The EPQ is a one-year course. Students follow the AQA Specification and complete their project in Year 12. It is an A-level standard, standalone qualification designed to extend and develop a student’s abilities beyond the A-level syllabus and prepare for university or their future career. It can be taken as an extension of other Level 3 qualifications or vocational qualifications or can be based on a topic of personal interest to the student.
The EPQ is a research-based project that encourages students to become independent, reflective workers. As such it provides an excellent foundation for study at University.
The EPQ can take two formats, written or practical, which makes it suitable for all students. The final piece will either be a written report of around 5,000 words, or an artefact with a written report, which could be, for example, a three-dimensional piece of artwork, a play or musical composition, a robot, a model aeroplane, even a website.
The taught element
The specification requires 30 hours of supervised learning of the skills required to achieve their product, such as how to develop titles, questions and proposals; project management skills, including time management, planning techniques, and setting aims and objectives; research methods, including research ethics, analysis and evaluation, risk assessment and data collection techniques; report writing and presentation skills. It is anticipated that the EPQ be completed in approximately 120 hours.
Independent research is the foundation of the EPQ and will students to carry out detailed research that informs the project product outcome and format, use of a wide range of relevant resources, perform critical analysis and evaluation of resources and use a mix of sources to realise the project product outcome
As well as producing the product, students need to provide evidence of their planning, monitoring and evaluating their progress. For, this they complete the Production log which is an ongoing record of your project's progress.
To complete the EPQ students need to:
- Choose an area of interest beyond their current studies, draft a title and aims and objectives for their project.
- Plan, research and carry out their project, stickling to the aims and objectives they have set.
- Deliver a 10 minute presentation to a non-specialist audience about their project
- Provide evidence of all stages of the project development and production in the EPQ log.