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BA (Hons) Physical Education (Primary Years)

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Institution C58


3 Years Full Time

Entry Requirements and Fees

2020/21 UK fee: £9,250

2020/21 International fee: £13,500

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.


Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

Tariff points: 96 - 112

A Level: BBC - CCC


GCSEs: English language and mathematics at grade C/4 or better

IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5

Interview: Yes. Applicants who demonstrate relevant experience and / or understanding, as well as commitment to and enthusiasm for, the profession may receive a lower (grades) offer.

Enhanced DBS check required.

Student view

"Being on Physical Education in the Primary Years has given me the subject knowledge to confidently deliver an effective PE lesson to primary age children. The various modules have allowed me to develop my confidence in teaching and to progress onto the primary PGCE where the skills and knowledge I learnt on the primary route-way are transferred into teaching across the curriculum every day. "

Course content

The BA (Hons) Physical Education (Primary Years) course has a practical focus with a balanced academic underpinning that is developed through an extensive range of practical activities and theoretical concepts. In addition we provide opportunities to develop skills in applied settings guided by experienced professionals. This is facilitated through our extensive PE schools’ partnership.

The BA (Hons) Physical Education (Primary Years) degree allows you to apply theory to practice by working with children in a variety of contexts throughout your degree programme including delivering sessions in schools, organising festivals and learning alongside primary teachers in one of our partnership schools.

Many primary teachers with an undergraduate specialism in physical education go on to become a subject leader. This course aims to introduce you to this changing role and in doing so identify the key skills and attributes associated with good leadership in education. 

Our graduates will have a thorough understanding of the pedagogy, psychology and physiology of primary physical education and will be well prepared to transfer their knowledge and skills onto a PGCE. We want to train employable professionals who can get out there and make a difference. Is this you?

Where this can take you

Graduate view:

Ellie holding football outside

Ellie, progressed to PGCE Primary

"The three years training on PE in the Primary Years has taught me the fundamental skills to enable me to have the knowledge for my PGCE. It has given me the confidence to take on new challenges and learn a variety of teaching skills I didn't think was possible. It has been a valuable three years and has started me in the right direction for my career in teaching. "


Varied teaching and learning environments integrated with creative assessments provide students with an engaging and relevant programme that may facilitate progression into a career working with children or other educational settings.

Many students remain undecided about whether they want to teach Physical Education or coach. What they do know is that they are committed to following a career in sport and physical activity.

This degree provides the opportunity for an in depth insight into both approaches whilst delaying a final decision until more informed. It will provide a valuable degree qualification that will take you forward in whichever career you choose in the future.

  • PGCE leading to QTS (Primary/Secondary). Our students are guaranteed an interview on the PGCE courses.
  • School Direct
  • School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)
  • Postgraduate research
  • Postgraduate study
  • NGB Coach Education
  • Club/Professional Sports Coach
  • Further Degree qualification
  • Private Fitness/Coaching companies
  • County sports partnerships

Postgraduate level study

Alumni receive a 15% discount on postgraduate courses at Chichester

  • MA Sport Pedagogy and Physical Education
  • MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition
  • MSc Physical Activity and Public Health
  • MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration)*
  • MSc Sports Coaching
  • MSc Sport and Exercise Biomechanics
  • MSc Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology (BPS route)
  • MSc Sports Performance Analysis
  • MSc Strength and Conditioning
  • Postgraduate Research (PhD)                  

*Subject to approval


Work placements

School placements opportunities are available which provide you with a strong vocational focus.

Increase your employability – here’s what our students had to say:

 “The use of placements really enhanced my CV.”

“Great real life experiences through placement.”

“Good range of teaching placements within a variety of schools.”

“It massively improved my ability and confidence to teach a wide range of sports through great experience in placements and lectures during my time here.”

Placements Office

Chichester Institute of Sport has a dedicated Placement Coordinator.

Students are ultimately responsible for finding their own placement, however, the Placement Coordinator is available to assist students and has a network of contacts in local clubs and schools.

Our students are from all over the UK with the majority from the South and South East of England and a few students from overseas.

