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Higham Lane
Sixth Form

Physical Education


Do I need to play sport to take A level PE? How many sports do I get assessed in?

Yes. You will be assessed in one sport which counts towards 15% of your overall A level. You will be required to keep a competitive log of your participation in the sport. There is a set list of activities for your to pick from which can be found on the OCR website.


Can I take A level PE if I have done a Cambridge National in Sport or BTEC in Sport?

Yes. You will have covered some of the content that you will continue to study at A level. However, there will be some new topics that you will not have studied so you may need to do extra reading to develop your knowledge beforehand.


Are the same topics covered in A level PE as GCSE PE?

Yes. You look into most topics studied at GCSE PE in more detail in A level PE (muscular, cardiovascular, sports psychology, socio-cultural, sporting behaviour, skill acquisition). You also learn some new topics such as biomechanics, the emergence of sport and energy systems.


Do you get to do practical?

Most lessons are spent in the classroom. There are some practical lessons when you look at the impact of exercise on cardiac values and the different types of training methods.


How many exams?

You have 3 exams at the end of year 13. One is 2 hours (Physiological factors); then the other two exams are 1 hour 15 minutes (Psychological factors and Socio-cultural factors)

What is the Evaluation and Analysis (EAPI) task?It is like the coursework you do in GCSE PE where you analyse your performance in sport and design a 6 week training program. With the EAPI, you watch a performance and then provide a verbal analysis of their performance with theoretical links. You then verbally provide a development plan to improve an area of weakness.


A level Physical Education allows students to study Physical Education in an academic setting. It equips learners with a depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills relating to scientific, socio-cultural, and practical aspects of Physical Education. It also enables students to further explore a practical activity in detail, chosen from a number of sporting activities, as either a performer or coach, as well as to analyse and evaluate their performance in this chosen activity.

Exam Board:

OCR (H555)


There are four main elements to the course, each assessed separately as part of the A Level qualification, at the end of the two year course:
(1) Physiological factors affecting performance – 2 hour written paper (30% of total A level)
(2) Psychological factors affecting performance – 1 hour written paper (20% of total A level)
(3) Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport – 1 hour written paper (20% of total A level)
(4) Performance in Physical Education – Non-exam assessment (30% of total A level)

Course Details:

(01) Physiological factors affecting performance
1.1 Applied anatomy and physiology
1.2 Exercise physiology
1.3 Biomechanics

(02) Psychological factors affecting performance
2.1 Skill acquisition
2.2 Sports psychology

(03) Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport
3.1 Sport & society
3.2 Contemporary issues in physical activity and sport

(04) Performance in Physical Education – Non-exam assessment
4.1 Performance or coaching of an activity taken from the approved list
4.2 The evaluation and analysis of performance for improvement

Other Learning Opportunities:

  • Supporting Key Stage 3 and 4 students in PE lessons and extra-curricular clubs
  • Workshops at leading sports universities, such as Loughborough University

Where next with this course?

A Level Physical Education provides a foundation to learning for further study in many degree subjects and career areas, including Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Science, Physiotherapy, Sport and Leisure Management, Sports Technology and Sports Teaching and Coaching, as well as other related subject areas such as Psychology,
Sociology and Biology. A Level Physical Education will also enable students to develop transferable skills that are in demand by further education, higher education and employers in all sectors of industry.


Click on the link below for a copy of the course details.