Extended Project Support

There are a growing number of materials available to support teachers and students through the Extended Project Qualification, SQA Advanced Higher Investigation, International Baccalaureate Extended Essay and other research projects.

Extended project resources

  • The Extended Project Support Group draws together resources for extended research projects related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in a single location. It contains a mixture of materials. Some are specific to STEM subjects; others cover general aspects of research. It is also a place where teachers can ask questions and discuss ideas.

    The Extended Project Support Group contains information and resources on:

    • Research libraries and collections
    • Inspiration for project ideas
    • Research skills
    • Contacting subject specialists
    • Teachers and other visitors are welcome (and encouraged) to add to these resources. This is very much a community project that relies on its members to help it grow
  • This group has been created by the Wellcome Trust, working with the National STEM Centre, teachers and other organisations involved in science education. We would love to hear your ideas about how else extended research projects in STEM subjects could be supported.

    You can leave a message on the group's 'Feedback' topic thread or contact the group leader at education@wellcome.ac.uk.

    Anyone aged 18 years or over can access the group after registering with the National STEM Centre, which is free.

    Project Support Group

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

  • EPQ students undertake an individual research project on a topic of their choice. Projects can be multidisciplinary and are a great opportunity for students to explore their interest in STEM, gain experience of extended practical work and develop the skills they need to become independent learners.

    Students can find investigating an area of personal interest highly motivating, especially if this involves practical work. The EPQ also allows them to demonstrate to employers and universities that they have key skills such as planning, decision making, problem solving, critical thinking, analysis and communication.

  • Several universities now recognise the EPQ in UCAS offers or encourage students to discuss their Extended Project work in their applications. EPQ projects also make an excellent topic for conversation during interviews.

    The EPQ is offered by all major examining bodies in England and Wales (OCR, AQA, Edexcel and WJEC).

    It is available at Level 1 and 2 (Key Stage 4) and Level 3 (typically post-16). At Level 3, students produce either a dissertation of approximately 5000 words or a product and a report of approximately 2000 words. Dissertations might take the form of a report on a scientific investigation or extended essay. Products could include an artefact, a recording of a performance or an exhibition.

Links to other awards

Are your students planning a project for a CREST AwardNuffield Research Placementthe Box Office Bioethics short film competition or other award or prize? They might be able to use this work as part of an EPQ.