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Teaching Excellence Framework 2023 - Gold Award

BA (Hons) Physical Education

If you know that you would like a career in teaching, but are not sure whether you would like to work in the primary or secondary sectors, the BA (Hons) Physical Education will help you to decide.

Students throw balls as they jog during a practical session

91% student satisfaction

National Student Survey 2022

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Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades CCC or above

Or BTEC triple grades MMM or above

Or Access 23-45 D/M with min 6D

Or T level P (C+)

And GCSE English Language at grade 4 or grade C or above

We will accept 2 AS levels in lieu of one A level but must be accompanied by 2 A Levels or BTECs General Studies is excluded.

UCAS points 96

UCAS code XC63

UCAS institution code P63

Duration Three years full time

Course Summary

If you enjoy being physically active and you want to share your knowledge and enthusiasm with children and teenagers, you may be a perfect candidate for a career in PE teaching. 

The BA (Hons) Physical Education degree will enable you to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to challenge outdated notions of physical education and thus play a part in creating the next generation of healthy and physically literate individuals. The developmental design of the programme allows you to base your career aspiration on experiences during the three year programme instead of committing to primary or secondary education at the start of their degree. 

In your second year, you will undertake a 100-hour placement in a school setting. You can choose to carry out your placement in either a primary school, a secondary school or a school focused on pupils with special needs (SEND). To help you clarify your career aspirations you can choose to split your placement experience between different school contexts, for example, primary school and secondary school. The programme is also designed to provide opportunities to explore working in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). 

Throughout the programme you will be engaging with pedagogy from both a theoretical and a practical perspective through delivering a diverse range of physical activities to children and young people in school settings. You will be working with pupils in every year of your degree through a range of experiential learning opportunities embedded within modules. 

You will engage with all six areas associated with a broad and balanced delivery of PE, alongside non-traditional diverse physical activities providing graduates with the capacity to challenge narrow approaches to PE that do not provide for all pupils’ needs. You will therefore take modules that are designed to encourage creative and innovative practice providing pupils with more meaningful/memorable learning experiences.

You will study in world-class sports facilities at the University including our sports science laboratory, climatic chamber, 25m swimming pool and 4G and astro-turf pitches.

In order to achieve Qualified Teaching Status (QTS), which you need to teach in most UK schools, you'll need to follow this degree with a postgraduate teaching qualification, such as PGCE PE, PGCE Primary or School Direct. This degree is a flexible route into teaching and the developmental design of the programme ensures that you are well placed to apply for a PGCE or School Direct programme in either the primary or secondary sectors to gain qualified teacher status (QTS). 

Why this course at Marjon?

Study at our world class Sport & Health Centre

Study in small groups with like-minded individuals and wide range of expert tutors

100 hours on placement in a range of schools and colleges

Easy access to additional qualifications to enhance your career prospects

Variety of teaching and assessment styles enable you to find your own strengths

Gain experience of teaching PE at both primary and secondary levels to inform your career choices

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

Our first year was mainly learning the basics of teaching. We looked at how students develop physically as they grow up and how attitudes to exercise might change. During the second year we learnt how to deliver a diverse range of sports through hands-on practical experience with our lecturers. In the third year we’re fine-tuning our teaching and we have had a lot of chances to practice our skills in a practical environment. We’re also learning about how to deliver sport to those with special educational needs.
Charley - Third Year, BA (Hons) Physical Education

