of their school curriculum (e.g. Medicine), or simply an area of personal interest unrelated to their other studies. An EPQ is a unique and exciting opportunity for students to manage their own learning. It is worth the same UCAS points as half an A level. In addition, an increasing number of universities, including King’s College, Southampton, Bath, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Liverpool, will make an alternative offer including the EPQ, for example in addition to the published AAB entry requirements offer, they will also offer ABB + A in EPQ.

The project can be either:

  • A written report of 5000 words e.g. extended essay, investigation of a hypothesis, or an academic report
  • Or, a written report of at least 1000 words together with an artefact such as a video, model, performance, script, short story.

The student will also keep a project log and will present the completed project to other students and staff, evaluating the process and responding to a Q&A session to a non-expert audience.

The assessment is as follows: 20% managing project, 20% using secondary resources, 40% developing and realising the essay / artefact, and 20% review, reflect and present project.

Some example project titles include:

  • Should science lead to atheism?
  • Critically analyse fracking as a sustainable energy resource.
  • Assess the legality of the UK’s involvement in the Iraq War.
  • Write a short story based on the works of Ernest Hemingway, exploring the author’s style and themes.
  • To what extent does dissociative identity disorder exist as a real disorder?
  • To what extent can valid comparisons be drawn between the Holocaust in the Second World War and the Bosnian genocide?
  • To what extent did the unification of Germany in 1871 irrevocably shift the balance of power in Europe until 1904?
  • Is time travel possible under Einstein’s theory of special relativity?
  • To what extent are bankers responsible for the current financial crisis?

Exam Board: AQA Link to Specification

"We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills and ease the transition from school/college to higher education."

Cambridge University