Extended Project Qualification - EPQ

What is the EPQ?

The EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) is an increasingly popular additional qualification equivalent to half an A-Level (28 UCAS points).  The course requires students to conduct their own independent research project culminating in a 5,000 word dissertation, investigation, artefact or performance. Students also submit a reflective log of their project, which encourages evaluation and reflection skills.

Students are free to choose the topic of their EPQ; it does not need to link their A-Level studies. This makes it an attractive option for students and universities, as it enables applicants to demonstrate their wider interests and concerns.  There is no final exam for the EPQ. Instead, this unique qualification focuses on process and independent study.

Who completes the EPQ?

Trinity School Sevenoaks is dedicated to securing the best possible future for our students. We are aware of the need to balance this with the academic demands of a Level 3 programme and so, initially, our most academically able students are actively encouraged to start lessons in Year 12.  However, the opportunity of studying for the Extended Project Qualification is open to all who wish to deepen their skillset and gain more UCAS points.

What is the benefit of gaining an EPQ?

Skills of independent study, project management and research are developed in depth over an EPQ course. Such skills provide excellent preparation for university-level study or employment.  Furthermore, it is of note that while the EPQ only started in 2008, many universities have already introduced new standard admissions statements that explicitly encourage students to complete the project. This encouragement is often in the form of a reduced conditional offer for students who have a Grade A or better in their EPQ. Universities place high value on students who have proven they can deal with the required dissertation element of most degree-level qualifications. In addition, students who refer to their EPQ in personal statements and university interviews frequently make valuable contributions to their application.

Where can I find out more information?

Trinity School use AQA exam board for the EPQ. Please use the below link to access further detail relating to the course specification, past papers and mark schemes:

What do the students have to produce?

  • A detailed reflective ‘Production Log’ documenting their research process
  • Evidence of project planning
  • An academic, fully referenced written thesis (5,000 words) or an artefact (practical piece of research) and accompanying academic report
  • Evidence of a live presentation of their research (this usually takes the form of a printed PPT and accompanying cue cards) Students have the choice to complete a practical or written piece of research.

If students choose to make a practical piece of research culminating in an artefact, they will need to write an accompanying academic report which should be approximately 2,000 words.

What might an EPQ project look like?

An EPQ project can take many forms. The requirements are that it must be a critically informed piece of research. Some examples of possible outcomes are listed below:

  • Design – a toy/vehicle/website/stage set/blueprint of an invention
  • Performance – a concert/play/debate/event
  • Report with findings from an investigation – working with disadvantaged people/scientific study/ geography fieldwork/business venture
  • Artefact – artwork/costumes for a film or play/ working model/video game/educational game
  • Dissertation – critical analysis of the work of an author or film director

Teaching and Submission

Each student completing an EPQ is allocated timetabled lessons in Year 12 during which they are taught research skills and provided with regular one on one support with a dedicated supervisor. Students are welcome to arrange further meetings in their support sessions if they require more in-depth conversations about their projects.

Students begin lessons in March of Year 12 and aim to submit their EPQ one year later, in March of Year 13.


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