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Extended Project

Level: Project Examination board: AQA Specification: 7993

The Extended Project is an independent research-based qualification, for which students investigate a topic about which they are passionate. It is the process they follow that is assessed, rather than just the outcome. Students work with a personal supervisor to develop the necessary skills of research and critical analysis for their investigation. The product of their idea may be an evidence-based written report or a practical artefact; the options are very flexible. It is completed with presentation to a non-specialist audience and an evaluation of their learning of both the topic and their study skills. At LVS the programme is offered to all students in Year 12 and is completed in one year.

To find out more click here.

Year 12 course outline

Students receive at least 30 hours of taught skills covering research skills and project management, covering the following:

  • What is the EPQ? – Structure, assessment objectives, roles of candidate, supervisor and centre coordinator, choosing a topic, different products, developing ideas
  • Developing the project – using the production log, reflective writing, creating working titles, aims and objectives, writing a project proposal
  • Keeping yourself and others safe – ethics in research, safeguarding and risk assessments
  • Finding resources – types of resource, effective searching, use of academic material, source evaluation, recognising bias, critical engagement with material, effective note-taking
  • Project management – setting objectives, planning tools, documenting progress
  • Primary data collection – questionnaires, interviews and analysis
  • Plagiarism, referencing and bibliographies
  • Structuring an argument & essay planning
  • Academic writing – style, proof reading and editing
  • Presentation skills – planning and delivery 
  • Evaluation and reflection 

In addition, all candidates complete the online FutureLearn course Developing Your Research Project from the University of Southampton, taking 1 hour per week for 8 weeks during the Autumn term of Year 12 to work through the course.

Opportunities beyond the classroom

Outside of taught lessons students are expected to complete at least 90 hours of independent work to complete their projects.  This is self-directed and can take any for relevant to their project, with the ethical and safeguarding guidance offered by the course.


The EPQ is entire coursework based and requires students to produce either a 5000-word essay or an artefact of some description accompanied by a report of no less than 1000 words. Both must be based on academic research and fully referenced. In addition, a production log or project journal must be completed throughout the process outlining plans, decision-making and reflecting on choices. A presentation, in a format of the candidate's choice, must also be made to a non-specialist audience.


Higher education courses linked to the subject

The Extended Project is highly valued by universities as it develops the independent study skills required for higher education.  The course can be invaluable for the university application process, with some institutions giving reduced offers if students have an A8 or A at EPQ.  The qualification is worth half an A-level in UCAS points.

Careers linked to the subject

The EPQ develops a range of skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and project management which are useful in every career path.

Get in touch

For more information contact the Head of Department.

Name: Mrs Emma Keeler