The Extended Project Qualification
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is highly valued by universities, with some offering lower conditions if you complete one. It’s equivalent to half an A level (with A* being the top grade).
What does it involve?
You’ll need to produce a 5,000-word essay (or a product and a 1,000 to 3,000-word essay) based on a topic of your choice. However, this isn’t just about writing the essay. It’s about pursuing an investigation from initial idea to completion. You’ll keep a log of your progress, reflect on the decisions you make and the things you learn along the way.
When does it take place?
You start work on the essay and log in Lower Sixth and hand them in while you’re in Upper Sixth (either in October or March). At the end, you’ll also present your findings to teachers and fellow pupils and field their questions.
How is it taught?
You won’t have a teacher in the traditional sense. Instead, a member of staff will act as your supervisor and guide. The direction and responsibility of the EPQ is entirely down to you. That’s why, as well as choosing a topic that relates to your proposed university course, it’s a good idea to pick something you feel passionate about.
Here are a few of the questions students have tackled recently:
- Is the universe deterministic, and if so, does this mean that we do not have free will?
- To what extent is sexism firmly entrenched in modern Spanish language?
- Should aid be considered as essential in reducing world inequality?
- Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome: what are the most effective treatments?
- How and why did John Donne’s use of the sphere motif change across the course of his poetical career?