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.


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. The Examination Board is OCR (course code H857).

The EPQ represents a significant additional undertaking for any A Level student, so good time management will be essential.

The proposed Sixth Form structure will allow students the first term of Year 12 to settle into their main A Level subjects.

Introductory lessons for the EPQ will begin after the Christmas break and thereafter sessions run from January in Year 12 to January in Year 13. Throughout the course, there will be regular meetings with supervisors, although students will be expected to make significant progress during the summer break. Research and a first draft of the dissertation should be completed by the end of Year 12. The final draft will be completed by the end of January 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.


Although the EPQ course is not compulsory, 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, evaluation and expression
  • have an excellent command of one topic to quote on their university applications and to potentially discuss at interview
  • gain an extra AS Level qualification in an increasingly competitive world.

Part of the final assessment involves a presentation as well as students reflecting on their experiences and producing an objective evaluation of 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.