Physical Education and School Sport - BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: X151
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (3 years)
  • Location: City South

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Gain a thorough understanding of physical education (PE) in schools and wider communities with our new Physical Education and School Sport degree. We'll develop your teaching, learning and leadership skills, enabling you to become a highly employable expert on PE and school sport.

What's covered in the course?

This PE and school sport teacher training course encompasses the contemporary place and role of school-based physical education, activity, and health and sport. Physical education continues to be an important part of Government agendas, so with this in mind, you'll learn relevant and up-to-date techniques and information.

Linked and mapped to the national curriculum for physical education, you'll be taught the physical activities and up-to-date information that teachers within this sector require. This course will prepare you to apply for PGCE Physical Education courses in Secondary and Primary Education.

It won’t just be about sport, though; you'll be looking at different aspects of health and people at opposite ends of the health spectrum. It's a chance for you to gain the knowledge and skills needed to negotiate different challenges.

To help build these skills, you'll go on placements, working face-to-face and getting first-hand experience, something which will enhance your future employability.

Mapped to the course are additional awards, where you can support teachers in a range of extra-curricular opportunities, including working with school sports teams. All of our physical education and sport courses will provide additional, employability-based qualifications at the same time as your course, enhancing your subject knowledge and giving you valuable hands-on experience.

By taking this course, you’ll be studying at our recently extended £71 million campus in Edgbaston, Birmingham, which will contain a state-of-the-art laboratory, sports therapy rooms, cutting-edge resources and a designated sports area.

Why Choose Us?

  • Professional Accreditation - this is the only Physical Education and School Sport course to be approved by the AfPE
  • Placement experience - you'll gain vital, first-hand experience of physical education by undertaking placements, typically in schools, where you can build up your knowledge and enhance your attributes
  • Job opportunities - benefit from our staff expertise and networks to help find you work experience and opportunities. Two PE and School Sport students have secured work with the FA since starting the course
  • Inspiring children - there will be a host of practical-based teamwork and activities, ensuring you learn by doing. We regularly hold sports festivals for students from all year groups to host with local school children, to provide you with hands-on experience right from the start of the course 
  • Level 5 qualification worth £1000 - as well as gaining a degree, by the end of your time studying on the course you'll also leave with a Level 5 in primary school PE specialism and PE subject leadership which means you'll be qualified to up-skill PE staff (usually this costs approx. £1000 but is included in the course!) 
  • Specialise in your area - if you’re interested in physical education at primary school level, you can learn the exercises and information that children of that age require
  • £71 million campus - we have recently invested an additional £41 million into our £30 million City South campus complete with new, state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge resources and equipment – including a Sports Hall and fitness suite
  • Get work experience abroad - you can apply for a travel scholarship as part of our Go Abroad scheme to carry out exciting work placements overseas

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Saturday 28 September 2019. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

This course is open to International students

Sport at BCU feature image

Sport at BCU

Check out our sport facilities, clubs, athlete support and weekly activity sessions that are offered here at BCU. 

Find out more

Course Accreditations

The Association for Physical Education (AfPE) Professional Development Board has awarded approved status to this degree programme.

PE association

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements
Level 2 qualifications which must be achieved PRIOR to application for all applicants:

GCSEs - A minimum of 5 GCSEs, including Double Science, Mathematics and English Language at Grade 4 (formerly a C) or above. No equivalents will be accepted. 

Irish Leaving Certificate - A minimum of five Ordinary levels at Grade B3 or above, must include English, Mathematics and a Science subject.

Scottish qualifications - A minimum of five Intermediate Standard 2 or above, must include English, Mathematics and a Science subject.

Plus one of the following Level 3 qualifications which you may be working towards:
96 - 112 UCAS points including an A Level or BTEC as detailed below:

A Level: To include one subject in Biology / Human Biology / Chemistry / Physics / Mathematics / Physical Education / Psychology with minimum Grade C. 

Access to HE: You must have a Diploma to Science (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at level 3. A minimum of 30 Level 3 credits must be at distinction, and must include Biology or Chemistry at Level 3 or Health Subject.

BTEC Extended Diploma: in Biology / Sport / Applied Science / Health 

BTEC Diploma: in Biology / Sport / Applied Science / Health 

Irish Leaving Certificate: 112 UCAS tariff points from a maximum of 5 Highers with at least 4 subjects at Grade B2 or higher and 1 subject at B3 or higher. Must include sport, health or science related subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Maximum of 5 Scottish Highers and 3 Advanced Highers at Grade C or above to achieve 112 UCAS tariff points.

Foundation degrees will be reviewed on an individual basis and will require a transcript of the content of the course.

International qualifications:

International Baccalaureate: Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall with grade 4 or above in at least one Higher Level subject from Group 4. 

