Physical Education A Level

Departmental contact

Miss Cole –

Examining board & Qualification


Entry requirements

At least a grade 5 in GCSE PE and at least a grade 5 in Science. Students should also have a strength in 1 practical sport or as a coach.

Throughout the course, students need to be regularly competing in their designated sport both inside and outside of school at club level and above.

Students say

“I really enjoy this subject, not just because I have an interest in sport, but because it provides me with a real insight into what truly happens inside my body, both physically and mentally when I perform.”


Studying A Level Physical Education will give you a fantastic insight into the amazing world of sports performance. Not only will you have the chance to perform or coach a sport through the non-exam assessment component, you will also develop a wide ranging knowledge into the how and why of physical activity and sport.

Have you ever wondered:

  • Why some people run faster than others?
  • How your personality affects your performance?
  • How technology can help you?

It does complement certain other subjects, in particular Biology and Psychology as there is overlap in certain areas covered in these subjects.


The subject allows students to develop their knowledge of a range of theoretical topics including: Anatomy and Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Skill Acquisition, Sports Psychology as well as Sport in Society & Contemporary Issues in Sport.

In the practical context students develop their ability to evaluate and analyse physical peformance in order to improve not only their performance of skills, tactics and fitness but also coaching roles.
They will be required to research and apply through independent tasks their understanding of physical activities as well as develop their ability to apply structured answers of varying lengths. They will also need to develop their confidence in orally evaluating a specific sporting performance.


Component O1

  • Applied anatomy and physiology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Biomechanics

Physiological factors affecting performance – 90 marks – 2-hour written paper.
30% of total A level

Component O2

  • Skills aquisition
  • Sports psychology

Physiological factors affecting performance – 60 marks – 1-hour written paper.
20% of total A level

Component O3

  • Sport and society
  • Contemporary issues in physical activity and sport

Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport – 60 marks – 1-hour written paper.
20% of total A level

Component O4

  • Performance or coaching
  • Evaluation and Analysis of Performance for improvement (EAPI)

Performance in physical education – 60 marks – non-exam assessment.
30% of total A level


There will be a mixture of exam-based assessments and a Performance Analysis task, as well as a practical assessments in 1 sport, either as a performer or a coach. This takes place during the second year, but you need to keep an ongoing log of performance/coaching through the two years. Certain individuals are required to undertake a moderation assessment in May.


There are many sports-related courses which students may apply for at university which will require an A Level in Physical Education including:

  • Sports and Exercise Science, Nutrition and Exercise Science, Sports Coaching, Physical Education Teaching, Sports Therapy, Sports Development and Sports Business Management courses.
  • Students have also used this course to help with entry to Sport and Exercise Physiotherapy based courses.
  • If you enjoy Physical Education and Sport, this subject will provide many Post-18 opportunities.


Associated trips to sports venues, revision conferences and guest speakers will be included within the course. Fitness testing and biomechanical experiments will take place at school or at other designated venues, such as Birmingham/Bath Universities. An annual trip to Rugby School to develop a more practical understanding of the role of sport within public schools will take place if possible in the autumn/winter term of the second year.

NEWSLETTERS View our newsletter