“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.” - Victor Hugo
It is exactly these important skills for academic life that the Extended Project Qualification aims to develop and hone and why the qualification is welcomed and encouraged by top universities such as Cambridge, because it 'helps ease the transition from school/college to higher education'. Research has shown that students completing an EPQ perform better at University, with increasing numbers of universities making alternative grade offers for applicants with an EPQ.
At College all students following the A Level route will undertake the Skills for Academic Learning course in the Autumn Term of SFC1, a series of lessons covering vital skills such as note-taking, time management, effective research, presentation delivery and academic honesty. At the end of this course they will be given the opportunity to complete an EPQ, resulting in an external qualification equivalent to half an A Level, or a smaller College Extended Project. Typically, one third of A Level students choose to pursue an EPQ.
Under the guidance of a supervisor, students identify, design and deliver an individual project in the shape of either a formal, structured piece of writing of 5,000 words, or the creation of an 'artefact' combined with a 1,000 word report. The opportunities for an 'artefact' based project are endless and could include creating a website, making a model, producing a film, composing a piece of music or designing a scientific experiment.
An important part of this qualification is the completion of a reflective journal. Following completion of the project itself, all students present their findings to an audience and complete a thorough evaluation of their experiences and the skills they have acquired.
The qualification is a valuable and unique opportunity for self-motivated students to illustrate their passion for a particular subject area and prepare them for the rigours of academic study at a higher level.