EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION (EPQ)
Exam board: AQA
QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED TO START THE COURSE
General qualifications for your chosen pathway (see What to study/LaSWAP pathways)
Average GCSE score of more than 6.5 (APS 6.5 or above)
1 year or 2 years required depending on independence skills of the student
The Extended Project is an extremely highly valued qualification that designed to demonstrate high level independent research and planning. It provides an opportunity for students to extend their abilities beyond the A-level syllabus and prepare for university or their future career. It can also be used it to earn extra UCAS points. It is a level 3 (advanced level equivalent) qualification although it carries fewer UCAS points than a full A-level
The EPQ is taken alongside a full study programme and cannot be a substitute for an A level. It will begin in year 12 and be completed in year 13.
LEARNING AND SKILLS
It 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). They:
* 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.
All of these are skills that universities are looking for and say that some students do not have, when they arrive at university from 6th form.
Undertaking an EPQ can also deliver other benefits for students. It can:
* boost a student’s Personal Statement by allowing them to describe an area of keen interest as well as giving concrete examples of their skills
* increase student motivation by allowing them to study topics of personal interest
* enable students to apply their new skills to other areas of study.
Students have to plan, research and carry out their own project. It can take the form of a written academic work, an artefact (model, film, play or sculpture) or a production or event.
All Project students follow the same basic project process and have to supply the following evidence for assessment:
* Project product, in the form of a research report, production or artefact
* Written report (c 5000 words)
* Presentation of the completed Project
* Completed Production Log.
*a written report of around 1000 words must accompany a production or artefact
The topic can be virtually anything, as long as it doesn’t replicate A-level subject course content, and provided that it lends itself to A Level quality of work leading to an evidenced conclusion.
EXAMINATION AND ASSESSMENT
Assessment is via a presentation, project planning log and the final project. All 3 components are internally assessed and externally moderated.
Students are assessed on the quality of their planning, organisation, and research, as well as on their ability to reflect on what they have done and evaluate the quality and success of their work. The EPQ must include a brief presentation at the end, which can be to a small audience, including the supervisor. The “Log” or planning document and record, is a compulsory part, as is the presentation, because marks are awarded for organisation and quality of oral as well as written communication.
Use resources = 20%
Develop and realise = 40%
Review = 20%
The EPQ has proved invaluable for many students to support and provide an excellent quality of evidence for their university applications. Some examples include high level biological research helping a student to secure a place on a medical degree, sociological investigation leading to a Cambridge place to read Anthropology, and many instances where students have become confident experts in their chosen field.