What is the Project Qualification? 

Our Pearson Edexcel Foundation and Higher Project Qualifications helps learners of all abilities and interests to acquire independent learning skills. Learners can use these new skills in their existing study as well as to prepare for level 3 study. 

The Foundation and Higher Project Qualifications give teachers the opportunity to: 

  • develop unique curriculum opportunities beyond and alongside existing GCSE and Level 1/2 vocational qualifications
  • tailor courses to progressive and contemporary content 
  • help learners to develop the transferable skills of project management 
  • give students formal recognition for study and learning beyond the curriculum 
  • expose learners to formal qualifications at an earlier age (i.e. KS3) 
  • support their school in defining their own USP’s through bespoke programmes of study 
  • prepare learners for progression onto the level 3 Extended Project Qualification 
  • support their own professional development through deeper research into and beyond their subject 
  • engage learners in assessment solely focused on project-based learning 

The Foundation and Higher Project Qualifications do not currently to formal school performance measures such as Progress 8 or the Ebacc. The Pearson Edexcel Project carries SCAAT points. PQs are adopted by UK and International schools and academy trusts looking to develop their curriculum beyond the formal qualification choices available through awarding organisations, with qualifications that are: 

  • flexible 
  • bespoke 
  • designed for both academic and vocational study 
  • certificated in the same way as formal qualifications 
  • fantastic vehicles for innovation in education 

How does it work? 

The Foundation and Higher Project Qualifications (FPQ) and HPQ are designed so that either the teacher can develop a unique programme of learning or a learner can explore their own personal project title and area of interest. 

Through a flexible, study-based course that can fit within a wide range of timeframes from a term to 2 years, a PQ can help learners to develop as inquisitive, independent learners by working in areas not constrained to textbooks or qualifications specifications. Learners work independently supported by tutor-mentor to plan, manage, complete and evaluate a single piece of work, which can take the form of a report, an artefact, a design or a performance. 

Four units to choose from: 

There are four unit choices available within the PQs. Learners or teachers can choose between:

  • producing a report 
  • designing and making an artefact 
  • designing something unique 
  • curating and delivering a performance   

Benefit to learners 

For learners who are unsure about their future level 3 qualification choices, their future career, or are disengaged from the qualifications choices available through A level, BTEC or T Level routes, a PQ can help them to: 

  • explore and realise a passion, that can be traced back to qualification choices 
  • study areas of personal interest 
  • take up practical and project-based study without the additional burden of exam-based assessment 
  • study content that is contemporary, bespoke to their needs, or adaptable during the course 

A qualification to meet learners with additional needs where they are Where learners are unable to access formal qualification pathways due to their additional needs, PQs can be tailored by the teacher and centre to meet the learners where they are, through complete flexibility to design a course that aligns to the learners needs and capabilities. 

For more advice of how PQs can support learners with additional needs, please contact our subject advisors who can provide guidance and connect you to centres that employ this approach.  

Grades and qualification size equivalence 

The Project is graded A* to B at Foundation Level (1) and A* to C at Higher Level (2). Both qualifications require 60 guided learning hours and learners are only required to complete and submit for assessment one single unit. 

Pearson Edexcel Higher Projects (Level 2)




half a GCSE at grade A*


half a GCSE at grade A


half a GCSE at grade B


half a GCSE at grade C

Pearson Edexcel Foundation Projects (Level 1) 




half a GCSE at grade D


half a GCSE at grade E


half a GCSE at grade F/G

Assessment, exemplification and support 

We are committed to supporting teachers who can often become involved with PQs for many reasons. We recognise that what you need is simple and accessible support. We are therefore committed to delivering yearly:

  • updates to a diverse range of exemplar work across all four units 
  • live assessment training delivered by our senior examining team 
  • not one but two subject advisors, on hand to provide support and guidance 
  • an expert team working behind the scenes to support teachers and learners 
  • updates to our web support targeted to learners who want a one stop shop for all things PQ 
  • a growing list of external partnerships that will help learners find the inspiration they need to get started 

Case studies of curriculum innovation using PQs 

Below is where we will build a portfolio of examples where centres or entire trusts have developed programmes of study and accredited learner outcomes through PQs. Each case study will take you to a summary of the approach, provide insights from teachers, students and parents about the impact of the course, and give you access to the materials that were used to deliver the course. These are free for you to download and implement yourself at your centre or across your trust, or use as a blueprint to developing your own programme.  

Consult with Pearsons’ expert team to develop your own unique PQ course, and gain accreditation through the FPQ or HPQ 

If you would like to connect with our team and set up a consultation meeting to support you and your staff to develop or begin accrediting your own programme of study for KS3 or KS4 learners, please complete this form and one of our members of staff will make contact. 

Resources and support 

Teachers can access a wide range of exemplars, commentaries and free web resources, including detailed examiner reports and a comprehensive teacher’s guide. 

Visit our teaching support page to find out more