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EPQ - Intent, Implementation, Impact



The Extended Project Qualification (Level 3) counts as half a full A Level. At Archbishop Tenison’s the EPQ is offered to all Sixth Form students as an additional qualification alongside their traditional A level subjects.

At Key Stage 5 the aims of the EPQ course are to teach independent research skills. The course also instructs the students on how to analyse the reliability of the sources of information that they find - using techniques such as CRAVEN. In addition, students are taught to be self-motivated and to manage their projects effectively. The course requires students to keep a diary of their progress and to produce a Gantt Chart (a management tool) comparing their actual progress with that which they predicted at the start of the course. Students are encouraged to explore areas of interest that are not covered in their other A Level options, in order to broaden their horizons.



The EPQ course consists of 20 taught lessons. Each lesson prepares students for a part of their project. There are four types of EPQ available: a dissertation (extended essay), an investigation (fieldwork), performance (any type of performance to an audience) and finally producing an artefact (making on object themselves). All receive the same recognition by the examination board. The lessons start off being applicable to students taking any of the EPQ options. Later lessons in the classroom specialise on specific types of EPQ. Practical work and discussions are an integral part of the course.

After the twenty lessons the students work on their projects, with guidance from the EPQ coordinator. The coordinator meets them weekly to check progress and to provide detailed feedback. There are also a number of seminars where students discuss their topics and provide help and support to teach other.



Students who gain an EPQ qualification are well prepared for university, employment and apprenticeships. Many students have returned to Tension’s and have thanked the EPQ staff for encouraging them to take up such a beneficial course, as it had helped them tremendously with their degrees. The grades awarded in recent years have been outstanding. In 2020, 75% of the students gained an A* grade or an A grade. Every year, almost all students achieve higher grades than their ALPS scores. This is testament to how much work the students put in to their projects, and to the quality of the teaching.

Edexcel Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Keystage 5


  • The EPQ gives you the opportunity to explore a further aspect of a subject you are studying, or simply choose a topic that you have a personal interest in.

  • There are 4 types of EPQ projects and each student chooses one of these to focus on:

    • Dissertation – extended essay on a topic such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment

    • Investigation – for example, fieldwork in geography, biology or psychology

    • Performance – for example a drama, music or sporting performance

    • Artefact – for example creating artwork, a photo album, item of clothing or a cake, a music CD, computer game or website.

  • During the course students will need to:

    • Choose a topic to study

    • Complete a progress log each week

    • Plan, research and carry out their project

    • Prepare a presentation on the outcome

  • Pupils taking this course receive 20 taught lessons, individual feedback from members of staff and attend regular student seminars.

  • The course does not have a final examination and the mark is awarded on the coursework only in the following way:

  • Management of project                                  20%

  • Literature review                                              20%

  • Discussion / development                            40%

  • Oral presentation and evaluation                 20%

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