Extended Project Qualification


EPQ provides an opportunity for students to extend their abilities beyond the A-level syllabus, stand out and prepare for university or their future career. It can also be used to earn extra UCAS points.The Extended Project is a Level 3 qualification.

An increasing number of universities are including EPQ in their offers (1/5 of Durham University students have EPQ). Some universities are using EPQ as the basis for discussions in interviews, as they want students to be able to discuss individual research & their own interests outside A’Level study.

Durham University states ‘ a high predicted or actual grade in EPQ will be considered a positive attribute when selecting amongst applicants with similar levels of overall achievement’.

Cambridge University states ‘we welcome the Extended Project and would encourage applicants to undertake one as it will help to develop independent study and research skills valuable for higher education.’

Research has shown that students who study EPQ in the 6th form are more able to perform well at university, as they have already developed skills in independent research.

Key Stage 5

Students will:

  • Choose a topic for study, this can be anything, as long as it does not overlap with the content of the student’s A Level specifications.

  • Identify, design, plan and complete an individual project, applying a range of organisational skills and strategies to meet agreed objectives.

  • Obtain, critically select and use information from a range of sources; analyse data, apply it relevantly and demonstrate understanding of any appropriate linkages, connections and complexities of the topic.

  • Select and use a range of skills, solve problems, take decisions critically, creatively and flexibly, to achieve planned outcomes.

  • Evaluate outcomes both in relation to agreed objectives and own learning and performance.

  • Select and use a range of communication skills and media to present evidenced outcomes and conclusions in an appropriate format.


The outcome is a 5000 word project or a 1000 word project & an artefact. It should take 90 hours to finish. Students will also complete a Production Log which will detail how they have planned their project & evaluated the result. Only 40% of the final mark is for the project/artefact, most of the marks are for planning & evaluation.

Students will prepare a presentation, which they will carry out in front of a small group of other students.

The project will be internally marked by a DCHS teacher (EPQ supervisor) & moderated by AQA.

You will receive an A’Level grade (A*-E). EPQ is worth more than an AS, in UCAS points.

Examination Boards


Resources to Support Learning

Andrews,C (2019)AQA Level 3 Extended Project Qualification. Oxfordhsire.Hodder Education

ISBN: 978-1-5104-4314-3

Careers Links

Students often choose a research topic which directly relates to their future university degree & career. For instance, students who intend to study medicine/dentistry have researched titles such as – Who is the most likely to survive cancer? & Does your socioeconomic status have an impact on your oral health? Students who have gone on to study engineering/maths chose titles such as – Will nanotechnology as a tool be used to build a better future or destroy it entirely? Students interested in accounting & economics have studied – Does the codependency of the current world economy make investment banks too risky to sustain? & Is tax evasion & avoidance an issue in the UK? Students interested in the Arts & Humanities have chosen titles such as Nature or Nurture, what makes a psychopath? & To what extent have the arts impacted society. Scientists have studied – Can what we eat & drink affect our mood? & How does captivity affect the welfare of orcas?

Subject Staff

Ms L Smith

Mr A Ritchie