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 qualification worth half an A Level (equivalent to up to 28 UCAS points) and the EPQ’s purpose is to add a further dimension to Sixth Form study, stretching and challenging the more ambitious scholar.


Students who wish to complete the EPQ will attend an introductory set of lessons that will prepare them with the skills required to select an appropriate topic and to effectively carry out research. For much of the course students 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 students’ analytical skills, preparing them to write the final dissertation of approximately 5,000 words. 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 before the Easter break and thereafter sessions run from March in Year 12 to March 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 at the end of Year 12.

The majority of planning and research as well as the first draft of the dissertation should be completed by the start of Year 13. The final draft will be completed by the end of March/April in Year 13.

It is hoped that this schedule will fit with the demands of the students’ other academic commitments and complement their applications to higher education.


Although the EPQ course is not compulsory, it offers many 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 academic qualification in an increasingly competitive world.

Part of the final assessment involves a presentation, a thorough reflection of students’ experiences as well as producing an objective evaluation of their own performance throughout the EPQ process.

Participation in the EPQ should enhance a student’s performance in all subject areas and provide an excellent foundation to develop the skills required for success at university.

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