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Extended Project Qualification

One thing that sets us apart from many Sheffield sixth forms, is the opportunity to work on an EPQ. The Level 3 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is undertaken in Year 12 and aims to link A-levels with the skills pupils need at university, encouraging them to study independently and produce their own research investigation. This qualification is highly valued by universities. A high grade EPQ can be worth up to 50% of the UCAS points value of an A Level.

There are three main routes for the EPQ at Sheffield Girls':

  1. An academic research project with 5,000 word report
  2. Creation of an artefact, with a 1,000 word report
  3. A group project 

Given that most students choose to do three A-level subjects, the EPQ is an opportunity to broaden academic interests or pursue artistic or musical interests from earlier stages in school life. Most importantly, the EPQ gives pupils the chance to study something they feel really passionate about, with flexibility and freedom.

Our EPQ programme:

  • promotes intellectual curiosity and allows students to undertake an independent piece of research
  • gives students the opportunity to complete an in-depth piece of research-based work  on a topic of their choice
  • provides scope for problem-solving and self evaluation
  • provides a great opportunity to explore professional networks and meet people outside of the usual school environment
  • is a great opportunity to develop confidence and familiarity with the independent methods of study which will be relied upon at university and beyond

In Year 12 students have a weekly lesson with their supervisor during which they will learn a range of skills to help them complete their project.

My EPQ topic was on herbicidal warfare and international crime during the Vietnam War, which I chose because I had visited the country when I was younger and wanted to further my interest in global history and politics.

Doing the project massively developed my organisational skills, as well as the ability to write academically using references and analysing sources. My EPQ has contributed hugely to my academic life, and the disciplinary skills I learnt through it have reflected in my A Level studies. It enabled me to plan, meet deadlines, research independently, as well as approach academics in the field.

I was able to talk about the EPQ in my UCAS application, and it was highly valuable as part of the 'super-curricular' aspect of my personal statement. Through researching a topic I was interested in, the Extended Project helped me narrow down my course choices to apply for History and International Relations at university.

Alexandra Lam, Year 13

For my EPQ I chose to do an artefact and I built a model of a home climbing wall.

I really enjoyed this as I was able to unleash my creativity and I had complete freedom over what I wanted to do. Doing an artefact meant my EPQ was very hands on, and I learnt lots of new skills to do with construction and engineering.

Researching my project improved my research skills and I had to be critical with the sources I chose. I felt the essay improved my writing skills and this will help me a lot throughout university.

Jessica Nolan, Year 13

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