The inevitable has finally happened. All the excitement and motivation that you began with has plateaued, and you’re now stuck with every student's worst fear: writer's block. But let’s go back to the beginning. You’re an A-level student, and you’ve decided to start writing your EPQ project. For those of you who have no idea what EPQ even stands for, let alone have an EPQ idea all laid out, let us bring you up to speed.
What is an EPQ project?
An Extended Project Qualification or EPQ is an assignment that students usually undertake during year 12 or 13 of school. An EPQ assignment is usually a 5000-word essay on a topic of your choice and is accompanied by a presentation. You’re free to choose any EPQ ideas you want for your big project, and you can even make it as creative as you want.
Why should you do an EPQ project?
Even though EPQs aren’t mandatory for students, you may still want to consider doing one. Your project is a great opportunity for you to showcase your creativity and personality to potential colleges. Your EPQ will demonstrate your research ability and diligence to admissions officers, and depending upon what type of EPQ ideas you choose, it can even demonstrate your knowledge about the course you’ve applied for, making you a stronger candidate.
How to choose a topic
So now that you’ve officially decided to do your EPQ, where do you begin? Well, the first step is choosing a topic. Thanks to the internet, you have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, but sometimes that only makes your choice harder. If you’re struggling to choose from a long list of EPQ ideas, here are some tips that can help you get started.
Consider your own interests
You are likely going to be spending a fair amount of time researching and writing your EPQ essay so make sure you pick a topic that actually interests you. If you’re interested in environmental law, microbiology, policy-making or even have a TV Show you just can’t stop thinking about, that can be the starting point for your EPQ ideas. It'll make your research process that much easier if you are genuinely interested in what you’ve chosen to study. Think about it, if you’re not even interested in reading your EPQ idea, why would your examiner be?
Start with a question
Once you’ve picked the broader topic, its time to narrow your focus. Writing a detailed paper isn’t easy if your topic is too wide, which is why you should try to make your EPQ ideas more specific. For example, suppose you’ve decided to write about the rise of street art, you could narrow it down to the influence of Banksy on street art in the UK. After you’ve found a question you want to answer, it’ll help you focus your research better.
Make it interesting
Whatever EPQ ideas you’re choosing from, make sure you make it interesting! Not only will a boring assignment be painful to write, it’ll also be painful to read, and at the end of the day, you want to keep your reader engaged and interested. When you're choosing your topic, ensure that you’ve thought of enough ways that keep your reader interested while reading your assignment.
Make sure you have enough content
5000 words is not an easy task, and with A levels around the corner, you already have a lot on your plate. Before you commit to any topic, do a quick google search and see whether you’ll have enough content to write about. If your topic is too niche, it may be hard to find credible resources to refer to. Play around with a few different EPQ ideas and pick one that’ll make your research easier.
Think of your career plans
Like we said earlier, your EPQ may be a great way to show colleges that you’ve got what it takes to make it into their program. If you have a clear career goal in mind, it may be good to focus your EPQ ideas around it to showcase your interest and dedication to your future profession. The research you do for your project can even help you know for sure whether or not you’re interested in the particular field you’ve chosen for yourself.
EPQ topic ideas
If you’re struggling to come up with topics, here are some good EPQ topics to help get you started
History EPQ ideas
- What is the role of art in the telling of History?
- Should mythology be taught as History?
- What caused the fall of the Roman Empire?
- What led to the abolishment of slavery in the US?
- How did Britain conquer America?
- How has cooking among humans evolved throughout time?
- How has the bond between animals and people evolved over time?
- What changes have been made in the roles of men and women over time?
- Since World War II, has the British public lost interest in the royal family?
- How has travel changed over the years?
Sports EPQ ideas
- Is sports injury rehabilitation effective enough for athletes?
- Compared to players 50 years ago, how do athletes spend their daily lives today?
- What is the link between stress in sports and mental health in today’s athletes?
- What is the function of sports journalism in the athletics sector?
- How is drug testing in sports properly handled?
- the benefits of sport for young people's development.
- Are the world's main athletic events appropriately managed?
- How much does a person's capacity to excel in a sport come from their genes?
- Why does training for some sports cost so much money?
- Why do people engage in sports?
Physics EPQ ideas
- The internal combustion engine's past, present, and future
- What are directed energy weapons, and what does the future hold for them?
- What would occur to our solar system if the sun stopped shining?
- technological advances and autonomous transportation
- How much will lithium-ion batteries rule the market over the next 30 years?
- constructing a camera lens
- How much of a solution to the clean energy dilemma can solar energy offer?
- How differently do stellar and supermassive black holes create and function?
- How reliable are the many quantum mechanical interpretations?
- Why did supersonic flight not succeed?
