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EPQ: A unique opportunity to gain UCAS points through work experience

What is an EPQ? 

EPQ stands for Extended Project Qualification, which is a nationally recognised and fully resourced qualification at Level 3 for learners aged 16+. It carries up to 28 UCAS points towards entry into higher education. ASDAN's EPQ is available to be delivered in England and Northern Ireland and funded for learners aged 16-19. 

ASDAN’s EPQ is a single piece of work that requires a high degree of planning, preparation, research and autonomous working. With support from a tutor, learners can shape a project around a subject that really excites them and helps keep them engaged throughout the course. 

The project can take the form of a 5,000-word dissertation, or an artefact or a performance accompanied by a 1,000-word report.


How is ASDAN’s EPQ different? 

The EPQ provides a distinctive opportunity to build the project around a work experience placement, offering a clear line of sight to employment and training. 

ASDAN’s Qualifications Manager, Catherine Moss, outlines the benefits of the course: 

“ASDAN’s Level 3 Extended Project Qualification is unique! Unlike EPQs offered by other awarding organisations, projects for ASDAN’s EPQ can be built around work experience. This suits learners on a variety of different pathways – not just A-levels, but vocational pathways too,” says Catherine. 

“An EPQ is fantastic preparation for higher level learning and for work as it brings together many of the skills young adults will need: project planning, conducting research, organising results and determining conclusions and then writing a formal report,” says Catherine.  

EPQ’s popularity is skyrocketing 

This summer, we’re delighted to have over 450 learners awaiting to be awarded their certificates, which will result in 2023-2024 seeing over 800 learners either awarded ASDAN’s EPQ Level 3 or waiting for a result. This is an almost 20% increase from 2022-23, when ASDAN awarded 654 learners with their EPQ. 

Rory’s story 

Caucasian teenage male with blonde hair and glasses smiling at a laptop while writing on paper

“You never really get to do a big independent project at school – to pick any topic and choose how you want to present it,” says Rory. “ASDAN’s EPQ was fun because you get to choose something that you’re really passionate about." 

Rory chose to explore a project that asked the challenging question, 'Are people born criminals and how does education, family and community enhance your likelihood of becoming a criminal?’ 

“I might eventually want to go into criminal law or human rights law. Through ASDAN’s EPQ, I’ve proved to myself that I can do those things just as well as other people my age. I liked doing ASDAN’s EPQ and think it’s improved my confidence.” 

Read more about how the EPQ impacted Rory 

How to implement EPQ at your centre 

To deliver EPQ, your education setting will need to register as an ASDAN Qualifications member, our most comprehensive and popular membership offer. Membership benefits include a dedicated ASDAN contact, training and guidance workshops, free administrative resources and opportunities to share best practice with education professionals within the ASDAN community.  

Find out more about ASDAN’s Qualifications membership or get in touch to talk to our team of experts.