The EPQ is an independent research project on a topic of your choosing. It takes 120 hours of work to complete and the qualification counts as half an A level. You can choose to write a Dissertation, create an Artefact, produce a Performance or carry out an Investigation.
An EPQ qualification is evidence that you can work independently, manage your time well, problem-solve, conduct original research, and produce a high quality final product. For these reasons, it is highly valued by universities and employers.
Types of Project
A dissertation is an essay of 5000-6000 words, providing an answer to a question and focusing on a topic about which there has been debate. For example:
- How far were economic problems the main cause of the French Revolution of 1789?
- Is war ever justified?
An artefact is an object produced as a solution to a design brief. It must be based on thorough research, and records must be kept indicating how ideas developed as the project progressed. For example:
- A book of photographs of a town in the Ukraine
- A Chinese lantern
- A formal dress
A performance could be music, drama or sport-related. It must take place before an audience, and records must be kept which show the development of skills and techniques. For example:
- A performance of modern piano works
- A rhythmic gymnastics display
An investigation is a project – often scientific or psychological – that tests a hypothesis and involves the collection of data. For example:
- Is there an age group when social networking is most prolific?
- How does ph value influence plant cover?
Is the EPQ for you?
You will enjoy and benefit from the EPQ if you:
- want the opportunity to achieve a highly regarded additional qualification;
- can think of an interesting Project area that would complement your core subjects, or prepare you for a university course or career;
- work well independently and can meet strict deadlines;
- want to develop your skills of problem-solving and independent research.
How much work is involved?
Lots! You must:
- Work consistently throughout the year;
- Research extensively;
- Keep a detailed log of the work completed
- Attend regular meetings with your tutor;
- Submit a thorough write-up of your Project, and give a short presentation on your Project.
Applying for the EPQ
The EPQ will be started at the end of your First Year at college, and completed during your Second Year. During your First Year you will be given instructions on how to apply.