Assessment and submission guidance

On this page you will find the key information needed to help you with the teaching, assessment and submission of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The qualification is primarily designed as a flexible and personal project based qualification that complements A level or vocational course choices, but many schools make use of the qualification in different ways, such as for an independent study programme in year 12, a qualification to support specific students who intend to apply to highly competitive degree courses, or to support students who might be unsure about their next steps. If you are interested in different case studies of how schools and colleges implement project qualifications, you can find a range of case studies under the Teaching Support tab. 

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  • As the centre, you will mark your student work internally. Pearson Edexcel will then request a sample from those students, to apply a moderation process.
  • Marks will need to be submitted to Edexcel Online, and work will need to be submitted for moderation on the Learner Work Transfer Portal by May 15 for the June series or January 10 for the January series.
  • Within a typical two year sixth form, there are four entry points. Depending on when you or the student intends on submitting their project, entries need to be made by these dates.
  • To ensure your centre and students can meet these deadlines, plan to allow time for collecting in all the assessment evidence, observing presentations, marking projects, internally standardising, and assembling work digitally for online submission. 
  • By working backwards from these dates, your centre lead can plan an effective EPQ programme.
  • The EPQ offers four diverse and unique approaches to a project based qualification which are Dissertation (P301), Investigation/ Field Study (P302), Performance (P303) and Artefact (P304)
  • The EPQ is assigned 120 guided learning hours, with a recommended 40 guided learning hours for teaching and 80 hours for students to carry out their project work. The teaching support can be provided at the start of the course or as students work on their projects. It can occur through formal timetabled lessons, mentoring contact points, during afterschool sessions, or through on demand directed support e.g. providing students access to a bank of digital resources, such as the Pearson Future Ready on demand student webinars.
  • When planning your programme, bear in mind that your learners may need to be given UCAS predicted grades in the autumn term of their final year at school. Ideally by this stage a significant amount of their EPQ will be in place to support grade predictions, though some centres complete the EPQ in Year 12 prior to commencing the UCAS process, where suitable.
  • It can help your students to set a series of milestones, with checkpoints, at which teacher-assessors can review progress. For example, learners could be asked to submit their project proposals for approval at an early stage, then a draft of their project before the final submission.
  • Many centres identify a lead for their EPQ, and work with a team of staff mentors across many faculties, to support a diverse range of learner projects and topics. Often the most interesting approaches to the EPQ occur when the mentor is a none specialist in the topic being explored by the student.
  • Centres can choose to allow EPQ work to happen over one year or two for students in years 12 and 13. There is also flexibility to allow learners to opt into an EPQ programme at different starting points.
  • As part of our support, we ask centres to submit information relating to your EPQ cohort at the start of the academic year through your exams officer, but also welcome this information being updated throughout the year where students pick up an EPQ or change their working title significantly.

A typical programme for a one-year EPQ beginning in year 12 might look like this:

  • Start of Course: Start of September
  • Submission of project proposal forms:  Mid-October
  • Submission of draft projects:  Mid-February
  • Final hand in:  Mid-March
  • Presentations:  By end of March
  • Marking, moderation and submission:  By May 15

This teacher guide gives more details of a sample one year programme (see page 7).

You'll find guidance on the Extended Project marking grids in the specification on pages 59-60. Depending on which unit approach a student takes, you will need to use the marking grid for that unit. The Marking Guidance documents for each unit approach (P301, P302, P303 or P304) provide additional guidance to help you apply the marking grids. 

By having bespoke marking grids for each unit, you are able to reward your students in ways that reflect their passion, whether they love making, performing, carrying out investigations or diving deep into a topic of their choice to create a dissertation, students are rewarded for the very activity they enjoy. 

When marking a students EPQ assignment, you should look at the marking bands and decide which is most appropriate (i.e. identify the best fit statements), then decide on the mark position within the band. The mark band descriptors describe work that falls in the mid-point of the mark band, so strong evidence would award towards the top of the band, whilst weaker evidence would award towards the bottom of the band. 

Exemplar assignments can be found under 'Course materials', at the top of this page.

Here is a useful summary of the evidence you will need to support each student to create for their EPQ submission:

  • A Project Proposal Form (for P301, P302, P303 or P304).
  • A completed Project Activity Log.
  • Evidence of the outcome (e.g. a written report, a set of slides, or photographs of a sketchbook).
  • An evaluation (which can happen through the presentation)• A completed Candidate Record Sheet.
  • A signed copy of the online mark submission screen.

For the presentation part of the Extended Project you should submit:

  • You are required to carry out internal standardisation within your centre before you submit any work. The purpose of internal standardisation is to ensure that each learner’s work contains the appropriate assessment evidence and that a consistent marking standard has been applied to the whole cohort. How you conduct this process is for your centre to decide, but if you need help, please make contact with Pearson Edexcel through our subject advisors, who can direct you to the right support.
  • A sample of work will be requested for external moderation. This will usually be a sample of 10, though it may be larger depending on your cohort size. If fewer than 10 learners have been entered, all learner work should be submitted. 
  • The sample submitted must include the projects with the highest and lowest marks, even if not requested.
  • If fewer than 10 samples are requested due to some learners having been withdrawn, we require you to select another sample to submit in their place. You should also add extra samples if the requested sample does not fully cover the mark range.