The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a stand-alone qualification that is completed alongside a programme of A levels. It is, however, a radically different qualification to an A level, where you are generally guided through the material you need to know for an exam by your teachers. The EPQ relies on your own decisions on what you need to learn, how you are going to find it and what you are going to do with it.
The EPQ is a research project with countless possible subjects and countless possible outcomes. The student’s role is to choose a topic that they want to research and choose what they want to produce. The final product can range from a 5000 word dissertation-style essay to a sculpture or even an object that you design and build to fulfil a brief.
The EPQ develops university style skills of independence, self reliance and self-discipline. It requires that the student take ownership and justify every aspect of the project and earn credit for planning and decision-making. That said, each student will have a Mentor who will teach them the skills that they will need to conduct the research and produce the project.
The EPQ is recognised as a valuable qualification for universities, to such an extent that it earns more UCAS points than an additional AS level. It also demonstrates crucial skills that can be used for a personal statement or in an interview for university places.