(This article accompanies Georgina’s podcast that has also been published in this term’s edition of The Student Voice.)
Hi! My name’s Georgina and I thought it would be helpful to explain what it was like for me when completing the EPQ. For those of you who don’t quite know what the EPQ is, it’s an “extended project qualification,” and is equivalent to half an A – level. You have many options when completing the EPQ, such as an investigation, field study, dissertation, performance, or artefact (in my case a podcast but yours could be an art piece or even a perfect recipe for cookies!) You may decide to write a 5000-word essay on a topic of your choosing or a 1000 – word essay alongside an artefact. The choice is yours when it comes to a topic. There have been many amazing and cool examples in the past so it’s really about selecting something you’re passionate about and running with it!
I decided to focus my project on The Stone Roses as I'm a huge fan of indie, alternative and rock music, so their Spike Island gig was something of huge interest to me. I created my podcast with the help of websites which led me through the process, ending up with a professional(ish) episode. You can even go the extra mile with your artefact, for example by including an Instagram name at the end (which, in my case, unfortunately doesn’t exist just yet!). However, your piece may include a recipe or a selection of photos.
You will be assigned a supervisor, who will guide you along the process, giving you feedback as you progress through your project. The piece is not just about the research you conduct into your chosen topic, but also what you discover along the way about yourself too. As the piece is essentially independent research, you discover a lot about how you work best under deadlines, and it can be an eye-opening piece of work to complete, especially going into your other subject’s exams.
Despite the challenges, the EPQ is a really enjoyable and interesting project to undertake and may even help you to develop skills that will help in terms of a degree or job later in the future. Oh, and the EPQ looks pretty nifty on your personal statement and UCAS applications too! It’s an amazing opportunity to broaden your horizons on a topic of your choice while developing vital skills such as resilience and determination.
For more information regarding the EPQ, visit the Notre Dame College website and select the drop-down menu for “Enhancing Excellence and EPQ” underneath the “Why Choose Us” section. Best of luck!