Many students find work placements in their home towns, as well as local opportunities in Sussex.

Placements are integral to your development as a student and are integrated within University-based work.

You will need to ensure you have all the necessary documentation in place before you start your placement.

To contact the Placement Co-ordinator please email Clare Deacon or call 01243 793542.

Course accreditations

Indicative modules

Year One

Aesthetic and creative movement – Gymnastics and Dance

This module aims to analyse in detail movement related to gymnastics and dance. The nature of gymnastics will be examined and you  will explore gymnastics in its broadest sense developing knowledge, understanding and experience within elements identified as Formal, Educational, Sporting and Rhythmic. Models of analysis such as Laban's, as well as the application of biomechanical principles, will be used in the evaluation of gymnastic performance. Within dance the aim is to explore dance composition, performance and appreciation and develop students understanding and awareness of a variety of dance styles. In both gymnastics and dance, performance skills will be developed and refined. 

Games 1 – Primary Games and Invasion Games (Football, Basketball, Rugby)

An analysis of strategies and tactics will be at the core of this module. You will be involved in an appropriate examination of positional requirements, techniques, skills and principles of play in the major games of rugby football, hockey, netball, soccer, basketball and handball. Within the context of these games the focus will be upon improving techniques, developing skills and combining the understanding and skills through relevant practical situations.

Foundations of PE – Preparing for school placement

The module aims to provide a professional foundation for the activity specific modules and the block primary experience which follow. It will prepare you to not only be competent within the field, but also continue to think critically about your  teaching and coaching, endeavouring to develop and refine your teaching and coaching skills. It seeks to develop an appreciation of the pedagogical skills and knowledge that teachers and coaches need to support effective learning with an awareness of physical literacy. 

Introduction to Performance Analysis – Analysing sports performance

Performance analysis is a growing area within physical education and sports coaching. Being able to observe and analyse performance successfully is a crucial aspect of the teaching and coaching process. This module will provide you with a theoretical framework through which sporting performance might be analysed. You will explore the use of video for analysing and assessing performance from a qualitative perspective and be introduced to notational analysis and its potential role in providing objective data for teachers, coaches and performers. Through practical experiences and workshops you will develop your understanding of how to analyse movement and ways in which performance can be developed.

Motor Learning and Development – Learning to teach Fundamental Movement Skills

This module will examine the acquisition and performance of sport skills with a particular focus on their learning and development. A brief history of motor learning research and milestones along with current issues in the field will be considered. The nature and mechanisms of skill will be explored alongside the theories of learning through which they are acquired. Information Processing Theory (IPT) will be examined with respect to perception, memory, reaction time, anticipation, decision making and efferent organisation. The basics of Ecological Psychology will also be presented and comparisons/ conflicts with IPT will be explored and evaluated. You will be introduced to the processes involved with field work in psychology, including the construction and procedures involved with laboratory work and data collection/ management. 

Introduction to Sociology of Sport – Sport in Society

This module will examine the place of sport in society and explore how individuals are socialised into sporting activity. The relationship between social stratification, sports participation and curriculum content will also be explored. Contemporary issues regarding the evolving nature of sport and physical activity will form the context for discussion.

Human Physiology, Exercise and Health – The role of exercise in the health of the developing child

This module will introduce key physiological concepts relating to the disease states explored primarily a range of life-style associated diseases including; obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma. Measures of fitness and health assessment and lifestyle intervention strategies will be considered with regards to their usefulness with different population groups. The exercise needs of young people and adults shall be addressed, along with the implications of health and disease on the role of exercise physiologists and physical educators. The module will also explore the current body of knowledge considering the role of exercise in disease prevention and reduction across the population (ages, sexes, genetic clusters).

Research Methods 1 – Learning research and enquiry skills

The module commences by challenging your understanding of research, holistically and in the context of physical education and sports coaching. An understanding of the research process and theoretical concepts relating to the research question will provide a backdrop for the development of an applied knowledge of research methodology. You will consider the analysis of data generated through diverse methods and associated research.

