Extended Project Qualification



    Rob Ashley

    Director of Learner Development

    Rob joined Hurst in 2008, having previously taught at schools in Crawley and Hertfordshire. He studied Geography at the University of Manchester and completed an MA at Melbourne University, Australia. Rob is the Director of Learner Development, Head of Geography and runs the EPQ programme at Hurst.



    The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a level 3 (A-level standard) qualification that is completed alongside A-levels. It involves students choosing a topic according to personal interest, carrying out research, then creating either a 5,000 word report or a ‘product' and a report of more than 1000 words. 

    All Year 12 students are encouraged to undertake an EPQ at Hurst, which results in a qualification equivalent to half an A-level. The course runs from January to December, during which time students are taught skills such as researching, note-taking, referencing, time management and structuring academic reports. 

    The assessment is based primarily upon the learning process and the outcome of an EPQ can be almost anything. For example: a dissertation, an artefact or model, a performance, a short film, a website or piece of software, a design or blueprints. 

    Towards the end of the process students are required to give a presentation about their project. The qualification particularly suits motivated students who wish to expand their learning beyond the limits of normal subject courses. It enables them to research in depth and explore the skills of individual research. It can also support their UCAS submission.

    Some examples of previous subject matter include:

    • Is the aetiology of fear innate or acquired with specific reference to arachnophobia, aerophobia and dentophobia?
    • Will the laser replace the scalpel?
    • Are the effects of sweeteners in artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) worth the risk on the body compared with sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs)?
    • To what extent are businesses succeeding at defending themselves and their clients against cybercrime and what could be done better?
    • How are tiger farms aiding the sale and international distribution of illegal tiger products and what reasons are there that are preventing this trade from being stopped?
    • 'Melantha' - a modern day, Greek-tragedy inspired play based on the importance of perspective
    • To what extent does reality TV affect aggression in teenage girls?
    • A comparative study of the Swedish and American prison system and an evaluation of their rates of recidivism
    • To what extent has the “Académie Française” ensured and safeguarded the purity of the French language and is there still a place for such an institution in twenty-first century Europe?
    • What is the greatest impact that Lionfish (pterois volitans) have had on coral reef ecosystems and what can be done to manage this?
    • Is fusing the prosthetic to the bone a more reliable way to treat a dog with a missing or deformed leg?
    • A documentary depicting the roles and functions of the Mayor of Brighton, through which the relevance of Mayors in modern society will be assessed
    • Can man colonise Mars with respect to farming and power?
    • Has the introduction of genetically modified crops in Asian countries been more beneficial than detrimental and therefore is it necessary to feed an increasing population?
    • To what extent is there a relationship between lucid dreaming and mental illnesses?
    • Is it possible to create a living dragon species using gene editing?
    • The Krebs Cycle - an interactive animation
    • To what extent was the auction design for 3G spectrum sales in a selection of European countries a success?
    • To what extent is theoretical Communism incompatible with feasible economics and human nature?
    • The institutional versus cultural causes of urban - rural income inequality in China since the start of the 1980s
    • To what extent does the study of behavioural patterns in chimpanzees reveal their similarities to humans?
    • A play: Eyewitness, which explores the historical events of Ronald Cotton and Jennifer Thompson
    • Assisted suicide - to what extent should it be accessible in England?
    • To what extent is the cross-gender casting of characters in Shakespeare plays a credible creative choice?
    • How strong is the economic case for the UK to join the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA), using data released before or on August 1st 2017?
    • The libel of Leicester’s Commonwealth claims that ‘His Lordship changeth wives and minions, by killing the one’. Was the death of Amy Robsart suicide, accident, or murder?
    • The Sengoku Jidai and the Meiji Restoration: a study in change and continuity
    • To what extent can Burke's incoherency be explained?
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