Frequently Asked Questions EPQ

An EPQ (extended project qualification) is extensive coursework taken by A-level students that is worth up to 28 UCAS points or half of an A-level.

Students can choose any topic for their EPQ as long as it is academically useful, linked to their A-level subjects, or related to their future careers.

An EPQ can be of the following types:

  • a dissertation of around 5000 words
  • musical or dramatic composition
  • an investigation
  • an artefact

What makes a good EPQ presentation?

A good EPQ presentation should be clear, concise, articulate, and provide background information so that someone who has not specialized in that topic can easily follow the presentation. Moreover, after the presentation, the student should be able to provide reasonable answers to the questions they have been asked.

Is EPQ a waste of time?

The EPQ is not a waste of time. Doing an EPQ can provide you with several benefits such as additional UCAS points, lowered entry requirements for some university programs, specialized knowledge about a particular topic, and the skills and experience gained by completing an extensive project.

Is the EPQ easy?

The EPQ is not easy because it requires a lot of hard work, thorough knowledge about your selected topic, precise references citing the sources you have used, sufficient depth and complexity in your project, and strong points to back your arguments.

Can EPQ be less than 5000 words?

An EPQ can be less than 5000 words. Similarly, an EQP can go over 5000 words. The 5000 words for an EPQ dissertation is only a guideline. However, you should make sure your EPQ is as close to 5000 words as possible so that it has sufficient depth but is not too long either.

How long should my EPQ presentation be?

Your EPQ presentation should be around 10 minutes itself. After your presentation, there will be a question-answer session for another 5 to 10 minutes. Overall you can expect the presentation and the question-answer section to last a total of 15 to 20 minutes.

Can I do an EPQ outside of school?

You can certainly do an EPQ outside of school. It will be more convenient to do an EPQ if you were enrolled in a school as you will be able to access constant help and guidance throughout the EPQ. If you want to do an EPQ outside of school you should try enrolling in an online course to help you achieve better grades.

How do you get a good grade in an EPQ?

You can get a good grade in your EPQ by following these steps:

  1. Researching your EPQ topic thoroughly.
  2. Providing a detailed production log of your EPQ.
  3. Preparing a really good presentation for your EPQ topic.
  4. Ensuring your EPQ has well-constructed arguments backed by evidence.
  5. Verifying your EPQ has a good number of references.
  6. Establishing sufficient depth and complexity in your EPQ.

Who marks an EPQ?

An EPQ is marked by the teachers who are in charge of the EPQ and it is moderated by an external examination body such as AQA. The teachers marking the EPQ are given rigorous training, extensive directions, and strict grading guidelines to ensure consistency and uniformity across various institutions.

Does Oxbridge like EPQ?

All universities including Oxbridge like the EPQ since it helps students improve their writing abilities, refine their research skills, increase their knowledge of the EPQ topic, and enhance their critical thinking skills. However, Oxbridge will not lower entry requirements for students submitting an EPQ.

Does EPQ have to be a question?

The EPQ does not have to be a question or be answered with a straightforward yes or no either. Hence, using keywords such as assess, evaluate, analyse, to what extent, and judge, will help make your EPQ topic statement evaluative in nature and allow you to reach some kind of definitive conclusion.

Can you get into uni without EPQ?

You can certainly get into a university without an EPQ. None of the universities has an EPQ as part of their entry requirements. However, if you have the time to do an EPQ, you should definitely do so, as it will help you gain additional UCAS points and convince some universities to lower their A-level entry requirements for you.

Should I do 4 A-levels or 3 and an EPQ?

You should do 4 A-levels instead of 3 A-levels and an EPQ. Most universities require 3 A-levels and specify the minimum grades you must achieve in them. By doing 4 A-levels you increase your chances of meeting the requirements set by the university and they also provide a safety net if you were to do badly in one of your A-levels.

Are 4 A-levels and an EPQ too much?

4 A-levels and an EPQ are definitely too much. Universities only require 3 A-levels. However, additional qualifications such as an extra A-level subject and an EPQ can make your university application a lot more competitive. If you plan to do these extra qualifications then be prepared for a crazy workload.

How many references should an EPQ have?

An EPQ should have between 20 and 40 references to show examiners that your topic is thoroughly researched and backed by solid evidence. As a rule of thumb, the more references your EPQ has the better.

Is it hard to get an A in EPQ?

Getting an A in your EPQ is moderately hard. The majority of students or about 40% of the people manage to get an A in their EPQ. Doing the EPQ requires a lot of hard work and effort but luckily you have nearly unlimited time and resources to complete it.

Is it worth doing an EPQ?

Doing an EPQ is absolutely worth it. An EPQ is worth up to 28 UCAS points or half of an A-level. An EPQ will help you develop strong research and analytical skills, improve your writing abilities, and help you learn a great deal about your EPQ topic.

Can I do an EPQ in my gap year?

You can definitely do an EPQ in your gap year. However, taking a gap year for solely doing an EPQ is not a great idea. Your gap year should include a range of activities. Doing an EPQ can strengthen your university application but not by much.

What is EPQ marked out of?

An EPQ is marked differently by various examination boards. The general marking scheme devotes 20% to evidence of project and time management, 20% for evidence of using resources and research skills, another 20% for evaluation and presentation skills, and lastly 40% goes towards developing an idea and producing an outcome.

How do you start an EPQ?

You start the EPQ by selecting a question or hypothesis which is broad enough so that you can research, analyse, and write about it in detail. You should then start the EPQ introduction by outlining the question, mentioning what you will discuss and providing relevant background.

Should I quit EPQ?

You should quit the EPQ if you want to focus on your A-levels since the EPQ is neither compulsory nor a requirement for universities. However, if you previously told your university that you will be doing an EPQ then you should inform them before dropping it as it could affect the conditions of your offer.

What is a good EPQ score?

If you manage to get an A*(28 UCAS points), an A(24 UCAS points), or a B(20 UCAS points) then you should consider it to be a good score in your EPQ. This is because the EPQ is moderately difficult coursework that requires a lot of effort and hard work to get a good score.


An EPQ is an excellent qualification that several A-level students enrol for. The skills and experience gained through an EPQ can be very helpful and useful for students across various spheres of their lives.

However, an EPQ should not affect your performance in your A-levels. Your A-levels should be your topmost priority since university requirements and offers are based on them.

A good strategy would be to work on your EPQ at the earliest especially during your summer holidays so that you can set aside the maximum possible time to study for your A-levels.

Good Luck!