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Single or Joint



UCAS code

3 Years



UCAS points required

Dean Beaver

Programme Director for Physical and Sport Education

Email | 020 8240 4356

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The Physical and Sport Education degree at St Mary’s provides you with a critical understanding of the physical, social, pedagogical and educational aspects of Physical Education and Sport. This will take place through a theoretical and applied approach that requires students to engage as active learners in a variety of practical and theoretical contexts.

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Why study Physical and Sport Education?

Physical and Sport Education ensures that students are equipped for many different roles within the sports industry. This is done by undertaking work-based opportunities and additional sporting qualifications that will further enable them to stand out in the job market.

The degree explores the practical application of physical education and sports coaching as well as wider contemporary considerations associated with the industry such as philosophy, sociology, performance analysis and sports development. It also focuses on providing students with a critical understanding of the physical, social, pedagogical and educational aspects of Physical Education and Sport.

St Mary's aims for students to gain both knowledge and an understanding of applying innovative ideas to their coaching and teaching practice.

Why St Mary's?

St Mary’s University has an incredibly strong reputation for Physical Education teaching and sports performance. Our programme offers students the opportunity to work towards a career in teaching PE in both the primary, secondary and special needs settings, youth coaching in both able bodied and adapted sports, sports development and the leisure industry.

The campus itself is greenly-rural, yet London-urban, located amongst many partnership organisations for students to access for their own work based development.

The uniqueness of the course is displayed in the variety of sports industry modules options on offer, enabling students to choose several career pathways. The course highly regards innovative use of technology to enhance the student experience, particularly in relation to supporting development of students’ teaching and coaching practice.

St Mary's has established strong links with over 200 schools that form our teaching partnerships and provide a diverse range of teaching settings for our students to gain work placement experience. We also have strong links with a Premier League football club, where there are invaluable qualification and work-based learning opportunities.

The course is further supported by a team of lecturers who have a wide range of expertise in academic and industry fields, national and Olympic/Paralympic sport arenas and professional expertise and experience in PE and sport, who make every effort to know their students by name, not by number.

Teaching methods

Teaching approaches reflect the educational nature of the degree and embrace a range of methods including lectures, tutorials, seminars, study groups, workshops, practical tutor-led sessions, applied (student-led) practical and theoretical sessions. School based observation and applied activity sessions are mirrored by experiences in coach education and sport development contexts. Blended learning approaches include the use of studio code for observation and analysis.

Assessment methods

Modules are assessed through a range of innovative methods including assessing practical skills - self and peer evaluations, examinations, essays, portfolios, case studies, seminar and ICT-based presentations, online assessments, video and oral presentations, directed studies and work based learning portfolio vivas, hosted learning conversations and a Major Independent Study.

Guidance and support are given in adopting an academic approach to your work. Tutorials are provided to give detailed feedback and target setting especially in the early years of study.

Key facts

  • 80% of Physical and Sport Education students are in professional employment, further study or both six months after graduation (HESA, DLHE 2015/16)
  • Physical Education focuses on the physical, cognitive, emotional and psychological aspects of learning.
  • Sport Education focuses on participation in the broadest sense and on students developing as sports people.
  • Physical and Sport Education expresses our vision of a graduate who is both physically literate themselves and who is equipped and prepared to engage in the physical and sport education of others in a variety of community settings.
  • Physical Literacy is the concept that underpins all aspects of the degree programme where physical literacy is: ‘the motivation, confidence, physical competence, understanding and knowledge to maintain physical activity at an individually appropriate level, throughout life’.
  • The degree is offered as both Single or Joint Honours Programme.
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus.
Please note: this programme is subject to revalidation.

Joint honours

Physical and Sport Education can be combined with any of the following courses to create a joint honours degree programme:

Course content

Year one

  • An Introduction to Creative and Individual Activities 
  • An Introduction to Sport Pedagogy 
  • An Introduction to Teaching and Coaching Games 
  • Holistic Development of the Young Person 
  • Learning to Learn: Educational Research 
  • The Foundations of Teaching and Learning in PE and Sport 

Year two

  • Adapted Physical and Sport Activity 
  • Assessment and Analysis in PE and Sport 
  • Community Placement: Sporting Envoy 
  • Creating a Positive Learning Environment in PE 
  • Health, Exercise and Sport Psychology 
  • Human Movement Anatomy and Physiology 
View all modules

Year three

  • Applied Adapted Physical and Sport Activity 
  • Applied Teaching and Coaching Games 
  • Applied Teaching and Coaching of Individual Activities 
  • Community and Adult Physical Activity 
  • Development of Gifted and Talented Young People3 
  • Global Issues in Physical Education and Sport 
View all modules
Please note: information published on this webpage is subject to change before the programme commences. Please refer to the programme specification document (PDF) for an authoritative summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Physical and Sport Education students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

There is also the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your degree. The Centre for Workplace Learning offers work-related modules that can be embedded within your studies.

Teaching and Learning careers

Located in the School of Education, Theology and Leadership, where initial teacher education is rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, the Single Honours in Physical and Sport Education degree provides excellent preparation for students who wish to become teachers. This includes delivering the National Curriculum, understanding our teaching and learning and exploring how classroom and school are influenced by policy and philosophy.

Approximately 60% of graduates from this degree enter teaching related careers. Tutor expertise and an exceptionally strong schools partnership provide the foundation for the PE pathway that students can follow almost exclusively in preparing for a postgraduate route into teaching

The 2012 Olympic Games legacy will ensure that working in the sports pedagogy and development industry remains a strong service career option for many graduates

Physical Activity, Health and Fitness

Focusing on physical literacy from cradle to grave, this degree supports the personal and academic development of graduates whose career and job interests lie within the health and fitness industries.

Academic study and research

This degree is appropriate for those who wish to pursue a postgraduate degree or research and has a specific link to the Master's degrees in Education, Pedagogy and Professional Practice in PE.


View all facilities

Fees and funding

Home/EU: £9,250
International: £11,220

The tuition fees listed on this page are for the 2018/19 academic year.

For information on fees for other academic years - along with information about financing your studies - please check the Fees & Funding section.

Additional costs

Your tuition fee will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken. For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline