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Sixth Form Study Skills: EPQ

What is the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The EPQ is a stand alone qualification designed to extend and develop your skills in independent research and project management. It is worth the equivalent of half an A level (28 UCAS points) and is recognised by universities and employers. Some leading universities, for example, Southampton University, make alternative offers to students undertaking an EPQ. The following points are taken from the UCAS website:

A*          28

A             24

B             20

C             16

D             12

E              8

Below is a typical example of course requirements taken from the University of Hull website for entry in 2018:

2018 Tariff points: 120 points. Points can be from any qualifications on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications


Choosing a topic or question

When you can choose to write up to 5000 words on any topic actually selecting something can be quite daunting. Ideally it makes sense to pick a topic that would be related to the subject that you are hoping to study at university, this is an extra way of demonstrating your enthusiasm for the subject area and demonstrating that you possess the research skills needed to excel at university.

If your topic is too broad you will find it very difficult to complete the project in 5000 words. For example, looking at WWII would be far too broad a subject and you may need to find one aspect that interests you and research this. However, you could consider a certain aspect of the war, for example, Winston Churchill's leadership during the war years or why the United States joined the allies.

Once you have chosen your topic and question it will need to be approved by your teacher before you begin work.

Starting the EPQ

A really useful way to start your EPQ is to have a visit to the University Library at the University of Hull. In collaboration with the university's Schools and Colleges Liaison Team we run either full or half day sessions to help you get started. A full day may look like this:

10am - Arrival and welcome

10.15 - Finding information in your particular subject (looking for journal articles, books, newspaper articles)

10.45 - How to reference in your EPQ

11.30 - Tour of the University Library

12.00 - Lunch

12.45 - Personal research time (use the library's pcs to search for online sources such as journal articles to help to support your EPQ and look for physical books in the library. There will be library staff and student ambassadors on hand to help and give advice).

3.00 - Close and leave

Schools and 6th form colleges have in the past found these days incredibly useful and bring their students back each year to attend an EPQ day. If you are interested in organising some time to visit the university please contact the Schools and Colleges Liaison Service on 01482 465103 or email