Writing a research paper, should I use it for EPQ for medicine?

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ca_1234
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Hi! I'm in year 11 right now and I'm currently in the process of writing a research paper about sexual health knowledge (or rather the lack thereof) as it pertains to religious and ethnic minority young people in the UK. This isn't for an assignment or homework and no teacher has asked me to do this, I'm starting this because this has always been an interest of mine plus I've always been able to talk about it for hours so I thought why not put pen to paper. I was wondering, if I finish it before September or have at least written a substantial amount of it/have a good enough draft, should I enter myself in to do the EPQ? As you would have realised by now, I want to do medicine at university - is this a relevant enough topic? Also, will I look better if I leave it as a sort of independent research project or should I use it for an EPQ meaning that I get the qualification with a bit less work as opposed to if I had started it in Year 12? Any and all advice + responses appreciated xx (PS, I don't know if this should be in the medicine, A-Levels or EPQ forum but please move it to whichever forum you feel is appropriate Image )
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qwert7890
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(Original post by ca_1234)
Hi! I'm in year 11 right now and I'm currently in the process of writing a research paper about sexual health knowledge (or rather the lack thereof) as it pertains to religious and ethnic minority young people in the UK. This isn't for an assignment or homework and no teacher has asked me to do this, I'm starting this because this has always been an interest of mine plus I've always been able to talk about it for hours so I thought why not put pen to paper. I was wondering, if I finish it before September or have at least written a substantial amount of it/have a good enough draft, should I enter myself in to do the EPQ? As you would have realised by now, I want to do medicine at university - is this a relevant enough topic? Also, will I look better if I leave it as a sort of independent research project or should I use it for an EPQ meaning that I get the qualification with a bit less work as opposed to if I had started it in Year 12? Any and all advice + responses appreciated xx (PS, I don't know if this should be in the medicine, A-Levels or EPQ forum but please move it to whichever forum you feel is appropriate Image )
I’d say it’s a pretty relevant topic! Just to confirm, you’re asking if you should do it independently or should you get do it with the EPQ qualification?

Well, with the EPQ, you have to do more work (by maintaining a log, since EPQ is marked more on the skills you’ve developed rather than the actual content of the EPQ.)

I am not fully sure what you mean by independently (would you just type it and keep it to yourself?). I think with an EPQ you gain that ‘credibility’ and are marked - and a minority of med schools can lower your offer if you’ve done an EPQ!

I’d say do the EPQ, but you have to weigh the pros and cons for each . I wouldn’t want to impose a decision on you!
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ca_1234
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(Original post by qwert7890)
I’d say it’s a pretty relevant topic! Just to confirm, you’re asking if you should do it independently or should you get do it with the EPQ qualification?

Well, with the EPQ, you have to do more work (by maintaining a log, since EPQ is marked more on the skills you’ve developed rather than the actual content of the EPQ.)

I am not fully sure what you mean by independently (would you just type it and keep it to yourself?). I think with an EPQ you gain that ‘credibility’ and are marked - and a minority of med schools can lower your offer if you’ve done an EPQ!

I’d say do the EPQ, but you have to weigh the pros and cons for each . I wouldn’t want to impose a decision on you!
Thank you for the reply! By independent I did sort of mean that, but more like should I keep it as something I did in my spare time as opposed to the EPQ to make it look like I wasn't forced to do it and actually chose to, thus making me look better? I don't know if that makes sense haha

I asked because there's been loads of mixed opinions from people I've asked in terms of doing an EPQ for medicine, loads of people said I shouldn't and some people have said it would be great if I want to. I'm still deciding whether or not to do it along my three A-Levels because I have this subconscious feeling that me not doing maths A-Level will disadvantage me (even though I've been told many times it won't- I guess that's just my anxiety). Perhaps the EPQ will help me to stand out.
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ca_1234
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ecolier I would love your opinion on this! You've been very helpful with every other question I've had that relates to medicine and I feel like you know everything so I hope you can help with this!
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John Wick11
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An EPQ would not harm your application.
However if by doing an EPQ you neglect your core subjects, then that would harm your application.
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qwert7890
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(Original post by ca_1234)
Thank you for the reply! By independent I did sort of mean that, but more like should I keep it as something I did in my spare time as opposed to the EPQ to make it look like I wasn't forced to do it and actually chose to, thus making me look better? I don't know if that makes sense haha

I asked because there's been loads of mixed opinions from people I've asked in terms of doing an EPQ for medicine, loads of people said I shouldn't and some people have said it would be great if I want to. I'm still deciding whether or not to do it along my three A-Levels because I have this subconscious feeling that me not doing maths A-Level will disadvantage me (even though I've been told many times it won't- I guess that's just my anxiety). Perhaps the EPQ will help me to stand out.
I think about 10-20% of people do EPQ, so I’m not sure if it will help you stand out exclusively. However some universities do look for independent studies in their selection criteria, and EPQ falls under this.

