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A Level Physical Education

Course outline

This course examines the world of sport through theory into practice.

Throughout your two years of study you will learn:

  • Physiological factors affecting performance:
    • Applied anatomy and physiology
    • Exercise physiology
    • Biomechanics.
  • Psychological factors affecting performance:
    • Skill acquisition
    • Sports psychology
  • Socio-cultural issues in sport:
    • Sport and society
    • Contemporary issues in sport
  • Practical performance
  • Performance analysis

You will study two thirds of the subject in college for the theory lectures and one third externally for practical lectures. The majority of your practical lectures will be delivered at Nottingham Trent Universities City Campus Sports Centre, which is a short 200m walk from the college. This sports centre houses a sports hall, gym and even a rock-climbing wall, meaning the opportunities for practical classes are endless.

We look to take students to sports related trips each year such as local stadia, fixtures, competitions and other sports industry related trips.

We suggest that students acquire a copy of the OCR A Level PE Book 1 and 2 by Hodder Education (they have recently released a combined book). Wider reading around applied anatomy and physiology and contemporary issues within sport prior to and during your course of study is recommended.

You will study A Level PE under the examination board OCR, whose specification can be found at:

Other subjects which would complement your A Level PE studies are: Biology, Psychology and Sociology. A lot of A Level PE students also choose to study A Level Business.

How to apply for this course

Apply online to study an A Level Programme in 2023/24.

You will select your individual subjects when you complete the application.

Want to find out more first?

Get in touch by hitting the button below and filling out our enquiry form.

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Location Date
Chaucer Street

Start: Monday 4th September 2023

2 year programme

Course code: C000450 / Q022086


OCR A Level Physical Education


2 years

Level Level 3
Entry requirements

2 year A Level Programme:

  • To study 3 A Levels you’ll need at least 5 GCSE’s at grades 9-4 including GCSE English and Maths at grade 4 or above
  • To study 4 A Levels you’ll need at least 6 GCSE’s at grades 9-6 including GCSE English and Maths at grade 4 or above
  • All applicants need to have an interest in sport and be willing to participate in practical sessions

The programme of study is for 2 years, and you will be expected to be achieving a minimum of grade D in all subject assessments by the end of year 1 to progress to your 2nd year.

    Applicants with predicted GCSE grades 1 or 2 points below the entry requirement for an A Level:

    If your predicted grades do not meet the entry requirements for either 1 or 2 of your chosen A Level subject choices, don’t worry we will still make you a conditional offer. We advise that you think about a second choice of course as a back-up plan. You can meet with us for a supportive, friendly and impartial discussion to look at other courses that Nottingham College has to offer. For more information contact High Pavement Sixth Form admissions by telephone on 0115 9100 100 or email at

    Applicants who choose 4 subjects but only have the entry requirements to study 3:

    If your predicted grades do not meet the entry requirements to study 4 A Level subjects, don’t worry we will still make you a conditional offer for all 4. At your ‘Get Ready for College’ day you will undertake tasters in your subjects and at this point you can discuss your options with subject staff at the event, to help you finalise your subject choices. Final A Level choices however will be made at enrolment in August when your GCSE results are confirmed.

    Teaching & assessment

    There are three written exams at the end of your second year, one 2 hour paper and two 1 hour papers. In addition, you will submit a video of practical performance and verbally present a performance analysis on a performance in your chosen sport.


    We have had successful A Level PE students progress onto a range of different university courses including all sports degrees (science, management, psychology etc.) in addition to psychology, sociology, biology, teaching and many more degrees. The course fully prepares you for embarking upon a career in the sport and physical activity sector, in addition to acquiring the transferable skills demanded by higher education and employers across all sectors of industry.

    Additional information

    You will expected to put together a folder for your A Level PE studies. Previous students have found it most useful when they separate this work into smaller separate folders for each topic (6 in first year, 6 in second year). You are also required to have suitable clothing for practical activities (indoor and outdoor in all weathers).

    Students aged 16-18 don't have to pay tuition fees.

    If you are aged 19 or over you may still be eligible for funding. Check out our Financial Help pages to find out more!

    If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss National, please visit our EU Settled Status scheme page for more information.