Sixth Form from September 2016
The EPQ is a self-motivated project that carries more UCAS points than a stand-alone AS level. There are several forms to the EPQ: you can write a dissertation on a topic you are passionate about, put on an event like a fashion show or charity fundraiser, or make something – like a piece of art or a game. It can take the form of a musical or dramatic composition, a report or creation of an artefact or a design technology piece, backed up with paperwork.
The EPQ has also been praised by universities for guiding students into higher education (typically universities). The EPQ requires a high degree of planning, preparation, research and autonomous working. Universities are increasingly in favour of the 3 A levels and an EPQ combination and many now value this over and above 3 A levels and an AS level. The student’s choice of topic is free, although they must show that it is academically useful, either related to their current course of study, or their future career. Extended projects can help students to develop and demonstrate a range of valuable skills through pursuing their interests and investigating topics in more depth.
The general message from universities is that they really like the EPQ. Some comments from Russell Group universities:
'Students could use their project at interview stage and / or in their UCAS personal statement. All courses at the University value the extended project towards their entry criteria.'
'The skills that students develop through the Extended Project are excellent preparation for university-level study.'
“The EPQ is a definite strength in an application. It can create the heartland of a personal statement and give it, and the student, depth and substance.”
The EPQ will help them develop essential skills required for a successful university career, such as researching and essay writing, give them enjoyment and ownership of learning and create an aspiration for higher education. It requires self-discipline and independent research on a topic of your own choice, so is seen as a good option for people who want to stand out and get into a good university.
Current Upper Fifth or even Lower Sixth students who think they may be interested in doing an EPQ should contact Sarah Smith, our Deputy Head of Sixth Form, through firstname.lastname@example.org to register their interest. If students decide that they wish to do the EPQ in place of a fourth planned A Level choice, they should let Russell Spooner know through email@example.com
Deputy Head of Sixth Form