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Extended Project Qualification

Course content

Course introduction

For those with an inquisitive mind who enjoy a personal challenge, the Extended Project Qualification provides an opportunity to explore an area of interest in greater detail. You will conduct independent research into a topic of your choice to develop your understanding, guided by a specialist tutor, who will support you by raising questions for you to explore and answer. A project will culminate in a 5000-word dissertation or creation of an artefact and a presentation.

Who should follow the programme?

To access the qualification, you will need to have a good selection of high grades at GCSE.

What activities can you expect to experience?

  • Participation in ‘Study Skills Seminars’ led by PHD research scholars from Leeds and Manchester universities
  • Participation in Manchester University Access Programme, which can potentially lead to a reduced offer from Manchester University. Participants complete some independent work set by Manchester University and attend various sessions there.
  • Participation in Lancaster Mentoring Programme, this includes visits from a ‘Student Mentor’, a current student at Lancaster University. It involves help with completion of personal statements for university applications

Previous projects have included:

• Will ‘artificial blood’ be the future of emergency fluid replacement in haemorrhage patients?

• To what extent does the neurochemistry of the brain effect mental health?

• To what extent do gender stereotypes affect the number of females pursuing further education in Mathematics

• How are footballers portrayed in the media?

What about trips and visits?

Students will be offered opportunities to visit Russell Group universities, both city and campus based. Previous destinations have included Sheffield, Durham, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Lancaster and Manchester.

You will develop the following employability skills:

  • Project Management skills; planning, target setting and evaluation
  • Library skills, using academic resources, accessing journal systems
  • Evaluation and analysis of resources
  • Academic writing skills; how to plan the layout of your report, referencing
  • Self-reflection and evaluation
  • Presentation skills
  • Decision-making, adaptability and initiative

What will this elective lead to after SJR?

The Extended Project qualification will be a great benefit when applying for prestigious universities as the skills developed can be discussed in students’ personal statements as part of the application process. It also demonstrates passion for a subject area and students being prepared to take on an extra commitment. In effect, students will have used university level skills before having actually started university. Some of the most prestigious universities in the UK are very keen on applicants who have completed the Extended Project Qualification:

Cambridge University, ‘We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills and ease the transition from school/college to higher education.’

Warwick University, ‘Applications presenting the Extended Project are encouraged to discuss their research in their personal statement and reflect on how undertaking the project will help prepare them for studying their chosen degree at Warwick.’

Manchester University, ‘The skills that students develop through the Extended Project are excellent preparation for university-level study. Students can refer to the Extended Project in their UCAS personal statements and at interview to demonstrate some of the qualities that universities are looking for. As a research- intensive university, The University of Manchester is very supportive of the skills the Extended Project encourages learners to develop.

Nurturing rising talent

Our Elective Programme is designed to help you develop your gifts and interests as part of an enhanced level 3 programme. We will help you realise your potential by nurturing your talent and preparing you for study at the most prestigious universities or for progression to competitive higher-level apprenticeships. Your options range from our Honours Programme, which might include following a fourth A level, to specialist Futures Programmes that will support your career goals.

Level 2 entry requirements

If you’re not quite ready to start on a Level 3 Technical course (T Levels) or a Vocational Level 3 course (BTEC) but want to begin on the path to your chosen career, the Transition Programme could be for you.  

Transition Programmes are tailored to prepare students to move onto Technical or Vocational Level 3 study. They will give you the opportunity to improve your English and Maths, your work readiness skills and introduce you to the technical skills and concepts that you will need for future study and employment. 

As part of the Transition Programme you will study a BTEC Level 2 Award in your chosen subject area as well as the BTEC Level 2 Extended Award in Work Skills. You will also have the opportunity to resit GCSE English and/or Maths if you have not yet achieved a grade 4. 

Entry criteria for Transition Programmes is four grade 3s including grade 3s in English Language and Maths GCSE.

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