What is this subject about?

Have you ever wondered why some people can run faster than others? Or how your personality affects your performance? Or even how you could become an elite sports performer? Through studying Physical Education you could find the answers to these questions. The main focus of the subject is on participation and performance in physical activity and sport. The subject involves an academic study of physical activity and its practical performance. The A Level PE course is the ideal platform to start building the foundations to a career in the sports industry e.g. Sport Scientist, Sports Psychologist, Sports Coaching and Sports Development.

What will I study over the two years?

During the first year you will study: the applied anatomical and physiological factors that underpin performance; how we acquire and develop skills; the role of sport in society throughout history and how exercise physiology can be used to improve performance .

In the second year you will learn contemporary issues in sport, such as doping, the role of sport psychology in athlete development, and how biomechanics can enhance technique whilst reducing the risk of injury.

Throughout the two years you must be regularly participating in one competitive practical activity, in which you will be assessed. Additional to this, you must understand how to analyse and improve performance in one sport in order to complete an extended interview.

How is the course assessed?

Assessment in the theoretical unit is through three written exam papers which make up 70% of the qualification. The non-examined unit (30%) includes a practical performance assessment (worth 15%) and an extended interview (worth 15​%) which make up the qualification. This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated.

What skills will I need and develop on this course?

You will need to develop an ability to acquire knowledge from a range of theoretical areas and apply this to practical sporting situations. Additionally, you will be expected to write in depth about the theoretical components through extended writing tasks.

You must develop your range and quality of skills and tactics in one chosen sport through regular competitive participation. You also need to improve the physical attributes required for effective performance in your activity. Additionally, you will be expected to acquire the analytical skills needed to evaluate performance in your chosen sport while understanding how a coach can improve performance.

What kit will I need?

You will be told when you will be taking part in practical lessons; you need any sensible sports clothing.


What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

The course provides a suitable foundation for specialist study in Physical Education, Sport Science, Sports Coaching, and Sports Psychology and is also a suitable qualification for other areas of study. The course provides an excellent foundation for candidates intending to pursue careers in teaching and coaching, sports development, the leisure industry, recreational management, health, leisure and fitness, and professional sport.

Entry Requirements

What are the formal entry requirements for this course?

Aside from the general entry criteria that the College requires, you need a minimum of:

• Grade 4 in GCSE Science

If you have taken GCSE PE you are expected to have achieved grade 4 or above, but you can take this course without having previously studied GCSE PE.

Extra Support

What extra support/enrichment activities are on offer?

The College has sports fixtures in Football, Rugby Union, Basketball, Hockey and Netball. If students play these sports they are encouraged to try to get into a team by attending trials. The College offers courses in Sports Leaders Award and a Higher Sports Leaders Award, which are excellent introductions to coaching.

Subject combination advice

Subject combination advice:

PE can be combined with any A Level. Biology is a good choice, as is Psychology, as both subjects underpin knowledge that you will gain in PE.