The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a is a self-directed research project which provides the opportunity to develop essential independent learning skills and demonstrate intellectual curiosity beyond the constraints of the A- level curriculum.
The EPQ is undertaken from January of Y12 to December of Y13. It is a standalone qualification which is worth up to 28 UCAS points or half a full A-level.
Students choose their own research topic and will receive guidance on how to develop their ideas into a suitable academic title. The topic may complement A-level subjects but there must be no overlap of content. Many students choose to pursue EPQ studies related to their future aspirations or a specialist interest beyond the school curriculum.
Your research project can be a 6000 word dissertation, an artefact, a performance or an investigation. The latter three options are accompanied by a 1500-3000 word dissertation detailing the research and management process undertaken. Candidates will also deliver a short presentation and take questions from their audience. This usually takes place in front of their peers and supervisor during normal lesson times.
The entire project is assessed at A-level standard. There are four main assessment criteria which include: planning and management of the project; research, evaluation and use of resources; production of the product including interpretation of evidence, drawing of conclusions and academic writing; evaluation, reflection and presentation skills.
GSAL offers a comprehensive support programme for EPQ. This includes the allocation of a project supervisor and regular timetabled lessons. All students have access to a wide range of supporting information, both online and face to face and this includes the excellent resources in the Lawson Library and expert guidance from library staff.
Andrea Walker, Head of Careers & EPQ Coordinator
The EPQ is your opportunity to differentiate yourself from other university applicants who are likely to be offering similar academic qualifications. Universities and degree apprenticeship providers value the skills it develops and the evidence that the student is willing and able to independently pursue study in their areas of interest. Successful completion of an EPQ demonstrates the possession of key skills fundamental for success at university and in future professional roles. These include – research, extended writing, referencing, independent critical thinking, reflection and self-motivation with many students later reporting its benefit during selection processes and beyond.
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