Physical Education

Why should I study this subject?

Physical Education develops biological knowledge of the human anatomy and applies this knowledge to human movement. Biomechanics link physics with biology when studying PE. you will learn about health and the human body and within exercise physiology, you will learn how your body responds to exercise and training.

As well as analysing joint movements, and detailed muscles (eg. Vastus Medialis), you will learn how the body systems adapt and develop to improve performance and skill. Diet, nutrition and hydration are within our control, so is attitude. Psychological qualities of an athlete are studied, and how an individual can manage these aspects to improve performance. World games, contemporary issues and historical sporting moments are also on the a-Level curriculum. finally, you MUsT be competing in sport to study this A-Level.

Physiotherapy, sports science and PE teaching are careers that stem from this A-Level choice.


What will I study?

This course will cover: • applied anatomy and physiology • Exercise physiology • Biomechanics • skill acquisition • sports psychology • sport and society • Contemporary issues in physical activity and sport • Performance • Evaluation and analysis of Performance for improvement (EaPi)

This specification contains a 5% quantitative skills requirement. The use of quantitative skills is spread across the components. you will study graphs on heart rate changes during exercise, for example. furthermore, this specification allows for practical examples from physical activities and sports to show how theory can be applied and to reinforce understanding. Training is a suitable topic.


What are the entry requirements?

Please check this subject table for full details of our A Level entry requirements.

What skills do I need

Reading, writing, remembering. Assessment Objective one (AO1) is to acquire knowledge. Throughout the course biological, psychological and contemporary knowledge is taught and underpins the exam. AO2 is to apply this knowledge and show understanding by referring to examples from sport. AO3 is to analyse and evaluate information- there are some aspects of data and graph reading within the PE course, for example recovery heart rates after exercise. AO4 is competitive performance.

How will I be taught?
Classroom lessons predominantly. Monthly assessments will be exam focussed and assess knowledge and understanding. Testing is common within lessons to check learning before new topics are introduced. Practicals may take place where relevant to the specification, for example when interval training; Practical video evidence is required by every candidate.

How will I be assessed?
70% Theory

30% Practical

2 x 2 hour exams

(1) Applied anatomy and exercise physiology

(2) Psychology and Contemporary Issues in Sport

What will the course prepare me for?

A-Level PE will prepare learners for the further study of PE or sports science courses as well as other related subject areas such as psychology, sociology and biology.

Learners will also develop the transferable skills that are in demand by further education, Higher Education and employers in all sectors of industry. This A-Level will create confident and effective decision makers – skills that help you throughout life.

How much private study should I expect to do?
At least 5 hours per week extra at home. More each month in the lead up to a monthly assessment.

What materials will I need to purchase?
New College PE kit, required for practically applied theory lessons (top and shorts), available from, and a copy of the OCR text book.

What is the exam board?


This subject is for you if
you are passionate about health, fitness, exercise and performance. If you compete in sport and you are keen to learn scientific, psychological and contemporary aspects that improve performance.

If you are interested in sports participation, elite performance, increasing participation and improving skilled performance; this course is for you.

This subject is not for you if
you believe PE is achieving an A-Level by playing football, rugby, cricket or badminton for 5 hours per week at college. If you do not perform well in exams and if you are non-competitive.