Book your Open Day now
Boy vaulting over gymnastics box

BA (Hons) Physical Education (Secondary Years)

Read More

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

"The practical nature of the lectures is fantastic. I've really improved my ability and understanding of a wide variety of activities that are all taught in Secondary schools. The degree has really prepared me well for my PGCE."

"I chose to study here as the course was a perfect fit for what I want to do. You learn a wide range of sports to be able to teach and coach on placements and after you graduate."

Course content

BA (Hons) Physical Education (Secondary Years) is designed to provide you with the opportunity to experience and develop the core skills underpinning the teaching of physical education in secondary schools. The modular approach to this degree will enable you to develop an understanding of the science of pedagogy and understand the lifespan of athletic development of individuals who participate in sport activity. The course content will build on your existing knowledge of sport activity and provide the opportunity to develop a sound academic foundation on which students will build their teaching skills.

Our degree course is delivered on a modular basis covering academic and pedagogical studies. You will experience a variety of teaching methods across the modules including lectures, group work, seminars, practical workshops and laboratory sessions. In addition, there is individual directed work leading to research and enquiry.

You are assigned an academic advisor who provides a personal link for the entire duration of your time on the course. Your own personal expertise and experience is valued to enhance the overall learning of the whole group supplementing the formal university input.

We have over 180 years’ experience of training top quality teachers which proves that we are among the best institutions in the country to train you. The modular approach to this degree will build on your existing knowledge and encourage you to explore and learn the art of teaching and sports coaching through a well-balanced diet of practical and theoretical activities.

Our ‘learn through doing’ philosophy is central to the course and our expert staff will engage you with a variety of dynamic and interactive approaches that encourage strong theory-to-practice links. You will spend a proportion of time on placement in school and, under the careful supervision of your personal academic advisor and professional workplace mentor, you will develop your skills in teaching.

For those wishing to progress to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), we offer progression routes on to the PGCE in Secondary PE. We also provide opportunities to train through School Direct.

Our facilities

Campus Location: Chichester 

We offer you some of the best sporting facilities available to study for a degree. All of our facilities are designed for academic teaching, research, British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions and for your social/recreational use throughout the week and weekends.

The world-class Tudor Hale Centre for Sport is the focus of sporting activities both academic and recreational at the University. It incorporates a suite of state of the art sport science laboratories, a sports injury clinic, a strength and conditioning room and a fitness centre. In addition there is a sports hall. Located beside the Tudor Hale Centre for Sport you will find our Sports Dome, lano sand dressed astro turf and a grass rugby pitch.


Sports Dome

Four tennis courts which can be used for a variety of sports.

Blue flooring and blue curtains separating courts with student throwing javelins


Sports hall

Used for basketball, netball, trampolining, badminton, volleyball, cricket, soccer, table tennis, hockey and ultimate frisbee.

Fitness suite

Various membership levels available. Weights, resistance and cardio machines.

Weights, resistance and cardio machines

Indoor and outdoor climbing walls and climbing boulder

Available for any student to use after an induction and when Tudor Hale Centre for Sport is open.

Images showing external and internal climbing wall and external boulder

Grass football and rugby pitches

Students playing football and girl passing rugby ball

Floodlit lano sand-dressed astro turf 

A top of the range Lano sand-dressed astro all completely compliant to International Hockey federation standards.

  • 110m synthetic athletics track
  • Strength and conditioning room
  • Two multi-purpose gymnasiums
  • Outdoor netball and tennis court

Two seminar rooms

Cricket nets 

Sport Science Laboratories:

Four dedicated psychology labs including a Virtual Reality Reader, Brain Imaging Unit and Observation Suite.

Student using software to track activity of body for sport psychology

Two dedicated biomechanics labs

Student running with rugby ball with sensor on past tracking posts

Five dedicated physiology labs

Used for testing on treadmills, bikes and various other pieces of equipment.

Physiology labs showing equipment used

An environmental chamber

Used to simulate heat, altitude, etc.

Envinronmental chamber in physiology lab

A sports injury clinic and adjoining rehabilitation space

Sports Therapy students use these spaces for practical sessions and run a clinic. It is open for students, staff and external visitors who require treatment also either from Sports Therapy students or staff.

