What is the Project Qualification? 

Our Pearson Edexcel Extended Project Qualification 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 higher education and working life. 

The Extended Project Qualification gives learners the opportunity to: 

  • take up a deeper study into an area of personal interest 
  • research a subject that might not be available through existing qualification content 
  • develop the transferable skills of project management 
  • acquire the experiences needed to prepare for degree level study 
  • earn additional UCAS points 
  • build demonstrable evidence of the World Economic forums top 10 skills for future employment, such as critical thinking, resilience, initiative and problem solving.  

The Extended Project Qualification is recognised and recommended by universities, schools, colleges and learners for the valuable skills it provides. 

How does it work? 

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) has been designed so that learners can either choose a project title that relates to their; current subjects; a topic of career interest; or is a personal passion. 

For learners who are pursuing an education pathway that is highly competitive, such as medicine or dentistry, the EPQ can support application to leading competitive university programmes. The unit and subject area choice made by the learner can be carefully tailored to complement a choice of level 3 qualifications, or fill in any subject gaps.   

  • For example, medical degree applicants often require evidence to demonstrate personal care and empathy, which typically is not accounted for through the science or mathematic A level qualifications and could be developed through a field study unit approach to EPQ 
  • For dentistry, applicants can benefit from demonstrating a level of practical dexterity such as wire manipulation, which can be developed through a practical unit approach alongside typically required qualifications. 

The value of the EPQ 

The Level 3 qualification is worth up to 28 UCAS points, which can support learners by:

  • increasing their UCAS points total 
  • providing an additional source of UCAS points 
  • relieving the pressures on the outcome of linear qualification assessments 
  • widening the skills, learning and evidence they can draw upon 
  • supporting their application to competitive courses 

Delivering the qualification at your centre 

Learners work with a school-based tutor/mentor throughout the qualification, but are expected to work independently to plan, manage, complete and evaluate their chosen piece of work.The qualification should account for 120 hours of work, of which we recommend that 40 hours are guided learning hours, but this is purely a recommendation.   

As a qualification with no examination, the EPQ provides a unique opportunity for learners to take ownership of their work, which will be marked by the teachers at their centre, and moderated by Pearson as a traditional coursework component would be.   

The EPQ is worth more (a maximum of 28 UCAS points) than an AS level qualification (which offers a maximum of 20 UCAS points), and is based upon one project based piece of work. Learners can commence the EPQ at any time, and submit their finished work in one of two separate assessment windows during an academic year. These are:

  • The January series (entry required in October) 
  • The June series (entry required in February)  

For learners who wish to have a confirmed grade and UCAS points outcome prior to commencing their UCAS application, they could start and complete the EPQ in Year 12, and could submit their work for either the January or June series.

Four units to choose from 

There are four unit choices available within the EPQ. Learners can choose to:

  • write a detailed and referenced dissertation 
  • conduct and analyse an investigative piece of fieldwork 
  • curate and deliver a performance 
  • design and make an artefact  

Why choose Pearson? 

A phenomenally popular global qualification 

Since accreditation, our qualification has been exceptionally popular in the UK and overseas, with nearly 19,000 16-19-year-old learners completing the qualification every year.   

Our qualification provides learners with the freedom to develop essential transferable skills through our assessment design, where we encourage teachers to operate as mentors rather than teachers, which reflects in our requirements around monitoring and tracking the learner throughout the qualification.   

Support and Inspiration 

Teachers tell us that the most challenging point of the qualification for learners is getting started. We recognise that once a learner has identified something they are passionate and self-motivated to start, they are more likely to see it to completion, and develop that resilience to stay the course no matter how busy life gets, or how challenging the project becomes.   

Our learner centric support around topics, themes and inspiration, connected to external partners, alongside our conclusive teacher support to make qualification administration simple and easy to follow, means the Pearson Edexcel EPQ is the very best offer available to learners and teachers who wish to support independent study alongside traditional qualifications.   

Assessment, exemplification and support 

We are committed to supporting teachers who can often become involved with EPQ 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 EPQ 
  • a growing list of external partnerships that will help learners find the inspiration they need to get started. 

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