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Physical Education A Level at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

You will look at anatomical, physiological and psychological theories and apply them to current sporting activity and performance. Everyone on the course will undertake personal study, where you will analyse sporting performance and develop ways to improve either your own personal skill level or that of others, if looking at the coaching element. You will also be assessed in personal skill levels and in competitive practical situations.

The first year will give you an introduction to physical education including anatomy and physiology, acquiring movement skills, and socio-cultural studies relating to participation in physical activity. The aim is to ensure that all the basic concepts are covered and then for you to be able to apply these to practical situations to enhance performance and skill level. The practical element of the course is covered through the acquiring, developing and evaluating practical skills in physical education module. This includes a practical assessment in two activities as a performer, official or coach. You will also be examined on knowledge of general practical activity preparation.

The second year of the course further develops the principles learnt in year one and covers the topics of socio cultural studies, sports psychology and sport physiology. These topics are applied to current elite performance and involves many of the key principles being linked to development in world or Olympic performances. The practical component in the second year of study includes your assessment in one practical activity as either a performer, official or coach and must be linked to the full competitive sporting environment. You will also complete a written coursework component based on a self-analysis of six key skills in your chosen activity area.

Course content

AS Level:

PHED 1 (60%) Opportunities for and the effects of leading a healthy and active lifestyle. 
Section A – will require you to answer questions on applied physiology, skill acquisition and opportunities for participation.
Section B – will examine you on the application of theoretical knowledge on a practical situation.

PHED 2 (40%) Analysis and evaluation of physical activity as a performer and/or in an adopted roles/s (performer/official/leader). You will be assessed on your ability to perform, analyse and evaluate the execution of core skills/techniques in isolation in a structured practices.

A2 Level: 

PHED 3 (60%) Optimising performance and evaluating contemporary issues within sport.
Section A  –  looks at how the application of physiological factors can optimise performance.
Section B  –  looks at how the application of psychological knowledge can optimise performance.
Section C  –  evaluates contemporary influences in sport and their impact on the performer.

PHED 4 (40%) Optimising practical performance in a competitive situation.
You are assessed on your ability to perform, analyse and evaluate your own performance of the core skills/techniques in a competitive situation in one of the three adopted roles (performer/official/leader). Then using your knowledge and understanding you will identify your weaknesses, suggest the causes of these weaknesses and the appropriate corrective measures.

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs at grade C or above. Successful A Level candidates should achieve a grade A or B in a number of relevant GCSE subjects including Science. Students should also be competing regularly in 2 sport activities; one of which should be at or above county standard or equivalent.


You will be taught and assessed using a variety of different methods including formal lectures, class activities, set homework, exam preparation and individual research.

Formal assessment is as follows:

AS Level: 1 written exam of 2 hours 60% - practical assessment 40%
A2 Level: 1 written exam of 2 hours 60% - practical and written coursework assessment 40%

Future opportunities

Students who successfully complete the assessment for AS Level during the first year will be eligible to progress to A2 Level in the second year.

Further possibilities include Truro and Penwith College’s Higher Education courses in Sports Coaching and Health and Fitness.  Future careers include teaching, coaching, physiotherapy, sports retail, sports therapy, journalism, sport administration in leisure and sports development.

Further information

At least six hours of independent study time per week.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

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