Extended Project Qualification (EPQ): A Pathway to Academic Excellence

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ): A Pathway to Academic Excellence
extended project epq

Author: Francesco Corbetta, Head of EPQ and Teacher of Physics

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a valuable educational opportunity for students to engage in independent research and develop a range of skills that are highly regarded by universities and employers alike. This qualification allows students to explore a topic of personal interest in depth, culminating in a project that showcases their abilities in research, critical thinking, and project management.

What is EPQ?

The EPQ is a standalone qualification that is equivalent to half an A Level. It is designed to complement a student’s A Level studies by encouraging them to pursue an area of interest in a structured and academically rigorous manner. The project can take various forms, such as a dissertation, an investigation or field study, a performance, or an artefact, accompanied by a written report.

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It is an enriching experience that equips students with valuable skills and knowledge, preparing them for future academic and professional endeavours.

The EPQ process involves several key stages: 

  • Students begin by selecting a topic of interest, which can be related to their future career, studies, or personal passion. 
  • They then create a project plan, conduct extensive research, and develop their project, whether it be a dissertation, artefact, or performance. 
  • After completing the project, students present their findings and process to an audience, and finally, they reflect on their learning experience and evaluate their performance, which is a critical part of the EPQ process.

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Benefits of the EPQ

The EPQ offers numerous benefits to students, including:

  • Skill Development: Students develop a range of transferable skills, such as research, analysis, time management, and independent learning.
  • University Applications: The EPQ is highly regarded by universities, as it demonstrates a student’s ability to conduct independent research and manage a substantial project.
  • Personal Growth: By exploring a topic of personal interest, students gain deeper knowledge and a greater appreciation for the subject matter.

Celebrating Student Success 

We are proud to celebrate the remarkable achievement of all our students. In 2022, our student cohort obtained 85% A*/A grades and we are predicted to obtain similar results this year. 

One student in particular, Finlay Wilkes (Year 12) recently won a global award in a competition run by the British Society of Sports History (BSSH) for having the most outstanding EPQ project on a topic related to Sports History. 

What makes Finlay's accomplishment even more impressive is that he had to complete his main written report over a month before the final EPQ deadline in order to submit it to the BSSH, a testament to his dedication and time management skills. This early completion added an extra layer of challenge, showcasing the academic skills Finlay has honed over the course of the year as part of the EPQ course. His success not only highlights the quality of his work but also serves as an inspiration to other students embarking on their EPQ journey.

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