At Harrow Hong Kong, the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is open to all pupils and is a popular option and strongly encouraged. It provides an opportunity for pupils to study a topic of their choice and to make their university application stand out by gaining additional UCAS points and demonstrating a true passion in their chosen area. Universities look positively at an EPQ for its rigorous academic content as well as the self discipline and independent research involved.
For applications to the most competitive courses, there is evidence that a very good EPQ can be a definite advantage in helping to select the best pupils as it demonstrates intellectual curiosity. The pattern emerging in the UK is for pupils to take three A-levels plus the EPQ. We need our pupils to be able to compete with those UK pupils for places at top Universities.
Pupils are supported with a series of taught skills such as independent learning, time management, project proposal, project management, presentation skills. They also have a project supervisor to guide them through the whole process.
Previous projects have included:
• Rewriting a scene from Shakespeare’s King Lear from a feminist perspective.
• An investigation into the manufacturing of biodegradable starch-based plastic for less developed countries.
• An overview and evaluation of the RSA cryptosystem.
• Should we use animals for testing cosmetics?
• To what extent has foreign aid in the Kingdom of Swaziland increased access to modern day healthcare?