The Extended Project is a significant piece of individual research carried out by the student on a topic/theme/area of interest of their own choosing.
The qualification provides students with an opportunity to delve into an area of genuine interest. There are clear guidelines concerning the appropriateness of research topic titles. As part of the qualification they receive taught/timetabled input into effective research methods, referencing, planning and presenting although the main onus is placed on the student.
An Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a qualification taken by some students in the United Kingdom, where it is equivalent to half an A-level. They are part of Level 3 of the National Qualifications Framework. It is currently graded A* to E. It involves choosing a topic, carrying out research, then creating either a 5,000 word report or a 'product' plus a 1,000 word report. After that you must deliver a small 10-15 minute presentation to a group of non-specialists about your topic. At Oxted School you are allocated a personal mentor to help guide you through the process. For further details please contact Mr Morris (Dave.Morris@oxted.thpt.org.uk).
The Extended Project has been welcomed by Higher Education institutions. The ‘1994 Group’ (the UKs leading research Universities) has been very positive about its introduction.
Previous students have presented their reports to students, friends and parents. Topics ranged for the Ethics of Eugenics to the Metallurgy of Coins! Student evaluations acknowledged their enjoyment of the intellectual challenge and the liberation they felt in studying a project over which they had control. The benefits of the course also include developing independent research and study skills which offer excellent reparation for University.
It is our feeling that more and more of the oversubscribed Universities and high demand courses will want students to undertake the Extended Project at Level 3. It is unlikely that it will form part of the formal offer but would differentiate students and provide a fantastic focal point for interviews as well as showing a willingness to accept an intellectual challenge. Increasingly students find that University offers are lowered if an EPQ is successfully completed at a B grade or higher. It will certainly develop their research skills. When you look at the presentation you need only read information related to Level 3 (A-Level) and not Level 2 (GCSE Level).
The Extended Project Qualification has been run very successfully for many years at Oxted School Sixth Form. It is a stand-alone qualification that is graded A to E and is worth half an A-level. Mr Morris supports around 50 students in each year group to complete the qualification alongside their other subjects. Contact: Dave.Morris@oxted.thpt.org.uk