I get what you mean by “not making it looked forced”, because independent research project might imply you’ve done it out of “passion” than compulsion. But with this you risk the chance of not having credibility associated with your EPQ
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ca_1234
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(Original post by qwert7890)
I think about 10-20% of people do EPQ, so I’m not sure if it will help you stand out exclusively. However some universities do look for independent studies in their selection criteria, and EPQ falls under this.

I get what you mean by “not making it looked forced”, because independent research project might imply you’ve done it out of “passion” than compulsion. But with this you risk the chance of not having credibility associated with your EPQ
Yes that's exactly what I meant, you've worded it so much better! And that is something I'm weighing up I guess, getting the credibility and qualification vs the "passion project".
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ca_1234
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(Original post by John Wick11)
An EPQ would not harm your application.
However if by doing an EPQ you neglect your core subjects, then that would harm your application.
Thanks for the reply! That's definitely something I've been thinking about too. I'm doing biology and chemistry so I don't want to risk spending more time on the EPQ than the subjects I actually need for medicine.
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qwert7890
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(Original post by ca_1234)
Yes that's exactly what I meant, you've worded it so much better! And that is something I'm weighing up I guess, getting the credibility and qualification vs the "passion project".
I personally don't think unis would see much of a difference in the "passion" between an EPQ vs. a research project.

Pros of doing an independent research project:
1. Less work (no research log, or charts, or deadlines per se).
2. It might be seen as something you're passionate about (however I really don't think this might be the case)
3. More freedom in topic selection and lesser time constraints
4. Not 'tested' or 'graded' - is this a pro though?

Pros of doing an EPQ:
1. EPQ provides you with a qualification which is deemed credible
2. EPQ at very few unis for medicine can reduce your offer
3. EPQ, I imagine, would be more well perceived among unis than an independent research project.

Doing an EPQ on the whole doesn't matter much for most med schools though, the majority will still focus on your BMAT/ UCAT / A Levels for selection. However, an EPQ can show 'extra' commitment (off the top of my head, UCL, Manchester, Cambridge, Sheffield value an EPQ)
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John Wick11
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For schools that use UCAS tariff - like Barts - you’ll get extra points for an EPQ also.
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ecolier
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(Original post by ca_1234)
ecolier I would love your opinion on this! You've been very helpful with every other question I've had that relates to medicine and I feel like you know everything so I hope you can help with this!
You can submit it as an EPQ... there are a few med schools that will give you a lower offer if you have a good grade in your EPQ and you firm them.

e.g. HYMS, Sheffield, Lancaster and QUB

As said, some other med schools e.g. UCL may look upon an EPQ favourably as "extra-curricular work".
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qwert7890
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(Original post by ecolier)
.... and you firm them.
I was not aware, so thank you!! I didn't want to give anyone partial information
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ca_1234
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(Original post by ecolier)
You can submit it as an EPQ... there are a few med schools that will give you a lower offer if you have a good grade in your EPQ and you firm them.

e.g. HYMS, Sheffield, Lancaster and QUB

As said, some other med schools e.g. UCL may look upon an EPQ favourably as "extra-curricular work".
Oh right, thank you! I'm also going to do A-Level Spanish (alongside bio and chem) so do you think UCL would like the language alongside the EPQ?
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ecolier
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(Original post by ca_1234)
Oh right, thank you! I'm also going to do A-Level Spanish (alongside bio and chem) so do you think UCL would like the language alongside the EPQ?
I don't think they'd mind.

They wouldn't give you a lower offer, mind you, like the other med schools that I listed.
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ca_1234
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(Original post by ecolier)
I don't think they'd mind.

They wouldn't give you a lower offer, mind you, like the other med schools that I listed.
Ohh right, thank you for your help
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