EPQ – Extended Project Qualification What is it? What is involved? How is it assessed? What support will I receive? Why should I do it? What is the EPQ? The world is your oyster….. Is the media to blame for negative body image? The evolution of women’s fashion and changing views of the female figure. How has English affected the German language? Has this led to a decline of German as a world language? In areas of clinical practice, how successful have attempts been to combat the threat posed by Hepatitis B? A website design to raise awareness of the lives of people in a Madagascan village visited during a World Expedition. Is the NHS as bad as the media portrays it to be? Curriculum change through the primary years of education. Titles from our current Year 13 Projects Do the German people feel guilty about the events of 1939-1945? During the Icelandic volcanic eruptions of April 2010, were the risks to aeroplanes caused by ash ingestion correctly analysed and what were the subsequent effects on the British public? Is it accurate to say that women had a large role in the French Revolution? To what extent do copyright laws protect the work of small and large scale designers in the 21st century? Given the existing level of exploitation in the Korean music industry, how much worse will the problem get with the explosion of small companies? Should all water in the UK be fluoridated? How significant was the Easter rising as a factor leading to the partition of Ireland in 1921? The Hijab in Britain – Sign of freedom or oppression? An investigation into the effectiveness of the adaptation for the screen of J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ by Warner Brother Studios. What is involved? Choose an area of interest and a topic to study. Draft a title and the aims of the project for approval by your mentor and AQA. Plan, research and carry out your project. Complete a production log to document the project process. Deliver a presentation on the outcome to a specified audience. Meet regularly with your mentor. Provide evidence of all stages. How is it assessed? Students record what they do in a production log. You produce an extended piece of writing and make a presentation about it. You are assessed on the log, the end product and the presentation. Awards are graded A–E and carry UCAS points. Assessment Objectives AO1 - Manage Identify, design, plan, and complete project applying organisational skills and strategies to meet stated objectives. AO2 - Use Resources/Research Obtain and select information from a range of sources, analyse data, apply relevantly and demonstrate understanding of any appropriate linkages, connections and complexities of their topic. AO3 - Develop and Realise Select and use a range of skills, including new technologies, to solve problems, to take decisions critically, creatively and flexibly, and to achieve planned outcomes. AO4 - Review Evaluate outcomes including own learning and performance. Select and use a range of communication skills and media to convey and present evidenced outcomes and conclusions. UCAS POINTS FOR EPQ A* 70 A 60 B 50 C 40 D 30 E 20 Carries the same points as an AS Level. The end product An artefact, model or construction A CD, video/DVD of performances or activities An audiotape/multimedia presentation A journal of activities or events A slide or PowerPoint presentation A photographic record of the project An extended piece of writing (5000 words) All projects must include a written report of between 1000 and 5000 words. What support will I receive? Planning meeting with Miss Berry. Personal mentor to support and guide you through the process. Fortnightly meetings. Taught sessions on academic research skills. Advice on project management. Access to local university libraries and facilities. AQA website and Moodle resources. Why should I do it? Quote from a student “It is such a great way for motivated, genuinely interested students to really 'get stuck in' with their subjects. I'd thoroughly recommend it to any student who fits that description - so long as they are willing to put a bit of work in and go beyond the set A Level texts to challenge themselves a bit more. In terms of uni applications (although it is obviously not all about this) I think it helps students to stand out. They are obviously committed and passionate about their subject and have, to some extent, already shown that they can work at a high level. I think it is an excellent scheme and I am really glad that I got involved when I was at school.” Comments from Admissions Tutors at Universities ‘It would be a good way for students to acquire the skills they often have to spend the first year of their degree learning’. (Admissions Tutor, Psychology) ‘It could give a student more insight into the way in which they will study in HE’ (Admissions Officer, Economics) ‘This will be very useful. The more project work the better.’ (Admissions Tutor, Physics) Taking the qualification shows commitment to a subject, interest and skill beyond what is called for in the A level syllabus.’ (Admissions Tutor, History) Bristol University The University recognises that some A Level students may also choose to offer the Extended Project. In such cases some admissions tutors may make two alternative offers, one of which involves success in the Extended Project (e.g. either AAA at A Level or AAB at A Level plus Extended Project). University of Warwick “Applicants presenting the Extended Project are encouraged to discuss their research project in their personal statement and reflect on how undertaking the project will help prepare them for studying their chosen degree at Warwick. Where a department typically makes offers which include a fourth subject at AS level the Extended Project will normally be considered in lieu of this requirement.” University of Glasgow “The University very much values the EPQ and its role in preparing students for a successful higher education experience. In highly selective areas preference may be given to students entering from 2010 with A-levels, who also offer the EPQ for entry.” University of Sheffield “We encourage students to complete an EPQ, where possible, as we value the development of skills in independent study and research, which an EPQ can offer. Undertaking an EPQ in the subject that is related to the course or discipline that you wish to progress into at the University will provide useful additional preparation and may be taken into account by admissions tutors when making decisions between applicants of equal academic standing.” University of Cambridge “We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills and ease the transition from school/college to higher education. Completion of an Extended Project will not, however, be a requirement of any offer made.” The London School of Economics “The School recognises and values the addition of the Extended Project to the A level syllabus as a demonstration of wider interest in a chosen subject and a means of independent study. However, if you have undertaken the Extended Project, this may be taken into account if you do not achieve the conditions of your offer, but it will not be counted towards the requirements of any conditional offer.” University of Birmingham “Qualifications taken in addition to your main exams, such as the Extended Project, will improve your application by enabling you to develop study skills that will be useful in higher education. Although we do not usually make offers based on such qualifications, we encourage applicants to take them and to note them on their application form.” The University of Oxford “Where applicants have undertaken the Extended Project (EP), this will not be a condition of any offer but the University recognises that the EP will provide an applicant with the opportunity to develop research and academic skills relevant for study at Oxford. Candidates are encouraged to draw upon relevant EP experience when writing their personal statement.” The University of Manchester “The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project (EP) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. The Extended Project is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and as a result the University will not include it in the conditions of any offer made to you. However, if you choose to undertake the EP we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as it may be taken into account when your application is considered.” Nottingham University - Medicine “We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills and ease the transition from school/college to higher education. Completion of an Extended Project will not, however, be a requirement of any offer made.” What next? Decide whether this is something you are motivated and interested to do. Talk to teachers, parents, look in prospectuses and on university websites. Fill in the form and return it to me on Monday 28th February by 3.35pm. Attend one of the Y13 presentations. Submit a proposal next term and start your research over the summer! Questions?