Extended Project Qualification

At Alton College, we are committed to maximising the potential of our high achievers ensuring they go on to study at top Russell Group Universities including Oxford and Cambridge. We offer students the option of participating in the More Able & Talented programme which includes the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), a research project on a topic of your choice.

In 2015, 91% of students completing the EPQ achieved A*-B. Universities take into consideration the EPQ when offering students places to study, and often lower their requirements on condition that the qualification is completed. Former editor of Alton College’s Student Magazine The Alternative, Lara Heitsch said ‘My two top university offers have both lowered their requirements by one grade on the condition that I achieve a B in my EPQ. The EPQ has been really useful for me and I am glad I took it.’

A wide range of topics are covered by students, including:

  • What were the mistakes made in the Yorkshire Ripper Case?
  • Would a reduction in economic inequality benefit the British economy?
  • Space weather

A selection of Alton College students who completed their EPQ in 2015 commented on the course:

'I entered my preliminary research for my EPQ into the regional heats of the National Science and Engineering Competition, and won in the Senior Science and Maths category at the South East fair last summer. This means that I’ll be competing at the national finals in a couple of weeks. I’ve also received a Gold CREST award [award scheme of the British Science Association] for my work.
 I’d definitely recommend the EPQ as an opportunity to work on a project in more depth and over a longer time period than you’ll ever get in a normal subject. Looking into ways to get extra recognition for it can be really rewarding too.' - Emma Willett, previously at The Petersfield School

The Extended Project Qualification comes highly recommended as a result of how much it can improve an individual’s independent learning skills, and also because of the way it can vastly increase an individual’s enjoyment of a subject area. During the concluding stages of my own EPQ, I have begun to realise just how much I have learned regarding time-management skills, and my ability to search for relevant information and use these findings to show an understanding of the topic. - Robert Jones, previously at The Petersfield School

Overall the EPQ experience has been a very worthwhile process, it ends up being an enjoyable endeavour. I found that when you push yourself mentally, a lot can be achieved in a short amount of time and the hard work can lead you to interesting places that you never expected to end up in. - Nathan Smith, previously at Perins School