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EPQ- medicine at Oxbridge watch

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    Hi!
    I am hoping to apply to study medicine at Oxbridge for 2019 entry. Our school has recently decided to offer EPQ after not doing so for years. I don't know anything about EPQs- how they work, who marks them and how much support is required from subject teachers. Any information from people who have completed/are working on an EPQ would be greatly appreciated!
    I am currently studying maths, further maths, chemistry, biology & physics in Year 12. Would it be better to work on an EPQ over further maths?
    Thanks.
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    (Original post by PixelatedUnicorn)
    Hi!
    I am hoping to apply to study medicine at Oxbridge for 2019 entry. Our school has recently decided to offer EPQ after not doing so for years. I don't know anything about EPQs- how they work, who marks them and how much support is required from subject teachers. Any information from people who have completed/are working on an EPQ would be greatly appreciated!
    I am currently studying maths, further maths, chemistry, biology & physics in Year 12. Would it be better to work on an EPQ over further maths?
    Thanks.
    I would say yes because universities consider Maths and Further maths as one A Level.
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    (Original post by tessa w)
    I would say yes because universities consider Maths and Further maths as one A Level.
    Okay. Is an EPQ useful for a medicine application?
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    Its useful if it involves the subjects you picked, but it will be mostly preferred if you do an EPQ on a biology or chemistry case
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    (Original post by tessa w)
    I would say yes because universities consider Maths and Further maths as one A Level.
    When the OP is taking 5, that doesn't matter that much. Also this isn't true to all courses. Individual courses will specify whether they do this.
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    (Original post by _gcx)
    When the OP is taking 5, that doesn't matter that much. Also this isn't true to all courses. Individual courses will specify whether they do this.
    True. but she did mention that she wants to go to oxbridge, and oxbridge do not mind an EPQ in their studying field. If you are still unsure on what to do, you should call them up locally and ask them. I know however that Cambridge do NOT consider maths and further maths as the same a level.
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    Tbh doing A Levels shows you're academically strong enough to cope with medicine, which is an intense course. I would say only do an EPQ if there's a specific topic you're very interested learning more about. I know FM isn't a requirement for medicine but I would still say FM > EPQ if I had to choose, as the benefit of EPQ is that it prepares people for a large workload by uni emulating uni work, but you're already doing 5 A levels....
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    Thanks for all your replies, guys. I AM really enjoying further maths currently so it would be a shame to drop it.
    Do you know how an EPQ actually works? I understand it is very independent, but how would one go about getting it marked etc?
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    While a number of medical schools only consider Maths and Further Maths as a single A-level, you're still doing way more than you need to anyway. You could do Biology, Chemistry, and Maths only and be a suitable candidate - Further Maths (or Physics, or an EPQ) probably wouldn't add much to this regardless, outside of your personal interests or if you change your direction.

    Quality is more important than quantity in applying - anywhere, but particularly for medicine. I would suggest you consider dropping one or two subjects before even considering an EPQ. In any case, an EPQ is only useful if you're pursuing it to explore a specific area of interest that you have an idea for what to do in it. Taking one just to add another qualification to your application is, as above, meaningless. You are also less likely to enjoy it and more likely to get a bad grade in it if you do that.
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    Thank you all very much for your replies
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    (Original post by PixelatedUnicorn)
    Thank you all very much for your replies
    You ask how EPQ works? I’m no expert but I completed one. You of course complete your project which in your case is probably most likely to be an essay on a topic closely related to medicine. You also complete many supporting documents such as evidence of research, a log of all the tasks you have to complete including setting yourself strict deadlines. Evaluations of sources you used, and of course a bibliography of sources too.

    You’re marked according to all those things you create, there’s also marks for time management which you can show evidence of in your production log.

    Another requirement at the end of the process is to make a presentation about your whole journey through completing the EPQ and what you have taken from it. This can be used to boost your marks for communication etc. once you’ve finished your essay (I seriously froze up in mine but managed an A* anyway so it’s not the be all and end all and shouldn’t be something to be scared of.)

    I hope this helps you somewhat, I don’t know exactly what you wanted to find out about EPQ but that was what I had to do for it. I wouldn’t however advise doing EPQ alongside 5 A-Levels I feel like that would be a nightmare. EPQ will be seen by medical schools as just something else you’ve done to make your application that little bit more competitive.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by PixelatedUnicorn)
    Thank you all very much for your replies
    I would not do 5 A-levels and an EPQ. Its too much.

    I actually did 5 A-levels myself (same subjects) but you have to remember that during the next two academic years not only do you have 5 subjects (+/- EPQ), but also you will need to get your work experience and voluntary work sorted, do the UKCAT, complete an entire UCAS application, do the BMAT, prepare for multiple interviews, and attend said multiple interviews. That's a lot of commitment, and if you are aiming for Oxbridge, A*AA >>> AAAAA, even. The former gets you in, the latter doesn't.

    I know you are confident but honestly, don't overstretch yourself. Just having 5 A-levels will not get you in.
 
 
 
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