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What is the Extended Project Qualification?

The Pearson Edexcel L3 Project Qualification is designed to stretch, challenge and motivate aspirational A Level students.

Students have the opportunity to research and produce an extended essay (or dissertation) that adds depth or breadth to one of the subjects they are already studying at A Level. Alternatively, students have the freedom to explore other areas of academic curiosity as a taster and springboard for higher education and careers in areas such as (but not limited to) medicine, law, engineering or architecture.


Benefits of the EPQ

The EPQ provides students with the opportunity to:

  • demonstrate super-curricular engagement with a favourite academic subject
  • demonstrate genuine academic interest in a subject not being offered at A Level
  • develop independent research, critical thinking and project management skills
  • achieve additional UCAS points
  • learn invaluable transferable skills for higher education and the workplace


The EPQ carries up to 28 UCAS points, depending on what grade you achieve. Students can use their EPQ to demonstrate independent supra-curricular skills in their applications and interviews. Effective engagement with the EPQ can be a great way for students to differentiate themselves, particularly when applying to highly competitive universities.

How does it work?

  1. Students work with a tutor-mentor as well as working independently to plan, manage, complete and evaluate a single piece of work.
  2. Students submit an objective for the project and their rationale for the choice.
  3. A plan has to be provided for the delivery of final outcome.
  4. Students conduct the required research and analysis for their project.
  5. Finally, they will submit their project along with what they learned through the process.
Dissertation examples

Could electroshock therapy be the most effective method of treating depression? Should museums return all their historical artefacts to their country of origin? Is corporate and commercial law the most effective way to fight against climate change? How did the 2008 financial crisis make house buying impossible for the majority of millennials? What are the positive effects of machine learning on healthcare? Can zero carbon housing ever really exist?


Students are assessed on their ability to plan, manage, complete and review their project. The project is marked internally by teachers at school and then sent to Pearson to be moderated. There are four assessment objectives that students are evaluated on: managing the project; using resources; development and realisation of outcomes; and a review of all aspects of the project.


120 guided learning hours over one year as well as personal time as needed. Of these, 40 hours are recommended for the taught element.

Who is the EPQ for?


To stand out as a star applicant, CGA offers an A Level Law pathway in combination with the EPQ.

Meet the Teacher

My name is Sam Yates and I am a History and Law Teacher as well as UCAS and Academic Enrichment Coordinator here at CGA. Before joining CGA, I spent 12 years teaching in a large and successful independent school in the North of England as well as 5 years working as a commercial solicitor in private practice.

I have enjoyed a variety of roles including deputy head of department, sixth form tutor, head of academic extension and Oxbridge Coordinator. I have particularly enjoyed supervising students for their Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ). The EPQ is a fantastic opportunity for rigorous engagement with super-curricular learning that adds real value to students' academic profiles for university applications. Over the last three years we have successfully introduced and developed an online EPQ programme for CGA students. Successful completion of a strong EPQ is very much the pinnacle of the academic enrichment programme for CGA students.

As well as being recognised by Pearson as Centre Lead for the EPQ, I have recently completed the THE Counsellor Accreditation Programme and the British Council training for UK education counsellors. My approach to supervision and coordination of the EPQ is to provide CGA's most able and academically ambitious students with the independent study skills and inter-disciplinary critical thinking skills to equip them to thrive as they transition to the demands of Higher Education. 



Speak to one of our advisors to find out if the EPQ is right for you.