Curriculum – KS4 APQ

Why Choose Academic Project Qualification (APQ)

The Academic Project Qualification is a project based GCSE.  St Marylebone offers the Level 1 Foundation Project Qualification & Level 2 Higher Project Qualification. The AQA Project Qualification provides a unique opportunity for students to excel at a project based GCSE level qualification, alongside their exam based GCSE subjects.

This qualification allows students to go through an extended process of research and development of a complex question or theme. Students can achieve A*-C grades through completion of a project, such as producing an artefact or completing a piece of extended writing. Students are required to identify their own area of interest and project focus. This gives students a sense of ownership and independence. The process will also extend students’ skills in writing and research, acquiring knowledge and transferable skills that are invaluable for further study and the workplace.

Course Content

Taught modules will include:

  • Research skills: How to search for and gather and record evidence, collecting primary data, conducting market research, analysing materials, and the ethics of research (plagiarism).
  • Time management and planning: creating a time log, setting targets and monitoring your own progress, making the most of time with your supervisor and completing the production log.
  • Writing skills: How to structure an essay or report, how to present an argument, how to present different points of view, how to draft and edit, how to reference and evaluate your sources.
  • Project presentation: How to summarise your research, how to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your project, how to present to an audience.
  • Evaluation: Why self-evaluation is important, how to edit your own work, how to complete research reflections.

Alongside completing the Academic Project Qualification, students will complete programmes designed to develop specific transferable skills: employability, financial literacy, exam and study skills and literacy. 

Content for skills development courses:

  • Employability: This course will include sessions on interview skills, CV writing, communication, teamwork and presentation. Our Year 10s this year have the opportunity to be individually mentored by experienced mentors from Marks & Spencer in developing these skills. Some students will also have the opportunity to complete their work experience placement at the M&S Head Office or one of their stores.
  • Literacy: This programme runs for one period a week throughout the two years. Students benefit from individualised literacy development plans. These focus on grammar, punctuation, extended writing, vocabulary and subject specific literacy. These sessions support students in further developing literacy skills that they will use to complete their projects, as well as utilise in their other subjects.
  • Exam and study skills: This programme runs at intervals before the Year 10 and 11 exam period. Students will use sessions leading up to their exams to focus on revision and exam skills. In Year 11 students will have completed their projects by the end of term 3. In term 4 and 5, students will complete an intensive programme of English, Maths and Science revision. 


The timetable for these programme is designed to correspond with students’ academic calendars and wider school life. For example, the employability programme will run in term 2 of Year 10. This will support students in preparing for work experience applications and placements. The study skills programme will run in the lead up to mock exams and Year 10 and 11 exams.

Exam Board: AQA (PQ1 7991 and PQ2 7992)

Final Grades shown in table below with their GCSE equivalents.

Structure of Assessment: Coursework 100% – internally marked and externally moderated by AQA.

Qualification Level Project Grade GCSE equivalent
Higher Project Qualification

Level 2

(Equivalent of 8-4 GCSE)

A* 8
A 7
B 6
C 4/5
Foundation Project Qualification

Level 1

(Equivalent of 3-1, GCSE)

A* 3
A 2
B 1