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Learning Materials - GCE Extended Project Qualification

GCE Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The extended project qualification (EPQ) requires students to produce a single piece of work of their own choosing, showing evidence of planning, preparation, research and autonomous working. The EPQ is a GCE qualification graded A* to E, like A levels. It carries UCAS points equivalent to half an A level.

The EPQ helps students to differentiate themselves from their peers when applying for university or employment, giving them opportunities to highlight their interests and to demonstrate their communication and presentation skills.

Overview of the EPQ

Operational Research

Operational Research (O.R.) uses mathematical and scientific modelling to help businesses and organisations make better decisions. O.R. is utilised in many different areas of business from manufacturing through to banking and in government (see all application areas here). If you are taking A Level Maths you may be interested to know how mathematical and analytical techniques are used to drive business and improve decision making. Problem solving skills are highly desired by employers and universities and O.R. highlights the significance of these skills.

Applications of Decision Maths

Many problems solved by O.R. provide good examples of the use of Decision Maths techniques.

You may find the following topics of interest and wish to explore one of them in your EPQ.

Decision is part of an area of mathematics called Discrete Maths. Have a look at the Research Topics from the Centre for Discrete Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Warwick.

Other Areas of O.R.

O.R. utilises many other mathematical techniques.

You may find the following topics of interest and wish to explore one of them in your EPQ.

Contact an O.R. person

As part of your research you may be interested to find out about the work that an Operational Researcher does in a particular area. You can email Louise Orpin (louise.orpin@theorsociety.com) with details of your project and the area of O.R. that you're interested in. It may be possible to find an O.R. person in that area who can be contacted by email to gather more information about the work they do.

Other sources of information

Capgemini's O.R. Team Business Analytics Blog is a light-hearted look at the numbers behind the news. Each week they take a vaguely topical subject, apply some mathematical thinking and see what they find.

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