What is AQA Baccalaureate and Extended Project Qualification?
Students are offered the opportunity to take the AQA Baccalaureate alongside their A Level choices. The Extended Project Qualification is part of this but can also be taken on its own as a self-standing award if not taking A levels but a Specialist Qualification pathway.
The AQA Baccalaureate comprises of four elements:
- Depth of study – any three A levels.
- Broader study – through one AS Level, provided that this differs from a student’s main programme of study.
- Enrichment activities – a minimum of 100 hours of non-academic pursuits across the three areas of Community Participation, Work-related Activities and Personal Development.
- The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
What does the Extended Project Qualification involve?
The EPQ involves study in greater depth of a topic chosen by the student. This can be something related to A Level subjects, but not on the specification, or something totally unrelated. The project can take the form of an extended essay, an artefact or model, a CD/video/DVD or a photographic record. Most students opt to write an extended essay but we have had some very interesting models, DVDs, posters, art work and magazines. In all cases, the student is required to complete a production log which is submitted with the project. Each student has a supervisor who is available for advice and to ensure that the student has chosen a feasible topic and title.
Students also attend formal sessions in the skills they will need to employ to complete the project including planning, research methods, assessing the credibility of evidence, referencing, project/task and time management and presentation skills.
The AQA Baccalaureate Coordinator oversees the course and the meeting of the syllabus requirements. However, each student also has their own supervisor who meets with them regularly to discuss the progress of the Extended Project Qualification and completes the candidate log.
Why do the Extended Project Qualification?
The Extended Project Qualification is valued by universities as it requires much independent research and demonstrates a love of learning beyond that which is required by the A Level curriculum. It enables students to stand out in the university application process and can be the basis of discussion at interview. Moreover, the skills acquired are transferable to other areas of study. In addition to all of this, the EPQ gives the student UCAS points and has been a contributing factor to university offers.