Extended Project and universities

The Extended Project carries UCAS points and is highly regarded by many universities. Find out more about how it can help you to progress.

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UCAS points and university offers

The Edexcel Extended Project qualification carries up to 28 UCAS points, depending on what grade you achieve. 

The Edexcel Extended Project can't be used against a grade offer (such as AAA), but some universities may offer an alternative for candidates studying the Edexcel Extended Project (such as ABB instead of AAB, provided that you get an A in your Edexcel Extended Project qualification). See the university quotes below for examples of this.

Universities are also recognising the Edexcel Extended Project qualification as a valuable part of a student’s profile on their UCAS application. You can use your Edexcel Extended Project to show your interest in an area of study at a university interview.

What universities are saying

Below are quotes from the admissions pages of several universities, giving their views on the qualification and the skills you will enhance through this qualification.  

The University of Bath advises students how taking the Extended Project Qualification can strengthen their applications to university, and offers an online EPQ-preparation course.

> See the University of Bath Extended Project guidance 

"At the University of Birmingham, applicants who take the EPQ and meet our offer criteria will be made the standard offer for their programme of choice, plus an alternative offer which will be one grade lower plus a grade A in the EPQ.

"For example, where our standard offer is AAA, the offer would be AAA; or AAB plus A in the EPQ - though, please note, that this excludes our Medicine (A100) and Dentistry (A200) programmes."

"The University recognises that some A level students may also choose to offer the Extended Project. In such cases, some admissions tutors may make two alternative offers, one of which involves success in the Extended Project (for example, either AAA at A level or AAB at A level plus Extended Project)."  

"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." 

"We look to support applicants who are taking the EPQ qualification by recognising an A in the EPQ qualification to lower the entry requirements by a single grade for all programmes bar Medicine and Dentistry.

"For example, AAB offers for an applicant taking the EPQ would be changed to AAB from three A levels or ABB from three A levels and a grade A in the EPQ."

“We welcome the use of the Extended Project (EP) and, in Mathematics, the continuation of Advanced Extension Awards (AEA) as a means of stretching the most able students and encouraging an interdisciplinary approach.” 

“The University very much values the Extended Project and its role in preparing students for a successful higher-education experience. We are supportive of the requirement for Diploma students to undertake an Extended Project as part of their Diploma programme, and in highly selective areas preference may be given to students with A levels, who also offer the Extended Project for entry.” 

"We welcome the EPQ as adding value to a student’s academic profile and as an excellent preparation for the independent study necessary for students to succeed at Lancaster. The majority of our degree programmes will incorporate the EPQ within the offer and eligible applicants may receive two offers; our usual offer plus an offer of a B in the EPQ and one grade lower in their A level subjects (eg AAA at A level; or AAB at A level and a B grade in EPQ)."

Although UK students are not required to take the Extended Project Qualification, we appreciate it provides the opportunity for you to develop important research and academic skills.

We encourage you to provide further information on your project in your personal statement and at interview as it is often taken into account if you narrowly miss the grades outlined in our offer to you.

In some cases admissions tutors may make an alternative offer to applicants that involves successful completion of the Extended Project (for example, AAB plus A in the Extended Project as an alternative to AAA at A-Level). 

“The skills that students develop through the Extended Project are excellent preparation for university level study. Students can refer to the Extended Project in their UCAS personal statements and at interview to demonstrate some of the qualities that universities are looking for.

"As a research-intensive university, The University of Manchester is very supportive of the skills the Extended Project encourages learners to develop. We have been involved in working with local schools and colleges since the Extended Project Qualification was first piloted.

"The University of Manchester has developed a series of bespoke workshops designed by experienced researchers, specifically to support students who are studying for their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).”

"We value the skills of research and independent learning that the Extended Project is designed to develop. We welcome applications from students offering the Extended Project alongside A levels. As the Extended Project is optional it is not a requirement for application. If you offer an Extended Project, it will be taken into account. Your offer may be varied as a result, in recognition of the level of study skills you will have developed."  

"Where applicants have undertaken the Extended Project (EP), the University will not make this a condition for an offer (as the EP is not a compulsory element of post-16 study) but recognises that the EP will provide an applicant with the opportunity to develop research and academic skills relevant for study at Oxford. Candidates are encouraged to draw upon their experience of undertaking the project when writing their personal statement, particularly if the topic is allied to their chosen degree course."  

A recent article in the Queen Mary University of London newsletter explained what the Extended Project Qualification is, how it can help you prepare for university, and how it can enhance your UCAS application. Read the article here:

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"The University of Southampton was the first to introduce an alternative offer scheme for applicants who excel in the EPQ.

"Under this scheme, eligible applicants to subjects across our humanities, business, law, social sciences and related programmes may receive two offers – our usual offer plus an offer of an A in the EPQ and one grade lower in their A level subjects (e.g. AAA at A level; or AAB at A level AND an A grade in EPQ).

"This additional offer reflects our confidence in the EPQ as an excellent preparation for the kinds of independent study necessary for students to succeed at a research-intensive university such as Southampton."

The Extended Project Qualification does not form part of our standard entrance requirements, but UCL recognises its value as preparation for independent study, which is key to university-level study.

Applicants presenting the Extended Project are encouraged to discuss their research in their personal statement and reflect on how undertaking the project will help prepare them for studying their chosen degree at Warwick. Offers will not normally be made conditional on achievement of an Extended Project.

“The Extended Project is widely welcomed in principle and in prospect. A large majority of departmental admissions tutors expect to recognise it as a positive attribute when selecting among applicants with similar levels of achievement (both high-fliers and those at the borderline). Tutors also welcome its potential to enhance study skills, to align with undergraduate modes of study and to provide additional diagnostic evidence when selecting among applicants.”

(Source: Research report from the 1994 group of universities, Jan 2008, p.29).

The view of the higher education sector, teachers and employers on the suitability of A levels (April 2012)

The EPQ received praise for developing many of the academic skills identified as problems in this section. Interviewees thought that one benefit of the EPQ was that it encouraged reflection across a wide range of content and issues.

“We’re very keen on the extended project, and very, very positive about it. We make alternative offers sometimes, we might make, say, an A*AA offer excluding the extended project, and then an A*AB offer including the extended project, and give somebody an either/or. The extended project [provides the] thinking skills that we’re interested in.” (Admissions Staff, HEI, England).