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Schools and colleges: EPQ

A guide for visitors to Sheffield Hallam University's libraries from local schools and colleges

What is the EPQ?

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is equivalent to an AS-level.  You decide on a topic, carry out some research, and then produce a piece of work.  This could be a design, an investigation leading to a report, a dissertation, or a performance.  It's an opportunity to think about what you want to study and do it, and develop your skills along the way.

Why do the EPQ?

The skills that you'll develop through the EPQ are a brilliant way of preparing for university.  Working on your project will give you an opportunity to practise your independent learning, problem solving, and critical thinking skills.  You can write about it in your UCAS personal statement.  It is equivalent to half an A level and can contribute to your UCAS points.

Being good: ethics and the EPQ

The Wellcome Institute has produced a guide on research ethics for students working on EPQs.  The guide is short and clear and highlights the questions that researchers should ask themselves before starting their research.

Ensuring your work is ethical: a guide for Extended Project Qualification students

Teachers and students can find more resources on research ethics for the EPQ on the Welcome Institutes Pig Picture website. 

Big Picture: Ethics resources

Examples of topics

Photo credit: 'Coloured dice' by Sarah Spaulding via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

When you're trying to think of a topic, it's important to pick something that you're really interested in.  Some previous students did their projects on:

  • Care for dementia patients
  • Educational provision for autistic students
  • Fashion photography
  • Macs versus PCs
  • Tattooing
  • Witchcraft in the 16th century
  • Mathematics of Long Sword dancing

You can use Library Search to find out whether there are enough resources for your project on a particular topic.

Adsetts Library [map pdf]
Collegiate Library [map pdf]

Sheffield Hallam University
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