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Cedars Upper


EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) at Cedars Upper School (AQA)

What is it?
A personal research project on a topic of your choice, a qualification in addition to your A Level studies.

What format does the project take?
- A 5000 word essay/report
- An artefact (eg. model, sculpture, computer game) and a written report of at least 1000 words
- A performance/production (eg. drama production, sports event) and a written report of at least 1000 words

Why do an EPQ?
- Improve academic skills, research skills and gain better A Level grades
- Develop confidence in using new technologies
- Applying skills creatively, demonstrating initiative and enterprise
- Skills developed on the EPQ programme are transferable across all A Level subjects
- Makes a UCAS application stronger
- Previous students have commented on how the EPQ has helped them to improve their higher level thinking, synthesis, evaluation, written fluency, oral communication and more
- It's worth extra UCAS points (eg. A* gains 70 points, A gains 60 points, B gains 50 points and so on)
- Universities recognise the advantages of the EPQ experience for potential undergraduates
- Many universities dedicate serious financial resources to helping schools support the EPQ programme as they believe it helps potential students to achieve more at university
- Employability skills eg. develop and improve own learning and performance as critical, relfective and independent learners, develop and apply decision making and problem solving skills and extend planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, evaluation and presentation skills

What happens if you decide to do an EPQ at Cedars?
- You will be allocated to an EPQ supervisor who will support you throughout the project
- You will be timetabled for an EPQ lesson/review fortnightly
- Research skills lessons, university library visits and workshops will be offered and organised by Mrs Perrott, Librarian (eg. current Year 13 EPQ students recently attended a Digital Pathways workshop at the British Library in London to help develop their research and communication skills)
- You will need to complete a Production Log; which is a record of your work and the skills you have learnt, extended and developed during the project
- Year 12 students normally begin the EPQ after Christmas and will submit the project by the end of April the following year 
- Prior to submission, you will be required to do a 7-10 minute presentation on your project findings to a mixed audience usually comprising of supervisors, teachers, parents and governors

Examples of EPQ projects introduced by Cedars students
- Should the UK introduce a Proportional Representation electoral system?
- What effect has professionalism had on the sport of Rugby?
- How to make a million pounds before you leave school
- Should the works of Shakespeare be performed in a modern setting in order to be made accessible to a 21st Century audience?
- To what extent is the Mental Health Act just and reliable?
- How likely is it that we will ever harness nuclear fusion and should we?
- Do we read differently on electronic media such as Kindles and iPads?
- Should assisted suicide remain legal?
- Will we ever find a cure for HIV/AIDS?

If you would like any further information on the EPQ, contact Mrs O'Donovan (Librarian) at aodonovan@cedarsupper.co.uk or on 01525 219311.