Physical Education A Level

Board: AQA
Syllabus: Syllabus: A Level (7582)

About the subject

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 apects 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.


Learning styles

A variety of teaching and learning styles are utilised in PE. Wherever possible theoretical concepts are taught through practical application. Homework is set on a regular basis and often requires students to be pro-active in researching topics that are changing on a daily basis. Approximately 5 hours of private study is required in addition to class time, a portion of this often is spent in keeping abreast of the changing face of Sport & PE in this country and internationally.

Subject Combinations and Progression

Physical Education has a number of good subject combinations. In terms of related content, Psychology, Biology and Sociology are good combinations. Typical progressions from this subject area to HE 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.

Subject Modules and Assessment

Paper 1 – Factors Affecting Participation and Physical Activity in Sport

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

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).

Entry requirements

4 in English Language and 5 in Science or PE