Psychology EPQ ideas
- Does depression have a hereditary component?
- What are the ways in which brain injuries can have long-term ramifications?
- Autism diagnosis and its spectrum.
- How does brain connectivity impact our capacity to learn new skills?
- epilepsy's continuing consequences on sufferers and their families.
- How does a person with bipolar disorder's brain function?
- What difficulties arise when treating geriatric dementia patients?
- Children's psychosis and its challenges.
- Is a full state of focus even feasible for the brain?
- How are balance and the brain affected by hearing loss?
Economics EPQ ideas
- Can money buy you happiness?
- Should the metrics used to calculate a country's standard of living be revised?
- What can we expect from the next financial crisis?
- How does a lack of financial stability affect your childhood?
- How often should “minimum wage” be revised?
- How does illegal immigration affect the economy in the UK?
- What effect will the rise of AI technology have on the economy?
- How has the rise of KPOP transformed the landscape of South Korea’s economy?
- Does hosting a FIFA World Cup positively or negatively affect a country’s economy?
- In what industry is the gender wage gap most prevalent?
Geography EPQ ideas
- How has soil fertility decreased due to global warming over the last few decades?
- Does the existing landscape play an important role in how good a city's infrastructure can be?
- What effect does the Israeli-Palestine conflict have on the water crisis?
- Should active volcanoes no longer be eligible as tourist spots?
- How has the internet increased the load on natural resources?
- What measures can be taken to make Antarctica an inhabitable nation?
- What innovative solutions can we use to combat the rising sea levels?
- To what extent can sustainable architecture reduce the load of global warming?
- How can we study and measure collective trauma after a natural disaster?
- Can a developing country ever re-categorize itself as a developed nation?
Philosophy EPQ ideas
- How are films of the west and the east affected by the dominant religions of their population?
- Is Plato's cave still an accurate metaphor that we should teach film students?
- Do Abrahamic religions inherently propagate sexism?
- Can we call philosophers artists?
- Does the world exist outside the self?
- How does religious ideology negatively affect policies?
- Does the separation of church and state positively or negatively impact the spread of religion?
- How does technology affect our definition of “real”?
- Is the trolly problem still an effective way to test ai?
- Should we create a new government body to oversee the development and ethics of new AI technologies?
Law EPQ ideas
- Should the death penalty be reinstated?
- How much should the court's judgement be influenced by a child's preference to live with one parent over another?
- Should those who see child abuse but do not report it be held legally accountable?
- Should men who have female companions sue them for having an abortion?
- Should everyone be required to donate their organs?
- When it comes to violations of human rights, when should one nation legally step in to another?
- Should a 21-year-old be the minimum age for marriage?
- Should the results of a lie detector be admissible in UK courts?
- Could the government be required by law to compensate women for the unpaid work they do that helps the economy?
- Should abortion be practised at any stage of pregnancy if embryos have feelings and sensations?
- What laws can implement to decriminalise the victims of sex trafficking?
Chemistry EPQ ideas
- At what stage do chemicals actually become hallucinogens?
- Should shrooms still be classified as a Schedule I drug?
- What process can we create to decompose plastic?
- What chemical procedures are used to purify water?
- What substances play a role in human attraction?
- How does the body respond to cortisol?
- Should the use of pesticides be ethically acceptable?
- What benefits do computer-aided fragment-based drug design techniques offer?
- How can click chemistry be utilised to enhance the production of drugs?
- Over the past 200 years, how has the discovery of pharmaceutical compounds changed?
Business EPQ ideas
- What is the reason for the rise of unicorn startups in the past decade?
- What about apple’s business model has made it so successful?
- How important is employee happiness to overall company performance?
- Does Amazon have unethical hiring practices?
- What information should be mandatory to disclose at an interview from behalf of both the company and the candidate?
- Does outsourcing work have a better effect that hiring an in-house team for the same job?
- How can we hold companies accountable for their unethical behaviour?
- At what point in the production process should Extended Producer Responsibilities come into play?
- What training should be mandatory for any team leaders?
- What steps can be taken to ensure that HR departments are impartial during internal disputes?
Creative EPQ ideas
If the thought of sitting down and writing 5000 words sounds like your worst nightmare, then you don’t need to do that. Students have been getting very creative with their chosen EPQ ideas in the past few years. If an essay is not your thing, you can submit a different kind of project along with a short, 1000-word write-up. Here are some alternatives to writing an essay:
- Write a screenplay
- Create a short-film
- Create a prototype for a new invention or product
- Compose an original song
EPQs will take up your time, but they can also often be fun projects if you choose something you like. We hope you’ve found this blog helpful and now understand how to start your EPQ project better. Best of luck!