Extended Essay


Students at Queensland Academies Creative Industries (QACI) are required to complete the Extended Essay, a compulsory component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.

The Extended Essay is an externally assessed, in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects—normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB Diploma. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the chosen subject. Students begin the research process during Year 11 and submit in the second year of IB study.

This compulsory independent research project will enable students to:

  • Pursue independent research on a focused question that relates to an area of interest.
  • Develop research and communication skills.
  • Develop the skills of creative and critical thinking.
  • Engage in a systematic process of research appropriate to the subject.
  • Experience the excitement of intellectual discovery.
  • Complete a planning and progress form.

In working on the Extended Essay, students are expected to:

  • plan and pursue a research project with intellectual initiative and insight
  • formulate a precise research question
  • gather and interpret material from sources appropriate to the research question
  • structure a reasoned argument in response to the research question on the basis of the material gathered
  • present their Extended Essay in a format appropriate to the subject, acknowledging sources in one of the established academic ways
  • use the terminology and language appropriate to the subject with skill and understanding
  • apply analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject, with an understanding of the implications and the context of their research.



  • The 4000 word essay is graded on a scale of A – E
  • The essay is marked according to criteria set out in the IB Guidelines
  • The essay is externally assessed and, in combination with the grade for Theory of Knowledge, contributes up to three points to the total score for the IB Diploma.

Viva Voce

This oral assessment is a 10 minute interview with the Supervisor after final submission to clarify any issues, confirm ownership and reflect on what has been learned. It is an aid to the Supervisor’s Report.

Please note: Extended Essay supervisors are permitted to give a maximum of 5 hours individual assistance to each student. A grade of E on the Extended Essay means a failure of the IB Diploma. It is therefore imperative that students closely follow the timelines and guidelines in the Extended Essay handbook published by the Extended Essay coordinator and respond promptly to advice from supervisors.

Last reviewed 26 April 2023
Last updated 26 April 2023