Extended Project Qualification

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) involves producing a single piece of work, with an almost completely free choice of topic, requiring a high degree of planning, preparation and independent learning.

The Extended Project is an A level qualification (A* – U) worth half an A Level available to all Key Stage 5 students. Although it is designed as a course for Year 13 students, it is also available to particularly able and motivated Year 12 students who want to strengthen their university application or study a topic in great depth. The outcome is dependent on students’ persistence over time and level of dedication and enthusiasm.

EPQ consists of an element of ‘taught’ skills during lessons which enable students to explore any subject independently in real depth through developing:

  • research skills
  • critical thinking
  • decision-making
  • presentation
  • problem-solving
  • extended writing and referencing

The EPQ is flexible enough to appeal to all students and is not solely an academic option and could equally well be a practical activity such as a musical performance, sculpture or collage.

It is necessary to plan the project, carry out research, select and use resources, develop the project fully, carry out a full evaluation and present findings and respond to any questions.

The EPQ offers an opportunity to:

  • explore personal interests as part of a formal qualification
  • develop self-motivation and confidence through working autonomously
  • use the project on the UCAS form and at interview stage for higher education; it is highly regarded by the top universities


"We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills and ease the transition from school/college to higher education."
– University of Cambridge

"The University recognises that some A level students may also choose to offer the Extended Project. In such cases, some admissions tutors may make two alternative offers, one of which involves success in the Extended Project (for example, either AAA at A level or AAB at A level plus Extended Project)."
– University of Bristol

"We have an increasingly compelling evidence base that students who did well at the EPQ settle in well to their undergraduate study at a research-intensive university like ours, and so are keen to see more of them in our lecture theatres and seminar rooms."
– University of Southampton