A Level Physical Education

Name of course


Physical Education

Examining board

Link to specification




Course Entry Requirements


At least a Grade 6 in combined science

Grade 5 or above in GCSE PE or least a Grade 5 in English Language or at least a GCSE Grade 6 in a humanity subject

You are expected to pursue a sport outside of curriculum time/at an external club in at least one sport.


Why PE?



Have you ever wondered…Why some people can run faster than others? How your personality affects your performance? Why athletes take drugs? How technology can improve performance?


Studying A Level Physical Education will give you a fantastic insight into the amazing world of sports performance. Not only will you have the chance to perform or coach a sport through the non-exam assessment component, you will also develop a wide ranging knowledge into the how and why of physical activity and sport.

The combination of physical performance and academic challenge provides an exciting opportunity for students.

Physical Education is studied though a range of different contexts and the impact it has on everyday lives. You will gain a deeper understanding of the key systems in the body, study the models and theories that affect learning and performance, learn the reasons for our behaviour in sport, lifestyle choices and why some people out perform others, mentally and physically.

You will also delve into the influence that modern technology is having in and on physical activity and sport, as well as the impact of hosting a global sporting event such as the Olympics.

The development of transferable skills including: decision making, psychological understanding of people, independent thinking, problem solving and analytical skills as well as thinking and acting under pressure are exciting benefits of choosing this course.

Course Content


70% - Theory

  • Physical Factors Affecting Performance - Applied Anatomy and Physiology, Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics - 2 Hour Written Paper (30%)
  • Psychological Factors Affecting Performance - Skill Acquisition, Sports Psychology - 1 Hour Written Paper (20%)
  • Socio-Cultural Issues in Physical Activity and Sport - Sport and Society, Contemporary Issues in Physical Activity and Sport - 1 Hour Written Paper (20%)

30% - Practical

  • Performance in Physical Issues – in role of performer or coach in on practical activity; effective performance, use of tactics or techniques and ability to observe rules and conventions under applied conditions
  • Evaluation and Analysis of Performance for Improvement (EAPI) – Oral analysis and critical evaluation of a live performance


Where could this course lead to?


In choosing this course, students will develop knowledge which will equip them for undergraduate study in the areas of Physiology, Bio-mechanics, Psychology and Nutrition or employment in the sporting sector. Alongside this, other specific careers or courses include:

  • Elite sports coaching
  • Sport psychologist
  • Sport data analyst
  • PE teacher
  • Physiotherapist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Sports management/marketing
  • Sporting governing body
  • Sports Journalism
  • Professional sportsman
  • Sport science


Suggested Reading and resources



  • PE for A level Year 1/PE for A level Year 2, John Honeybourne & Sarah Powell, Hodder
  • Pocket Atlas of the Moving Body, Mel Cash
  • How Bad Do You Want It? , Matt Fitzgerald
  • Bounce, Matthew Syed
  • Soccernomics, Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski
  • The Sports Gene, David Epstein
  • No Limits The Will to Succeed, Michael Phelps
  • The Greatest, Matthew Syed



British Journal for Sports Medicine

Journal of Sports Sciences

Journal of Sport & Social Issues

All sports magazines will offer a view on performing, coaching, science, current issues or history of sport(s).


National newspapers. The sports pages report global events and the biggest issues









Active involvement in a sports club or team


Go to live sports fixtures and events