Please note: optional modules have been marked by an *

1st Year

Engaging with learning, personal and professional development
Provides you with the tools you need to produce your best academic work, develop your criticality and help you to move towards your career aspirations.
Fundamental movement skills
Provides you with a robust understanding of the fundamental movement skills that underpin all sports and physical activities.
Sports science principles of growth and development
This module will underpin the rest of your degree programme and the rest of your career in PE teaching. On this module you will explore the positive and potentially negative impacts of physical activity on a growing and maturing body.
Sport coaching and the coaching process
You’ll learn to plan coaching sessions, then deliver those sessions, and finally evaluate and reflect upon this process in order to improve practice. All of this will be underpinned by relevant theory about this coaching process.
PE, Physical Activity, Health and Lifelong Participation
You will explore the National Curriculum for PE in Key stages 1-4 and how high-quality PE can support lifelong engagement with physically active lifestyles. You will consider the barriers to engaging faced in the primary and secondary sectors and how these could be addressed alongside an exploration of how we can ensure inclusive practice for all learners with different needs.
International studies in sport and physical education
Explore how sport became globally popular by learning about international sporting cartels, leagues, and mega-events. You’ll also teach and play international games including American Football and Kabaddi.

2nd Year

Work based learning (placement)
100 hour placement in a primary, secondary or special educational needs school where you will engage with both curriculum and extra-curricular activities. This placement can be split to help inform your career aspirations, for example between primary and secondary schools or primary and SEN schools.
Physical education through the environment
A diverse range of environments and activity types will be explored and their impact upon learning considered. You will have the opportunity to plan and deliver episodes of learning and expand your appreciation of risk.
Pedagogy and performance in physical education
You’ll learn recognised teaching strategies for specific games, deliver a lesson and reflect on it, set targets for your own professional development in a variety of games and understand the rules, regulations, tactics and technical competencies in a variety of games.
Learning theory and the learner
Planning and assessment through physical activity
A consideration of planning and assessing with a focus on children’s and adolescents’ health and wellbeing.
Research methods in sport and physical education
What’s the difference between facts and alternative facts, evidence and fake news? The scientific method. In this module you’ll learn about research and evidence by doing research to produce evidence, and take the first step towards your dissertation.

3rd Year

Pedagogy in practice
You will be teaching PE lessons to both primary and secondary students supported by keynote lectures.
Diversity in physical education
Experience a range of traditional and non-traditional aesthetic activities that can engage children of all ages and needs.
Thematic learning in education*
Develop innovative methods of engaging learners with a range of different subjects and concepts such as global citizenship.
Working with Children and Young People with Different Needs
On this module you will be exploring how to meet the needs of pupils with special needs (SEND) to ensure you practice in inclusive. You will also be exploring how to identify and work with pupils identified as gifted and talented (G&T).
Honours project (dissertation)
Your opportunity to explore a specific topic, discover new knowledge and present your findings in the capstone of your studies: the dissertation.

Current students say...

Lucy Windsor

“I enjoy the family feel which the course and university create. Being a small group you make such good friends to support you and have a laugh with. The lecturers take a big interest in knowing and developing you. Going coasteering and teaching pupils each week is an amazing opportunity. Throughout 3 years I have never been bored! The next stage is to start my PGCE. With the support from the amazing lecturers I feel I am ready to take the next step in hope of becoming an outstanding teacher.”

Olly Cook

“I really enjoy the practical nature of the course. It is really beneficial to learn the theory and then put this into place so I can completely understand how it works. I’ve enjoyed the range of modules, from outdoor adventure education to sport science I feel that a huge spectrum has been covered. The course has given me first hand opportunities to work with primary and secondary students. Having experience of both allowed me to decide that primary education is the one for me.”

Charley Wright

“The course enabled me to become more confident and competent as a teacher. Following a successful work placement, I was able to gain invaluable experience, skills and connections with local schools, which led to me gaining paid employment supporting learning in PE lessons in primary schools. With this experience I can happily say I have received offers from all the postgraduate teacher training providers I applied to for my Primary PGCE next year, with Marjon being my chosen destination.”

Ask a student

This course is perfect if you’re curious about

Is it possible to influence children to engage with lifelong physical activity?

Can schools have an impact on the health of children and adolescents?

Can you teach maths or literacy through physical activity?

Could high quality physical activity in schools save the NHS budget in decades to come?

How do you engage the disengaged with physical activity and sport?

Could less traditional activities such as yoga or street surfing motivate more children?

