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St Peter's
Catholic School

Extended Project Qualification

Edward Martin

Teacher of EPQ

Introduction to the Department

We believe the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a brilliant opportunity for students. The EPQ Level 3 is offered to Year 13 students who stand to benefit from independent research and have developed successful skills in that area.


The EPQ is currently offered to students in Year 13 who have shown the potential to manage the extra workload and have developed successful independent study skills.

This is a chance to pursue a real interest or passion and demonstrate your learning beyond the classroom. The aim of the project is to encourage intellectual curiosity and develop independent learning skills that universities wish to see in their applicants. It also allows you to produce a detailed piece of work that can be submitted to a university as part of your application if work is requested.

Frequently, universities have been willing to modify offers for students studying for an EPQ. This can mean reducing the offer by a grade; elsewhere, where a student is applying for a competitive course, it can provide a tie-breaker.

As a content-free qualification, you have a free choice of subjects to work on (certain projects require you to consider ethical or safety issues before they can be approved). Instead of a teacher, you will be assigned a project supervisor who will provide guidance and support over the course of the process. From beginning to end, the project itself is entirely managed and created by you. It offers a taste of the independence and self-management that will be expected of students at university, regardless of the course of study. As such, it provides an invaluable bridge between the two different environments of school and higher education. The final piece of work can take the format of a field study, artefact, performance or research dissertation. You are assessed not just on your final piece but also the process you go through to complete it, as well as your ability to critique your own work honestly and insightfully.


The EPQ is useful for virtually all higher education pathways, teaching many of the research skills necessary in the first year of a degree. According to research from the University of Southampton, having an EPQ correlates with higher assessment scores at university level.


There is no specific course content as students establish their own research base independently. However, your supervisor will give you extensive guidance about how to research effectively, evaluate sources and write up your findings.


Managing your time and organisation: 20%

Using resources to research your project: 20%

Developing and realising your project: 40%

Evaluation and review: 20%




The EPQ can be adapted for students of all abilities, so there are no specific course requirements. However, students should note that all EPQs, regardless of subject, involve a certain amount of extended writing.