The Extended Project Qualification or EPQ is it is more commonly referred to, is a standalone qualification which is often taken alongside A-levels. It is highly valued for progression to university and carries UCAS tariff points.
Through the EPQ qualification students complete a research project to explore an area of their own interest. This is offered at Kings Oxford where it is usually directly related to their ambitions for further study at university and may be in a subject not offered at A-level.
Benefits of an EPQ
By following an EPQ, students will develop and demonstrate a wide range of transferable skills, which can include:
- project management, planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, decision-making, problem-solving, evaluation and presentation skills
- critical, reflective and independent learning
- creativity, initiative and enterprise
- e-learning skills and the use of technology
The EPQ is assessed through a final project, report, dissertation and a presentation, or a physical project and a shorter written report with the following four learning outcomes:
- Managing a project
- Using resources
- Developing and realising a project
- Reviewing the project
Valued by Universities
The qualification is graded A*-E and carries UCAS tariff points equivalent to half a full A-level. It is highly-valued by universities. The Russell Group’s ‘Informed Choices’ guidance advises that:
“Russell Group universities value the EPQ which can be drawn upon in your personal statement and at interview to provide evidence of enthusiasm for your chosen subject. Some Russell Group universities may also include the EPQ in their offers”
Many universities make dual offers to include an alternative offer with an EPQ. The University of Southampton were the first university to introduce an alternative offer scheme but there are now many examples; Queen Mary may provide a dual offer of ABB at A-level or BBB with an A in the EPQ.
For entrance to Medicine, Queen’s University, Belfast will accept a grade A EPQ in lieu of their 4th AS requirement.
Other universities, including Oxford, may not make specific conditions for EPQ but do recognise the value it adds and encourage students to take it. Cambridge “welcome and encourage” the EPQ but “recognise that not all students have equal access to them, and so completion of an Extended Project won’t normally be a requirement of any offer made.”
Find out more about Kings Oxford where students continue to enhance their university applications, using the EPQ to research a wide range of subject areas including English Literature, Fashion, Motor Engineering, Politics and Product Design.
Anna achieved an A in her EPQ project on Artificial Intelligence and is now reading Computer Sciences at King’s College London.