Why choose this specification?

Our popular Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) allows students to extend their abilities beyond the A-level syllabus and prepare for university or their future career. It is worth half an A-level (28 UCAS points) so can be used to earn extra UCAS points.

See what's different about our projects.

An increasing number of universities are including the EPQ in their offers to students.

"Nearly 1 in 5 successful applicants to Durham had completed the EPQ" - The Sunday Times 16 Feb 2014.

Watch our video to see how our EPQ helps students stand out.

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Video transcript

What is an EPQ?

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a standalone qualification designed to extend and develop your students' skills in independent research and project management.

Is it recognised by universities or employers?

The EPQ is awarded UCAS points worth half an A-level and is recognised by universities and employers; some leading universities, such as Southampton University, make alternative offers to students undertaking an EPQ.

How does the EPQ relate to a student's programme of study?

The EPQ requires students to carry out research on a topic that they have chosen and is not covered by their other qualifications. They then use this research to produce a written report and, in the case of practical projects, an artefact or a production.

A student can take inspiration from something studied in class or something completely unrelated to their studies.

Should I supervise a student undertaking an EPQ in my subject area?

Not necessarily. The EPQ is overseen by a project supervisor, typically a teacher who is not a specialist in the chosen area. The supervisor guides their student through the process; they do not guide the content or unduly influence the outcome of their research, so it is often preferable that a supervisor isn't a subject expert.

Students can receive specific advice and support from a technical supervisor, for example to undertake a practical experiment in a lab. However, the work completed must be based on the student's own research and ideas.

Are EPQs in my subject area common?

30,000 students took the EPQ in 2014 across all subject areas. Many EPQs are also interdisciplinary or in areas not typically studied at key stage 5.

The EPQ is the perfect way to encourage your students to extend and develop beyond the material being covered in class and explore their passion for a topic.

The EPQ can be taken as an extension of other Level 3 qualifications or vocational qualifications such as Modern Apprenticeships and is a compulsory element of the level 3 Diploma. It's been integrated into the AQA Bacc as part of this enriched and stimulating sixth form education programme. It can also be taken as a stand-alone qualification.

The EPQ allows students to embark on largely self-directed projects. By taking responsibility for the choice and design of an individual project (or an individual role in a group project) students:

  • become more critical, reflective and independent learners
  • develop and apply decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • increase their planning, research, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills
  • learn to apply new technologies confidently
  • demonstrate creativity, initiative and enterprise.

Undertaking an EPQ can also deliver other benefits for students and schools, such as:

  • boosting student recruitment by making your curriculum more attractive
  • increasing student motivation by allowing them to study topics of personal interest
  • enabling students to apply their new skills to other areas of study.

Performance table points and UCAS points

Our tables of information show how the EPQ counts towards Performance table points and UCAS points.