It has been an absolute delight watching our children in Gym Club thrive from week to week with regards to their gross motor skills. The children's listening and attention skills, confidence and resilience also thrived. This has been particularly evident with the children from less advantaged households. Equally the male role models have had a great impact on our male children and also on those from our single parent families. Opportunities like this are fundamental.
Vicky Cochrane - Manager at Flying Start Nursery on the weekly Gym Club run by Phys Ed students

See where our graduates are now

Hannah Prisk

“Through the range of theory, practical lessons and placement opportunities my confidence and ability to teach a range of age groups has developed considerably. I’m see the pupils develop into confident young individuals through the support I give them. I was set on becoming a secondary PE teacher, however, the course enabled me to experience a range of environments and ages leading me to change my focus to primary teaching. I’m now doing a PGCE to become a teacher and I love what I am doing.”

Hannah is studying PGCE Primary to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

What might you become?

The majority of graduates enter the teaching profession in either primary or secondary education, following a PGCE or School Direct programme.

Your skills and experiences on the course could also help you move into other roles in education, coaching, sport, sport development. Students in the past have also joined the Police, the Fire Service and the Armed Services. 

There is also opportunity to go onto further a range of sport-related Master's degrees available through Plymouth Marjon University.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Includes lectures, seminars, workshops, practical sessions, offsite visits and direct experience of teaching children and young people both on campus and in schools.

How will you be assessed?

Includes presentations, essays, planning and delivering lessons, designing innovative teaching and learning resources, carrying out risk assessments, blogs, portfolios, practical skills assessment and a final written Honours Project.

Erica Eaton-Quinn

Erica Eaton Quinn

Course leader

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Erica has taught in numerous schools, in both the primary and secondary sectors. She is particularly interested in the relationship between physical activity and health. Erica is passionate about developing physical literacy in foundation and primary aged children to enhance engagement and participation. She is committed to developing a more accessible Physical Education curriculum that meets the needs of all pupils, including those who do not identify as 'sporty'. Erica is also interested in the use of training modalities such as Pilates and Yoga based practices to provide holistic training and diverse learning opportunities in school. Erica has a specific interest in the design of authentic and 'real life' learning opportunities that are based upon innovation and creativity. She has a strong interest in the learning opportunities afforded by adopting a thematic approach to the design and delivery of learning across ages. She has a particular interest in the delivery of curriculum subjects and the wider curriculum through the physical domain. Erica also delivers dance pedagogy across degree programmes based upon her dance background and post graduate studies at the Laban Centre. She has a personal interest in talent identification and development in children with a particular focus on dance. She is also keen to encourage the development of dance in Devon.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £14,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more


Aaron Cusack

Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching and Physical Education

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Aaron is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching & Physical Education and is also the Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Sport Coaching. He teaches predominately across the Sport Coaching & Physical Education degree programmes focusing specifically on practice design, skill acquisition, performance analysis, participation coaching and performance coaching.

Dr Kass Gibson

Associate Professor

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Kass is a qualified PE teacher who has taught in schools, colleges, and universities in New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and the UK. He is a member of the University of Toronto’s Suffering, Pain and Ethics Lab Scientific Team. His research examines experiences and practices in physical activity health promotion, sport, and physical education.

Kelvin Kirk

Senior Lecturer

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Kelvin Kirk is a qualified PE teacher who now teaches sports coaching at Marjon. He has risen through the coaching ranks of volleyball to enable him to award coaching qualifications; he has also more recently coached junior football for several years. His research interests are in primary PE and the increasing use of modern technology in enhancing PE.

More information

Please note that if it is your intention to enter the teaching profession and continue your studies at postgraduate level, you will need to pass the Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) skills tests prior to starting a PGCE or School Direct programme. The course includes a 100 hour PE placement in the second year, usually taken in a local school or college. You don’t need QTS skills tests prior to taking part. In order to achieve Qualified Teacher Status, you will need to follow this degree with a PGCE or School Direct programme.

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