"Our belief is that every boy and girl can achieve academic success and make a positive contribution."

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Rickmansworth School offers Year 13 students the opportunity to undertake the Extended Project Qualification. This is a stand-alone qualification that is equivalent in size to an AS level but is marked at A2 level, allowing students to achieve an A* grade. It is unique and empowering as it allows students to take control of their own learning.

The qualification focuses on bridging the skills gap between sixth form and undergraduate study and is increasingly recognised by universities as a valuable enterprise. Universities look favourably upon it because it is an experience of deeper study than is possible at A-level; an opportunity to explore a specialised topic, e.g. medical research, politics or astronomy, that is closer to their preferred university courses; it develops the confidence to work independently and creatively and is practice in essay writing and independent research. The presentation element also enables students to share their expertise with their peers and helps to foster a community that celebrates academic achievement and success.

“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.” University of Cambridge

Students are expected to:

  • Choose their own topic and plan the project
  • Carry out research and select their own resources
  • Develop the project to achieve their intended outcomes
  • Carry out the project and evaluate the outcomes
  • Present the findings and be able to answer questions in front of a non-specialist audience.

The final piece can be presented as either:

  • A written report e.g. essay
  • A production such as a musical or a piece of dance choreography
  • An artifact such as a piece of artwork or a piece of creative writing

Students must also complete a record or log of the whole experience reflecting on their successes and areas for development as they work their way through the project.

Rickmansworth School offers one weekly lesson in which students are introduced to research and independent learning skills at a university level, tutorials from a supervisor to aid the progress of the project and time to investigate and complete it.

Results over the past three years have been excellent and it continues to grow in popularity.