Key Stage 5

AS and A2 (Exam Board: AQA)

The Extended Project Qualification (or EPQ) is a relatively new qualification aimed at our most able students.  It is taken in addition to the A Level courses and is equivalent to a half A Level for UCAS points.  Universities view it as an extremely valuable and desirable qualification, especially for more competitive courses and subjects such as medicine and veterinary, although others also benefit from the experience and qualification.  Some students have been given lower university offers based on their EPQ grade.

EPQ is a research project on a topic chosen by the student.  It will develop and extend from one or more of their A Level subjects and/or from an area of personal interest or activity outside their main examination courses.

They will be supported by a Supervisor who will oversee, guide and facilitate them throughout and assess their achievement based upon a thorough knowledge of their independent work.  There will be a weekly timetabled lesson which teaches and develops the skills required to complete the project.  The lesson is in addition to other A Level courses and forms part of the Enrichment programme.

In addition to the timetabled lessons students will be expected to spend approximately 90 hours of their own time on their project.  This time is spread over year 12 and the start of year 13 – approximately 2 hours per week.

Students develop an initial idea for a project they may wish to carry out and discuss their ideas with their Supervisor.  Students initially carry out some research to enable them to develop their ideas sufficiently to make a formal project proposal that includes their project aims and initial plans.

On completion of the project the students must give a presentation, which should be for a non-specialist audience using media appropriate to the type of project.  The presentation must include a live question and answer session overseen by the Supervisor.

Students complete a Production Log as they carry out their projects.  It records the following key information:

  • planning review meeting between the student and the Supervisor following project approval
  • mid-project review with the Supervisor
  • end-of-project review with the Supervisor
  • summary and evaluation of the project
  • a record of the presentation
  • reflection on the complete project process

The completed Production Log, the Project product (usually a 5000 word report and any other evidence), and the presentation are assessed together by the Supervisor at the end of the process.

Supervisors’ assessments are standardised and moderated internally by the Centre Coordinator before submission for external moderation by AQA.

Further information can be found at http://becketgs.wordpress.com/epq/