Exam Board - AQA


What is the EPQ and why study it?

The EPQ encourages students to engage in a largely self-directed and self-motivated project of their own choosing. Over the course of Year 12, learners need to select a topic, plan their project, carry out research and then develop their final idea for their finished project, all with guidance and support from a supervisor. While they will receive one taught session a week to ensure they have everything they need to research, realise and reference their project, most of the time it will be structured by the learner. They will be responsible for recording their project’s progress in the Production Log, which will be as important to your success in the EPQ as the finished project itself.


The course encourages and celebrates creativity and curiosity. While the topic may be directly related to the students A level or BTEC study, it should go far beyond the specification and will be treated as a standalone course. Successful projects have ranged from investigation into the operation of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, setting up events to promote community in a Sixth-Form, to considering the moral conscience of the characters created by Albert Camus.


Finished projects may take the form of a:


  • research based written report
  • production (e.g. charity event, fashion show or sports event etc.)
  • an artefact (e.g. piece of art, a computer game or realised design)


but what they focus on and how you execute them is really up to you.


Where next?

The EPQ is an opportunity for learners to develop and demonstrate planning, research, writing and project-based skills that they might not otherwise demonstrate until university. For this reason, many universities look favourably on the course as a stepping stone to Higher Education. Due to the nature of the course, it also means that you can gain a formal qualification in something that is niche and could distinguish you from other applicants with similar A level results. In terms of possible careers, the EPQ is an opportunity for you to explore in more detail any subject that you are passionate about and can therefore lead to careers in whichever topic you pick.


What are the entrance requirements?

A passion for the topic of your choice and completing the pre-learning to a high level.


Who do I need to see for more information?

Mr R Lennox, Head of Politics