Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

“Research carried out by AQA Centre for Education Research and Practice shows that taking the EPQ enhances the odds of achieving a higher grade A-level (A*-B) by 29 per cent. For each incremental grade achieved in the EPQ, the chances of being awarded a higher grade A-level increases by 7 per cent.”

Christine Andrews,
EPQ Principal Moderator

In Year 12 and the Michaelmas term of Year 13 every student has the opportunity to undertake the AQA Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) as part of our enrichment programme, giving them a chance to excel in an area of study that they select and develop.

The EPQ is increasingly valued by universities and provides more points than an AS Level in the new UCAS tariff as it offers evidence of the ability to carry out in-depth research and presentational skills, as well as proof of strong independent study skills. There are several types of EPQ: a research-based report, an event like a fashion show or charity fundraiser, or the creation of an artefact – something like a piece of art or a play. It requires self discipline and independent research on the topic of choice, so is a good option for girls who want to stand out and get into a good university; it can help students to get an offer from their top choice.

In fact, some universities have even created an alternative, additional offer for students who have completed the EPQ.

Southampton University says:

“This additional offer reflects our confidence in the EPQ as an excellent preparation for the kinds of independent study necessary for students to succeed at a research intensive university.”

With appropriate supervision, students will:

•choose an area of interest that they would enjoy the opportunity of finding out about in more depth

• draft a title and the project aims and submit them for initial approval

• plan, research and carry out the project

• deliver a presentation on their findings and the process to an audience

• provide evidence of the project’s development throughout and production for assessment.

The EPQ is graded A*-E and offers a maximum of 50 points under the new tariff.

The following universities have commented:

“We value the skills of research and independent learning that the EPQ is designed to develop. We welcome applications from students offering the EPQ alongside their ‘A’ levels. If you offer an Extended Project it will be taken into account. Your offer may be varied as a result, in recognition of the level of study skills you will have developed.”

Newcastle University

“The University recognises that some ‘A’ level students may also choose to offer the EPQ. In such cases some Admissions Tutors may make two alternative offers, one of which involved success in the EPQ (e.g. either AAA at ‘A’ level or AAB at ‘A’ level plus the EPQ.”

Bristol University