The Westgate School offers students the opportunity to apply to undertake an EPQ, which is a Level 3 qualification, on top of their three subjects.
What is the EPQ?
EPQ stands for ‘Extended Project Qualification’ and it is an accredited Level 3 qualification that we offer at The Westgate School.
The EPQ is an independent research task which involves students either writing an extended essay of about 5,000 words or creating a product with an accompanying shorter essay of about 1,000 words. It is based on a topic that does not link to what they are studying for their A-Levels and/or vocational course(s) and will be based on a topic chosen by the student and agreed upon by our school.
Add a full-stop at the end of ‘In particular, a student who's taken up the extended project clearly has enthusiasm for their subject and that really helps them stand out when they're applying to universities’
What are the benefits of doing the EPQ?
The EPQ enables students to develop independent learning and to demonstrate that they are capable of working on their own initiative, and amongst all the other students that are getting good grades at A-Levels, it enables them to stand out.
In particular, a student who's taken up the extended project clearly has enthusiasm for their subject and that really helps them stand out when they're applying to universities
Not only are the skills developed exactly those that are needed at university, but it is an extra qualification that could significantly impact UCAS offers.
Research from Gill and Rodeiro (2014) also found that ‘Students with an Extended Project Qualification were more likely than those without it to obtain a good degree (odds of achieving a first-class degree increased by 1.25 and of achieving at least an upper second-class degree by 1.30)’.
What does the EPQ involve?
- Training sessions on a variety of areas such as conducting primary research, report writing, presentation skills etc
- Independently conducted training through online platforms such as FutureLearn.
- Choose an area of interest and draft your project title and aims.
- Plan, research and carry out your project.
- Keep a production log of all stages of the project production, reviewing and evaluating your progress.
- Complete the project product.
- Prepare and deliver a presentation.
- Review the outcome of your project and presentation.
What does the project product look like?
You can either produce a written report of 5,000 words on the research conducted...
You can produce an ‘artefact’. An artefact can be a physical outcome such as a book or a short film or it can be a presentation to a specific audience, a play, it could be an event such as a fashion show or a musical evening. In fact, there is almost no limit to what can constitute an artefact, as long as it has research at its core. Alongside your artefact you would also need to produce a 1,000-word accompanying report.
Both options will require students to present their research to a non-specialist audience.