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I am currently a AS student and I'm aiming for Oxbridge. My main career choice is medicine/biomedicine ( biology related stuff) and the school has offered me to do EPQ or DOFE silver award. I have heard that schools like Oxford and Cambridge don't look at UCAS scores that much, so therefore EPQ might be kind of useless. Will EPQ still help me to go into these unis or will it be better if I do something else in that time? Also, I am already doing volunteer work in a care home and also in performing arts club (music related), so will it be better to sign up for D of E or not, since one of the four points of D of E silver award is volunteering and skills? (to be honest, I don't want to do epq and dofe that much because it's to expensive, and Im kind of scared that I won't have enough time to study but I'll do it if it can really boost up my CV)
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PQ
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Is your school charging you to take an EPQ?

DofE isn’t useful for university applications. If you’re already getting work experience/volunteering then it will be of limited benefit.

EPQ can be useful. It’s an opportunity to explore a topic that you find interesting and start to approach research and writing along the lines expected at university. If your A levels don’t include much essay writing then it’s a useful exercise. It might also help you figure out whether you want to go into a vocational degree like medicine or a more academic pathway.
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999tigger
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(Original post by tyjang23)
I am currently a AS student and I'm aiming for Oxbridge. My main career choice is medicine/biomedicine ( biology related stuff) and the school has offered me to do EPQ or DOFE silver award. I have heard that schools like Oxford and Cambridge don't look at UCAS scores that much, so therefore EPQ might be kind of useless. Will EPQ still help me to go into these unis or will it be better if I do something else in that time? Also, I am already doing volunteer work in a care home and also in performing arts club (music related), so will it be better to sign up for D of E or not, since one of the four points of D of E silver award is volunteering and skills? (to be honest, I don't want to do epq and dofe that much because it's to expensive, and Im kind of scared that I won't have enough time to study but I'll do it if it can really boost up my CV)
Depends. They are non standard so they help your application stand out a bit more.
Colleges normally have a policy on EPQ. Check if grade discount (unlikely) if you pick an interesting subject though it gives you something to talk about at interview. Dont try to do too much and end up doing poorly.
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username4998622
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(Original post by PQ)
Is your school charging you to take an EPQ?

DofE isn’t useful for university applications. If you’re already getting work experience/volunteering then it will be of limited benefit.

EPQ can be useful. It’s an opportunity to explore a topic that you find interesting and start to approach research and writing along the lines expected at university. If your A levels don’t include much essay writing then it’s a useful exercise. It might also help you figure out whether you want to go into a vocational degree like medicine or a more academic pathway.
I thought everyone had to pay for EPQ.....
I have to pay more than 800 to do my EPQ
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Quick-use
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(Original post by tyjang23)
I thought everyone had to pay for EPQ.....
I have to pay more than 800 to do my EPQ
???

You have to pay for your EPQ? In that case, I wouldn't recommend it as it won't really do much for your university applications. Also, Duke of Edinburgh definitely isn't worth it, especially not for university applications.
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redmeercat
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Yes - I just got an offer for the University of Exeter and they said they'd take me 2 grades below their usual offer if I firm them because of my EPQ grade. In terms of Oxbridge, EPQ is also a great opportunity to explore your subject and get extra knowledge and, at the very least, more books to talk about in your personal statement. But if you have to pay a lot, don't worry about it... just make sure that you explore your subject outside class so that you
a) know that you do like studying it independently
b) have stuff to talk about in your personal statement and at interview.
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zoe002
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Although Oxbridge may not take much notice of EPQ/DofE both could be useful for other unis. It can make your other offers more attainable, so you have a safer reserve. Also, if you get an interview at Oxbridge it can be a great thing to talk about as you will have done a lot of research and already be knowledgable about it.
With DofE it depends if you want to do it. If you are already doing a lot of the sections and don't mind doing the expedition then it shouldn't be too difficult. Also, no universities will penalise you for having DofE, it will either add to your application or have no effect.
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Reality Check
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DofE is a great thing in itself and a brilliant experience. Just don't do it for 'application' points - Phillip never designed it for this.
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username4998622
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(Original post by zoe002)
Although Oxbridge may not take much notice of EPQ/DofE both could be useful for other unis. It can make your other offers more attainable, so you have a safer reserve. Also, if you get an interview at Oxbridge it can be a great thing to talk about as you will have done a lot of research and already be knowledgable about it.
With DofE it depends if you want to do it. If you are already doing a lot of the sections and don't mind doing the expedition then it shouldn't be too difficult. Also, no universities will penalise you for having DofE, it will either add to your application or have no effect.
Thanks for the replies! I wasn't expecting so many of you!
I signed up for EPQ, but I am still thinking about DofE.....
Just one more thing: does the "DOFE silver award" title makes a lot of difference from just doing random volunteer work in care homes and joining clubs?
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tarotkhan
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Lots of students will have done DofE gold award so your silver, whilst it may be personally challenging, is not going to mean much to universities (neither does the gold award tbh). The EPQ is good if you do it on a topic related to one of your A levels or proposed degree course. Gives a focus to any extra reading you do in prep for oxbridge interviews etc. BUT loads of students drop out as it’s a lot of work at times of other stresses. Plus if you are unlikely to get an A or A* then it isn’t worth it. Just my opinion.....
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(Original post by tyjang23)
Thanks for the replies! I wasn't expecting so many of you!
I signed up for EPQ, but I am still thinking about DofE.....
Just one more thing: does the "DOFE silver award" title makes a lot of difference from just doing random volunteer work in care homes and joining clubs?
Your volunteering is important because of what you learn from it - not whether you have a certificate or not.
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zoe002
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(Original post by username4998622)
Thanks for the replies! I wasn't expecting so many of you!
I signed up for EPQ, but I am still thinking about DofE.....
Just one more thing: does the "DOFE silver award" title makes a lot of difference from just doing random volunteer work in care homes and joining clubs?
The title just puts it all together I guess. For medicine you will have to talk about your work experience/volunteering in your personal statement anyway, so I guess DofE is something slightly different. It would also allow you to milk your volunteering a bit more, as in you could say "I have completed Silver Dofe" and then separately talk about the volunteering you did. Also the length of time you do it for might make a difference. ie. Silver DofE you only have to do it for about 6 months, but if you carry on for longer you can talk about your commitment over x number of years.
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(Original post by username4998622)
I thought everyone had to pay for EPQ.....
I have to pay more than 800 to do my EPQ
I presume you're at a private school as a state school wouldn't be allowed to charge you for it.
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(Original post by username4998622)
Just one more thing: does the "DOFE silver award" title makes a lot of difference from just doing random volunteer work in care homes and joining clubs?
The volunteering is only one element of silver D of E.
It's about:

  • helping the community/environment,
  • becoming fitter
  • developing new skills
  • planning, training for and completing an expedition
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