Applicants who have not received their secondary school education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 7, with no subtest below 6.5.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

In addition, successful candidates will be required to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance via the Faculty prior to enrolling onto this course. 
International Students

Entry requirements here

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2020 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2020 FT 3 years £12,800 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Our advice for applying to a health care course

Applying for a course and preparing for an interview can be a daunting process, so we have created a series of films to help you through the process, including what to put in your personal statement.

More guidance

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Introduction to PE and School Sport
20 credits

This module will provide you with a core foundation of knowledge in Physical Education (PE) and School Sport. It is intended that you will be aware of how PE differs to School Sport, but also how they can be interlinked.

Professional Skills and Evidence Based Practice
20 credits

This module covers the process of research and enquiry in the discipline of sports and exercise science, nutrition, sports therapy, and PE and School Sport. It provides guidance on how to interpret scientific literature, so that you can find relevant sources of information for a study or an assessment, gain an understanding of different sources of information and consider how knowledge is generated.

Sport and Exercise Physiology and Principles of Training
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with the underpinning knowledge of various physiological systems in the human body, and key training principles, which relate to sport and exercise. You will be introduced to the concept of the body working as multiple interrelated physiological ‘systems’.

Children's Development: Physical, Emotional, Health and Well-being
20 credits

This module will provide an understanding of how children develop through a physical, emotional, health and well-being perspective. Students will learn about how skill and ability levels can differ between children, and factors which influence development of these.

Applied Anatomy
20 credits

This module provides an introduction to human anatomy, relating to structures, properties and functions of bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscle, in relation to the mechanical principles, which govern human movement.

Biomechanics of Human Movement
20 credits

The primary purpose of this module is to introduce the mechanical principles that govern human movement and thus equip students not only with the ability to observe and measure human movement (i.e. to describe movement), but also to begin to understand the mechanisms by which human movement is controlled and effected (i.e. to explore why we move the way that we do).

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Practical PE and Sport: Applied Pedagogy
20 credits

Within this module students will learn about a range of pedagogical practices which bring about high quality PE lessons where students are physically active for sustained periods of time. Students will identify the key principles of high quality teaching practice and relate these to practical experiences of teaching PE and sport.

Sport, Physical Activity and Health in Practice
20 credits

Within this module students will learn about the reasons for physical activity promotion and the barriers to physical activity participation. Students will identify the recommended daily guidelines for physical activity, whilst exploring health and social strategies to improve lifestyle through facilitating physical activity behaviours.

Planning and Conducting Research
20 credits

The module aims to assist you in gaining a more critical understanding of the research of others and to act as a complement to other second year modules you will be studying. It will also directly prepare you for undertaking your own research at Level 6. To realise these aims, you will have the opportunity to develop more the complex statistical skills that will be required to enhance your understanding in other modules that form part of your degree programme and prepare you for designing your own research.

Contemporary Issues in PE and School Sport
20 credits

Within this module students will learn about a range of issues surrounding PE and school sport. They will identify the key principles of what helps students engage in PE and sport, and what local, national and international initiatives are available to help promote a physical active and healthy lifestyle.

Level 5 P.E and School Sport – Professional Practice
40 credits

This module aims to develop and utilise pedagogical skills in a real world setting, whilst providing an opportunity to critically develop learning and experience application of subject knowledge and the national curriculum for PE will be key to the successful completion of this work. This module will also provide an opportunity for to develop essential employability attributes (e.g. interpersonal skills) which will also offer ideal preparation for the Level 6 PE and School Sport work placement module.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Psycho-Social Aspects of Physical Activity
20 credits

Within this module students will learn about a range of psychological and theoretical frameworks which support physical activity behaviours. Key principles promoting a healthy and physically active lifestyle from a psychological and practical perspective will be taught.

Technological Advancements in PE, Sport and Physical Activity
20 credits

Within this module students will learn about a range of technology and equipment that supports physical activity behaviours. Students will identify the key principles of objectively measuring and promoting a healthy and physically active lifestyle from a technological perspective.

Level 6 P.E and School Sport – Professional Practice
40 credits

This problem-based module enables students to develop, utilise and further apply pedagogical skills in a real world setting. The module will provide an opportunity for students to critically develop their learning and experience, as well as work on a live piece of investigation by agreement with the placement provider. Application of subject knowledge and the national curriculum for PE will be key to the successful completion of this work.

Independent Research Project
40 credits

This module provides you with the opportunity to design and carry out a substantive piece of independent research which is focused on an area of interest related to your programme of study. This in-depth, self-managed study will encourage you to examine a critical issue from your sector or discipline.

The physical education and school sport course will be a mix of work-based placements, enabling you to build your knowledge and gain first-hand experience, and assessments.

Further studies

After completing this course, you will have built a sound foundation of knowledge which will contribute towards applying for a PGCE. You can gain full teacher status with a postgraduate qualification, or in schools via School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) and Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) schemes.


