Quick Links

Luton Sixth Form

Physical Education (A Level)

Why study Physical Education?

Physical Education (PE) covers a wide range of topic areas and is vital to wellbeing in everyday life. The transition from compulsory PE in school to voluntary participation is one of growing concern to the government and independent health groups. It is vital that those with knowledge of the health-related benefits of PE continue to study and progress into the industry where there is a increasing need for advice and training.

Entry Requirements

In addition to our general entry requirements, you must have:

  • GCSE English – grade 4
  • GCSE Maths – grade 4
  • GCSE Science – two grade 4s (or one grade 4 + Merit in Level 2 BTEC/OCR Science

You do not need to have studied GCSE PE. You will be required complete transition work over the summer to hand in at enrolment. Without this, you may not be able to take your place on the course. You will also have to complete a trial for a sport of your choice to assess your skill level and suitability for the course (this could be as a performer or coach).

The Course

PE looks at the psychological elements of sport then covers nutrition, applied anatomy and physiology and finishes with the development of sport participation from the 1800s through to the modern day, including developments in technology.
These are all linked to the effects on sports performance and how strategies can be used to improve these areas.
The course has good links to GCSE PE and is predominantly a theoretical course.

Course Activities

Students learn through a variety of activities including discussions, note-taking, reading, exam question, tests, practical activities and individual research. As the course is examined at the end of two years, it is recommended that you complete approximately 4.5 hours of self-study per week to support your progress. This should be broken down into manageable chunks to maximise effectiveness. Self-study could include;
• Pre-reading and note taking before next lesson topic
• Making flash cards/posters/mind maps
• Highlighting key terms in notes
• Practicing exam questions and marking them
• Reading through notes and re-writing
• Completing a glossary of key terms

Career and Progression Opportunities

Many PE students progress to careers in teaching or sports science. Many continue into Higher Education to study these areas further and specialise in one of the many areas covered as part of the A Level course.

Course Structure and Assessment

This is a two-year course, with examinations taken in May/June at the end of the second year. The syllabus is divided into two sections – two examinations and a non-examined assessment.

Module title and content Assessment

Paper 1: Factors Affecting Participation in Physical
Activity and Sport

  • Applied anatomy and physiology: cardiovascular system; respiratory system; neuromuscular system; musculo-skeletal system
    and analysis of movement in physical activities; energy systems.
  • Skill acquisition: skill, skill continuums and transfer of skills; impact of skill classification on structure of practice for learning;
    principles and theories of learning and performance; use of guidance and feedback; memory models.
  • Sport and Society: emergence of globalisation of sport in the 21st century; sociological theory applied to equal opportunities.
  • Two external written examinations lasting two hours each.
  • 105 marks each.
  • 70% of total A Level.
  • Paper 2: Factors Affecting Optimal Performance in Physical Activity and Sport n Exercise physiology: diet and nutrition and their effect on physical activity and performance; preparation and training methods in relation to maintaining physical activity and performance; injury prevention and the rehabilitation of injury.
  • Biomechanical movement: biomechanical principles; levers; linear motion; angular motion; projectile motion; fluid motion.
  • Sport psychology: aspects of personality; attitudes; arousal; anxiety; aggression; motivation; achievement motivation theory; social facilitation; group dynamics; importance of goal setting; attribution theory; self-efficacy and confidence; leadership; stress management.
  • Sport and society and the role of technology in physical activity sport: Concepts of physical activity and sport; development of elite performers in sport; ethics in sport; violence in sport; drugs in sport; sport and the law; impact of commercialisation on physical activity and sport and the relationship between sport and the media; the role of technology in physical activity and sport,


Non-Examined Assessment

  • Students are assessed as either a player/performer or coach in the full-sided version of one activity of their choice, from a given list.
  • Internal assessments through the course (plus external moderation).
  • 90 marks.
  • 30% weighting (half for the practical, half for the analysis/evaluation of performance.

Additional Information

Examination Board: AQA



Case Study