EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION
Exam Board: AQA (Level 3 EPQ – 7993)
‘Choose, Research, Realise and Present’
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) has proved to be popular with students and teachers alike. It provides an opportunity for students to extend their abilities beyond the A level syllabus, stand out and prepare for university or their future career. Students applying for vocational courses in the future, (eg: veterinary medicine) have found an EPQ related to their course has been particularly useful. Many students also use their EPQ as a way of showing their chosen university that they have a real passion for a subject. It can also be used to earn extra UCAS points.
All students will complete an EPQ qualification alongside their 4 A level subjects in Year 12 but will not complete them until January of Year 13.
Students develop an initial idea for a project they may wish to carry out and then discuss their ideas with their supervisor (a teacher at the school). They initially carry out some research to enable them to develop their ideas sufficiently in order to make a formal project proposal that includes their project aims, initial plans and likely format in which to present their project: This is all included in a form called the Production Log. On completion of the project students are required to give a presentation which should be for a non-specialist audience using media appropriate to the type of project. This could take a number of forms including slides for a large audience, contributing to a poster session or exhibition, or a witnessed one-to-one 'viva' presentation to the supervisor. The presentation must include a live question and answer session overseen by the supervisor.
Students complete the Production Log as they carry out their projects to record the following key information:
- planning review meeting between the student and supervisor following project approval
- mid-project review with the supervisor
- end-of-project review with the supervisor
- summary and evaluation of the project
- a record of the presentation
- reflection on the complete project process
Assessment: The completed Production Log, the Project and the presentation are assessed together by the supervisor at the end of the process. Supervisors' assessments are standardised and moderated internally by the Centre Coordinator before submission for external moderation.
Into the Future: The projects should be at A Level standard at the end of the period of study and so an A* grade is available (equivalent to 70 UCAS points). Some universities will make lower offers to students for a completed EPQ (A grade). It is also an excellent way of showing an interest in a degree course that is either not taught at A Level or a way of showing that students have looked beyond A Level syllabuses.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the course of my EPQ and I will certainly be using the skills I have learned throughout my life.” Emily Wilson, 2017.