We offer all our students the opportunity to complete an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) Level 3, on a topic of their choice.
The benefits to students of completing an EPQ:
- Develop a passion for academic research and extending their learning
- Equivalent to half an A-Level (up to 28 UCAS points) evidence for Personal Statement
- Discussion points for interview
- Students may get a lower offer from universities if they get a high grade in their EPQ
- Preparation for university-style learning, opportunity for independent research/study
At Nower Hill in 2017, 35 students completed the qualification and all students passed. 10 students (29%) attained A* grade and 13 students (37%) attained A grade. Those EPQs achieving the top grades are published in Parnassus, the Student Research Journal of Nower Hill High School, available here.
What is it?
A single piece of work that allows students to study a subject area in depth and develop independent research and study skills. It requires a high level of planning, preparation, research and autonomous working. The project should demonstrate ‘extension’ of the student’s knowledge and understanding.
How is it viewed by Higher Education (HE) Institutions?
Universities are keen for students to develop skills in independent thinking, research, analytical skills, critical thinking and extended argumentation and essay writing skills. Competitive universities have indicated that possession of the EPQ will give students an advantage when applying for highly sought after courses. The Russell Group has indicated that a high grade in the EPQ will be seen as a positive attribute when selecting amongst applicants with similar levels of overall achievement.
This is essentially a ‘mini dissertation’ where students are ‘supervised’ rather than taught. Students are matched to a supervisor who sees them for a tutorial on a regular basis to offer guidance and support. Sessions on research skills etc are delivered lecture style to a number of students at once.
What can the project ‘be?’
The project can be either:
- A written report of 5000 words
- A written report of 1000 words plus one of the following: an artefact, a recording of a performance or activity, multimedia presentation, slide presentation, photographic record
In addition to the above, each student must keep a production log and make a presentation of their project, on which they will be questioned in the form of a mini viva.