Sixth Form

18 March 2024

EPQ results day 2024

We are delighted to celebrate another stellar set of EPQ results, with 100% of students achieving A*–B.

After months of research, writing, creating and, finally, presenting their projects, 39 of our Upper Sixth students came together in Benedict Hall to share in their success –  62% achieved grade A* and 97% grade A*–A.

A popular St Katharine’s Study option, the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is an independent project which enables students to research an area of interest in-depth, under the guidance of a supervisor. In 2023-24, students covered a wide range of topics and questions, such as:

  • Building a prototype robot with telerobotics to function in extreme environments
  • What are ‘nudge interventions’ and can their use in society be justified on moral grounds?
  • To what extent was the Nazi style of classical architecture a reaction against the modernist Bauhaus movement?
  • To what extent are public health improvements more important than primary care in developing countries?

Reflecting on her specialist subject, Matilda (U6E) said: ‘I did my EPQ on the psychological and physiological differences between men and women in rowing, and how that impacts performance. I thought the whole experience of the EPQ was fun, and I learnt more about a sport I’m very interested in.’

The course also offers an excellent opportunity to prepare for university-level study. Talking about the skills she has gained, Bessie (U6A) said: ‘EPQ was a challenging experience for me because none of my subjects are essay-based, but that’s why I wanted to do it: so that I could keep up with my essay-writing skills – which will definitely be useful at university, like referencing.’

Rosie (U6F), who explored “To what extent should acupuncture, an alternative therapy, be more widely available to the UK population in the National Health Service?” for her project, added: ‘It was great to know that I was gaining transferrable skills for university that I could use during my dissertation. My favourite part of the course is that you can choose to base your project on a topic that you’re really passionate about. It’s also so flexible in what you can produce: one of my friends did ceramics, while another wrote a piece of music.’

Mary (U6G) who researched the question “Can dance benefit mental health and neurological conditions?” said: ‘Completing an EPQ is hard work – but it’s completely worth it. My EPQ supervisor was supportive and helpful throughout the whole journey. We met weekly, helping me to stay organised and work efficiently.’

There are also plenty of other benefits to studying an EPQ, for example, its impact on university offers. Heather Darcy, Assistant Head – Futures and Partnerships, said: ‘The EPQ is highly valued by higher education institutions as it requires students to develop the precise skills they will need in order to succeed at university. They must be highly independent researchers with a critical eye, develop excellent time-management skills and ultimately write a properly referenced dissertation and give a reflective presentation. These skills are so directly transferable and beneficial that students received over 80 offers from 18 universities – 13 of which are Russell Group – promising to reduce their entry criteria by one grade if they achieve an A or A* in their EPQ.’

Find out more about studying EPQ at St Helen’s Sixth Form:

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

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