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Extended Project Qualification **FEES PAYABLE** at Marlborough College

Course description

The EP, which is completed in two terms, is an additional qualification to the required A level or Pre-U choices. The qualification is highly regarded and offers the opportunity to go well beyond A level in subject depth and encourages a cross-curricular approach allowing pupils to display initiative and independence, both so important at university entrance.

Course content

The project title is unrestricted but should be narrow, controversial and must be formally proposed and approved. The EP can act as a motivational project in areas not covered in the curriculum such as Medicine, Law, Engineering, Architecture, etc. 

From September to October half-term pupils are put in mixed sets of girls and boys, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth, arts and science interests and undergo a taught course covering the skills required. Starting in September 2013 we now have a dedicated Extended Project Centre with a Harkness table for all project guidance and skills teaching.

Only after submitting a formal proposal of their narrow controversial research question are they allowed to proceed and are allocated an individual Tutor-Assessor who, from November until the end of February, will see them in weekly Tutorials to facilitate their research.

Pupils keep a Diary/Activity log from the start which records their thoughts and decisions and acts as a basis for self-evaluation at the end. From Lent half-Term, taught course sets reassemble for the preparation of the oral presentation. The oral exams then take place in the last weeks of March and the final project is submitted before the Easter holiday; this way it is completed and does not interfere with any revision or exam preparation. 

Entry requirements

The EP must be taken in addition to 4 AS levels or 3 A2 courses. It is a considerable amount of work (the word expectation is 6000 words) and both motivation and self-discipline are required, though these tend to emerge from the choice of topic.


The EPQ is 100% coursework; internally marked and externally moderated. It is A-level standard (graded up to A*) but worth the UCAS points of an AS.

The EP can be submitted as either:

  • Dissertation: 6000 word project based on secondary sources. The project is orally presented on completion as part of the assessment;


  • Investigation: 4500 word project based on primary collected data (and secondary sources) involving an element of numerical analysis. The project is orally presented on completion as part  of the assessment.


  • Performance: 3000 work project, the final outcome of which is a public performance (Drama, Music, Art) which is filmed and supported by audience feedback. It can be a group project if individual roles and input are clearly identified. Final projects have to be individually submitted however.


  • Artefact: 3000 word project based on a Design brief and iterative portfolio and might be in any form - Computer Programme, Film, Manufactured item, Exhibition, Music Score, Poetry, etc.

The project is orally presented or exhibited on completion as part of the assessment.

Future opportunities

University admissions tutors are very keen on the skills element of the qualification and already a few offers, and certainly interview outcomes, have been influenced by an EP being submitted.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Marlborough College directly.

Last updated date: 17 November 2016
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