The EPQ is a standalone qualification and is often taken by students in addition to their A level or Level 3 BTEC studies.
Around 30,000 students take an EPQ each year.
An EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) is, to put it simply, a big independent project for which you’ll earn a qualification. It involves (in most cases) writing an essay of about 5000 words about your research and how you approached your project, and a final presentation where you will talk through your essay. Alternatively you can make an ‘artefact’ - this can be a piece of artwork, or something else you’ve physically made and an accompanying shorter essay.
This qualification helps students develop and demonstrate their project management skills and provides opportunities for extended writing, both of which are highly valued for progression to higher education and employment.
Students can tailor their project to fit their individual needs, choices and aspirations with the agreement of their centre.
The EPQ is a single component linear qualification.
Students undertake their Extended Project in the context of a project topic they have selected, in agreement with the centre.
The outcome of the project can be a design, performance, report, dissertation or artefact.
The Extended Project at Level 3 provides students with the opportunity to:
understand and use research skills
have a significant input to the choice and design of an Extended Project and take responsibility either for an individual task or for a defined task within a group project
develop and improve their own learning and performance as critical, reflective and independent students
develop and apply decision-making and, where appropriate, problem solving skills
extend their planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills
where appropriate, develop as e-confident students and apply new technologies in their studies
develop and apply skills creatively, demonstrating initiative and enterprise
use their learning experiences to support their personal aspirations for further study and career development
transfer skills developed as part of the extended project to other areas of study
The subject content of the Extended Project is not prescribed as it focuses on developing skills.
These skills are summarised in the four learning outcomes:
Managing a project
Developing and realising a project
Reviewing the project.