PLACEMENT: You will complete a two week placement in a school.

Year Two

Core modules:

Outdoor Learning -  Woodland and Beach education

This module aims to further develop knowledge, skills and understanding in contemporary education in the outdoor environment by broadening experiences and technical practice. This will be contextualised through the critical analysis of current best practice, consolidating and applying understanding of Meta skills, technical equipment specification and specialist pedagogy.

Professional Issues in Primary PE – Exploring teaching strategies

You will be introduced to research that explores the relationship between good teaching and good progress for all pupils including promoting learning-focussed behaviours, differentiation and a range of other teaching and learning strategies. You will also consider the process of reflecting upon practice and will explore how critical reflection can be used to improve the quality of the teaching and pupil learning experiences.

Games 3 – Striking and Fielding (Cricket, Softball, Rounders, Volleyball, Racket sports)

An in-depth analysis based on biomechanical efficiency, physiological demands and psychological perspectives of the movements / skills relevant to a range of games to include:

Striking & Fielding: Cricket, Stoolball, Rounders, Baseball, Softball

Net & Wall Games: Badminton, Tennis Table, Tennis, Volleyball

There will be an opportunity to improve techniques and develop skills through analysis and micro teaching / coaching. The module will develop your awareness of appropriate teaching / coaching strategies and will focus on effective planning and constructive evaluation.

Inclusive Physical Education – Inclusion festival

The module aims to provide a professional foundation for the subject specific modules and the experiences which follow. It will prepare you to not only be competent within the field, but also continue to think critically about your teaching and coaching, endeavouring to develop and refine your delivery skills. The module seeks to extend the knowledge of the curriculum, pedagogical and organisational skills necessary for a critical practitioner working in an inclusive context of coaching, teaching and schools. 

Working with People – Psychology of Physical Education

This module covers a range of SP principles including motivation, self and collective efficacy, attributional retraining, group cohesion, exercise adherence, the nature of pressure and anxiety. The MST element will investigate the role of imagery, pre/ post performance routines, concentration skills, coping with anxiety, performance profiling and goal setting.

Performance Analysis – Athletics and Swimming

This module allows you to develop your subject knowledge through in depth analysis of the activities in track and field athletics, swimming and associated aquatic activities. Biomechanical efficiency and physiological demands of the movements/skills will be considered along with the opportunity to improve techniques. The module will also develop your awareness of appropriate teaching/coaching strategies and will focus on effective planning, aspects of organisation and safety and constructive evaluation.

Research methods 2 – Student-led research projects in PE

This module is designed to encourage you to find and explore your own research `problem' assisted by tutor led lectures and seminars and individual supervision from a designated tutor. This module looks to demonstrate to you the importance of effective communication skills and the need to apply research to your professional practice as appropriate to challenge and further understanding.

Through student and staff evaluations, a number of key research skills have been identified and will be focused specifically upon within this module in order to improve your performance. You will gain experience of conducting research within an area of personal interest (pedagogy, physiology, psychology, biomechanics, sociology, the coaching process etc), develop an appropriate methodology to collect data (quantitative, qualitative or mixed design) and utilise an effective analysis tool through which to best present findings (descriptive and inferential statistics, grounded theory, content analysis etc).

Route-way option: You will choose ONE of these:

Sport and Exercise Psychology – Psychological dynamics of Sport and PE

Development of mental skills training from the Year Two Working with People module including cognitive restructuring, concentration training, imagery, pre-performance routines, imagery and arousal management. You will consider the role of the sport and exercise psychologist versus the teacher/coach within mental skills training and ethical issues and codes of conduct when working with clients. Additional you will look at working with individual differences and special populations, including individuals with disabilities and those recovering from injury and engaging and developing adherence to exercise/sport related activities. Throughout the module you will be encouraged to apply psychological skills appropriately to their teaching/coaching environments as well as their own personal performance.

