Extended Project Qualification
The Extended Project Qualification is an optional extension for Lower Sixth students. The key feature is that students have a free choice of the project they wish to complete.
It provides students with a valuable opportunity to experience university-style study as they develop their research skills and expand their knowledge beyond the A Level syllabus. The intrinsic pleasure from working to deadlines and without being led by teachers is often the most rewarding aspect.
Students must work independently to research a topic of their choice and produce a final report. Their independent study is supported through a series of taught sessions covering the skills they will need to successfully complete their project, including; planning and objective setting, critical analysis, report writing, primary research and presentation skills. Each student is also assigned to a supervisor who acts as a mentor during the project.
The aim of the project is to create autonomous learners who are well prepared for university study and to enable those with genuine intellectual curiosity to study academic topics that lie outside of or beyond the A Level specifications or that are truly cross curricular. The assessment objectives encourage candidates to reflect on their approaches to independent work and to attempt something more than a literature review.
The final project, often delivered in the form of an extended essay coupled with a presentation to an audience of peers, is assessed within school before being submitted to AQA for moderation.
Completing an EPQ demonstrates a student’s dedication to independent learning and the transferable research skills they develop are valued by higher education institutions. An EPQ is worth more than half an A Level (28 UCAS points) so can be used to earn extra UCAS points and an increasing number of universities are including the EPQ in their offers to students.