Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

What is the Extended Project Qualification?

EPQ stands for ‘Extended Project Qualification’ and it is an accredited Level 3 qualification that we offer at Sion School. The EPQ is a standalone qualification designed to extend and develop students’ skills in independent research and project management.

The EPQ can be taken alongside A levels and is assessed at the same level as an A level, graded A* – E. It is equivalent to half a full A level and is recognised by universities and employers with some leading universities making alternative offers to students undertaking an EPQ.

What are the benefits of doing the EPQ?

It provides an opportunity for students to extend their abilities beyond the A level syllabus, stand out and prepare for university or their future career. It is an excellent way for students to demonstrate their interest and ability in a particular field of study. Having the EPQ enhances a CV and provides excellent material for the UCAS application personal statement and reference.

The EPQ requires students to carry out research on a topic that they have chosen and is not covered by their other qualifications. They then use this research to produce a written report and, in the case of practical projects, an artefact or a production. A student can take inspiration from something studied in class or something completely unrelated to their studies.

By taking responsibility for the choice and design of an individual project students:

  • Become more critical, reflective and independent learners
  • Develop and apply decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Increase their planning, research, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills
  • Learn to apply new technologies confidently
  • Demonstrate creativity, initiative and enterprise.

Students are supported through the project by their Supervisor. This includes assistance with conducting research, planning, time management, learning how to format a project correctly and presentation skills.

What does the EPQ involve?

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.

The EPQ specification can be found at the AQA website by clicking here