The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a standalone qualification designed to extend and develop students’ skills in independent research and project management based on a topic area of their choosing in the arts, the sciences or, in fact, any of the ‘Pillars’.
As well as acquiring UCAS points, the EPQ can be referenced in personal statements and interviews, showing study and commitment beyond A-level course requirements, setting the student apart from other candidates for university places.
The EPQ requires 120 guided learning hours (although many students devote more time). Of these, 30 hours will be class-based. Students will design, complete and report on an investigation, composition or artefact relevant to a topic or issue of their own choosing.
Students must also record their project process in their production log. The process of recording and presenting a project is as important as the finished product. The production log, product and presentation will all be assessed.
A research report should count approximately 5000 words; the written submission accompanying a composition or artefact should count approximately 1000 words.
Students research report should count approximately 5000 words; the written submission accompanying a composition or artefact should count approximately 1000 words. Students also present their research findings to an assessor.
Students should have a level 4 or above in GCSE English Language and the equivalent of a level 4 or above in a GCSE subject related to their topic of interest.
A student who has taken up an extended project clearly has enthusiasm for their subject and that really helps them stand out when applying to universities, because they are not just ‘going through the motions’ and doing the A‐Levels that many of the students across the country are doing.
They are choosing to do something above and beyond, and each extended project is unique, so no one else will have done what they've done or have the experience that they've had, whatever their chosen topic.