Introducing the International EPQ: what you need to know

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The International Independent Project Qualification (IPQ) is now the International Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

As part of our commitment to regularly reviewing our qualifications to ensure that students have the skills they need to thrive, we have introduced some changes to the International Independent Project Qualification (IPQ). This qualification will now be known as the International Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

The International IPQ is an integral part of OxfordAQA’s International A-level and project-based learning offer, and we’re sure that the new and improved International EPQ will continue to help students to demonstrate their independent learning skills and successfully progress to university and beyond. You can read our full report on the benefits of project-based learning here.

The changes apply immediately, with the first assessment of the new International EPQ in March 2024. To support you, we have created a comprehensive e-learning course for running the International EPQ.

Here’s a summary of the improvements we’ve made to the specification, based on your feedback:

You told us that some students, parents and universities are confused about the difference between IPQ and EPQ.
We are therefore changing the name of the International Independent Project Qualification (IPQ) to the International EPQ (Extended Project Qualification), to avoid any confusion.

You told us that you found holistic grading challenging to implement.

Rather than given an overall grade based on the project as a whole, teachers will now assign a mark for each Assessment Objective and submit the overall mark to OxfordAQA. We will then set the grade boundaries and issue grades, just as we do for all other non-examined assessment (NEA). This will make it easier to assess students’ performance on the individual components of the project.

You told us that you wanted to offer the artefact option.

As part of making International EPQ more aligned with the UK EPQ, students will be able to choose between a written project and an artefact option. The written project is the standard 5,000-word report, as currently offered through the International IPQ. The artefact option allows students to create an artefact, such as an artwork piece, a computer programme or a machine, along with a 1,000-word report explaining their research and development process.

Both options are assessed using the same mark scheme so there is no advantage or disadvantage to students, it just widens the options for how they can approach their project.

These changes will ensure that the International EPQ is even more closely aligned with the EPQ taken by students in the UK, meaning academic institutions and employers can be assured that International EPQ students are working to the same standards as their UK counterparts, and will have developed the same skills.

For more information, you can watch the webinar about the changes to this qualification, where all of these changes are explained in more detail.

We will keep communicating with schools throughout the transition. You can keep an eye on the International EPQ page of our website.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch by emailing [email protected].

Ensuring your students can thrive and go further with the new International EPQ.
  • International IPQ