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BA (Hons) Physical Education (Secondary Years)

Step towards a career inspiring 11-16 year olds through physical education

Step towards a career inspiring 11-16 year olds through physical education

3 years full-time
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the importance of physical education in the development of the whole person
  • Prepare for a career teaching or coaching secondary-aged children and young people
  • Learn from experienced professionals who will look to support you throughout your degree
  • Apply theory to practice through our work placement schemes
Physical Education Secondary Years

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Gain all the skills needed to inspire 11-16 year olds through physical education

Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) education partner


Learn to lead the next generation

If you are passionate about inspiring the next generation through fun and high-quality secondary physical education, this course is for you.

Our BA (Hons) Physical Education (Secondary Years) course provides the practical, professional, and academic skills that are needed to prepare you to work with children and young people in sport and exercise within or outside of a school setting.

Develop your pedagogical knowledge

This course builds on your existing knowledge of sport, physical activity, and physical education, as you develop a sound academic foundation on which you will build your pedagogical practice for the future.

Throughout your degree, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of pedological practice and how to apply these to meet the needs of individuals as they develop their physical literacy and sporting competence.

Build your degree around your interests

Our Physical Education courses have been specifically designed to give you choices and options that allow you to tailor your course to your own interests, so you will graduate with a degree that is individual to you.

Engage in research-led learning

Throughout this course, you will study modules that use the latest research to inform your teaching practice, including aspects relating to schools’ impact on mental and physical health of its pupils.

Gain vital experience on dedicated work placements

Each year, you will have the opportunity to develop your level of professional experience and improve your employability on various work placements that help support your learning and progress through the course.

Proud history of teacher training

The University of Chichester has been training teachers for over 180 years and we look to train employable professionals who can teach and make a difference.

Learn from expert and experienced staff

Our team of qualified physical education specialists and sports coaches are here to support you throughout your degree and get to know how best to help your reach your full potential.

On this course you will:

  • Be fully prepared for a career within secondary education or coaching with children of a secondary school age.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the importance of physical education in the development of the whole person; pedagogical practice, curriculum and issues of professional practice.
  • Apply theory to practice through our dedicated work placement schemes.
  • Learn from experienced professionals who will look to support you through your degree.

The Course

Develop your knowledge and understanding of pedological practice within a physical education context

Understand the importance of physical education in the development of the whole person

By the end of the course, you will have a thorough understanding of the Physical Education needs of secondary aged pupils; appropriate pedagogical practice including aspects of inclusion, special education needs, curriculum, assessment, and professional issues.

Gain a strong initial footing in physical education

The ‘generic’ first year provides you with a strong foundation of knowledge as well as academic flexibility that is useful if you are unsure of your desired career path.

We are able to support an internal transfer after your first year to one of our other Physical Education degrees. This gives you a settling in period and once you have more of an understanding of your desired routeway you can make informed decisions.

Teacher training

If you wish to train as a teacher, you could undertake one of our progression routes onto the PGCE in Secondary Physical Education or Primary Education.

Explore other options

If you are not sure that you want to be a teacher but know that you love PE and sport then the degree will equip you with excellent transferable skills such as leadership, organisation, communication, and management of yourself and others.

Indicative modules

You will study a selection of core and optional modules during your degree. Each module is worth a particular number of credits and is delivered differently depending on the needs of the module.

This list is indicative and subject to future change.


This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Foundations of Learning and Teaching

This module aims to introduce you to learning theory and pedagogic practice in physical education and sport. The module seeks to develop your understanding of contemporary ideas of learning, and how this translates into teaching behaviours. 

You will begin to recognise the importance of research-informed practice in physical education.

The Enquiring Practitioner

While learning the technical components involved in the teaching and coaching of specific skills, you will also be introduced to fundamental biomechanical principles which impact performance.

The module will apply research and enquiry to real-life lived experiences that are associated with your potential future career paths.

Outdoor and Adventurous Activities in Education

This module will introduce you to outdoor adventure activities in an educational context typically focusing on KS2 and the start of KS3This may be the first time that you have experienced this area of study, and this module will help you develop the necessary knowledge and pedagogical skills that will allow you to operate effectively during your teaching career.

Knowledge and Understanding of Individual Activities (Aesthetics)

This module aims to analyse in detail movement related to gymnastics and dance.

You will explore gymnastics in its broadest sense within elements identified as Formal, Educational, Sporting and Rhythmic.

You will use the application of biomechanical principles, including Laban technique as you explore the evaluation of gymnastic and dance performance.

Principles of Play Through Invasion Games

You will participate in a range of practical sessions that will examine attacking and defensive principles of play, as you analyse the technical and tactical aspects of performance within their application within invasion games.

