An Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a level three qualification taken by students, where it is equivalent to half an A-level. Students choose a topic of their interest, although they must show that it is academically useful and going beyond their A-levels.
It takes the form of either a dissertation (5,000 words) or an artefact accompanied by a shorter report (1,000 words). EPQ has been praised by many universities in the UK for guiding students into higher education. Research and academic writing skills have been taught explicitly and students have received guidance on study skills, such as planning, time management and prioritization.
A number of recent research papers have highlighted the importance of offering EPQ at A-levels:
Undertaking EPQ benefits performance in A-level (Jones, 2015)
The odds of being awarded grades A* to B increased by 29% for students entering for EPQ (Jones, 2015)
Students are more likely to obtain a first or upper second-class degree if they have taken EPQ (Gill, 2017b)
You can find out more information about the EPQ by downloading the 2019 EPQ presentation booklet here.