A-Level Physical Education

A-level Physical Education builds on pupils' experiences from Key Stage 4 and GCSE PE to enhance their knowledge and increase their understanding of the factors that affect performance and participation. The qualification aims to equip students with skills and knowledge required for higher education or the world of work.

“Sports do not develop character, they reveal it”    John Wooden

Entry requirements

Please see general entry requirements
for automatic entry onto Level 3 courses. Students must also be able to play two sports at a high standard, as well as GCSE Grade C in Physical Education and two good sciences.

Course content

Although GCSE PE is not a prerequisite it offers pupils a firm foundation to build on and would be advantageous. This course has a weighting of 60/40 in favour of theory which provides a good balance of practical and theory based aspects. The course aims to motivate and inspire and provide pupils with a great understanding of physical education and sport. The course is made up of a number of units and a brief overview is below- 

  • Applied Physiology- in which pupils will explore topics including specialised training, nutrition, sports injuries and biomechanics, as well as finding out how the body functions physiologically during exercise.
  • Sports Psychology -in which pupils will discover how the brain is behind our performance and how you can use psychological techniques to gain that extra yard.
  • The Sociological Background and Impact of Sport- where pupils will not only learn about the origins of sport but also the huge impact that sport has on society, and why it is a multi-billion pound industry.
  • Performing and Analysing your Own Sports Performance- is the practical element where pupils will perform and evaluate your performance as a player, coach or official.

Exam Board

  • AQA

Course Code

  • Physical Education (7582)

Exam board website

Link to past papers


The course is divided into seven units over two years:

 A-Level includes

  • 70% exam-based assessment (210 marks- broken down into two papers),
  • 30% externally moderated assessment. Half of the marks are allocated for performance in one sport within a competitive environment; the other half is coursework based on application of theory to help evaluate and improve performance.
  • Paper 1 will cover the following topics (written exam, two hours, 35%)
    • Section A- Applied anatomy and physiology
    • Section B- Skill acquisition
    • Section C- Sport in Society
  • Paper 2 will cover the following topics (written exam, two hours, 35%)
    • Section A- Exercise physiology and biomechanics
    • Section B- Sport psychology
    • Section C- Sport and society and technology in sport

Pupils will undertake an end of unit assessment after each topic and a more formal assessment at the end of each term. All pupils will be closely tracked to ensure to ensure they reach their potential.

Throughout each year pupils must also collate video evidence relating to their practical sports performance in line with the specification, pupils may opt to be performers, officials or coaches.

Ways to help my child succeed

Pupils are expected to regular participate in sport outside of school and compete to a good standard regularly. Although some time will be given to practical lessons pupils are expected to collate practical evidence in their own time. Additional reading around each topic will undoubtedly prepare pupils better for the content of lessons and maximise achievement.

Useful websites

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