Why project-based learning is the key to university success

Student working independently at a laptop

Nurture creativity and independent learning with student-led projects

Students who participate in project-based learning qualifications alongside their A-levels are more likely to achieve better grades in their A-levels, perform better at university and experience higher levels of motivation in their studies. Read more about these fast-growing qualifications. Enable your students to develop the skills they need for university and beyond.

What is project-based learning?

Project-based learning is a process in which students choose, plan, and complete a project independently. They develop a title and aims for their project, undertake research, and deliver their findings in a written assignment or oral presentation. Through this process, students produce a unique piece of work that they can discuss with a degree of expertise unmatched in their other studies at their level.

Since its introduction in 2007, over 180,000 students have taken extended project qualifications such as OxfordAQA’s International GCSE Plus and A-level standard International IPQ, and they continue to grow in popularity.

Why choose an Independent Project Qualification?
“The Independent Project Qualification provides an excellent opportunity for students to develop the kinds of research and academic skills demanded by the rigours of Higher Education.”
University of Southampton

Independent Project Qualifications offer a unique opportunity to demonstrate and nurture skills such as creativity, independent thinking, resilience, and problem solving. Furthermore, students are able to develop their critical thinking and evaluation skills which are a crucial step in their journey to undergraduate study.

Other benefits have been highlighted in the Extending into the Future Report which summarises the findings of four UK-based research studies. It concludes that students who participate in project-based learning qualifications alongside their A-levels are more likely to:

  • achieve a better grade in their A-levels;
  • achieve a better degree when they go to university;
  • experience higher levels of motivation in their studies.

Extending into the future

Find out how extended project work can help prepare students for success at school, at university and in the careers of tomorrow

Read the report
Implementing student-led projects at your school

OxfordAQA enables you to integrate student-led projects into your curriculum without distracting students from their regular subjects or putting pressure on the school’s timetable.

Our International GCSE Plus endorsements introduce students to the process of project work. Students utilise essential planning, research and report writing skills, and are encouraged to demonstrate creativity, risk-taking and reflection. This provides the perfect foundation for A-level specialism or the IBDP Extended Essay.

Our International Independent Project Qualification (IPQ) allows students to supplement their desired A-levels with a piece of academic work on a subject of their choice. Projects can be discussed in university interviews to help applicants stand out from the crowd. There is also evidence to suggest that taking the IPQ increases students’ chances of achieving higher grades in their A-levels. Rooted in our fair assessment approach, the IPQ has all the benefits of the UK qualification but with more opportunities for students to demonstrate their skills, such as creating a production log and project report, and a final presentation in their preferred language.

OxfordAQA provide comprehensive support for schools wishing to implement project-based learning, including in-depth teacher training and support for supervisors. Get in touch to find out more.

Access our free self-paced training course here: What is required to deliver the OxfordAQA International Independent Project Qualification?

How can schools develop successful, independent learners equipped with the skills they need to succeed in the future?
Project-based learning helps students build essential transferrable skills and set themselves apart from the crowd.
  • International IPQ
  • Project-based learning