Active Schools

Explore the issues surrounding Physical Education and its role in the health and activity agenda. Consideration of personal and social barriers and facilitators within and outside the school environment will also be given.

Theoretical Physical Education 1

This module will provide you with an opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the major concepts in theoretical physical education.

While the module will focus on providing you with an understanding of key concepts and how research in this area may be conducted.

You will build on aspects of research and enquiry previously developed in The Enquiring Practitioner, to consider how they may be able to contribute to the area in the future through your own research and data collection.  

Theoretical Physical Education 2

This module aims to provide you with an opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the major concepts in theoretical physical education. The module will focus on providing you with an understanding of key concepts and how research in this area may be conducted.

You will build on aspects of research and enquiry previously developed in ‘The Enquiring Practitioner’, to consider how you may be able to contribute to the area in the future through your own research and data collection. 

Purposeful Practice for Games-Based Physical Education

You will participate in a range of practical sessions that will explore different types of practice and have the opportunity to design practices for developing technical, tactical, and/or physical aspects of games-based performance.

Pedagogical Skills in Track & Field Athletics and Swimming

This module aims to provide you with an opportunity to develop your knowledge, understanding, and personal performance of track and field athletics events and swimming strokes. You may have the opportunity to apply your knowledge and understanding of technical aspects, by planning and leading small group sessions.

Striking and Fielding: Net and Wall Games

While learning the technical components involved in the teaching and coaching of specific skills, you will also be introduced to fundamental biomechanical principles which impact performance.

Conceptualising Sports Coaching


This module aims to take a very personal approach to conceptualising the sports coach and their working practices. Through a process of reflective and introspective activities, you will be encouraged to consider your identity as a coach and how this influences your practice; thus, the development of the beginnings of a philosophy of coaching is fundamental to the module.  

The concept of evidence-based practice underpins content which will explore and analyse contemporary issues in sports coaching. You will be expected to develop a critical understanding of coaching behaviours and be able to make applications to your coaching practice.  

Module content will reflect the fast-paced, continually evolving nature of sports coaching research and, as such, will be fluid in nature. Notwithstanding, learning content will be built around, but not limited to, fundamental concepts of the who (the coach, the learner), what (technical, tactical concepts), and how (coaching behaviours) of sports coaching.  

International Education


This module invites you to reflect on school systems unfamiliar to you. Through a professional placement, you will be placed into in accordance with your career aspirations (primary, secondary), aiming to give rise to the opportunity of working abroad whilst developing a vast array of other employability skills through a professional placement opportunity.

The module will challenge you to consider yourself as a developing professional within the fields of Physical Education and sports pedagogy, whilst developing an appreciation for children who have English as an additional language (EAL). 

Pedagogical Behaviours in Practice

The module aims to provide you with an opportunity to gain an understanding of the various pedagogical behaviours (coaching behaviours and teaching behaviours) (e.g. divergent questioning) that are utilised by sports coaches and teachers of physical education.

You will have the opportunity to lead practical sessions and implement the pedagogical behaviours discussed in the theoretical lectures and workshops.

You will need to critically reflect on the pedagogical behaviours that you applied and how these impacted participant performance and/or learning.  

Practical Pedagogy (Placement)

An opportunity to experience a placement within a practical setting. This module aims to develop and refine pedagogical skills so that you can enhance pupil/performer progress and learning within a practical environment.

Dissertation Project

This module is the culmination of previous learning and is the major element of your independent enquiry on your programme.

The module requires that you reflect on, and utilise the knowledge base, context, and application of taught modules, as well as placement experiences.

It is designed to encourage you to generate and explore your own ‘problem’ assisted by supervision from a tutor.

Managing Individual Differences and Behaviours

The module aims to build on your knowledge and understanding of effective teaching and coaching by understanding and applying principles of equality and inclusive practice. You will develop an understanding and critically evaluate the learning environment that actively promotes equality and inclusion for all learners. It will develop your pedagogical confidence and encourage you to think critically about your teaching and coaching. 

Indicative content will include ideology of inclusion, young people at risk of exclusion, teaching approaches and strategies to meet all pupils needs, and creating and maintaining a positive learning environment. The module will be delivered through a series of practical workshops supported by theoretical lectures and will include a school-based placement. 

Outdoor and Adventurous Activities in Education 2


This module aims to use a residential experience to explore the application of different OAA teaching methods to fulfil a range of pupil needs. This module enables you to build upon your understanding of what outdoor learning is and its uses; therefore, facilitating a critical evaluation of the process and output of residential experiences. 

Classroom Pedagogy


This module will use a series of lectures and workshops to explore curricula employed in classroom teaching such as

  • the National Curriculum
  • BTEC Sport
  • A-level PE

to consider how schemes of work and lesson plans are developed for delivery in school and college classrooms.

Teaching and Assessment

Innovative teaching methods that optimise your learning


You will spend much of your time in practical sessions and on teaching placements. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff will teach you through a variety of highly-practical approaches.

You will experience a variety of teaching methods across the modules including lectures, group work, seminars, and practical workshops sessions.

In addition, there is individual directed work leading to research and enquiry.


You will be assessed through a variety of methods including:

  • Your ability to plan, track and evaluate outcomes for pupils
  • Group presentations
  • Research projects
  • Analysis of practical sports performance.


Discover classroom resources and world-class sporting facilities to support your learning

Broaden your horizons with residential experiences

PE Secondary Years Residential Experience
Our BA (Hons) Physical Education (Secondary Years) course offers the opportunity to partake in residential experiences to increase your knowledge and understanding of outdoor and adventurous activities and to also begin to learn how to plan and run residentials.

We understand the importance of building relationships and connection early on in your university journey, for this reason, year 1 will encompass an Outdoor Adventure Activities in Education module. The benefits of spending time problem solving, communicating and working as a team are widely recognised and will provide lasting memories and friendships as you move into years 2 and 3. In year 3 you will build upon this knowledge in an optional module focusing on Learning Outside the Classroom.

Work Placements

Discover school placements opportunities that provide you with vital workplace experience

We believe that placements are integral to your development as a student and are integrated within our University-based work.

School placements opportunities are available which provide you with a strong vocational focus as you increase your employability and apply your theoretical learning to a real-world environment.

You will be able to choose your own placement setting, with a dedicated Placement Coordinator available to assist and support students throughout the process. You will be able to utilise their network of contacts across local clubs and schools to find the right placement for you.

You can also choose to complete your placements anywhere in the country, with many students choosing placements within their home towns.

“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.”

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences. We are passionate about giving our students the opportunity to work internationally through the mobilisation of the Turing Scheme.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and immerse themselves within a new culture.

Year 2 also sees our students have the opportunity to be part of our International Education module. This module focuses on education systems from around the world and is delivered through bespoke placement opportunities in an unfamiliar educational environment.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.

Physical Education study abroad


Prepare for a wide range of careers both in and outside of teaching

Our BA (Hons) Physical Education (Secondary Years) course provides you with an engaging and relevant programme that may facilitate progression into a career working with children and young people both within and outside of educational settings.

This course provides you with a valuable degree qualification that will take you forward in whichever career you choose in the future.

You could progress into a career teaching physical education at a secondary level, or look to move into other avenues within the scope of coaching or sporting and physical activity.

Teacher training pathways

This course provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary to progress into teaching training pathways to gain qualified teacher status (QTS) so that you can begin a career within education.

Those who wish to pursue a career as a physical education teacher within a secondary setting can explore several options, including our PGCE Secondary Physical Education course here at Chichester.

Guaranteed PGCE interview

Graduates from out BA (Hons) Physical Education (Secondary Years) course are guaranteed an interview on our PGCE courses.

Open up your career options

Many students remain undecided about whether they want to teach physical education or coach, but they do know that they are committed to following a career in sport and physical activity.

Some of our well-established and successful alumni of this course have continued into a wide variety of careers, including:

  • Coaching
  • The police
  • Paramedics
  • Intelligence services
  • The military
  • Therapies
  • Research

Postgraduate pathways

You could also continue your academic studies further with a postgraduate degree

Our postgraduate options include:

  • PGCE Secondary (Physical Education)
  • MA Sport Pedagogy and Physical Education
  • MSc Sports Coaching
  • Postgraduate Research (PhD)

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Gifted Athlete Support Programme

Supporting athletes with their studies and sporting ambitions

The University’s Gifted Athlete Support Programme (GASP) helps students combine academic study with sport by offering support to compete at the highest level.

Our student athletes will have access to our experts in sport coaching, exercise physiology, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, performance analysis, sport nutrition, sport psychology, sport therapy or physiotherapy and receive:

  • Financial Support*
  • Fitness Suite at the Tudor Hale Centre for Sport
  • Administrative support from SU Sport
  • GASP branded kit

* Level of financial support dependent upon level of achievement in sport

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
International fee

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

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Course specific costs

You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check costing £40 which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

Entry Requirements

tariff points.
A Levels
or better in both English Language and Maths.
6.0 overall
with no element lower than 5.5

Interview and DBS

Secondary Teacher training applicants are required to have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

Applicants will also need to attend an interview.


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