Performance Analysis in Sports Coaching – Analysing tactical performance

(Module information to come)

Contemporary Issues in Sport and PE – Cultural issues in Sport

This module will develop an understanding of the relationship between dominant cultural, political and social values and sport and physical education. Issues associated with the social constructions of gender, ethnicity and social class will be explored with reference to different participating groups and power relations. Particular consideration will be given to the way in which such influences affect the social evolution of sporting, health and physical education practices.

Exercise, Sport and Human Physiology – Measuring physiological responses to exercise

This module will include a review and build on the core concepts of homeostasis and adaptation of physiological systems to exercise from Year One. It will also include a critical review of the current body of knowledge considering the role of exercise in disease prevention and reduction across the population (ages, sexes, genetic clusters). A range of life-style associated diseases will be considered including; obesity, diabetes and asthma will be examined can have regards for the implications for the health of individual’s as they develop and age. 

PLACEMENT: You will complete a two week placement in a school

Year Three

Core modules:

Theoretical and Practical Sports Pedagogy – Including personalised placement

This module will involve you working within the University and at a work placement. You are encouraged to utilise an element of choice (primary teaching, secondary teaching or sports coaching) as to the population and context that you work within to reflect your developing aspirations and enhance your preparation for appropriate exit routes. For the theoretical element of the module, you will focus on pedagogical issues of teaching/coaching theoretical content. The theoretical section will consider current and on-going pedagogical issues. These will include identification of appropriate intended learning outcomes; development and progression within and between lessons/sessions, planning for differentiation and using a variety of teaching styles to suit. Substantial consideration will also be given to how theoretical concepts can be applied to practical components to enhance contextualised learning. For the practical element of the module, you will focus on pedagogical issues of teaching/coaching within a practical environment during micro-teaching/coaching sessions at the University and your work placement. Development of problem solving skills within the athletes/pupils and use of differentiation to account for individual differences will be explored. The use of questioning skills to enhance the coach-performer, teacher-pupil relationship will be investigated.

Games: A Tactical or Traditional Approach – Identifying the most effective way to teach games

You will be taught how to plan, teach and evaluate the teaching/coaching of Invasion Games effectively, principally focusing on the Key Stage 4 age range and beyond. Of interest will be the differences in teaching style, content, organisation, and management of the examination based curriculum, paying particular attention to the additional practical requirements, links between theory and practical and the role of officials, players and coaches when improving performance. 

Professional Issues in Primary PE  - The role of the primary subject leader

The module will examine the role of a subject leader in primary physical education and introduce you to auditing provision, curriculum planning, out of hours learning and supporting staff development. The module will be delivered through a series of theoretical lectures supported by seminars. Through module sessions, directed tasks and independent reading you will engage with and critically evaluate key research related to effective subject leadership.

PE 4 – Professional issues for teachers and coaches

The module covers a variety of current issues which impact on the role of both the Physical Education teacher and professional coach. The work of National Governing Bodies of Sport and national organisations such as Sports Coach UK will be examined in the context of the professionalization of the role of the coach. Coaching and the Law, ethical issues, coach education and the implications on the future role of coaches within education and community settings will be critically evaluated. The effect of Government policy on the delivery of Physical Education and School sport will underpin much of the investigative research. New National Curriculum guidelines and the legacy of previous government strategies, PESSCL and PESSYP, alongside the alternatives to ECM and Healthy Schools will provide up to date critical argument.

Research methods – Dissertation

During tutored sessions students will identify a question or challenge from the field of physical education or sports coaching and in consultation with their tutor; in order to address one of the following challenges:

  • A piece of research; generate a question, select appropriate methods, generate data and critically evaluate outcomes.
  • An aesthetic practical; generate a challenge, select appropriate methods, generate a presentation and critically evaluate the outcomes.
  • Pedagogical analysis; generate a challenge relating to learning within a coaching or teaching context, select appropriate methods, generate an analysis of process and development and critically evaluate outcomes.
  • Performance enhancement; generate a challenge relating to performance within a physiological or performance analysis context, select appropriate methods, generate an analysis of process and development and critically evaluate outcomes.
  • Literature or media based analysis; generate a question, select appropriate methods, gather data and critically evaluate outcomes.

