Accessibility links

Physical Education A Level at Thomas Gainsborough School

Course description

A Level PE includes the compulsory study of: Applied Anatomy and Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanical Movement, Skill Acquisition, Sports Psychology, Sport and Society and the Role of Technology in Physical Activity and Sport. Alongside this are the skills of PE which are examined via the non-exam assessment component on performance.

Course content

Component 1: Physiological Factors Affecting Performance

This group of topics focuses on key systems of the human body involved in movement and physical activity. Candidates will develop their knowledge and understanding of the changes within these body systems prior to exercise, during exercise of differing intensities and during recovery. Application of this theoretical knowledge will enable candidates to understand how changes in physiological states can influence performance in physical activities and sport. Students will be expected to be able to interpret data and graphs relating to changes in these body systems during exercise of differing intensities and during recovery.

Component 2: Psychological Factors Affecting Performance

This component focuses on the psychological factors affecting physical activities and sports, including: 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; group dynamics and the effects of leadership and stress on performers. Through the study of this component, students will gain a deeper understanding of the underlying psychological factors that influence our performance in physical activity and sport. They will learn how to apply the theories to practical examples, giving 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.

Component 3: Socio-cultural and Contemporary Issues

This component focuses on the sociological and contemporary factors that influence and affect physical activity and sport for both the audience and the performer and how sport affects society. It includes the emergence and evolution of modern sport and how social and cultural factors shaped the characteristics of sports and pastimes in pre-industrial and post-industrial Britain. 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 will be understood and practical examples will be used by candidates to show the effect of modern technology.

Component 4: Performance within Physical Education

Learners will be required to undertake two parts within this component.
Part 1: Performance/coaching of a sport or activity.
Part 2: The Evaluation and Appreciation of Performance for Improvement (EAPI) of a sport or activity.

This component is assessed via non-exam assessments.

Entry requirements

Students should have achieved a Grade 5 or above in GCSE PE.


Three examination papers 2x 1 hour and 1x 2 hours taken at the end of the two-year course.

Non-exam assessment, one Practical Performance, as either a coach or a performer in an activity.

Non-exam assessment, one Performance Analysis task.

Future opportunities

On this course you will learn a number of transferable skills which will allow you to move on to higher education if you wish to continue your studies in sport. Students could go on to study degree courses in Sports Science, Physiotherapy, Teaching, Sports Psychology or sports media. Alternatively, a career in the leisure industry including management, coaching, personal training.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Thomas Gainsborough School directly.

Last updated date: 13 November 2017
Provider logo

Key information