Physical Education

A Level
2 years
Curriculum Manager: 
Jocelyn Chapman

What is A Level Physical Education?

Studying Physical Education at Alton will equip you with both a depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills relating to scientific, socio-cultural and practical aspects of Physical Education.

The content has been designed to allow you to study Physical Education (PE) in an academic setting, enabling you to critically analyse and evaluate your physical performance and apply your experience of practical activity in developing your knowledge and understanding of the subject.

If you have a real interest in not only the practical aspect but also in how we learn skills, how the body functions when in action and the factors that influence participation, then you will find the subject enjoyable and challenging.

Is Physical Education suitable for me?

Students enjoy looking at a wide range of aspects associated with Sport and Physical Education with a practical application of what they learn in the classroom. The mix of practical and theory adds variety and interest to the course.

The biological aspect of the three theoretical areas is very demanding and organisation is important in keeping the notes for each area in the correct place in your file.

How will I learn?

Lessons will involve a range of teaching styles which include class-based discussion, group, paired and individual work developing the knowledge and experience you already have. A variety of resources will be used: course textbooks, study packs and with internet access to research topical issues, the opportunity to become well-informed is limitless! The virtual learning environment gives access both at College and at home to lesson notes, worksheets and past examination papers. Some lessons will involve both the classroom and Sports Hall to enable you to gain theoretical knowledge through practical experience.

You will be expected to do 4 to 5 hours per week of private study for this A Level - making notes, completing tasks set, revising for tests and reviewing practical performance to develop your evaluative skills.

How will I be assessed?

2 Year A Level course (H555)*:

The content of OCR’s A Level in Physical Education is divided into four components. Each component is further sub divided into topic areas and the detailed content associated with those topics.

Component 01: Physiological factors affecting performance (30% of overall A-Level)
~ Applied anatomy and physiology
~ Exercise physiology
~ Biomechanics
Component 02: Psychological factors affecting performance (20% of overall A-Level)
~ Skill acquisition
~ Sports psychology
Component 03: Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport (20% of overall A-Level)
~ Sport and Society
~ Contemporary issues in physical activity and sport
Component 04: Performance in physical education (30% of overall A-Level)**

~ Performance or coaching of an activity taken from the approved OCR list
~ The Evaluation and Analysis of Performance for Improvement (EAPI)
** Component 4 is a non-examined form of assessment

A range of activities are offered for assessment and the most popular ones are: athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball, tennis, rugby, swimming and volleyball.  In the practical coursework, you will experience a range of activities with continuous assessment and, where possible, we will aim to assess you on your own individual strengths. You may also choose to coach activities, keeping a log book to record your experiences. You will analyse live performances and give detailed evaluative responses together with an action plan to improve performance.

If you have expertise in another area please discuss this with the subject teachers (subject to OCR approval).


Students hoping to progress to a sport related degree will find this subject particularly useful. It would also be a valuable qualification for those wishing to go directly into employment in the sport and leisure industry. Equally, any A Level student with a keen interest in sport could take Sport Science or Sport Studies at degree level or combine it with other subjects like Business Studies.

Career options include the Armed Forces, coaching, fitness training, osteopathy, PE teaching, physiotherapy, recreation management, sport development officer, sport product design, sports therapy, travel agency specialising in sport, sports media /journalism /photography.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C.

In addition to the standard course entry requirements, to be successful in PE you should have at least grade C in a science GCSE. A GCSE in PE is not essential for taking this A Level.

Students wishing to be assessed in a team sport would be expected to train with the College’s teams.

Course costs

You will be expected to pay £12.50 for course materials at enrolment.

Essential: £30 for textbooks
Optional:   £35 for External Revision Day and accompanying guide.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

Course Code