Sixth Form

Extended Project Qualification

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) gives Sixth Formers the opportunity to investigate an area of academic interest in greater depth. There are four possible formats that the EPQ can take:

Dissertation: This is the most common choice. Students choose an area of research, usually in the form of a question, to investigate and produce a written dissertation which is typically between 5000 - 10,000 words in length.

Investigation: In an investigation, students carry out their own research in order to answer a question or hypothesis. A written report is submitted which will also include a summary of background information and research obtained from secondary sources.

Performance: Students can choose to put together a performance for an EPQ. They will still need to submit supporting paperwork detailing the research they carry out to support this and the process leading up to the performance. 

Artefact: This is a broad category which includes anything the pupil designs or produces. Previous examples include a prototype prosthesis, an animation or short film, computer programme, photobook, and a stage set design. This must also be accompanied by a written report which details the process of creating the artefact.

Despite the huge variety of options for producing an EPQ, all projects must include evidence of common tasks undertaken including planning, research, recording the process, evaluation of the project and an oral presentation.

The qualification is worth half an A-level but, unlike AS examinations, an A* can be awarded as the work is examined at A2 standard. The project allows students to pursue a research question, of personal interest to them, beyond the limitations of the A-level specifications. The students are encouraged to explore the cross-curricular aspects of their topic and they get the opportunity to develop the research skills that are valued at university, but are not necessarily required to be successful at A-level.

Students are introduced to the EPQ in the summer term of their Lower Sixth year. This gives them the opportunity to discuss the viability of their proposals with an EPQ supervisor in advance of the summer holidays and to carry out some initial research and background reading. At the start of the autumn term of the Upper Sixth year pupils with a viable proposal will be allocated a supervisor and will use the timetabled Foundation Studies time on Tuesday afternoons, alongside their own study time, to complete the project. The final deadline for project completion will be the end of the February half term.

For further details please contact Mrs Costello-Kelly via email: