The overall process of an extended project

Key points to consider in your school

One of the most important things you need for EPQs is students, so how you recruit students to do extended projects is worth thinking about.

Many schools and colleges let their students know at the beginning of their post-16 studies that EPQs are a possibility, so that they have time to think about what they might focus on. You could even consider flagging the option towards the end of Year 11.

By the end of the Year 12 summer term (ideally, during or after the exam period for Years 11 and 13), the students who want to do an EPQ should have been assigned a project supervisor and have decided on a topic.

Students wanting to do a practical project should also have identified appropriate third-party support, such as a researcher at a university or someone working in industry.

Ideally, they would be able to use the summer break to do their experiments – or, for library-based research projects, to pull together their resources, which could include identifying datasets available online.

At the beginning of Year 13, EPQ students should have their evidence (primary research data or secondary sources) ready for discussion with their project supervisor (or subject specialist) so that they can start writing their final report or dissertation.

Finally, students will need to prepare a presentation for their peers. Sometimes the whole cohort has an evening event where parents, teachers and other students are invited to come and see the different projects.

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Go Further: A practical guide to extended science projects’ in June 2015.

Statistics and maths, Careers
Go Further: A practical guide to extended science projects
Education levels:
16–19, Independent research projects