What is the EPQ and why should I do one?

Exam board: AQA
Title: Level 3 Extended Project Qualification 7993
QAN code: 60095349

Alongside their A-levels, pupils in St Julie’s 6th Form are actively encouraged to undertake an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), an A-level equivalent qualification that can be worth up to 28 UCAS points.

The project based qualification has been designed to develop a pupil’s research, resilience and investigative skills and allows them to embark on a largely self-directed project. They are required to plan, deliver and evaluate their own projects with the help of an assigned supervisor who will oversee their progress. The EPQ helps pupils develop the independent learning and extended academic writing skills essential for success at university. A taught element concerning methods of research, referencing, time management and presentation skills is delivered one hour a week in addition to students’ other A level lessons.

The EPQ allows pupils to identify a suitable research question or task and then plan, research and develop their idea. A project topic can be related to a pupil’s chosen university course, future career aspirations or simply be related to an area of personal interest or a hobby. The final outcome of the EPQ can be in the form of a dissertation (5000 words) or, for those who wish to produce a practical outcome, this can be in the form of an artefact or performance, supported by a comprehensive written report of approximately 1000 words. As marks for the EPQ are awarded for evidence of the project process as well as the final outcome; pupils need to fully evidence the development of their project by submitting a detailed production log and delivering an assessed presentation, both of which are internally assessed and externally moderated.

The EPQ is highly valued by universities because it extends a pupil’s ability to plan, research and write autonomously. It is also a useful introduction to the conventions of academic writing. The value placed upon the EPQ is also reflected in the policies of a number of universities, including several from the Russell Group. It develops and demonstrates students’ self-discipline, creative and critical thinking. Achieving this qualification is an excellent addition to any university application as the skills gained are transferable to undergraduate study.