EPQ (Extended Project Qualification)

The EPQ is currently offered to students in KS5 as a Level 3 qualification (equivalent to 50% of an A level).

Essentially, this allows the student to produce a well-researched essay/artefact that demonstrates their intellectual curiosity into a topic of their choice. It requires the student to learn the required skills of independent thought, planning and analysis and then to use them throughout the project.  

The students' choice of topic is free, although they must show that it is academically useful, either related to their current course of study, or their future career. It takes the form of either a dissertation (5,000 words being a common guideline.) or a number of other forms: a musical or drama composition, report or artefact, backed up with paperwork.

David MacKay, head of the 14-19 curriculum at the QCA, is in favour of EPQs, saying:

"Extended projects can help students to develop and demonstrate a range of valuable skills through pursuing their interests and investigating topics in more depth."

Each year the number of students taking up the EPQ nationally is growing dramatically. Around 30,000 students took the EPQ recently and this is growing by the year. Universities look positively at an EPQ and value its rigorous academic content. Year on year, it also proves to be popular at Kendrick School.

How students may benefit from choosing the EPQ? 

  • It adds breadth to the programme of study for Key Stage 5.
  • The EPQ also provides opportunities to allow students to challenge themselves to engage with super-curricular learning for their chosen A-level subjects to potentially make them more competitive for university places or employment opportunities.
  • The skills and information delivered through the EPQ course are similar to the style of learning and task-delivery for university students and so this means the course is relevant to support our students’ next steps in higher education.


It is launched towards the end of Year 12 (April of the academic year) and is completed by Easter of the student’s Year 13 year.

Exemplar material 

Past student’s reflection Kitty Horne

Anjali (supporting the launch of the EPQ to the next cohort)