The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a qualification taken alongside A Levels and is essentially a research-based project into an area that you are interested in as long as it is not part of your A Level study. Universities and employers like the EPQ as the skills you develop such as planning and decision making, research skills, evaluating personal progress, and presentation skills, are applicable to work and university success. In fact, some universities will consider reducing their entry requirements if you can produce a high quality EPQ project.
The qualification is worth half an A Level and can support your university application as you will be able to demonstrate commitment and motivation. It also makes sense to research a topic that will link well with the content of your chosen degree course, so that involves planning ahead. This helps with your UCAS personal statement and can be a topic to discuss if you are called for interview. It is also stimulating as you are studying something you really find interesting and not something you have to study because it is part of an A Level course.
The choice of topic is very flexible and it initially involves you choosing an area of interest, conducting research, and producing an extensive essay or report, possibly an artefact, musical composition, or drama project. A personal log of progress is kept and a presentation to complete the process are also part of the EPQ. You will have a teacher coordinating your course and an EPQ supervisor who will help you to consider feasibility, review planning, structure your work, and support generally.