EPQ (Extended Project Qualification)
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) offers Sixth Form students the opportunity to study a topic in depth and produce a final dissertation. It is a free-standing AS qualification and its purpose is to add a further dimension to Sixth Form study and to stretch the more ambitious scholar.
EPQ lessons and assessment
Students who wish to attempt the EPQ will attend an introductory set of lessons that prepare them to choose a topic and to carry out research. For much of the course they will work independently, although their progress will be monitored by a supervisor who will offer guidance and support. During the course there will be further lessons to develop the analytical skills of the students and to prepare them to write the final dissertation, which will be 5,000 words in length. The dissertation is assessed internally and moderated externally. Worth will be entering students with the OCR board.
The EPQ represents a significant additional undertaking for any A Level student, so good time management will be essential. The proposed structure will allow students the first half-term of Year 12 to settle into their main subjects. Introductory lessons for the EPQ will begin just before the October half-term and thereafter sessions run from November to February. There will be regular meetings with supervisors, and students will be expected to make significant progress during the Easter and Summer breaks. We do not offer lessons in the Summer Term of Year 12 in order to allow students to focus on their AS exams; further lessons are offered in the Autumn Term of Year 13. Research should be completed by November of the second year and the first draft submitted before Christmas if the student is to be entered. The final draft must be completed by the end of February in Year 13. It is hoped that this schedule will fit with the demands of the students’ other subjects and complement their applications to higher education.
Benefits of the EPQ
The course is not compulsory but it offers some significant benefits to those involved who will:
- pursue in depth one aspect of their A Level studies, which should develop their knowledge and understanding
- undertake a significant piece of research which should be excellent preparation for university study
- develop their powers of analysis and expression
- have an excellent command of one topic to quote on their university applications and discuss at interview
- gain an extra AS Level in an increasingly competitive world.
Part of the final assessment asks the students to reflect on their experience and to evaluate objectively their own performance. Participation in the EPQ should enhance a student’s performance in all subjects and provide an excellent foundation for study at university.