04MR17
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What universities say about the EPQ...

There's been a lot of confusion on TSR over the last few years about university admissions policy regarding the EPQ, so I thought I'd create this thread to bust some myths. :dumbells:

1. Will a University reduce my offer based on the EPQ?

Short Answer: Some will, some won't. Any reduction will likely be 1 grade. And that will be with an expectation that you achieve at least an A in the EPQ. Check a university's policy before assuming they will do this.

Long Answer:
Spoiler:
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At the end of the day most universities are in a position where they need to attract students so that they can keep enough money in tuition fees to keep operating. As such, universities can make tactical offers to students to entice them into accepting the offer (the most well known being the Unconditional If Firm offer). Offering one grade lower, with an A in the EPQ is fairly common across many universities - but don't take for granted that every university you apply to will adopt this policy, each admissions decision is unique so never bank on it.

There's also this from the University of ManchesterWe strongly encourage prospective students to provide information about the EPQ in their personal statement and, if invited, at interview. This is because a number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.


In some cases, admissions tutors may wish to make an alternative offer to applicants, one of which involves successful completion of the EPQ (eg AAA at A-level or AAB plus the Extended Project at Grade A). Where this is the case, it will clearly be stated in the academic School's entry requirements.

https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/u...-requirements/


2. Should I talk about my EPQ in my personal statement?

Short Answer: Yes, but not too much - and only if it's relevant.

Long Answer:
Spoiler:
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You've already entered your EPQ in your qualifications section of UCAS so the universities know you're doing one. Don't focus too much on your current studies in your PS and instead talk about your particular interest in your and what you've done outside of your courses to pursue your interests in it. If your EPQ topic is entirely irrelevant to the degree you're applying for then don't waste characters on it. However, if your EPQ is on a similar theme then it can be a nice way into talking about how you've wanted to explore things further.


3. Is the EPQ worth the same amount as an AS?

Short Answer: No, because they're different things.

Long Answer:
Spoiler:
Show
UCAS Tariff points give the following for grades in the EPQ:
(A*, 28; A, 24; B, 20; C, 16; D, 12; E, 8)
UCAS Tariff points give the following for grades at AS:
(A, 20; B, 16; C,12; D, 8; E, 4)

However, don't just focus on UCAS points. Often an AS Level will be available to you as a fourth option rather than taking a full A Level. Chances are, your degree course isn't going to be in the same subject as your AS qualification. Therefore, it's probably worth going to the EPQ, so that you can do something more relevant to your degree of choice.

If, for some reason you're thinking about doing an AS in a subject very related to your degree or exactly the same then it may be better to acquire the broader knowledge that will help you with a degree here than doing an EPQ on something more niche.

Ultimately, each university will decide for themselves what they think the EPQ is worth and what they think the AS is worth - and this can sometimes vary by department too.

4. Can I put an EPQ down on my UCAS then drop it?

Yes, but you'll need to update this on UCAS and if you've received any offers up to that point your existing offer(s) will disappear and the universities will reconsider. Don't let that put you off dropping it if you're really not enjoying it as lots of unis are likely to maintain their offer, but I can't guarantee that's going to always be the case.

5. Does my EPQ have to be in my chosen degree subject?

Absolutely not. It helps, and allows you to easily bring it into the personal statement and other bits, but it is by no means essential and if you've got another brilliant idea in mind then go with that one. Better to enjoy the year you're doing it than be miserable for the sake of a tiny advantage on a university application that might not really be the difference between an offer in your case.

6. What does X university say about the EPQ?

Google it, lots will offer their policies on their general UK entry requirements/admissions page. If it's not specified then email the university you have in mind asking for some advice on it.

7. A university doesn't say it reduces offers for an EPQ, does this mean they don't value it?

Not exactly, any qualification you do has value, that university just might not give it the same weight as a grade difference in an A Level. If you're really hooked on that particular university send them an email asking for advice on it. But remember this is just one choice of 5, and never assume you're going to get an offer from each one!

8. Is an EPQ essential for Oxbridge or Medicine?

No. As with anything it may help, but tonnes of offer holders will not be doing the EPQ. To my knowledge there is no course or institution that specifically requires an EPQ.

9. If I change my EPQ topic can I change it on UCAS?

There may be some buttons to edit your qualifications or your referee might need to do it. Regardless of that, any change you make to qualifications must be made aware to your universities who will then reconsider any offer already made. It's incredibly unlikely that you'll lose an offer following a change to the topic of your EPQ. But regardless, it may still help you to not be too specific about the content of the EPQ in your application.

10. My question here isn't listed, what do I do?

Post any other questions you have below.
Last edited by 04MR17; 1 year ago
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TSR Jessica
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Sorry you've not had any responses about this. Are you sure you've posted in the right place? Here's a link to our subject forum which should help get you more responses if you post there.
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shadowdweller
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Would you say that the benefit of an EPQ is worth the effort it takes, 04MR17?
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DrSocSciences
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
Would you say that the benefit of an EPQ is worth the effort it takes, 04MR17?
I would, principally for damage limitation in the event of a tricky exam season. However, “the effort it takes” will differ from candidate to candidate. If the applicant chooses a subject that they love, that should keep them engaged and interested.
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04MR17
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
Would you say that the benefit of an EPQ is worth the effort it takes, 04MR17?
If your only reason to do one is for the sake of university admissions, I'd say no. School's like to make out that universities love EPQs, and it is true that it can be a useful addition to the application, but at most you're going to have a grade reduction of 1 in an offer, and there is no consistent sector-wide policy.

The greater benefit in my view is the research skills you gain as a result. I'd say that if you're interested in essay based courses at university and are thinking of writing a dissertation-based EPQ then you will feel the benefit from it when you get to uni. One of the texts I read in my EPQ was the subject of a lecture in my second year! I'd suggest this is the much greater benefit to studying for one.
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by 04MR17)
If your only reason to do one is for the sake of university admissions, I'd say no. School's like to make out that universities love EPQs, and it is true that it can be a useful addition to the application, but at most you're going to have a grade reduction of 1 in an offer, and there is no consistent sector-wide policy.

The greater benefit in my view is the research skills you gain as a result. I'd say that if you're interested in essay based courses at university and are thinking of writing a dissertation-based EPQ then you will feel the benefit from it when you get to uni. One of the texts I read in my EPQ was the subject of a lecture in my second year! I'd suggest this is the much greater benefit to studying for one.
(Original post by DrSocSciences)
I would, principally for damage limitation in the event of a tricky exam season. However, “the effort it takes” will differ from candidate to candidate. If the applicant chooses a subject that they love, that should keep them engaged and interested.
Thank you both! Whilst I'm a fair way past my A-levels now, I'm sure this is helpful info for those looking to pick theirs now
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