The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is an excellent opportunity to explore ideas surrounding a subject that intrigues you. The research and writing skills that you develop whilst doing an EPQ can be extremely beneficial in helping you at university.
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Many universities advise that you discuss the EPQ in your personal statement and you may even have to discuss it at an interview stage. In addition, some universities may use the EPQ to determine your offer for university, but of course this is only if you actually discuss the EPQ in your personal statement.
How can you use your EPQ in your personal statement?
1. How has your EPQ helped you explore ideas related to your prospective degree
If you have written an EPQ that relates directly to the degree you are applying for, you may be able to stand out from other candidates. This is because it shows that you have taken a wider interest in your subject and have obtained research and independent study skills.
Moreover, it reflects the enthusiasm and passion you have for your degree subject and can open you up to ideas outside of your course. It can also ready you for concepts that you may come across while studying your chosen subject.
You can discuss some interesting ideas or concepts you may have discovered along your research journey or perhaps what initially motivated you to write your EPQ. Another tip is that you should aim to discuss what conclusions you made while writing your EPQ, so that if asked in an interview you are able to reiterate and justify the points you have made.
This automatically makes your personal statement unique when discussing the EPQ as the conclusions you will have made are personal to what you have studied.
3. How has the EPQ helped you develop your skills?
An ideal way to discuss the EPQ is to highlight the skills it has equipped you with in preparation for study at university, especially considering how independent the project is. This may be something as simple as time-management or as complex as it developing your academic writing style.
4. How to make it unique and personal?
Try to make your personal statement as individualistic as possible, after all it is a ‘personal’ statement. By discussing your EPQ in a way that is unique to you, you are able to provide admissions tutors a glimpse of the person you are and your interests, which will allow them to decide whether you are a good fit for their university. After all, many people can say their skills have been improved but many people fail to demonstrate this personally.
Showing a greater interest in the topic you have written about after your EPQ is finished can be pivotal in presenting yourself as passionate and interested in your future university course.
By suggesting that you may want to continue to research these ideas in the future at university, you appear to be involved and enthusiastic about what you have written about. It may also imply that you enjoy pursuing research projects, which is something universities look upon favourably in their candidates.
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