A valuable opportunity for further UCAS points

The more able students may decide to undertake the new Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). This is a separate qualification that presents a unique opportunity for students to develop the research and independent learning skills essential for higher education.

Whilst gaining additional UCAS points, the EPQ also offers a valuable opportunity for students to differentiate themselves further from other applicants.

Requirements for the Course

Students will need to have a strong desire to explore a specialised beyond the scope of any advanced level specification. Students will be given an intensive course in study skills before they start but should have strong independent study skills already, excellent time management and be coping comfortably with A level studies.

What will be studied

The idea for the project will come from a students’ wider interests (inside or outside the subjects currently studying). It can be any format – a 5000 word research-based written report is common, a production*, an artifact* (e.g. a piece of art, a computer game, a realised design) are all possible. *Supported by a written report.

How the course will be examined

The marking gives most importance to development and application of transferable and key skills.

Identify, design, plan, and carry out a project, applying a range of skills, strategies and methods to achieve objectives.
 20% of marks
 Use Resources
Research, critically select, organise and use information, and select   and use a range of resources. Analyse data, apply it relevantly and  demonstrate understanding of any links, connections and complexities of the topic. 
 20% of marks
  and Realise
Select and use a range of skills, including, where appropriate, new   technologies and problem solving, to take decisions critically and achieve planned outcomes. 
 40% of marks
Evaluate all aspects of the extended project, including how outcomes relate to stated objectives and own learning and performance. Select and use a range of communication skills and media, in an appropriate format, to present evidence of project outcomes and conclusions.
 20% of marks


The EPQ also prepares students for university study by providing:

• an experience of deeper study than is possible at A-level
• an opportunity to explore a specialised topic, e.g. medical research, politics, history, music, design, architecture, or astronomy, that is closer to your preferred university courses
• confidence to work independently and creatively
• practice in essay writing and independent research

University offers can include a students EPQ mark, (it can carry up to 70 UCAS points) but most importantly, it gives students an excellent focus for the UCAS personal statement and subsequent university interviews.

Moreover, the skills used when completing the project: Time Management; Research; Reporting; Presentation and Evaluation will be useful to any university degree course and/or career that the student may pursue.