You choose a topic on anything which interests you, which allows you to identify a passion and then explore it. It is up to you to decide on how to present your assessed work on that topic. Some students produce university-style dissertations but others have produced musical pieces, fashion shows, dramatic performances, sports events, portfolios, even Android or iPhone apps.
You take control of it throughout – from conception to production and all the research stages in between. You will be allocated an “EPQ Supervisor” who will meet with you regularly to track your progress. Your Tutor will also oversee progress.
There are two ways of pursuing the EPQ at the Academy. You can do it instead of a fourth AS-option in Year 12 and complete it by December of Year 13, or alternatively you can do it in addition to a fourth AS option (with the same timescales for completion). You do not have to make the decision immediately, although you are asked on your application form to indicate whether the EPQ interests you or not. There will be further information on the EPQ during the transition days – and in that time you will make a firmer decision on how and if you wish to pursue it.
The course is highly valuable, as it is designed to inspire and motivate you to take charge of your own learning it is also equivalent to an AS Grade (70 UCAS Points are awarded for an A*) and is respected by universities.
The EPQ is available to all students at the Academy. It ties in well with the soft-skills framework and would be particularly useful for students who are already good at (or are looking to develop) skills in time management and independent research.
Universities recognise the EPQ as a valuable qualification to have. In some cases its UCAS value (70 points for an A*) can bear weight in an admissions decision but what it will give you in enjoyment and development of crucial university skills and experiences is far more important. It is, for the motivated, another string to your bow and enables you to stand out from the crowd.