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Physical Education (PE)

A Level Physical Education will build on your experience at GCSE to enhance your knowledge and increase understanding of the factors that affect performance and participation in physical education. The qualification aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge required for Higher Education or the world of work. The content of this course addresses topics such as: anatomy and physiology, sports psychology and the use of technology in sport to enhance performance.

Subject content

A Level PE offers a holistic and in-depth insight into a wide range of important and interesting topics. Section A is the Sports Science-based content. Section B looks at Sports Psychology and Section C looks at how Sport has influenced and changed society.

AQA Physical Education course specifications

Specific entry requirements

GCSE Grade 5 or above in Biology or Combined Science.

Grade 5 or above in GCSE PE is also highly beneficial.

Additionally, success in A Level PE is heavily reliant on students playing competitively or coaching regularly in sport.


You will be assessed at the end of the A Level course by examinations. Paper 1 covers Applied Anatomy and Physiology, Skill Acquisition, and Sport and Society. Paper 2 covers Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics, Sport Psychology, and Technology in Sport. You will also be assessed practically in your chosen sport.

Progression opportunities

You will develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to prepare you for sports-related courses in Higher Education. Alternatively, you may wish to progress into employment within the sports  ndustry.

Popular careers and university-based, sportsrelated courses include:
• Physiotherapy/sports massage
• Sports business/marketing
• Performance analyst
• Sports science
• Sports medicine
• Nutrition/dietitian
• Teaching/coaching
• NHS careers – occupational therapy and nursing

Meet the A Level expert

Joe Palmer

After completing a Level 3 course in Development, Coaching and Fitness at Barnsley College, Joe secured a football scholarship at New York’s Genesee College where he obtained an Associate Degree in PE before undertaking his BSc (Hons) degree in Sports Coaching at Leeds Beckett University. He also has PGCE from Sheffield Hallam University.

Joe said: “You will be assessed through practical sessions and exams and really develop you passion for sport. PE compliments other A Levels very well and particularly works with Biology and Psychology. You may also have the chance to complete officiating and coaching qualifications alongside your A Levels.”

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