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What is the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)?

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a project undertaken alongside A-levels which is graded A* – E, and culminates in a qualification that is equivalent to half an A-level in terms of UCAS points.

It has recently been introduced to UK schools and has become more popular over the last few years.

The qualification is made up of:

  • A 5000-word essay OR an actual physical project (e.g art work/dance performance/song recital) plus a 1000-word report
  • A presentation (given to a minimum of 2 people)


Why do we recommend it to students?

It’s a great way for students to boost their UCAS tariff, and in fact many universities now favour the EPQ over a fourth A-level.

It enables students to better prepare for university study by building skills in:

  • independent study
  • Harvard referencing
  • empirical research
  • presenting


What subjects can students choose?

Students can choose any subject they like, but generally it offers them an opportunity to start to focus on an area they are interested in studying at university.

It also offers them a chance to study subjects which are not routinely offered at Kings.

Subjects chosen by previous Kings students

have included:

  • Motor Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Product Design
  • Politics (American and Russian)
  • Fashion
  • English Literature


Who can do it?

At Kings we focus the EPQ primarily on A-level students, but it is also open to students on other programmes such as the International Business Foundation.

Whilst it is not compulsory, all students have the option to prepare for it in their first year.

A decision will then be made about whether students wish/have the capacity to continue with it, but even those who don’t complete the qualification will have earnt valuable skills through their initial preparation.

How is the EPQ assessed?

The essay or project is assessed internally.

The presentation is recorded and sent off for external assessment.

What are the timings for the EPQ?

We offer the EPQ to all first year A-level students. They start to research their topic in April and are assigned a tutor, who they meet with periodically until the end of term. The tutor will not be a specialist in the subject area — this is specifically to ensure that students are not ‘taught’ and can actively hone their research and independent study skills.

Students spend the summer finalising their paper and work on it in A2. They will complete the EPQ by April in their A2 year.


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The Kings Admissions Team