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Cranleigh Abu Dhabi sets new record in outstanding EPQ results


Also, find out what Sixth Form has to offer at an Information Evening on 20 January.

Year 13 at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi have achieved outstanding results in their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) with 86 per cent of students achieving A and A* grades, 96 per cent achieving a grade B or above, and 100 per cent achieving a grade C or above.

These results outperform previous years and UK National averages and set new records for the School.


Cranleigh Abu Dhabi AQA EPQ 2020 Cranleigh Abu Dhabi AQA EPQ 2019
A* 45% 37%
A*/ A 86% 68%
A* / A / B 96% 95%
A*/ A / B / C 100% 100%



UK National Averages for AQA EPQ November 2020

A* 29%

A* / A 56%

A* A / B 77%

A*/ A / B / C 91%


The EPQ is an independent research project that challenges students to extend their abilities beyond the A Level syllabus. It is equivalent to half an A Level and is highly regarded by many universities as it helps develop critical thinking skills, and thus informs applications.

This year, over 60 per cent of Cranleigh students took the EPQ in addition to three or four A Levels.

Additionally, the Cranleigh Capstone project is a mandatory research programme similar in nature to the EPQ which the remaining 40 per cent of the Year group completed.

Cranleigh’s 2020 EPQ results exceed last year’s stellar performance despite the disruptions of Covid-19 and the lack of face-to-face lessons for most of the calendar year.


cranleigh sixth form students


The Principal of Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, Michael Wilson applauded the students’ energy and commitment, saying: “Our pupils have continued to raise the bar for achievement year on year and 2020 continues that trajectory.”

“These results are outstanding and are fully deserved from a cohort that have led us through a difficult time with maturity, agility, empathy and sheer grit.”

Rory Gallagher is the Head of the EPQ at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi and believes the strength of the programme helps to foster future-ready students. He said, “The EPQ enables young people the opportunity to explore a field they are passionate about and engage with the issues that surround them.”

“Our students’ success is a testament to their resilience during a challenging year, and to their enormous potential as they look ahead to their studies at top universities around the world.”

EPQ projects ranged from designing an innovative hybrid car for the mass market, to questioning to what extent increasing the use of renewable energy sources could positively impact the economy of the UAE.

The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), the largest exam board in the UK, commended the students on the diversity of these projects, their real-world applications dealing with global topics and the detail and clarity of their written work.

“It was pleasing to note that some of the sampled projects had undertaken genuinely original research, and that some even had a platform for potential influence on policy, for example the renewable energy in the UAE project and the student’s involvement with The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).”

The results have facilitated students obtaining offers at some of the most competitive and prestigious universities globally, including MIT (USA), Kings College London (UK), University of Bath (UK), University of Liverpool (UK), Nottingham University (UK) , Cardiff University (UK), University of Durham (UK) and NYU Abu Dhabi (UAE).




20 January 2021 7:30pm

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Sixth Form is hosting an Information Evening on Wednesday 20 January at 7.30pm which will be live streamed on their Facebook page.


To find out more about Cranleigh’s distinct approach to Sixth Form education and register for the Information Evening, click here.


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