What is the EPQ?

The Extended project Qualification is a course run from the AQA board, using their specification.

EPQ is an A-level standard standalone qualification designed to extend and develop your students' 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
  • it's worth half an A-level (28 UCAS points)
  • it's recognised by universities and employers
  • many universities make lower A-level offers to students undertaking an EPQ.

All students in CCGS who are not on a 4 A Level programme would be expected to start the course and attend the sessions.

Be Seen with an EPQ


How it works

The EPQ allows students to lead their own projects. Students get to plan and carry out research on a topic that they've chosen and isn't covered by their other qualifications. They can take inspiration from something touched on in class or something personal and unrelated to their studies. They then use this research to produce a written report and, in the case of practical projects, an artefact or a production. This is a project where the student will be the driving force to organise meetings with their supervisor and write up notes and justifying decision making, and possibly learning new skills.

By taking responsibility for the choice, design and decision making of an individual project (or an individual role in a group project) students:

  • become more critical, reflective and independent learners
  • develop and apply decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • increase their planning, research, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills
  • learn to apply technologies confidently
  • demonstrate creativity, initiative and enterprise.

Undertaking an EPQ can also deliver other benefits for students and schools, such as:

  • improved A Level performance for students taking EPQ
  • boosting student recruitment by making your curriculum more attractive
  • increasing student motivation by allowing them to study topics of personal interest
  • enabling students to apply their new skills to other areas of study.

Students may choose to take the Extended Project Qualification as an extension from studies for any other qualifications at Level 3.

The Extended Project will develop and extend from one or more of the student’s study areas and/or from an area of personal interest or activity outside their main programme of study. It will be based on a topic chosen by the student(s) and agreed as appropriate by the centre.

Delivery of the Extended Project Qualification in centres will involve some teaching of the necessary skills, supervision and assessment of the student’s progress. It will involve extended autonomous work by the student. It will require in total 120 learning hours, which is achieved both in directed class time, and work outside of class on research/essay writing or logbook updating. This is very generous amount of time over the course of the 2 academic years to complete an investigation.

Students are required, with appropriate supervision, to:

  • choose an area of interest
  • draft a title and aims of the project for formal approval by the centre
  • plan, research and carry out the project
  • deliver a presentation to a non-specialist audience
  • provide evidence of all stages of project development and production for assessment.

This is a course to aid a student’s independent learning and time management.

The school will provide instructions and on their study skills and allocate a member of staff to supervise the development of the project.  This is recorded by the student in a logbook, which is online and can be monitored by the supervising staff member.

This is a Pupil led/driven piece of work, with time in both Year 12 and Year 13 to complete it, with an opportunity to enter either in November or Easter.  You can only enter the project once, with no preliminary feedback; the work does not get remarked as BTEC work with opportunities to correct.



Assessment is made by reviewing the work over 4 areas; and the lack of logbook detail would be a factor in marking.  Essays and research are expected, but artifacts can also be entered as a part of the project brief.

Assessment areas are linked to Planning, Research, management of project and review.

The work is marked internally and sent for moderation externally.

Assessment can only be done in one entry.