Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) (AQA)

Course Overview

EPQ is a Level 3 standalone qualification designed to extend and develop your academic abilities beyond the A-level syllabus and prepare for university and/or your future career. 

Students get to plan and carry out research on a topic of their choice and is not covered by their other qualifications. They can take inspiration from something touched on in class or something personal and unrelated to their studies. They then use this research to produce either

  • A written, research based report of approx. 5000 words
  • An artefact – a model, artwork, music, performance piece etc - accompanied by a shorter research based report of approx 2000 words
    The choice of topics is flexible and we encourage you to create a project themed around your future plans and interests. 

Examples of previous projects are:

  • Should the world adopt a single currency? 
  • What can the film Interstellar teach us about time and wormholes? 
  • Does privacy have a future with the Internet of things?
  • Vampire Therapy: the beginning of the end for Alzheimer’s?
  • Boys don’t dance - do they? (Dance showcase)
  • What are the implications of quantum computing to society?
  • Does architecture affect human behaviour?


Students begin their Extended Project in the summer term of Year 12 and normally complete it in the Spring Term of Year 13. 

They are allocated a mentor who can support them with their chosen topic (normally a teacher with a related subject specialism). The project is completed independently in their own time with regular feedback and advice from the course coordinator during weekly twilight sessions.

An important aspect of the final assessment is a presentation on your findings to staff.

The course is taken as an extension of other Level 3 qualifications (it cannot be taken instead of an A Level). You should allow approx. 3 hours a week in addition to your other subjects to work on your project. As such it is a considerable commitment to be carefully weighed up. 

The Extended Project Qualification is worth half an A-level and is graded similarly, it attracts UCAS points (an A* grade = 28 UCAS points, an E = 8 points). 
By taking responsibility for the choice, design and decision making of an individual project (or an individual role in a group 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 technologies confidently
  • demonstrate creativity, initiative and enterprise.


The EPQ is excellent preparation for university as it mirrors the style of research and assessment you will encounter in higher education. For those not planning on university, it showcases deep knowledge of a topic of your choice which can feed into any future career choices. Some universities may make lower A-level offers to students undertaking an EPQ.