Extended Project Qualification
The Level 3 Extended Project is highly recommended by schools and leading higher education institutions as an opportunity to acquire independent learning skills. These skills will strengthen students’ A Level studies and aid them in the transition to undergraduate study and professional life.
Edexcel Level 3 Extended Project, with a choice of all four pathways:
Unit P301: Dissertation
Unit P302: Investigation / Field Study
Unit P303: Performance
Unit P304: Artefact
This one-year qualification challenges students to set themselves and complete a project on a topic of their choice. Students will select one of the four pathways, producing a dissertation, investigation / field study, performance, or artefact over the course of a single academic year. Students will select a topic area which expands their learning in their field of study, in a related area, or that is relevant to their own personal interests. Students will keep an activity log throughout the year and deliver a ten minute presentation and evaluation of their finished project at the end of the process. They will be assessed on their ability to manage, resource, develop and realise, and review their projects.
Minimum entry requirements
In addition to our general Sixth Form entry requirements of five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, students will need to have achieved a grade 5 in GCSE English Language, English Literature, or History. Access to the different pathways may be informed by prior attainment in other GCSE subjects.
Why study for the EPQ
Taking the EPQ allows students to tailor the wider curriculum to their own interests: they might study a subject they loved at GCSE but couldn’t continue to A Level, or pursue an A Level subject beyond the curriculum, or try a new subject entirely. Completing the EPQ helps to develop essential skills needed for university and beyond, such as research, critical thinking, extended writing, referencing, and time management.
What our students say
“EPQ has been a great chance for me to boost my UCAS points; it directly relates to the course and my chosen career in photography. The skills I have gained during this course will certainly help me at university, as well as make my application stand out when I apply.”
The qualification is highly recommended by universities as an introduction to undergraduate study.
University of Cambridge: “(we)… would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills and ease the transition from school to higher education.”
University of Manchester: “The skills… are excellent preparation for university level study.”
University of Southampton: “(we want to)… send out a clear message… that we value the EPQ.”
The grade which students achieve in their EPQ in Year 12 will strengthen their university applications in Year 13, since it is the only public exam which they will sit between GCSEs and A Levels. The qualification carries up to 28 UCAS Tariff points, which some universities count towards a conditional offer. Other universities may reduce their typical A Level offer by a grade or more on the basis of a strong performance in an EPQ.
What can I do next?
The Extended Project Qualification is studied in addition to the students’ chosen subjects. It forms part of the Wider Curriculum available to all Year 12 students.
Not only does it develop independent learning and research skills, it also requires the student to demonstrate time management and organisational skills throughout the duration of the year of study. All of these attributes are essential for entry into higher education and for working life after university.