Route-way option two:  You will choose ONE further extension of the Year Two route-way in your chosen field:

Leadership and management – Leading teams and individuals in sport  

You will consider issues when working with teams and managing individual differences and needs; team goal setting; dealing with selection and benchwarmers. Competition preparation, organisation of teams and individuals; burnout and overtraining. Training programmes and periodisation. Coach-athlete interaction; Teacher-pupil interaction at different levels of engagement. Implications for the teacher/coach of the changing relationships with the ‘client’, and work within a team of support workers. Examination of exercise settings. Working with ‘parents’ and other lifestyle issues. Leadership and management theories and their interaction with self-efficacy and emotional intelligence. Management roles and responsibilities – implications for communication skills and styles within different contexts. Athlete-centred coaching. Management of groups, risks and organisations. Role of coaching within teacher CPD and mentoring within coaching

Human Physiology, Training and Performance – Individuals responses to training

The module covers a variety of physiological aspects which impact on exercising and sporting performance such as ergogenic aids, trainability and the environment. It critically reviews methods of analysing performance and considers the use of these tests in both a school and professional athlete setting. Consideration of the use and application of this knowledge for a teacher of Physical Education and a professional coach will serve to put the information and skills into context.

Applied Biomechanics – Analysing technical performance

This module looks at professional codes of conduct, issues relating to research or measurement involving human subjects, ethics committee procedures for approval of investigations, insurance, liability, subject confidentiality, data protection act, health and safety at work act, electrical safety concerns and protective measures. Risk analysis. Communication skills: personal; scientific; written; accuracy in reporting. The importance of continual validation and calibration in biomechanical analysis will be emphasised especially because of commercial software declarations of non-liability.

Comparative and International Issues in Sociology – Impact of mega sporting events

This module will involve the identification and analysis of differing sporting practices across the globe. Examination will be made of the way in which differing communities engage with sporting practices and the role that the state and other governance has in the creation of identity through sport. Critical assessment will be made of the way in which mega-events impact on or are impacted by wider political agendas as well as the effect this has on differing populations and their engagement in sport.

Specialist option two: You will choose ONE of these modules:

Outdoor Adventurous Activities within Education: Including five day residential trip to Outdoor Education Centre

(Module information to come)

Aesthetic and creative movement- Teaching further Gymnastics

Work within this gymnastics module will follow three strands focusing on performance, contextual and theoretical aspects. The performance strand will enable you to develop and refine increasingly demanding gymnastics skills and techniques on the floor and on a range of apparatus. You  will work with peers, taking on the role of coach to develop their practical performance within a context of your choice. Through this you will gain experience of planning, delivering, monitoring and reviewing individual coaching sessions. 

Through the contextual strand ways in which movement can be developed within a variety of established and contemporary gymnastic styles and disciplines, for example, rhythmic, sports acrobatics, display, trampolining, cheerleading, will be explored. You will develop knowledge and understanding of choreographic principles and their application in the consideration of individual, pair and group sequence construction. With particular reference to safety considerations within gymnastics, work on apparatus and the theory and practice of supporting techniques for floor and apparatus skills will be fully explored.

The theoretical strand will explore the material of gymnastics within a range of styles and disciplines. Consideration will be given to frameworks for the observation and analysis of performance and to gymnastics within a cultural context. Choreographic principles will be established and the aesthetic nature of gymnastics will be addressed . Training requirements for enhanced performance will be explored.


International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

We want you to be creative and innovative teachers so we will teach you in creative and innovative ways.

You will be taught through a variety of highly practical approaches. You will be assessed through a variety of methods including your ability to plan, trach and evaluate, group presentations, research projects, lab work, analysis of practical sports performance.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

Tips for applying

Personal Statement

  • Personal sporting expertise – sell yourself!
  • Relevant experience working with children (coaching, teaching, leadership etc).
  • Transferable skills gained from A Level/BTEC courses, work experience, etc.
  • Personal qualities, interests relevant to teaching profession.

Interview Process

  • A short practical task focusing on fundamental movement skills
  • A formal interview

Watch the video below about what to expect at our PE interviews.