Extended Project Qualification (St Katharine’s Study)

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is an independent project which enables you to research an area of interest in depth, under the guidance of a supervisor. It offers an excellent opportunity to prepare yourself to study at university level.

Projects can have different outcomes including a report, a dissertation, an artefact or a performance/event. You are formally taught how to develop, design and realise your project, extending your analytical, evaluative, planning, problem-solving and critical thinking skills in the process. The course comprises a taught course followed by a mixture of group supervision sessions and individual discussions.

Why choose EPQ?

It is an outstanding opportunity to complete in-depth research into a topic that extends beyond your chosen A levels or pursue an alternative area completely. The taught component and supervision sessions enable you to develop your independent research and study skills that are directly relevant to university-level study. Some universities give a lower offer if students are completing the EPQ because it develops the skills needed to succeed on their courses.

Topics studied

The EPQ enables you to develop independent project management and research-based skills, including time-planning, decision-making, problem-solving, source evaluation, reading and noting, critical thinking, analytical, synthesis, evaluation, academic writing and presentation skills. The exploration of this topic allows you to gain a detailed knowledge of your chosen academic area and related practical skills (if appropriate).

Recent EPQ topics:

  • What are the characteristics of Rembrandt’s work that make his portraiture so effective?
  • Is there a correlation between mental illness and creativity?
  • To what extent was the Medici’s money the main reason for their political power?
  • How does musical theatre affect society?
  • What is the most effective drug for endurance athletes to use?
  • What has been the influence of the West on change in China in recent years?
  • Events of the early 20th century that affected the perceptions of women


You will produce a portfolio that contains supporting evidence of your project management, research and development of the project, and its on-going evaluation. All portfolios include an extended piece of writing, in the form of a dissertation (5000 words) or research-based report (1000 words) for practical projects. You are required to produce a short evaluative presentation. As part of your independent learning, you must record evidence of your progress in a log or diary. Portfolios are marked and moderated internally, before being externally moderated by the exam board. An EPQ is equivalent to half an A level, with an A* earning 28 UCAS points; an A is equal to 24 UCAS points; and a B earning 20 UCAS points.


A* in 2024


A*–A in 2024


A*–B in 2024

Taking it further

You can refer to the topic of your EPQ and the skills built in your personal statement and at interview to demonstrate the qualities and independent motivation that universities are looking for.

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