What is it?

Student with extended project book

The Extended Project is a course students can take up in their second year at College. The qualification is equivalent in size to half an A level and provides extension for students beyond the subject matter of their other courses while also helping them to develop skills essential for higher education and very useful in any future career.

Students are able to choose the subject matter of the project and often choose titles which require research from a number of different subject areas. Universities welcome this qualification as a way of preparing students for detailed research and writing as well as problem solving and creative thinking. There are many examples of students being able to discuss their projects in detail at their University interviews.

What topics do students choose for their projects?

Titles are wide ranging. Some recent examples are:

  • Which major principles established by Florence Nightingale are still in evidence in modern healthcare systems?
  • Is Autism a genuine neurological disorder or is it a self-taught behaviour?
  • How was Shakespeare Influenced by Classic Greek Mythology in his play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'?

In some cases students choose to pursue practical projects such as making a robot, a weather-station, a bass guitar or designing a theatre set and costumes.

With such wide-ranging titles chosen students often undertake research outside college for example at Southampton University Library and Chawton House Library. Visits overseas such as to Romania and Belize have sometimes sparked an interest in students which they then apply in their choice of project title.

Student working on biology projectThe Authentic Biology Project

To support biology projects the College has recently been selected as one of only a few centres in the country to benefit from the use of some specialist equipment available for students to devise and carry out their own research. Students undertaking such projects will also have the support of Southampton University research students to advise them in the techniques and theories needed to complete their research successfully.

What do students have to say about Extended Project Qualification?

I have gained valuable skills for university from completing an Extended Project, such as experience in using the Harvard referencing system. I am also pleased that I have been offered a lower entry requirement for studying Geography at Sheffield University

I found the project very helpful to discuss at my Oxford interview for law…They were also interested in how I planned the project and went about completing it and I think that the self-control needed to complete the project was an important topic for the interviewers.

I would recommend the extended project to anyone who wants to learn more about something

It made me appreciate how much imagination is needed to be an author

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