Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Why study EPQ?

The EPQ is a self-directed and self-motivated project that carries UCAS points and is worth half an A level. Students must choose a topic, plan, research and develop their idea, and decide on their finished product. This qualification is desirable by many universities across the UK.

“We recognise the EPQ as valuable proof of your capacity for independent learning, as well as your passion for the subject you want to study at a higher level. So when we see it on your UCAS application, it shows us that you are serious.”

Birmingham University

Creativity and curiosity is encouraged and whilst the project topic may be directly related to a student’s main study programme it should look beyond the specification. A finished product may take the form of:

  • A research based written report
  • A production (e.g. charity event, fashion show or sports event etc.)
  • An artefact (e.g. piece of art, a computer game or realised design)

A written report must accompany these options and students must also record their project progress in their production log. The process of recording and completing a project is as important as the finished product. Students will also be required to present their project to a small audience. The production log, product and presentation all form part of the assessment.

Each candidate will be assigned a supervisor who will meet with the student to review initial ideas, agree the student’s working title and proposal and complete the supervisor’s sections in the production log. They will meet with each student for regular reviews and assess the project holistically applying AQA assessment objectives.

Mr Phil Grant
Head of EPQ



The taught element

Board: AQA   A level Syllabus Code: 7993

The EPQ will require the teaching of necessary skills. The remaining time is allocated for the student’s independent work and the individual supervision and guidance received. Teaching of the skills is likely to include:

  • Research skills including the ability to search for and identify suitable sources of information in the chosen subject area
  • ICT skills that will enhance the production of the report and/or the development of the project
  • Referencing , the evaluation of sources and the prevention of plagiarism
  • Presentation skills
Method of assessment

Throughout the EPQ, students will learn useful skills such as independent research, project management, reflection and self-directed learning. These skills complement the style of learning at university and form the basis for the AQA assessment objectives:

  • AO1 – manage – identify, design, plan, and complete the project (or task within a group project), applying organisational skills and strategies to meet their stated objectives
  • AO2 – use resources/research – obtain and select information from a range of sources, analyse data, apply it relevantly, and demonstrate understanding of any appropriate connections and complexities of their topic
  • AO3 – develop and realise – use a range of skills, including using new technologies, to solve problems, to take decisions critically, creatively and flexibly, and to achieve their aims
  • AO4 – review – evaluate the outcome, including their learning and performance.