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Student stories: the project journey

Find out more about the project journey from students who have been through the process.
I chose to do an EPQ because I wanted to do something that would complement my A levels and also help with my UCAS application. I chose to do an EPQ because there was work that I wanted to do and, if I did it as an EPQ, then I could get a qualification from it as well. I found choosing a topic quite difficult. I had a few ideas to start off with and then I had to narrow them down. To narrow my EPQ down, I initially had a few different options of what I could do.
And I started to look at what my research would be if I was going to go ahead with that project, and then decided which one would be easiest and most interesting for me. I didn’t need to narrow down my focus for my EPQ, as I already had an idea. Instead I found as I went through it, I had to broaden what I was doing to make sure I was covering all of the marking points. I didn’t really have a clear aim for what I wanted to find out. Mine was more of a literature-based project, rather than a research-based project to find out a specific answer to a question so it was slightly different to some of the more scientific ones.
My working title was very vague but, by the time I finished my project, I was able to narrow it down and make it really specific. My working title for my project was Is Infinite Economic Growth A Myth? But that was far too broad so my final title was To What Extent Is Continuous Economic Growth Unsustainable? My final title was decided at the mid-project review stage. I wish I could have decided on it a bit later because I wasn’t really ready to decide on a final title then. I found writing my report harder than expected, and it took a lot longer than I anticipated.
I wrote the first draft of my report quite quickly and then gave myself some time so that I knew what changes I had to make in order to make it better. I wrote my report in sections, and then I put them together at the end. It gave me a more clear idea of what would make sense. In my first meeting with my supervisor, she helped me narrow it down from the broader focus I had onto the specific focus. The second meeting with my supervisor helped me to work out where I would find my research and how I would use that for my final report and my final meeting with my supervisor helped me to make my essay logically structured.
When it came to writing my report, I found I didn’t give myself enough time and planning more effectively would have really relieved some stress.

We’ve looked at the project process in the abstract using the analogy of a map and a journey. Now let’s hear about the reality of it from some actual students.

Listen to Alex, Jake and Lizzie talk about their experience of doing the EPQ. Alex researched the topic of economic growth, Lizzie researched literature at the time of the French Revolution and the English Civil War, and Jake designed a computer programme as his artefact. Alex and Lizzie wrote project reports of 5000 words and Jake wrote a 1000 word report to accompany his artefact.

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How to Succeed in Your EPQ: the Nuts and Bolts of Completing Your Project

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