CAMRI Scholars Support Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) across UK
On Wednesday last week the Westminster School of Media and Communication’s EPQ team delivered a workshop for the Hertfordshire branch of the School Librarians Association. The workshop aimed to show how scholars from the school, and from the Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), could support and inspire students and staff across the region working towards an EPQ with a media and society focus.
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a stand-alone qualification equivalent to half an A-level and encourages students to undertake a research project on a subject of their choice. The final submission can take the form of either a dissertation or the creation of an ‘artefact’ such as a musical or dramatical composition or piece of artwork, supported by paperwork. For the student this qualification offers them the freedom to choose their own work and to discover the joy of learning away from the rigid curriculum of A-Level syllabi.
With the number of students taking the EPQ rising dramatically (around 30,000 took the EPQ option last year), the Westminster School of Media and Communication have stepped in to support teachers and librarians in delivering this wide ranging and complex qualification.
The support provided includes a series of free downloadable cards which help to stimulate thoughts and ideas that might inspire a research topic, or which might help students consider their methodology. The initial cards are created by senior academic staff from across the school, and CAMRI and are drawn from their individual research expertise. Then an EPQ team, consisting of Senior Lecturers, Ellen Roseblade and Doug Specht and two Academic Liaison Librarians, Eleri Kyffin and Sara Hafeez work to ensure that these resources are suitable for post-16 education, have links to open access resources and have suitable interactive classroom activities to stimulate thinking and learning.
At present 24 topic and activity cards have been produced, with more cards in production, and these will soon be available to download for free by every school, teacher, and student in the country. These resources will also be supported by the provision of CPD events for teachers, as well as visits to the University of Westminster Harrow Campus for tours and workshops for students.
The University of Westminster, CAMRI, and The School of Media and Communication are keen to support the EPQ. The transition to University can be a testing time for new students and Westminster is doing everything it can to ensure a smooth graduation towards Higher Education.