Within this course there are additional qualifications which are accredited by the Association for Physical Education (afPE) and Sports Leaders UK.

The only physical education subject association in the UK, afPE is committed to supporting the delivery of physical education in schools and in the wider community.

PE association
Association for Physical Education (AfPE)

The Association for Physical Education (AfPE) Professional Development Board has awarded approved status to this degree programme

Overseas opportunities

You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of major institutions, including the University of San Diego in the USA, as well as destinations in Cyprus and Denmark.

Within the course, there will also be the opportunity for international exchanges, as well as trips to sporting locations across Europe.

Trips and visits

Trips and visits will play a significant part in all of our sports courses. Alongside your placements, you'll have the opportunity to visit other sporting institutions and teams, both within the UK and internationally. 

School Get Active Day Visit 2

Salma Mukadam, Safeguarding Officer at Yardleys School

"Our pupils visited Birmingham City University for a “Get Active” event with students on the Physical Education and School Sport course. I witnessed some of our most withdrawn pupils engaging with, and enjoying, sports.

The students did a brilliant job of making sport fun and accessible for all of the pupils as well as presenting themselves as approachable.

After the event, pupils told me that they had had a really great time and that they wanted to do it all over again."

Enhancing your employability skills

Physical education and conditioning continue to be a global concern, so this course ensures you are given the relevant, up-to-date information you require to enter employment.

Upon graduating, the ultimate goal will be to enter the PE and school sport environment, promoting lifelong physical activity and healthy active lifestyles. You can also progress on to a PGCE or a Masters degree, furthering your skills.


Placements play a significant role in this course, as it is important you build up your experience and knowledge of working within the sector. You'll work in schools on placements, gaining first-hand exposure to the sector and how teachers create, carry out and build on different sports-related activities.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+
Graduate jobs

The course is designed to prepare you for teaching, either at primary or secondary level, or externally in after-school clubs or teams. You could progress into studying your PGCE or another teaching-based qualification, and become a physical education teacher.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

The creation of our new suite of courses in Sport and Life Sciences is yet another exciting development at Birmingham City University. The 10,500sq metre building at City South Campus will enable us to offer a wide range of new health, nutrition, biomedical science and sports courses, as well as providing a new home for our education programmes.

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to .

The courses will reflect the latest developments in our teaching and our focus on practice-led learning with work placements and live industry case studies incorporated into the curriculum. All courses have been co-designed with employers and are endorsed or accredited by professional bodies where appropriate.

By expanding our provision to these new areas, we will be helping to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today, such as obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, by encouraging and supporting healthy eating and greater physical activity.

In addition, we will be producing graduates who can support elite performers in meeting the UK’s ambitions for sporting success at events such as the Olympics and other world sporting tournaments. We are constantly looking to enhance the range of courses we offer - please check all our courses for the latest additions to our portfolio.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Doug Ellis Sports Centre

Our £8.5 million Doug Ellis Sports Centre boasts an 80-station fitness suite, an eight-court sports hall, and workout and spinning studios. The centre offers state-of-the-art fitness training equipment and plenty of room for team sports including five-a-side football and cricket. An all-weather pitch adds the finishing touches to the centre, which is located close to our City North Campus.

Visitors to the gym can choose a personalised fitness programme, instructed by qualified fitness trainers, and take advantage of a selection of classes, such as yoga, salsa or body combat.

Doug Ellis Sports Centre website

Our staff

Our staff have incredible industry links and a wealth of experience, and often continue to work in their specialist areas.

Irfan Khawaja

Senior Lecturer in Physical Education & School Sport

Irfan was a physical education teacher for seven years. Throughout his career, he has worked in primary and secondary schools, and was a curriculum coordinator for P.E at key stage 5 level. In addition to this, Irfan gained experience as a head of department and has delivered a range of INSET teacher training sessions.

Prior to this, Irfan worked in schools as part of the extended schools programme, and has experience of organising high-profile school and community charity events. He has a diverse range of coaching qualifications and also has experience of teaching internationally in South Africa.

Irfan is now the Course Leader for Physical Education and School Sport.

Rachel Black

Senior Lecturer Physical Education and School Sport

After gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in Physical Education, Rachel had a long and rewarding career as a Head of a Secondary School PE Department. Later in her career, Rachel took on a whole-school role as Key Stage 5 Coordinator, which also involved running a Science department. Rachel’s experience has also incorporated teaching and advising Primary Schools. Prior to joining the team at Birmingham City University, Rachel taught on the Physical Education degree course at The University of Worcester. Rachel is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education.

Craig Newton Staff profile

Craig Newton


Craig joined BCU after 10 years teaching physical education at both primary and secondary level. During this time Craig gained experience as a head of department, educational visit coordinator and led a whole school initiative of mentoring SEN pupils from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Whilst teaching he studied part time to gain a Masters in Teaching and Learning and has since delivered a range of INSET teacher training sessions from his studies.