Extended Project Qualification

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) offered by AQA is an alternative but equivalent qualification to an AS level.

Rather than being assessed by a written exam at the end of the year, the EPQ is pupil-driven, giving pupil’s the freedom and responsibility to select a topic they are interested in, conduct a particular piece of research and make a presentation of their findings to an audience.

When completing a project qualification, pupils follow a clearly structured process: they plan, research their topic and create a product.

The product of their project can be in one of three formats:

  • a research-based written report
  • a production* (e.g .a charity event, a fashion show, a sports event), supported by a written report
  • an artefact* (e.g. a piece of art, a computer game, a realised design), supported by a written report.

The Extended Project gives pupils the chance to embark on a serious piece of research akin to university study that plays to their academic and other interests (perhaps hobbies) and also their learning style.

This work is all recorded in a Production Log which is completed throughout the process. Finally, students deliver a presentation. During the process, they develop as independent, reflective learners and acquire knowledge and transferable skills that are invaluable for further study and the workplace. Students are assessed on the product of their project and on the process itself.

Certificates are issued with associated UCAS points. The projects are marked by the Supervisors and then internally moderated before being sent off in early May for verification. The projects are marked on four key assessment objectives: manage, use resources, develop and realise and review. These skills are the reason for the desirability by universities and the work place for the course. UK universities, in particular Russell Group Universities, are placing value in the qualification and taking it into consideration when making offers.

Enrichment comes from the pupils’ own research. The high levels of motivation required originate from ownership of the project and from being able to go far wider and deeper than any conventional secondary level course. The EPQ involves around 120 hours of effort. 30 hours are classroom based where the essential skills are taught and pupils use the remaining 90 hours to carry out and deliver their projects.

Recent results

At Strathallan the results are excellent with 5A*s, 7 As and 2 Bs awarded so far, Two pupils have gained an impressive 50/50 and two students received a reduced offer based on their A* results.

Topics covered have included Colonial History, Gender Equality and Post-Colonial Literature.

Strathallan are currently the only school in Scotland to have invested in Project Q to assist in the management of production logs.

EPQ Staff

Mr Russell Newham, EPQ Coordinator

EPQ Supervisors

  • Catherine Howett
  • Claire Laurie
  • Claire Brownbridge
  • Paul Vallot
  • Craig Wiles
  • Matt Gooch
  • Leslie Kent
  • Isla Woodman