Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) sits alongside A-levels in the Tonbridge School Sixth Form Curriculum, providing pupils with an opportunity to develop academic and project management skills, combined with an opportunity to study a topic that is unique and interesting to them.
Even the type of project is at the discretion of the pupil and they can select to do a Scientific Investigation, a Dissertation or a creative Artefact: this could be a piece of art, a sculpture, a film, a piece of creative writing, or one of any number of other options.
The projects provide the boys with evidence of their intellectual curiosity and their commitment to completing a substantial piece of independent work.
The EPQ encourages pupils to develop the skills that will help them succeed at university, which is why it is valued as part of the university application process and in some cases will lead to a reduction in their UCAS offers (an A* will additionally carry a 28 UCAS point tariff). It can also help to improve their attainment at A Level [Gill (2016)].
The course entails a total of 120 hours of study, incorporating 30 hours of taught skills to support the pupil’s acquisition of new skills to help them succeed in their EPQ.
Gill, T (2016) Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication. © UCLES 2017
Where applicants have undertaken the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), this will not be a condition of any offer but the University recognises that the EPQ will provide an applicant with the opportunity to develop research and academic skills relevant for study at Oxford. Candidates are encouraged to draw upon relevant EPQ experience when writing their personal statement - University of Oxford
Pupil reflections on the EPQ:
I have really enjoyed doing my EPQ because it allowed me to further my interest in extracurricular topics and subjects that I did not choose for A-Level. It also helped me to develop skills that will be useful for undergraduate study. Thurso Willet (Sc 17-22)
The EPQ has provided me with a fantastic wealth of new knowledge (on both Gothic cathedrals and project management). This newly amassed area of expertise will be invaluable as I move forward with my studies. Xander Froggatt (WW 17-22)
The EPQ is an excellent way to connect with your chosen topic area … it gives you the opportunity to develop an extremely good skill-base, which will be invaluable as you move on beyond the Sixth Form. Will Press (SH 17-22)
The EPQ is a great experience for those trying to establish more independence into their academic endeavours, further their understanding of any topic of their choosing, and demonstrate the research skills that they have developed throughout the process. Christopher Halford (PH 17-22)
The EPQ gives A-level students excellent preparation for university-level study and may help boost their UCAS application - University of Manchester
MSc, Universities of Manchester, Salford and Keele
PhD, University of Aberdeen