Extended Project Qualifications

The Extended Project (EPQ) Department is an outstanding department at the heart of the school; it contributes to the spiritual and moral development of students by allowing them to engage with contemporary issues surrounding social justice. The EPQ department delivers its curriculum alongside the Core Religious Education curriculum in year 12 so that students can engage meaningfully with the values that underpin our school community.

Key Stage 5

OCR’s Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) aims to inspire, enthuse, motivate and to allow students to develop or extend a variety of skills through the completion of a research project. This project allows learners to pursue a theme/topic based either on a subject they are already studying or an area of particular personal interest or the EPQ can provide the opportunity for students to complete something entirely new. Students are given responsibility for managing their project in a specified time period with the guidance of a teacher.

The EPQ is an extremely important academic qualification as it provides potential for breadth and depth of study and enrichment. It encourages the young people to work independently, to develop their research, investigation and enquiry skills, their ability to solve a range of problems, and to critically engage with the theme/topic of their chosen area of study. The EPQ also encourages the development of both academic writing and technology skills appropriate to a learner’s choice of research project. These essential transferable skills are extremely valuable in supporting a learner’s progression to Higher or Further Education, vocational qualifications or directly into employment, as well as supporting their study in other subjects. Students, with this qualification, stand out from the crowd at interviews because they demonstrate their enthusiasm for (and knowledge of) their chosen theme/topics, intellectual flexibility and project management skills.


Assessment is based predominantly on the process as well as the outcome: from decision making about choice and design of their project through planning and development, to presentation to an audience, reflection and critical evaluation of its success. Therefore, all students will be required to write at least 3000 words to a high academic standard in the form of, for example, a dissertation, a review of an artefact or extended review of a range of academic literature.