Physical Education A level

What will I study in Physical Education A level?

Shauna, a current Year 13 A level pupil, believes studying the course is, “enriching in itself, there is a wide range of interesting topics that are associated with PE such as learning about physiology and anatomy to learning about sports psychology. Understanding why one feels a certain way before a match or how one manages their stress/anxiety levels is so fascinating and the pleasure of understanding this is that it applies to not only sporting situations but to everyday life. PE is not only a theory based subject but also allows you to participate in sports that you love. Physical Education provides a solid foundation for further studies relating to movement and the body and working with people such as within the worlds of physiotherapy and sports medicine.”

Entry requirements

Pupils are required to have a grade 7 in GCSE PE. If GCSE PE was not studied then grade 7 in Biology is required.

Units of study

  • Unit 1: Applied Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics. Body systems, responses to exercise, energy release, diet and nutrition, training methods, adaptations from long-term training, injury prevention and rehab and use of technology.
  • Unit 2: Skill Acquisition, Sports Psychology. Learning methods and coaching science. Personality, motivation, aggression, group cohesion, leadership, goal setting, confidence and stress management.
  • Unit 3: Sport and Society, Contemporary Issues in Sport and Physical Activity. Evolution of sport through pre-industrial Britain to modern day, global sporting events, ethics and deviance, commercialisation and the media effect, routes to sporting excellence, use of modern technology in sport


  • Unit 1 – Exam. 90 marks. 2hours 30% of total
  • Unit 2 – Exam. 60 marks. 1hour 20% of total
  • Unit 3 – Exam. 60 marks. 1hour 20 % of total
  • Unit 4 – Practical Performance in 1 sport (or coaching) & Coursework. 30% of total.

Where could it lead?

PE Teacher, Sports Science, Sports Coaching, Physiotherapy, Sports Psychologist, Sports Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Sports Journalism, Sports Analyst.