The course commences in the summer of the Lower Sixth, when students will have some introductory sessions and support in reading and research skills. In the Upper Sixth students are assigned a supervisor and are timetabled for two periods per week. The EPQ is open to all students, although those taking four subjects at A Level are advised to think carefully about the time commitment and seek advice from their tutor, subject teachers and Mrs Costello-Kelly.
In the first taught component of the EPQ the aim is to train students in the basic research, analysis and presentation skills that they will require to be successful in the completion of their project. Alongside this taught element, the students are required to develop and produce a research proposal, while maintaining a record of their activities towards the completion of their project. It is important that students have developed a project proposal before the summer holidays in the Lower Sixth year so that they can make good use of the time available.
Although timetabled time will be available, students are expected to be very independent. Individual students, in consultation with their supervisor, set their own intermediate deadlines throughout the Autumn term. This flexibility allows the students to manage their time effectively while taking account of various coursework deadlines in other subjects. The final deadline for EPQ completion is just before the February half term break, although students should aim to complete the main written component of their EPQ by Christmas to allow time to give their oral presentations.