International IPQ (9693)

Why choose the IPQ?

The OxfordAQA International Independent Project Qualification (International IPQ) is a project-based qualification that students can take alongside their chosen International A-levels. The qualification helps students to develop independent learning skills that prepare them for university and beyond. These skills include research, creative problem-solving and report writing.

OxfordAQA’s International IPQ is based on the most popular Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which is offered by AQA and taken by over 33,000 students annually. It is the first to be designed specifically for international students and the only A-level standard international project-based qualification.

  • Recognised by some of the world’s top higher education institutions, both British and American universities encourage students who have taken project qualifications to reference these in their applications.
  • This gives students the opportunity to stand out from the crowd in their university applications.
  • An internally assessed qualification, the International IPQ develops teachers as well as students, thanks to the opportunity for teachers to deepen their expertise in assessing project-based learning.

Read our full report on the benefits of taking the IPQ

OxfordAQA International IPQ (9693)

The International IPQ requires 120 hours of study, consisting of 30 hours of taught skills and 90 hours of independent study. Student can complete the IPQ over one or two academic years.

The process works as follows:

  • Students discuss their project ideas with a supervisor and an optional specialist.
  • Students research and develop a project proposal for their supervisor to endorse and the centre coordinator to approve.
  • Students independently develop their projects, guided by a series of taught skills lessons and supported by their supervisor, maintaining a Production Log of their progress.
  • Students submit a 5000-word report and a Production Log. They also deliver an oral presentation to a non-specialist audience. Candidates can incorporate presentations into school parent evenings or ceremonies.
  • Supervisors grade the projects with the help of our step-by-step grading criteria and provide evidence that the presentation took place.
  • The centre coordinator submits grades to OxfordAQA for moderation.
  • Students receive certificates graded A*-E.

You must be an approved OxfordAQA centre to enter students for our exams. Make sure you become an OxfordAQA centre before you start teaching a course.

The IPQ is a version of the UK’s most popular Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The EPQ is growing in popularity with over 180,000 students taking the qualification since its integration into the UK curriculum in 2007.

It is valued and encouraged by all Russell Group universities, twelve of which offer different conditional offers for students who are taking the qualification.

With the same structure and assessment approach as the EPQ, the International IPQ also enjoys all the benefits of the UK qualification. These benefits have been the focus of several research studies in recent years, concluding the following:

  • Students who take the qualification are 29% more likely to achieve a grade A*-B in most of their A-level subjects.
  • Completing the qualification alongside A-level study is associated with better degree performance than taking A-levels only.
  • The qualification gives students ‘sovereignty’ over what and how they study. This helps to develop the independent study skills and self-regulated approach to learning that universities are looking for.
  • Even when taking into account previous academic results, a significant positive relationship was found between qualification achievement and student motivation.
  • There is also evidence that the qualification can help to lower participation barriers.

OxfordAQA provides all the resources and advice you need to teach the International IPQ specification effectively.

We have too many International IPQ resources to list here, so please visit our resources area for teachers to see them all, including:

  • Schemes of work to allow you to plan how to deliver the specification in a way that will best suit you and your students
  • Teaching guidance to outline clearly the scope of teaching and learning
  • Topic tests and mock exam analysers to allow you to track your students’ progress throughout the teaching year

There is one entry series for the International IPQ each academic year.  The entry deadline is 21 February and the submission of grades deadline is 31 March each year. See our Exams Admin page for more details.

Students must prepare an oral presentation when they undertake an International IPQ. The presentation can be delivered in the students’ preferred language.

The inclusion of a presentation is part of a holistic approach to assessment designed specifically to suit international learners. For example, the teacher might be aware that a student’s written project is weak in terms of Assessment Objective 3: demonstration of research skills. (The teacher would know this because they are assessing the project).  The teacher can then ask specific questions of the student during the presentation to provide them with an opportunity to show additional evidence of AO3.

As a result, the International IPQ provides students with an opportunity to be assessed in multiple ways. Through:

  • The production log
  • The project report
  • The presentation

This gives students more opportunities to demonstrate their skills.

Find out more on our Fair Assessment approach, which focuses on providing assessments that enable students to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do.

Our in-depth online training modules for the International IPQ give support to all members of your school’s International IPQ team. So whether you are a teacher, supervisor or centre coordinator, you can find a course for your needs

Course 1: What is required to deliver the OxfordAQA International IPQ?

Course 2:What makes a good International IPQ supervisor?

Course 3: What is expected of an International IPQ Centre Coordinator?

Course 4: Understanding and applying the Assessment Objectives and grading criteria.

Course 5: How to use the Production log.

Find out more on this page.

Take a look at:

Watch the video to find out more
International IPQ is recognised by some of the world’s top universities
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
Develop teacher expertise through International IPQ

As an internally assessed qualification, the International IPQ develops and recognises the skills students need to progress and supports teachers to teach and assess those skills.

This provides an opportunity for teachers to deepen their expertise in assessing project-based learning which can contribute significantly to their ongoing CPD. It is supported throughout by high quality training, from orientation to standardisation, provided by OxfordAQA.

Another advantage of this approach compared with external assessment is that it gives teachers greater flexibility when supporting students. For example, if the student’s project does not meet the required standards, the teacher and student can decide to withdraw entry or defer until another series.

In addition to this, the International IPQ does not require approval of project titles. We believe that approving titles de-professionalises teachers. Instead, we support teachers to have a dialogue with students, so that they can arrive at an appropriate title that will allow the student to demonstrate their knowledge and skill.

Questions about this qualification?

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Course specification
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