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EPQ – Students’ Experiences

We asked a number of our Year 13 EPQ students what their experiences of completing an EPQ has been like at Newman. Read on to find out what they had to say…

Susanna Raj, from Archbishop Temple studied Early Modern History, Sociology and Spanish, alongside her EPQ. Talking about her experiences of the EPQ she said: “My EPQ was centred around the current women’s rights breaches taking place in Saudi Arabia, the title of my EPQ was ‘Why Does Saudi Arabia Mistreat its Women?’. I analysed different factors contributing to the issue, such as government and religion. I have improved my IT skills considerably by completing the EPQ and learnt many skills which will be useful when completing university assignments, such as in-depth research skills and referencing. I not only increased my knowledge and interest in the subject area, but also became more aware of the importance of research in study. I have learnt how to self-reflect effectively and through the presentation aspect I have grown in self-confidence too.”

Ronan Paulraj, also from Archbishop Temple studied Biology, Chemistry and Maths alongside his EPQ. He said: “My EPQ was about Glioblastomas and the methods of treatment. The question I was looking to answer was “Why are Glioblastomas the most aggressive tumour in adults?” This formed a fairly large part of my project and helped lay down the foundation for the rest of my project, as I delved into different factors that can affect the growth of tumours, such as diet and genetics. I learnt how to reference using the Harvard style and this valuable skill is something I will put to good use in Higher Education. By doing weekly diary entries, I was able to improve my ability to self-reflect and identify areas of my project that I could develop. This was imperative in helping me make the necessary changes to improve the quality of my work.”

Rosalind Walsh is from Westholme and studied Biology, Chemistry and Psychology alongside her EPQ. She said: “My EPQ discussed an overview of Immunotherapy. My question was ‘Does Immunotherapy have the Potential to Cure Cancer?’. I was able to use the question format to discuss both the pros and cons of this specific cancer treatment, making sure to include relevant graphs and statistics to present some of the data I used in my conclusion. During my EPQ, I improved my IT skills by using a Gantt chart and PowerPoint software, the Gantt chart also helped me to realise the different methods of time management/organisation that I can use at University. The different parts of the project helped me to sustain a regulated working schedule throughout the week, so I didn’t fall behind in anything, this also helped me to stay organised and manage my time for my other A-Level subjects.”

Alice Sangha studied A-Levels in Economics, Geography and Psychology, as well as an AS in Core Maths alongside her EPQ. She said: “My EPQ investigated the impact of Artificial Intelligence and FinTech on an increasingly digital economy. The question I was answering was “To what extent does Artificial Intelligence and FinTech affect the functions of post-modern society, now and into the future?”. This question enabled me to focus on different societal groups, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers. AI acts as the bedrock for digitalisation to occur, so I largely focused on the impact of digital banking e.g. Monzo, and cryptocurrency e.g. Bitcoin. I believe my EPQ will aid my studies at university, as I have developed extensive IT and referencing skills, which are a prerequisite for Economics essays and reading. In terms of personal development, I also found my project to be hugely beneficial in building confidence and communicative skills. Therefore, I would strongly recommend taking the EPQ for both academic and personal development!”

Yasameen Goga is from Broughton High School, and studied A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Ancient History and Maths alongside completing her EPQ. Despite a heavy workload she has done exceptionally well, talking about her EPQ, she said: “My EPQ was formatted as an essay and attempted to answer the question of how the Greek Goddess Athena was created, used and changed in the civilisations and cultures she was a part of from the Proto-Indo-Europeans to the Ancient Greeks. Through this project I gained skills, especially in research, referencing and planning. I needed to use a wide variety of resources such as books, databases, websites and academic journals, forcing me to interact with mediums and systems which I would have never used before in order to access translations of ancient texts and archaeological evidence in my EPQ. Time management was an essential skill due to the vast number of resources I had to sift through, reading chapters of books just to use single sentences, and then to complete further research on my sources to assess if they were even trustworthy. I gained many essential skills that were transferable between my different A-Level subjects, so completing my EPQ also aided me in my lessons and homework.”

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