Ashbourne offers the AQA Extended Project as an extra qualification to be pursued by ambitious and talented students in the second year of their studies. This is a separate qualification that is the equivalent in UCAS points to an AS level and is designed to give students an advantage when applying for the competitive degree courses.
The Extended Project (EP) gives students the opportunity to demonstrate a wide range of academic skills and show prospective universities that they are proactive, capable of independent study and have wider academic interests in and around their subject choices. In an increasingly competitive situation in terms of university applications, the Extended Project will clearly be a way of giving students the edge over their competitors. It is a separate qualification and potential EP students need to understand that it is a big commitment and will require a great deal of independent work and study.
What is the EP?
Students will research a subject area that is of interest to them and prepare a presentation to an audience and a report that will be internally assessed and externally moderated. There are no limits on what a student may choose, but a supervisor may modify or make suggestions in terms of content. For example, an English student may wish to explore the social and economic landscape of Elizabethan London and present on how these factors affected the evolution of Shakespeare’s plays. Successful candidates will demonstrate the ability to project manage, think critically and self-evaluate. The presentation will be for a non-specialist audience using media appropriate to the type of project. The presentation will be to a small audience and should include a live question and answer session overseen by the supervisor. A production log will be completed that will demonstrate the candidates ability to record and reflect on the process of production and assess the level of success achieved by the project.
How is it done?
Students will conceive a project based on their own academic interests and will then discuss the matter with their advisor. Candidates will then write a proposal that will include project aims, initial plans and likely format in which to present the project. They will then complete a Project Proposal Form.
How will it be assessed?
There will be an overall Centre Coordinator for control and management of the project. Each student will also be assigned to an appropriate member of staff who will guide, facilitate and assess the candidate from the inception to the completion of the project.
How is it taught?
Students will mainly work on their own but some aspects of the project will be taught in small seminars and tuition groups, this may include:
- Skills or techniques pertaining to safety and the safe execution of research or experimentation
- ICT skills
- Research skills
- Project management skills
- Performance and presentation skills
- Personal learning and thinking skills
What will students produce?
A wide variety of evidence may be submitted for assessment depending on the nature of the project. This may include:
- Models or constructions
- CD / DVD of performance activities
- A journal of activities or events
- A slide or Powerpoint presentation
- A photographic record of the project
All projects must include a report of between 1000 and 5000 words depending on the exact nature of the project. A project consisting solely of written work should be 5000 words.
Is the project graded?
The EP is graded on a six grade scale: A*, A, B, C, D and E.
Extended Project examples:
- Art exhibition
- Organise an event
- Training a horse
- Steam powered boat
- Dance (for a purpose or to explore ideas)
- Make a dress
- Magazine aimed at younger teenagers
- CD of Irish music (with research into political and cultural influences)
- Drama of people stuck in a lift (with research into the psychology)
- Art using recycled materials (with investigation into recycling)
- Organise a conference on the abolition of the slave trade
- Directing a short film
- The Sun and its effects on our solar system
- To what extent has Tony Blair revolutionised the Labour Party
- The influence of the Post Impressionists on Virginia Woolf’s literature
- Economic cost-benefit analysis of the 2012 Olympics
- Why has MRSA proved so difficult to combat?
- Space: created or evolved?
- What are the right techniques for teenage males in attracting women?
- The impact on human rights of the UK’s legal response to terrorism
- Investigation into use of fostering and adoption by social services
- How has technology changed American films from the 1930s to the present day?
Some more information: