Thinking about an EPQ?
What is an EPQ?
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a Level 3 course which is taken alongside A levels. You’ll be required to complete a project on a topic of your choice. The project can be in the form of an essay or report or an artifact e.g. a musical composition, piece of artwork or dramatic project (although these must be backed up with a written report). Once completed the grades obtained are similar to an AS level so an A in your EPQ is equivalent to an A in an AS level - that is, 60 UCAS points (24 new tariff points).
Why should you complete an EPQ?
An EPQ will help you develop a useful range of extra study skills, helping you prepare for the demands of university work. It is valued by higher education institutions as it demonstrates your dedication to independent learning and is often included in offers made by institutions to applicants.
Learn more about completing an EPQ
You can study any topic you wish but it’s a good idea to choose something related to the subject you intend to study at university. It is also important to choose a subject that isn’t too broad as this will help you when it comes to researching your project. You can change the title of your project once you have started but it is better to have a clear idea of the aim of your project at the beginning. All projects must include a written report of at least 1000 words (most are more than this) and once complete you must give a short presentation about your project.
What do universities think about EPQ’s?
Many universities view the EPQ as an excellent way for students to get university ready as many of the skills that are needed when completing the project are the same skills that are needed for university study. For some courses the university will make an alternative offer to an applicant based on their EPQ grade. i.e. Accounting & Finance at the University of Southampton has entry requirements of AAB or ABB with an A in an EPQ.
Hints and Tips
Look at your resources – what time do you have available to work on the project? It may be worth scheduling this into a timetable.
Choose a topic which really interests you and you want to find out more about.
Make sure the research question you choose is manageable – and make sure you have enough time available and the skills required to complete the question.
Think about your future to keep motivated – the EPQ is worth up to 70 UCAS points, so by completing it you could be a step nearer to securing your place at university.
Refer to the assessment criteria to make sure that your project will fulfil the requirements.
Don’t forget to ask for help when needed – your supervisor is there to support you through the project.
Set yourself deadlines for each area of your project to help you keep on track – and try to stick to these as much as possible.
Click on the following link for more information about EPQ’s and personal statements.
The University of Bath has recently developed a MOOC to help you prepare for your EPQ. Sign up by following this link.