Extended Project

The Extended Project Qualification

The Extended Project is a single piece of work of a student's choosing that requires evidence of planning, preparation, research and independent learning. It is worth half an A level and allows students to demonstrate the skills and work ethic appreciated by universities.

The choice of topic falls in to 1 of 4 categories:

  • A dissertation: a written project.
  • A scientific investigation or fieldwork
  • A performance - for example music, dance, theatre, sport
  • An artefact - for example a model, work of art, website, business

The Extended Project offers opportunities for learners to:

  • Have significant input into the choice and design of an extended piece of work.
  • Develop and apply decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, initiative and enterprise.
  • Extend their planning, research, critical-thinking, analytical, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills.
  • Use their learning experiences to support their personal aspirations for higher education and career development.

The skills that students develop through the Extended Project are directly relevant to and useful for university-level study. Students can refer to the Extended Project in their UCAS personal statements and at interview to demonstrate some of the qualities that universities are looking for. Some universities will make an offer which will include the EP with reduced A level requirements.

Year 12 students receive a short taught programme initially, with input from the University of Southampton, covering topics such as critical thinking, academic writing, referencing, research skills and giving effective presentations. We are also able to use the University’s facilities including the library to allow students access to a far larger scale of resources. They are allocated a teacher-assessor, who they will work with throughout the project, meeting regularly to discuss progress ensuring high standards are achieved. However, the project is the student’s responsibility and it is for them to motivate and manage themselves effectively.

What makes the Extended Project an exciting choice for students is the ability to decide on their topic of learning. They may decide to select a research question directly relating to their proposed university study or something completely different from their A level studies. It cannot be a topic that they are studying as part of their subjects unless they can demonstrate a much deeper development. The EPQ amounts to about 120 hours of learning, the taught programme consisting of about 40.

Examples of recent Extended Projects undertaken by BWS students:

  • To what extent were Nazi functionaries willing participants in the Holocaust or were they merely following orders?
  • Can genetic engineering prevent mental disease?
  • Is capsaicin an acceptable performance enhancing drug?
  • Can I write a song using popular 80/90s Alt-rock and Indie rock influences such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer and Radiohead?
  • By what methods have Supreme New York established their position as a leading brand in the streetwear market?