PE A Level

Course Content

The course content involves the physiology, psychology and socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport. There is also a practical assessment in one sport and students learn how to analyse sporting performance. The course looks in detail at how the human body adapts to exercise effectively and how the structure of the body facilitates sporting movements. There is a psychological focus on how skills are acquired and how sports psychology can be used to improve performance.  The history of sport is also analysed and the role of sport in society, as well as contemporary issues in sport.

The A Level course consists of the following

Physiological factors affecting sporting performance: This component focuses on the effects of force and motion on the body and how these effects can be used in physical activities to our advantage. This topic focuses on key systems of the human body involved in movement and physical activity. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the changes within these body systems prior to exercise, during exercise of differing intensities and during recovery.

Psychological factors affecting sporting performance: This component focuses on models and theories that affect learning and performance in physical activities, how different methods of training and feedback work and why their effectiveness differs from person to person. Students will learn how to give guidance and feedback in constructive ways that are suited to that individual’s personality; therefore assisting in developing practical performance in physical activities and sports

Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport: This component focuses on influences that affect physical activity and sport for both the audience and the performer and how sport affects society. The impact of the modern Olympic Games will be understood as well as the impact on society of hosting global sporting events. The ever-evolving modern technology and its influence on sport performers and spectators is another focus of these topic.

Performance in physical education: Learners are assessed as either a performer or a coach in a sport of their choice from the syllabus. Students also analyse and evaluate a sporting performance verbally, providing feedback and creating a training programme to improve the observed performer.


  • Physiological factors affecting sporting performance – Exam – 30%
  • Psychological factors affecting sporting performance – Exam – 20%
  • Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport – Exam – 20%
  • Performance in physical education – Non-exam assessment – 30%


Students should be playing one sport regularly at district level as a minimum. Students need to have a thorough knowledge of a range of sports and have studied GCSE PE. Students should have achieved a grade 6 in GCSE PE and a grade 6 in Science.

Examination Board: OCR / Course Number: H555