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username222636
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Basically I am very confused as I didnt really have a teacher for this subject.

So...

I decided to do a dissertation on whether DNA fingerprinting is an effective method of identification. But I have no idea on how to structure it!!

Please help.

:confused:
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JayAyy
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1) I swear only AQA do extended projects?

2) The extended project is 100% you. You can structure it in any way YOU want to.

However, I'd advise you to get all the research done first, then structure your essay (that's what I'm doing anyway)
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michaelyus
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(Original post by fran-timms)
I decided to do a dissertation on whether DNA fingerprinting is an effective method of identification. But I have no idea on how to structure it!!
How do you think you should structure it? The broad abstract-intro-research-discussion-evaluation-conclusion is a standard form, but not particularly useful.

Look at the examples on the Edexcel website (linked to, below) for inspiration (there's one on global warming I think); they were useful when I did my Edexcel EPQ (I did a science-based dissertation too, though it was more on microbiology, public health and translational pharmacology).

I second JayAyy; you need to do the research first though, and only then will you have any sense of direction. Thereafter you can build your structure.


(Original post by JayAyy)
1) I swear only AQA do extended projects?
AQA is the most famous one, probably because its EPQ is a compulsory part of the AQA Baccaluareate:
http://web.aqa.org.uk/over/extendedproject.php


Edexcel does do one; the projects have to fit into one of four different structures (dissertation, investigation, performance, artifact):
http://www.edexcel.com/quals/project...s/default.aspx


OCR has one:
http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications...ect/index.html


WJEC even does one:
http://www.wjec.co.uk/index.php?subject=30&level=162


I don't think CCEA has one.


CIE has always had one, as the AS Research Projects, but it is far more restricted; it's even more limited than the IB Extended Essay:
http://www.cie.org.uk/qualifications...?assdef_id=798
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Adam92
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There have been so many questions about the EPQ and its value floating around lately, so it's better to clump them all into one thread. Much of this information is taken from the AQA specification, which is the board my college follows.

AQA Specification: http://store.aqa.org.uk/over/pdf/AQA-EPQ-W-SP-07-08.PDF

Edexcel Specification: http://www.edexcel.com/iwantto/I%20w...20Projects.pdf

OCR Specification: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications...ect/index.html

WJEC Specification: http://www.wjec.co.uk/index.php?subject=30&level=162

What is the EPQ?

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is free standing qualification offered by AQA and Edexcel. It involves choosing a topic and carrying out some pretty hardcore research into that particular area, then creating EITHER a 5,000 word report OR a 'product' + a 1,000 word report. After that, you must deliver a small presentation to a group of non-specialists about your topic, lasting from 10 - 15 mins.

Why should I do it?

For your own sake. It allows you to develop your personal interests on a topic you feel genuinely passionate about. Plus, it helps when applying for uni (especially competitive ones, such as Oxbridge), as you are set apart from all the other straight A candidates. It demonstrates your commitment to a subject, and allows you to develop the independent research skills needed for undergraduate study. If you are lucky enough to receive an interview from your desired university, it gives you something to talk about and really get your teeth into so you don't run out of things to say.

Does the topic have to be related to my A-levels?

Nope, not at all. It can be on literally ANYTHING you want, within reason. You cannot do a project on WW2 for example - that's far too broad. You must eventually boil it down to an individual research question. It would be wise to choose your topic based on what you intend on studying after college, not for the hell of it.

Advice on choosing a topic:

- don't duplicate what you've already done at A-level
- choose an aspect of a subject you want to study in more depth
- the topic must be clearly focused
- ideally, you'd want something you could conduct a lot of research into
- ask your subject teachers or TSR for specific subject related ideas

What could my 'product' be?

If you don't fancy writing that beastly report, here's a few ideas for a product:
- a short story or book
- a performance (dance, dramatic..)
- a website or program
- a piece of art
- a musical recording
- a short film or media clip
- a model or something you've made

Some research assistance:
- distinguish between primary and secondary resources
- bare in mind sampling errors, or the validity of the data
- assess the credibility of the data (ie. does the author have anything to gain by misleading us into thinking it is true?) (have a look here: http://www.criticalthinking.org.uk/u...ofcredibility/)
- obviously avoid plagiarism
- reference all your findings
- keep a bibliography

Some research methods:
- surveys/polls/questionnaires
- interview experts in your topic
- books and journals
- the internet
- official publications
- newspapers
- reports

How is it graded?

A*-E. Candidate who don't achieve at least an E will be not be awarded with the qualification.

Assessment objective weightings [specification - page 10]:

20% - management: identify, design, plan, and complete the individual project, or task within a group project, applying organisational skills and strategies to meet stated objectives

20% - resources: obtain and select information from a range of sources, analyse data, apply relevantly and demonstrate understanding of any appropriate linkages, connections and complexities of your topic.

40% - 'develop and realise' the project: select and use a range of skills, including new technologies, to solve problems, to take decisions critically, creatively and flexibly, and to achieve planned outcomes

20% - present/review/evaluation: evaluate outcomes including own learning and performance. Select and use a range of communication skills and media to convey and present evidenced outcomes and conclusions

Who can do it?

Your college will tell you if you're able to. Unfortunately, the EPQ isn't available for private entry on AQA or Edexcel. [AQA specification - page 14][Edexcel specification - page 257]

How long will it take to complete? I'm worried it might interfere with my A-levels.

