Topic outline

  • Preparing for the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

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    This qualification helps students develop and demonstrate their project management skills and provides opportunities for extended research and writing, both of which are highly valued for progression to higher education and employment.
    This formal qualification is awarded for an independent research project on a topic of your choosing and the completion of one of the following:

    • Research based written report
    • Production (e.g. fashion show or Arts event)
    • an artefact (e.g. a computer game, piece of art or marketing materials)

    It is a chance to be original and individual, free from the limited syllabus structure of A-Levels and other Level 3 qualifications. We support all our students to pursue topics that reflect their unique talents and interests.

    Students can tailor their project to fit their individual needs, choices and aspirations with the agreement of their supervisor and course coordinator.


      We offer exceptional support for all students taking part in the EPQ qualification, including a designated supervisor with whom you will meet as little or as often as needed and is possible, as well as 30 hours of guided learning in which you we will cover some key (and transferable) skills and behaviours such as:

      • Independent research
      • Motivation to work independently
      • Identifying suitable sources of information
      • Analysing the relevance of sources
      • Effective Note Taking
      • Time Management Skills
      • Project Management Skills
      • Referencing techniques

      Whilst covering these skill building sessions we aim to also offer opportunity for creative thinking and problem solving both as individuals and as groups.

      The Extended Project Qualification also provides students with the opportunity to:

      • understand and use research skills
      • have a significant input to the choice and design of an Extended Project and take responsibility either for an individual task or for a defined task within a group project
      • develop and improve their own learning and performance as critical, reflective and independent students
      • develop and apply decision-making and, where appropriate, problem solving skills
      • extend their planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills
      • where appropriate, develop as e-confident students and apply new technologies in their studies
      • develop and apply skills creatively, demonstrating initiative and enterprise
      • use their learning experiences to support their personal aspirations for further study and career development
      • transfer skills developed as part of the extended project to other areas of study


        Autumn Term (Year 12)

        • Students kick off their project, supported by our EPQ Co-ordinator. One timetabled lesson per week will explore practical considerations of research projects. Critical thinking skills such as planning and critical analysis; credibility criteria; research methods; ethics of primary research; interviewing techniques; surveying tactics; interpreting statistics; report writing; and much more are considered.
        • The EPQ Production Log is introduced
        • Students create planning tools and practical methods of tracking their own experiences and reflections upon their decision making processes and findings.
        • Most students will have selected their topic and begin one-to-one meetings with their EPQ Supervisor, allowing time to discuss, finalise and review their research project suitability.

        Spring Term (Year 12)

        • Students gather research focused upon the aims and objectives of their agreed EPQ focus.
        • Students continue to build a working referencing table / Bibliography, and continue to fill out their Production Logs.
        • One-to-one meetings continue to take place, once the initial research has been completed
        • Towards the end of the Spring Term students begin to construct their projects (the 5000 word written report / artefact)

        Summer Term (Year 12) - Term 1

        • Projects are well underway and students will being having final one-to-one meetings with supervisors to discuss their findings and to go through plans for project presentations that will take place this term.

        Summer Term (Year 12) - Term 2

        • Students will finish their projects and submit, as well as undertake visual presentations (usually in front of a small panel audience with a Q&A session at the end.
        • Final meetings are held with supervisors and reflection and summary in Production Logs are written by the student

        Autumn Term (Year 13) - Term 1

        • Centre Co-ordinator and Supervisors assess and standardise student projects ready for Centre marks to be submitted to AQA for the November series of qualifications

        End of Course


          The documents in this section are here so that you can familiarise yourself with what the Production Log is, how marks can be gained from it, and how you would fill it in. This is an important element of the EPQ and can be understood in more detail by accessing the documents below:


          "The University of Southampton believes project qualifications such as the EPQ offer an unparalleled introduction to the skills needed for students to thrive in Higher Education." - University of Southampton

          "We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills and ease the transition from school/college to higher education." - University of Cambridge

          "The skills that students develop through the Extended Project are excellent preparation for university level study. Students can refer to the Extended Project in their UCAS personal statements and at the interview to demonstrate some of the qualities that universities are looking for." - University of Manchester