Sports therapy clinic with beds and rehab room

Where this can take you

Many students are committed to teaching Physical Education in a secondary school. It will provide a valuable degree qualification that will take you forward to your chosen career path including: PGCE leading to QTS (secondary age ranges)/School Direct/further degree qualification.

Postgraduate level study:

Alumni receive a 15% discount on postgraduate courses at Chichester

  • PGCE Primary
  • PGCE Secondary
  • School Direct
  • School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)
  • 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

Placement opportunities provide you with a strong vocational focus.

This is what our students had to say about placements:

“School placements opportunities are available and these prepare you for a career in teaching in secondary schools.”

“The opportunities provided through residentials allowed me to grow and develop both personally and professionally and allowed me to gain accurate insight into life after university.”

“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 your 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. Emphasis will be on the progression of tasks. There will be a focus on building up the games from initial experience level from small sided games. 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 students to not only be competent within the field but also continue to think critically about their teaching and coaching, endeavouring to develop and refine their 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. In addition the module will raise the debate as to who is best prepared to deliver the primary curriculum the class teacher or the coach?


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. Students will explore the use of video for analysing and assessing performance from a qualitative perspective. Students will also be introduced to notational analysis and its potential role in providing objective data for teachers, coaches and performers. Through practical experiences and workshops students will develop their 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. 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. 

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. 

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. 

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

Year Two

Core modules:

Games 2 – Invasion Games (Netball and Handball)

You will analyse the nature of individual, unit and team performance engaging in a deeper understanding of principles of play and providing insights into effective movement in a games context. You will be taught how to effectively plan, teach/coach and evaluate the teaching of invasion games. You will be involved in an appropriate examination of positional requirements, techniques, skills and principles of play in three of the major games from - rugby, hockey, netball, football, 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.

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

You will be encouraged to find and explore your own research `problem' assisted by tutor led lectures and seminars and individual supervision from a designated tutor. 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). It will explore the theories underpinning research and will address ethical issues relating to such work. 

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 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 alongside working with individual differences and special populations, including individuals with disabilities and those recovering from injury. Models to support mental skills training are examined using elite level models as examples. Critical analysis of group dynamics and cohesion and the inclusion of this within a mental skills training programme are also looked at. Throughout the module you will be encouraged to apply psychological skills appropriately to your teaching/coaching environments as well as your 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). 

Specialist option: You will choose ONE of these:

Outdoor and Adventurous Activities in PE – Including residential field trip

This module will outline how the participation in adventure-based activity can contribute to improved health. It will highlight the rise of modern chronic health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease and demonstrate the positive influence that physical activity has on these disease states. Currently the use of adventure therapy as a therapy has only been investigated in small and select groups of individuals. This module will develop on this evidence and provide practical suggestions for tailoring adventure programmes for adults and or children for whom the lack of physical activity and nature deficiency resulted in ill health.

Reflective practice – Including further teaching/ coaching placement

This module aims to provide an opportunity to identify and develop specialist areas of interest. You will be required to develop skills in introspection, reflection and reflective practice drawing upon theoretical concepts relating to pedagogy of sport and education. You will critically evaluate literature in order to observe, analysis and critically evaluate professional practice within a context of your choice and agree a suitable programme of work within a professional context of your choosing. This will involve you immersing yourself in the culture and practices of this working environment and would ideally include a residential experience.

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 such as 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. 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 work placement. 

Games 4 – Invasion games at Key Stage 4 and 5 (Football, Rugby, Basketball, Handball, Netball)

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. 

PE 3 – Coaching and teaching practical applications (including practical teaching assessment)

Increasing depth of knowledge both within the activity and within the pedagogical skills required to work at higher levels will be explored such as work intensity, development of problem solving skills within the peer group and use of differentiation within the range of coaching/teaching methods utilised. Decision training will be explored further along with the use of questioning skills to enhance the coach-athlete, teacher-pupil relationship. 

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 professionalisation 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 you will identify a question or challenge from the field of physical education or sports coaching and in consultation with your 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.
  • Human Physiology - either Training and Performance or Children’s Exercise and Health

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.

Route-way option 2: 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 your 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.