Physical Education

Physical Education at A-Level is offered in order to enhance a student’s knowledge and experience of PE and sport, along with relevant health issues. The subject offers a multidisciplinary approach to the participation in, and study of movement, performance and behaviour in relation to a variety of aspects of PE and sport.

The PE specifications focus on 6 topic areas:

  1. Applied anatomy and physiology
  2. Skill acquisition
  3. Sport and society
  4. Biomechanical movement
  5. Sport psychology
  6. Sport and society and the role of technology in physical activity and sport

Opportunities arise at various points for students to see the ‘theory in action’, with students being taken on educational visits to University Physiology labs and Harrow School.

Prospective students of A Level PE should be competent scientists, and enjoy studying: how the human body and mind is affected by, and affects participation in PE and sport; the place of PE and sport in our society, how the subject has developed historically to fulfil it’s social role; and finally enjoy developing and acquiring skills and techniques in a variety of physical activities. It is also expected that students are participating regularly in sport and need to be technically competent performers in at least one sport.

A- Level Physical Education Course Summary

Typical progressions from this subject area to higher education are: Sports Science; Sports Studies; PE Teacher Training; Physiotherapy & Sports Injury and Sports Coaching & Development. Students with excellent leadership skills can be recommended for the Higher Sports Leaders Award (HSL) in Year 2. Students are also expected to participate in college sports teams and clubs as a means of developing the skills necessary to be successful at this subject.

Three sections:

Section A – Applied Anatomy & Physiology (35 marks)

Section B – Skill Acquisition (35 marks)

Section C – Sport & Society (35 marks)

Paper 2 – Factors Affecting Optimal Performance in Physical Activity and Sport

35% of A Level. 2 hour written examination. 105 marks

Three sections:

Section A – Exercise Physiology & Biomechanics (35 marks)

Section B – Sport Psychology (35 marks)

Section C – Sport & Society & technology in sport (35 marks)

Practical performance in Physical Activity & Sport

30% of A Level. Internal assessment with external moderation. 90 marks

Students are assessed as either a player/performer or coach in the FULL SIDED version of ONE activity (15% of non exam assessment).


Written/verbal analysis & evaluation of performance (15% of non exam assessment).



Exam Board

Minimum Required GCSE Grade - Subject specific

  • Biology: 6 / Combined Science: 6-6
  • Mathematics: 6
  • English Language: 6
  • Physical Education: 6 or above

Entry requirements