Extended Project Qualification

What is it?

The EPQ is an independent project that is completed by the student with the active support of a teacher as a supervisor. It allows a student to research an area of interest away from their other A-level studies. This can be an area of personal or academic interest and may help them to research an area related to a future career. The topics studied are highly varied.


At Giggleswick the formal course runs from November in Y12 to November in Y13. The students will therefore be completing their EPQ outside the formal examination period and in time to make reference to it in their personal statement in a UCAS application.


How is it supported?

The students are taught key skills for completing their projects. These include research skills, academic writing, time management, planning an EPQ and refining their project. They use an online management program called Project Q to manage their EPQ.


Each student is allocated a supervisor who will give them advice on their projects on a weekly basis. Typically each supervisor oversees four or five pupils. In addition the school librarian is expert in helping students to research their projects both from books, academic journals and from the internet.


Is it timetabled?

Yes, it is timetabled and currently it is compulsory for all Y12 pupils unless they are completing a BTEC course or if they are studying Further Maths.


How is it assessed?

The project is assessed in a number of ways. Firstly, the students complete a production log as they complete the project - this includes advice from their supervisor. The students write up their research as an essay. For some pupils they produce an artefact (such as a film, piece of artwork or computer programme) and they therefore write a shorter essay. Finally, all pupils have to give a presentation of their project.


Is it graded?

The EPQ is graded in a similar fashion to A2 exams with grades A – E being passes. These grades also convert to UCAS points and in the past the EPQ has helped our students to gain entry to courses and also has been a useful point for discussion at interview.


Some recent projects:

  • Designing and producing a children's audio book and assessing how rhyme is used to attract young children.
  • Does sport now come second to politics in the Olympic Movement?
  • Is it possible it catch a murderer/criminal through the use of criminal profiling?
  • To write a syllabus for sailing instructors to teach beginners.
  • Were the Scottish government justified in making most rivers in Scotland category three, and what effect will it have on the salmon population?
  • Should smoking related illnesses and disease be treated within the NHS budget?
  • How did Caravaggio influence 17th century religious paintings?
  • To what extent have children’s programming decisions of the BBC affected the development of child culture from 1970 to present day?
  • Why can't computers operate under just one programming language?
  • To what extent do the bloodlines of a Shetland pony affect their performance in the show ring?