Most students start work over the summer holidays, during the AS-A2 transition, so it doesn't mess up their studies. It is expected you spend around 120 hours in all, some may do it in less, some may take considerably longer - they are only guidelines.






Feel free to ask any questions, I'll try to help as much as possible, if I can't I'm sure someone else can :p:
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Adam92
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Also, allow this to be a topic choosing helper/guidance/discussion thread. Everything EPQ related really!

Edit: will update this with topic ideas at a later date if people wish
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JayAyy
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Job well done :cool:
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addylad
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So how much is this worth (relative to A levels, maybe a stupid question but it's much more than D of E Gold)? And is it completely independant, or is there a bit of assistance from a teacher?

Thanks.
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michaelyus
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Good idea!

Just a correction for Edexcel:
(Original post by Adam92)
Edexcel Specification: http://www.edexcel.com/iwantto/I%20w...20Projects.pdf

...

[Edexcel specification - page 257]
That's actually the Edexcel Information Manual.

The Edexcel specification is http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocu...0Level%203.pdf, with other stuff accessible from http://www.edexcel.com/quals/project...s/default.aspx



OCR also has one:
http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications...ect/index.html


WJEC even does one:
http://www.wjec.co.uk/index.php?subject=30&level=162
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natty_d
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*subscribes to thread*

Can people doing it discuss stuff in here too? :ninja:
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natty_d
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(Original post by addylad)
So how much is this worth (relative to A levels, maybe a stupid question but it's much more than D of E Gold)? And is it completely independant, or is there a bit of assistance from a teacher?

Thanks.
You need to have a supervisor.

It is an AS level.


My friend is doing her DofE gold, and because shes doing a certain amount of volunteering work, she is going to graduate with an AQA Baccalaureate. :yep:
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JayAyy
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(Original post by natty_d)
*subscribes to thread*

Can people doing it discuss stuff in here too? :ninja:
Yup :awesome:
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Adam92
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(Original post by addylad)
So how much is this worth (relative to A levels, maybe a stupid question but it's much more than D of E Gold)? And is it completely independant, or is there a bit of assistance from a teacher?

Thanks.
Nope, you're supervisor goes over your topic decision with you and gives you guidance. It's the equivalent of an AS-level.
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michaelyus
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UCAS points: http://www.ucas.com/students/ucas_tariff/tarifftables/

A* - 70
A - 60
B - 50
C - 40
D - 30
E - 20

So it's like an AS, but with an extra A* grade, which the AS lacks.


On university admissions, the University of Cambridge published its response while the EPQ was still being developed: http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...dedproject.doc

Here is a DCSF report on how certain universities viewed the A* in the EPQ:
http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/14-19/documen...tar-and-EP.doc
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Adam92
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(Original post by natty_d)
*subscribes to thread*

Can people doing it discuss stuff in here too? :ninja:
Of course! It's everything EPQ related
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Adam92
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(Original post by michaelyus)
Good idea!

Just a correction for Edexcel:


That's actually the Edexcel Information Manual.

The Edexcel specification is http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocu...0Level%203.pdf, with other stuff accessible from http://www.edexcel.com/quals/project...s/default.aspx



OCR also has one:
http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications...ect/index.html


WJEC even does one:
http://www.wjec.co.uk/index.php?subject=30&level=162
Ah, thanks for that. I couldn't find the OCR or WJEC ones.
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natty_d
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(Original post by Adam92)
Of course! It's everything EPQ related
Have you decided on your topic yet?

This thread is encouraging me to get a move on. :yep:
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addylad
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(Original post by natty_d)
You need to have a supervisor.

It is an AS level.


My friend is doing her DofE gold, and because shes doing a certain amount of volunteering work, she is going to graduate with an AQA Baccalaureate. :yep:
Ahh right thanks, it does look interesting and maybe something I will do if I can be bothered. :p:

That's cool, have you done it?

Yeah lots of people I know are doing D of E, got in the way of some peoples' studies though.
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Adam92
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(Original post by natty_d)
Have you decided on your topic yet?

This thread is encouraging me to get a move on. :yep:
Yep, mines - 'should the UK join the single European currency?'

Wahey, so it's achieved something already then :top:
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natty_d
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(Original post by addylad)
Ahh right thanks, it does look interesting and maybe something I will do if I can be bothered. :p:

That's cool, have you done it?

Yeah lots of people I know are doing D of E, got in the way of some peoples' studies though.
I'm about to start mine.


I'd say that it didnt really for my friends, but you HAVE to be organised about your commitments and try and fit DofE around them. They came back from Wales and they had a really WET trip but they said they all enjoyed it. As long as you enjoy it, then you'll be fine. :yep:
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248677
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*subscribes*

So what topic is everybody doing?

I'm thinking something related to my favourite subjects - democracy (political philosophy)- perhaps looking at case studies throughout history (history and law) and whether democracy can ever be achieved. Though I'm not entirely sure, and may wonder onto the grounds of human rights, terrorism or the British constitution, but they can all be connected under the same kind of area. Can't believe I have to have made a proper start on the research and have filled in my initial log bit by the first week in September! On top of all the other college work I've been set as well!

I just can't believe how much universities seem to like it, when I can do the majority of it without being in a lesson!
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