Skip to content ↓

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and SPF Research Award

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a Level 3 qualification worth the equivalent UCAS points of half an A Level. We use the AQA exam board. The EPQ is based upon a topic chosen by the student, often extending from an area of personal interest outside their main programme of study. Whilst each student is allocated a supervisor, the student takes charge of the project. As such it encourages soft skills such as independence, helping prepare students for life after school.

We believe the skills learned are invaluable, both at university and in the world of work. At the same time we recognise the time pressures on A Level students. The SPF Research Award was created with this in mind. It is an in-house version of the EPQ. It is designed by us to include the key skills of the EPQ but is smaller in scope. 

Both EPQ and SPF Research Award students are required to undertake taught study skills with their supervisor. This is an average of one double lesson a week for the Lower Sixth year. Most of the work is done in their own time.

Students undertaking a project can submit either a research-based essay or can opt to produce a practical project or ‘artefact’ with an accompanying shorter written report. An artefact can be a physical outcome such as a book or a short film.  Alternatively it can be a  presentation to a specific audience, a play, or an event such as a fashion show or a musical evening. In fact there is almost no limit to what can constitute an artefact, as long as it has research at its core. 

What all projects have in common is that they must have a clear aim, be well planned, thoroughly researched and reflected throughout. More details and examples of project titles will be shared during the course but are also readily available online.

The research project is driven by the individual student; they are required (with appropriate supervision) to: 

  • choose an area of interest

  • draft a title and aims of the project for formal approval by the centre

  • plan, research and carry out the project

  • deliver a presentation to a non specialist audience

  • provide evidence of all stages of project development and production for assessment.


A student project is assessed against four assessment objectives, based upon how a student:

  • manages the project

  • uses data and analysis to support the project

  • develops and takes their project to realisation

  • presents, evaluates, and reflects upon their project.

The evidence for assessment will comprise the following:

• The completed Production Log and Assessment Record including the Project Proposal Form, Presentation Record and Candidate Record Form.

• the project product including a written report and any other evidence, as appropriate,  depending on the topic or subject area chosen.