What is EPQ?

The Extended Project Qualification – alternatively called the EPQ – is an examined task in which you construct a 5,000 word report (or an artefact and 1,000 word report) on a subject of your choosing. Rainford Sixth Form provides the EPQ as a way to gain numerous skills; this including report writing, planning and presenting. These gained competencies can be applied later in life too, displaying the importance of the subject and why it is highly valued by many universities.

Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed the EPQ process as it allowed me to independently conduct my own research on a topic of my choosing, and then practice refining my writing, a skill which will be required at university. I chose to complete my qualification on the self-titled topic “How does South Korean culture affect the education system and its students?” due to my personal interests in learning styles and Asian culture. Because of this freedom in choosing a topic, I instantly felt engaged in my work, and it didn’t feel like a chore to complete – instead a way to expand my knowledge on a topic I was already interested in.

I spent most of my free periods completing my planning and research, and eventually I’d found over 50 reliable and informative sources to cite within my work. After learning how to Harvard reference these sources (another skill required for university), I then proceeded to write my report over the course of a few weeks. Once completed, I had an 11,000 word report on a topic of my choice – at what is believed to be an A* standard. When applying for university, this could mean that one of my other grades can often be reduced by a level; another benefit of this qualification.

As of right now, all that I need to complete is my presentation, which I can perform to an audience of my choosing, and I can structure as I wish. Public speaking isn’t my strongest suit, however by utilising and fully planning for this opportunity and refining my skills with numerous practice attempts, hopefully producing a satisfactory final outcome won’t be an issue.

As a whole, the EPQ process is a great method for learning essential further educational skills, as well as gaining knowledge in a topic of your choosing. Admittedly, time and dedication will be required for completion, however with the right mind set and guidance it will be an enjoyable experience and one to capitalise upon whilst at college.

By Conor Gibson