How the CREST Awards can support the Extended Project Qualification
If young people are working towards their CREST Award, particularly at Gold, then they could be using their project to meet the requirements of the Extended Project Qualification. Similarly it can work the other way too, with EPQ students potentially meeting the criteria for a CREST Award at Silver or Gold.
Though endorsed by UCAS for inclusion on a student’s personal statement, CREST Awards do not formally count for UCAS points so it’s perfectly legitimate to make the potential connection between a CREST Award project and the EPQ.
What is the EPQ?
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is free standing qualification offered by all four examining bodies. It involves choosing a topic and carrying out some research into that particular area, then creating EITHER a 5,000 word report OR a 'product' plus a 1,000 word report. After that, students must deliver a small presentation to a group of non-specialists about your topic, lasting from 10 - 15 mins.
This is offered by all the Examining Bodies AQA, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC. We are pleased that Edexcel have recognised the value of the CREST framework and project ideas by including these as possible resources on their site.
Tips and suggestions for linking CREST Awards to the EPQ
Though there are potential synergies between the qualifications, students must ensure they have checked they meet the criteria for both the qualifications. Ideally this will be done at the point of choosing and defining their projects, to avoid difficulties in meeting requirements retrospectively.
Points to consider include:
- Ensure the research topic is considered from a scientific (or science related) perspective
- The title is framed to address a single scientific question, and not a broader general question around a topic which ends up with a project report that isn’t focused
- Ensure there’s space for creativity through the topic, solutions or method of presentation
- Philosophy based projects should take a scientific approach or address the topic considering the science, avoiding the production of a literature review.
A number of students have already successfully made the link – if you are a student or a teacher eager to explore this then please do consult with your CREST Local Coordinator before the completion of your project.