LEVEL 3 EXTENDED PROJECT

Awarding Body:EdexcelCourse Duration:1 Year

Introduction

Benefits of undertaking an Extended Project

The Extended Project Qualification (‘EPQ’) is valued by universities.  The Russell Group’s ‘Informed Choices’ guide points out that undertaking an EPQ improves students’ academic skills.

University applications

The EPQ is worth half a full A level in terms of UCAS points.  Some universities include it as part of their offer to students.  Universities like to see EPQs discussed on UCAS application forms and at interview.

Choosing a topic

The student chooses their area of research with guidance from their supervisor.  Many students choose to undertake a project in an area relevant to the subject they wish to study at university.

What do EPQ students do?

Having chosen a topic, EPQ students plan their projects, undertake research, develop their ideas and reflect on their achievements.

Dissertation 

Many students complete a dissertation.  This involves analysing arguments for and against a particular position.  For example, a student might consider the pros and cons of a particular medical treatment or the advantages and disadvantages of a government policy decision. 

Artefact

Some students complete an artefact.  Working to a brief, an object is produced that will fulfil a particular purpose or convey a particular message.  The process of design and development is carefully documented.

Investigation

A few students complete an investigation.  Having formulated a hypothesis, the student analyses data in order to decide whether there is a correlation between particular outcomes or to investigate an apparent causal relationship.

Performance

A few students create a performance.  Working to a commission, they design an event with a particular purpose for a particular audience.  This might be a drama piece or a talent show.

What support do EPQ students receive?

During the first year at college, students will be offered the opportunity to enrol on the EPQ course.

Supervisor

All EPQ students are allocated to a group with an EPQ supervisor for the duration of the project.  The supervisor will be a member of the teaching staff.  The times when the supervisor meets with the student group will appear on timetables. 

LRC

The Learning Resource Centre offers a range of specialist support to EPQ students.  This includes guidance on research and referencing as well as access to a wide range of books, journals and online sources.

Southampton University

Representatives of Southampton University visit college to talk to EPQ students about research projects.  EPQ students are invited to visit the Hartley library at Southampton University and to make use of its resources. 

Some examples of dissertation project titles:

  • Should immunotherapy replace chemotherapy as a standard treatment for breast cancer?
  • Was the lack of support from EU nations for ‘Operation Mare Nostrum’ justifiable?
  • Did the Common Agricultural Policy benefit society within the United Kingdom in the years 1970-1985?
  • Should national security supersede the right to privacy?
  • Was the role of the Enlightenment ideas or pragmatism more significant in the formation of the American democratic system 1776-1791?
  • Can life exist on Mars?

Some examples of artefact project titles:

  • To design, organise and structurally calculate a sustainable multipurpose 30m2 building on the land of The Old Barns property.
  • Designing and building a model 2-stroke engine.
  • Creating a website for an events business.
  • Produce a menswear garment of high fashion couture that could be worn for a music video for the song ‘Distant Past’ by the band Everything Everything which explores the theories of androgyny.
  • Produce a prosthetic monster piece for a budget sci-fi mutant movie.
  • Produce a motorised longboard, costing below £600 with a range of at least 6 miles and a top speed of approximately 20-25mph.

Some examples of investigation project titles:

What effect does Ropinirole have on the muscle function of drosophila melanogaster in relation to Parkinson’s disease?

How does the SSRI Citalopram affect fertility?

Does the presence of firearms in America lead to higher violent crime rates than in other developed societies?

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