Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is a unique opportunity for students to engage in independent research. As part of the diploma each student chooses a topic that interests them and undertakes an in-depth 4000-word study.

The scholarly apparatus that the essay demands – including citations, bibliography, abstract – is a very effective preparation for university dissertations, projects and theses. It is a distinctive feature of the IB Diploma, and universities regularly comment positively on the scope, depth and structure of argument that the Extended Essay inspires.

In 2016, our third edition of Prized Writing: Sevenoaks IB Extended Essays was published. Heads of Departments singled out 10 of the most imaginative, innovative and creative essays of that year group for special recognition. We share them in the book to demonstrate the academic rigour and acumen of our students. 

Examples of recent Extended Essay titles include:

  • How does the addition of the inhibitor phenylthiourea (PTU), affect the behaviour of the reaction between catechol solution and catechol oxidase extracted from bananas?
  • What is the Significance of Richard Powers’ Use of Images of Instability in The Echo Maker?
  • To what extent can a redevelopment of Dharavi be truly sustainable?
  • How does the area and shape of a nozzle head affect the distance and angular separation of water pumped through at constant input pressure?
  • To what extent did Peter the Great modernise Russia between 1682-1725?
  • How can we model the motion of a single stage rocket in one dimension after a vertical launch?
  • Cúal es el papel de los gitanos en la sociedad espanola y como ha cambiado a través del tiempo?
  • To what extent does McDonald’s in Hong Kong use pricing strategies to maximise profit?
  • How successful is the radical feminist critique of contemporary legal theory?
  • What has been the impact of computer-aided design upon architectural design within London?
  • What is the connection between electric fields and fluids?
  • Representing Ireland in the Abbey Theatre: A Study of Sean O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy.
  • Is it possible to develop a method in the context of a school lab to quantify the sulphur dioxide added to dried apricots in a range of brands from two different countries and compare it to the legal limit?
  • What has been the impact of The Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm, UK on the population numbers of red-throated divers?
  • Comment, et pour quelles raisons, le parti politique français le Front Nationala-t-il vu son tauxde popularité croître lors dudernier quinquennat?
  • What is the relationship between the equations of a ruled surface and the details of the straight line ruling and how does this help to understand the 3D structure of Kobe Port Tower as a hyperboloid of one sheet?
  • To what extent would the imposition of a 10% fat tax reduce health care costs in Britain?
  • To What Extent Was Cicero Justified in his Decision to Execute the Five Catilinarian Conspirators?
  • Is there a difference in the Human Dive Reflex response between 12 and 17 year olds and between males and females in these two age groups?

Read some examples of Extended Essays from our 2016 students