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Extended Project Qualification: EPQ
Lead Teacher
Ms Stephens

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a standalone qualification, and it is designed to extend and develop your skills in independent research, time management, and project management; covering content beyond the curricula of your main A Level subjects, or even focusing on an area extra-curricular expertise or talent unique to the student. It is an eye-catching qualification to university Admissions Officers and is especially well suited to the intellectual curiosity of the most able students. In fact, many institutions will even lower their degree entry-grade requirements on the basis of a prospective student completing this academically-challenging course. Furthermore, an EPQ is worth the equivalent of half of an additional A Level in terms of UCAS tariff points.

Course Content and Assessment
You will have 30 Guided Learning Hours of taught content, in terms of basic research advice, academic study and evaluation skills. This is front-loaded when you commence the course in Year 12 and is delivered via lectures and seminars/ class discussions. Throughout the two years, you will also be expected to commit to 1:1 tutorials with a project supervisor; these serve to supportively monitor your individual progress and to personalise your investigative challenge. You will need to dedicate several hours a week of your timetabled independent study time towards completing the EPQ, which promotes skills in self-organisation and prioritisation, as well as liaise with a wide range of people.

Uniquely and excitingly, you choose your own EPQ topic, making every learner experience
truly bespoke. Your topic is moulded into a more focused essay question or hypothesis. Via research and experimentation, you will then write a 5000-word report, similar to a mini-dissertation, OR you can even create a practical project or artefact (such as a physical artwork/ short film/ theatrical performance/ product/ event such as a concert or fashion show)which is supplemented with a shorter, 1000-word, evaluative report.

Some examples of previous successful EPQ titles include:

Finally, in Year 13 your investigation is followed up with a presentation to an invited audience where you report on your process and findings; this will be boosted by you answering a series of verbal questions which are posed live by a non-subject specialist. Throughout the process, you complete a logbook which documents your research and critiques your findings. You should also expect to build an ethos of peer support, resilience, and mentoring as students encounter inevitable crunch points or which mean you will adapt your project title as your knowledge and understanding grow.

Some examples of previous successful EPQ titles include:
To what extent will Artificial Intelligence (AI) improve productivity in business?
To what extent will Brexit affect the UK’s finance market?
Is auteurism an outdated concept?
Should we legalise drugs in the UK?
Do prisoners deserve a right to vote?

Extending Your Experience
Depending on the route you plan, your personal research path may involve learning how to gather quantitative and qualitative data; accessing academic journals and articles; arranging visits to local organisations or work experience as part of your action research; identifying your target audience and comparing this with other perspectives and stakeholders; developing skills in communication with a wide selection of experts in your field who may even become useful career contacts.

Where will this Course take me?
Completion of this Project will give you a real head start with any future undergraduate course because it covers so many of the generic research and study approaches you will encounter in the first year of any degree. It also gives you an edge when applying for competitive courses or apprenticeship opportunities because candidates who complete the EPQ are assumed to have outstanding learner independence, maturity, personal organisation and time management skills. You may even use the experience to lay the foundations for an enquiry which becomes a longer-term academic career. This is an exciting and innovative opportunity to really celebrate independent learning.

Entry Requirements:
Five grade 5s (or above) at GCSE, including English and, where applicable, a 'strong pass' in the subject which will be most closely connected to your intended area of specialism or future career plans.

Follow the link below to enjoy further interactive resources, on the EPQ virtual classroom. Please play around and click on the icons to learn more... 

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