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Annually, 86% of Winstanley College EPQ students achieved A*-A grades

What is EPQ?

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a qualification equivalent in size to an AS, but equivalent in depth to an A-level, graded A*-E. It involves undertaking a substantial project in an area of personal interest, where the outcome can range from writing a dissertation or conducting an investigation to putting on a performance, organising an event or creating an artefact. EPQ is seen as excellent preparation for university by universities and develops the independent study skills that universities and employers demand.

What are the benefits of EPQ?

An opportunity to explore interests, skills and subjects outside and beyond A-level courses to give students the competitive edge in applications and interviews for universities, apprenticeships and professional careers.

Creates a piece of work that students can confidently discuss in their personal statement and university, apprenticeship and professional interviews to show their particular interest and experience of the subject.

Many universities make reduced offers to students taking EPQ alongside A-level qualifications, including prestigious Russell Group universities such as University of Leeds, University of Sheffield, University of Leicester, University of Bath, University of Southampton and University of Bristol.

EPQ is also worth up to 28 UCAS points (half of a full A-level at A*) towards a student’s university entry tariff.

Work alongside a diverse groups of students under the supervision of an experienced specialist tutor.

How will you be Assessed?

You will be assessed on how well you identify and use resources, carry out your research, develop your ideas to realise an outcome and then reflect on the outcome and the process - all these skills are what universities are looking for, and there is a growing number of universities who either accept EPQ as part of a points score or in some cases will allow for a lower grade in one A-level if you achieve a higher grade for your EPQ.

Winstanley students have been very successful with their projects, so we are pleased to be leading the way on this exciting qualification

Entry Guidelines

The EPQ is offered to some students after Easter in your first year of A-level study. There is no entry requirement in terms of grades however the EPQ has limited places and is therefore offered to students who it will have a positive impact on their university progression first such as MDV applicants. To be successful on this course you must be prepared to work independently. Enthusiasm, self-motivation and a passion for your chosen topic are essential.

For further information contact

Quotes from Russell Group

“As well as your advanced level qualifications you might also consider the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which provides the opportunity to develop valuable independent study and research skills. Russell Group universities value the EPQ which can be drawn upon in your personal statement and at interview to provide evidence of enthusiasm for your chosen subject. Some Russell Group universities may also include the EPQ in their offers.”

“Undertaking this kind of work considerably improves students’ skills in time management, academic writing, referencing, and critical analysis, amongst others. For this reason the EPQ is valued by Russell Group universities and some may include it as part of an offer made to a student. Even if not included in formal offers, taking an EPQ can be viewed favourably by Russell Group universities. You can talk about it in your application and at interview to demonstrate interest and aptitude for your chosen degree course; if your EPQ topic is not obviously linked to the degree you’re applying for make sure you explain how the skills you’ve developed are relevant.”

Cambridge University

“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.”

Glasgow University

“The University very much values the Extended Project and its role in preparing students for a successful higher education experience. In highly selective areas preference may be given to students with A-levels, who also offer the Extended Project for entry.”

Newcastle University

“We value the skills of research and independent learning that the Extended Project is designed to develop. Your offer may be varied as a result, in recognition of the level of study skills you will have developed.”

Manchester University

“The skills that students develop through the Extended Project are excellent preparation for university-level study. As a research-intensive university, The University of Manchester is very supportive of the skills the Extended Project encourages learners to develop. We have been involved in working with local schools and colleges since the Extended Project Qualification was first piloted.”

Southampton University

“It is our hope that this will send out a clear message to students that we value the EPQ, and appreciate the hard work that goes into completing one. 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.”

EPQ Student Case Studies

A-levels: History, Maths, Physics, Economics
EPQ Dissertation: “To what extent was cannibalism common practice within prehistoric societies?”
Progression: Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Oxford

A-levels: History, Maths, Film Studies
EPQ Artefact: “Creating ‘Plagued’ a short film”
Progression: Film and Television Production, University of York

A-levels: English Language, Biology, Vocational Health
EPQ Dissertation: “The development of gender roles within children aged 7-11 in the Primary school classroom”
Progression: Primary Education with QTS, University of South Wales

A-levels: Biology, Chemistry, Physics
EPQ Dissertation: “How does periodontitis affect systemic health and how can dental practice reduce these risks?”
Progression: Dentistry, University of Liverpool

A-levels: History, Politics, Law
EPQ Dissertation: “To what extent do intellectual property laws do more harm than good?”
Progression: Law, University College London (UCL)

A-levels: Biology, Chemistry, Maths
EPQ Artefact: “Creating and baking a wedding cake to order”
Progression: Biochemistry, University of Sheffield

A-levels: Geography, English, Law
EPQ Artefact: “Producing a detailed amenities survey of Standish with specific reference to the impact of new housing on the area”
Progression: Geography and Planning, University of Newcastle

A-levels: English Language, Graphics, Photography
EPQ Artefact: “Creating a series of modern political posters using iconic styles”
Progression: Graphic Design, University of Bath

A-levels: Chemistry, Physics, Maths
EPQ Dissertation: “Ammonia based life: Is it possible?”
Progression: Chemistry and Molecular Physics, University of Durham

A-levels: Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics
EPQ Dissertation: “Do the physiological effects and psychological effects of space travel outweigh the benefits?”
Progression: Medicine, University College London (UCL)