What is the EPQ?

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a level 3 qualification that is the equivalent to half an A’ level. The EPQ is graded in the same way as A’ levels (A*- E) and awarded UCAS points. It is an academic research project that is highly valued by many universities as it encourages students to demonstrate their ability to work independently.

“UCL welcomes the introduction of the Extended Project into the curriculum, recognising that it will develop many of the skills necessary for successful study at university” University College London

The research project concludes with either an extended written piece (approx.5000 words), or an artefact (e.g. an art piece, performance, video, computer programme), plus a 1000 word summary.

How is the EPQ Delivered?

Every student will have an EPQ supervisor. The role of the supervisor is to offer advice and guidance to the student. It is important to remember that this is an independent project and it is not the supervisor’s job to come up with the ideas. Each student will meet with their supervisor once a fortnight to discuss progress and set some targets.

There is also a Taught Skills element to the course. These sessions are delivered as lectures and are designed to introduce students to the specialist skills required such as Harvard Referencing.

The EPQ is equivalent to 120 hours of independent work (although some students do more than this).

Should I do an EPQ?

The EPQ is offered as an enrichment option to all Year 12 students. The EPQ allows you to develop your understanding of a topic you are genuinely interested in. It could be linked to the course that you are intending to study at university, or it could be completely random. The EPQ develops a broad range of skills that will be valuable to higher level study or within the workplace. These skills include:

  • Independent work
  • Project management/time management
  • Planning and organisation
  • Academic research
  • Extended writing
  • Evaluation and self-reflection

Examples of EPQ Titles:

1. Are Serial Killers Born or Made?
2. To what extent did foreign interventions and the influence of European powers and the United States contribute to the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution of 1979?
3. A C# representation of the Simplex Algorithm.
4. Antibiotic Resistance: What are the scientific and social solutions to this ‘ticking time-bomb’? A documentary video
5. How is the mental health of young people impacted by their environments?

What is Duke of Edinburgh GOLD?

The Duke of Edinburgh Gold program is a fantastic opportunity to gain some life-skills and experiences; that are highly valued by universities and employers alike. The Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award does require a huge amount of commitment as it takes approximately 18 months to complete. However, as well as a sense of fulfilment, completing the program provides you with skills such as leadership, team work and perseverance which can equip you for the road ahead. You will complete 5 components that are designed to challenge you and include the following:

  • Volunteering section: 12 months
  • Physical and Skills sections: One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months
  • Expedition section: 4 days/3 nights
  • Residential section: Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights.

Is the Duke of Edinburgh GOLD for me?

It is valued very highly by universities and employers and will often give you the edge over other candidates when it comes to applying for positions. It requires a lot of self-discipline and organisation whilst being an incredibly rewarding experience.