The EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) is an academic qualification – offered at A-level, AQA, Edexcel, OCR, and WJEC – to be taken either alone or as an addition to another qualification.
It is worth half an A-level in terms of EPQ UCAS points: A*=70 UCAS points, A 60, B 50, C 40, D 30, and E 20; with 20% for project planning and time-management, 20% for research skill and use of resources, 40% for idea and outcome, and 20% for evaluation and presentation.
Learn more about the EPQ below and if you would like to begin your UK study application, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK India today.
How to do an EPQ
An EPQ course involves carrying out an individual project on a topic of one’s choice, with a view to a written report or a production. The topic must be useful and relevant to the student’s academic studies or professional aspirations.
The EPQ is meant to take a student’s skillset beyond the secondary school level in preparation for study at a UK university. It could involve an essay of 5000 words, an explanation of the investigative methodology, and a presentation for 10-15 minutes to discuss the essay and the method with non-specialists. Or it could consist of a work of art alongside a shorter essay. It could be musical, artistic, scientific, historical, or literary, not that this is an exhaustive list. It could be cancer cells, criminal justice, the French Revolution, or digital marketing.
How long does an EPQ take to complete?
The project should take 120 hours, more or less, and will usually be carried out in the summer holidays after year 12 and finished in the first term of year 13. There may be some guidance from the school about how to go about the work, but the student is largely on their own and should relish this opportunity to venture into the unknown.
Do UK universities accept the EPQ qualification?
UK universities sometimes give lower offers to students who are doing EPQs, who can become more independent, original, and lateral thinkers with more impressive presentational skills, better technological repertoires, and greater powers of analysis and investigation – just the attributes sought by universities seeking to instil them into their undergraduates.
Such salutary toughening of the mind is likely to enhance a student’s performance in other UK subjects, of which deeper knowledge can bear fruit in the EPQ, a virtuous cycle of scholarship to accelerate the maturation from school to university.
This qualification can impress and reassure university admissions officers who may otherwise wonder whether a student who has been spoon-fed at school will evolve smoothly into a self-starter at university.
Why choose an EPQ?
Education providers do well to offer an EPQ that can add to the attractiveness of their curricula to students who know they will be able to choose some of what they study and enjoy a foretaste of the autonomy of university research, to say nothing of the advantage of higher UCAS points to schools conscious of rankings.
Students who have extensively researched a field of interest will have something original and personal to discuss with university interviewers who may have tired of talking about generic curricular subjects with their other candidates – and that might convince Oxford or Cambridge that the student in question has that extra spark of brilliance to pip the rivals at the post. Later on, a university dissertation will be less daunting for someone who has produced so substantial a work of research once before and done it well.
Study in the UK
If you want to study an EPQ in the UK, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK India today.