Extended Project Qualification - My Experience and Advice

Sunday, April 30, 2017


If you follow me on Twitter then you'll be well aware that I've been completing an Extended Project Qualification over the course of the year, alongside my A-Levels. I've been updating everyone on my progress over the past few months as the deadline became closer, and quite a few of my readers also took part in my primary research, as the topic was centred around blogging. My final deadline was on Thursday and I was relieved to have it all finished, and so I definitely wanted to document the achievement and talk about my experiences in more detail. Whether you're considering doing an EPQ yourself or just want to hear about my blogging-related project, then make sure you keep reading.


WHAT IS AN EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION?

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is essentially an extra qualification, where you choose a subject of interest and research it to an undergraduate level standard. As part of the project, you have to complete a dissertation and presentation, as well as a logbook documenting your progress. 

EPQ was recommended to me at my college enrollment interview and I was told that it's highly respected by universities, so I definitely wanted to give it a go. The lessons were once a week, meaning it required a lot of independent research and responsibility, but I also saw it as the perfect opportunity to develop my interest and passion in a chosen subject, which for me was blogging. 


WHAT WAS THE TOPIC OF MY EPQ?

When I started EPQ, I was told to choose a topic that I'm passionate about and will enjoy researching, as it's a lot of work to do for a subject that you aren't even interested in. I decided to focus mine on blogging, which is evidently a huge part of my life and has been for over 3 years now, so I knew that I had a keen interest in the topic. 

The question that I based my project around was: 'Does writing a blog both physically and mentally benefit teenagers in their educational development?' I found this to be a perfect choice as my project largely centred around blogging and school - two things that I'm actively involved in and have a lot of knowledge about. Also, the choice to focus specifically on educational development meant that I could use some of my mum's university resources, as she's currently doing a degree in Children and Young People's Learning and Development.

One of the main parts of my EPQ was undertaking primary research, which I did by carrying out questionnaires and online interviews on bloggers. Quite a few of my readers got involved in this, which I was honestly so thankful for and it really helped with my project. It was great to be able to work with close friends in collecting my research, discussing a topic we're all passionate about, and I also discovered many new bloggers through my primary research. I wanted to specifically thank Kate, Erin, Hannah, Kate and Shannon for taking part in the online interviews, as I appreciate it very much!

I also had to complete my secondary research, which definitely dragged out over months but I found it interesting, as it was centred around the impacts of blogging. Once both of these were completed, I channelled my efforts into the write-up and presentation, as well as filling in the log book to document my planning process, evaluations and modifications throughout.


MY THOUGHTS ON THE PROCESS - HOW I FOUND IT

I'll be honest, completing EPQ was probably one of the most stressful things I've ever done. This was my first time conducting a project of this scale and it required a lot of time and effort, as well as it being difficult to balance with my A-Level subjects. There was a point when I considered dropping the project as I was worried that it wouldn't be done in time or good enough, but I powered through and I'm very glad that I kept going, as I'm proud of the completed project.

This aside, I'd definitely say that I enjoyed my EPQ experience. It enabled me to write about a topic that I'm very passionate about and I learnt a lot about blogging whilst completing it. I also developed lots of skills and gained confidence in my writing abilities, all of which will be useful as I progress onto University and have to complete regular assignments.


ADVICE FOR ANYONE CONSIDERING DOING EPQ

If you've read this post and you're currently doing your EPQ, or you're considering taking it, my biggest piece of advice would be to not leave everything until later on. I spent months on secondary research and organising my primary research, meaning actually conducting it and completing the write-up was very rushed, most of which being in the Easter holidays. This wasn't ideal and caused a lot of stress, so I'd highly recommend starting your write-up sooner. Even if you're encouraged in class not to start it, just drafting a few things in the early stages will make it much more manageable later on.

My other biggest piece of advice is to choose a topic that you're passionate about. As my EPQ was based around blogging and it's clearly a hobby that I love, my motivation to work on my project was definitely increased. The research never felt like a chore, as I had a genuine interest in what I was reading, and it also meant that I could increase my expertise in an area that I'm fond of.




I hope that this post was helpful for anyone taking EPQ, and if you have any questions about it then let me know in the comments or on Twitter, as I'd be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading this post, and as usual I'll see you next Sunday with a new one!

Love from Daisy x

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1 comments

  1. I'm thinking about doing the EPQ next year so this really helped. I'm not sure if I'm organised enough though!!

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