Choosing your A levels

EPQ

Introduction

The Extended Project Qualification gives students the opportunity to devise and carry out an independent research project. The end product may be a 5,000-word written report, or a shorter report accompanying an ‘artefact’ – for example a working model, film, or piece of software.

It is offered as an Enrichment option between Years 12 and 13.

Board and specification code

AQA 7993

Is the EPQ for you?

Inquisitive students who enjoy working independently and wish to pursue an individual interest in depth will gain the most from an EPQ. Students expand on an A Level topic or relate to their proposed university course, career or interests or activities out of school.

Course content/components

Thirty hours of taught research skills (eg, evaluating sources, citation and reference, plagiarism, constructing a longer essay, plus skills specific to the individual project) and ninety hours of independent work researching and executing the project, keeping a log book and compiling a presentation.

Recommended entry requirement

No specific entry requirements, but potential Oxbridge candidates are strongly advised to consider taking this option. Conversely students who are struggling with their ‘A’ Level subjects are advised not to choose the EPQ. Decisions are made case by case, however.

Post-A Level options

The EPQ provides an opportunity for students to reach beyond the A level syllabus and prepare for University.

The more work I put into [my EPQ on EM Forster], the more I enjoyed it…It has been a challenge, but one I have enjoyed immensely. I am determined, one day, to give this the number of words it deserves

Former Channing student – E.M. Forster subsequently became the subject of her MA dissertation