Skip to content Exit mobile menu

The Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development 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 you to engage as active learners in a variety of practical and theoretical contexts. 

  • Designed specifically for anyone wishing to pursue careers in teaching, special educational needs and disability settings and youth coaching in able-bodied and adapted sports.
  • Develop and explore the practical application of PE and sports coaching, as well as wider considerations, such as philosophy, sociology and adapted physical education and sport.
  • Gives you a critical understanding of the physical, social, pedagogical and educational aspects of physical education, sport and youth development.

Why study Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development (with a Foundation Year)?

Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development ensures that you 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 you with a critical understanding of the physical, social, pedagogical and educational aspects of Physical Education and Sport.

We aim for you to gain both knowledge and an understanding of applying innovative ideas to their coaching and teaching practice.

Why St Mary's?

We have an incredibly strong reputation for Physical Education teaching and sports performance at St Mary’s University. Our programme offers you 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 you 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 you to choose several career pathways. The course highly regards innovative use of technology to enhance your experience, particularly in relation to supporting development of your teaching and coaching practice.

We have established strong links with over 200 schools that form our teaching partnerships and provide a diverse range of teaching settings for you to gain work placement experience. The location of these placements varies between locally-sourced settings and placements close to students' home towns. We also have links with a range of National Governing Bodies in Elite and Disability Sport, as well as with a Premier League football club, who provide invaluable 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.

Entry requirements

48-72 UCAS points required


A Levels


BTEC Extended

View alternative requirements

To calculate your expected UCAS points, please use the UCAS Tariff calculator.

If you wish to go on to train as a teacher, you will also require GCSE Grade C - or equivalent - or above in English, Mathematics and Science.

Requirements for other qualifications (including BTECs, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureates and Access Courses) are also available. For more information please email

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references and your motivation for study.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Course content

On successful completion of the foundation year you will be automatically enrolled on to the first year of the undergraduate degree.

Foundation year

  • Personal Learning Competencies Core
  • Taking a Professional Approach Core
  • Thinking Critically, Creatively and Ethically Core
  • Sociology of Education Core
  • Foundation of Life Core
  • Individual Project Core

Year one

  • Holistic Development of the Young Person 1 Core
  • Learning in Context Core
  • Introduction to Teaching and Coaching Games Core
  • Introduction to Creativity and Individual Activities Core
  • Introduction to Equality and Diversity in PE and Sport Core
  • Holistic Development of the Young Person 2 Core

Year two

  • Professional Practice 1 Core
  • Research Proposal Core
  • Teaching and Learning 1 Optional
  • Teaching and Coaching Games Optional
  • Developing Creativity within Individual Activities Optional
  • Contemporary Issues in PE and Sport Optional
  • Adapted Physical Activity, PE and Sport 1 Optional

Year three

  • Professional Practice 2 Core
  • Research Project Core
  • Teaching and Learning in Secondary Physical Education Optional
  • Applied Teaching and Coaching Pedagogy Optional
  • Coach Education, Development and Mentoring Optional
  • Advanced Contemporary Issues in PE and Sport Optional
  • Adapted Physical Activity, PE and Sport 2 Optional
  • Teaching and Learning in Primary Physical Education Optional
  • Youth Talent Development Optional

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Career opportunities

The Careers Service has more information on careers and study options available to graduates.

The 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 teacher training course.

If your career interests lie within the health and fitness industries, the degree's focus on physical literacy from cradle-to-grave will support your personal development.

This degree is also appropriate for those who wish to pursue a postgraduate degree or research.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development (with a Foundation Year) students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

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 coaching and sport development contexts. Blended learning approaches include the use of technology and online teaching platforms to enhance the variety of skills, knowledge and understanding required to be successful in today’s modern job markets.

Class sizes vary depending on the modules undertaken. Typical class sizes range from 20 to 70 students in different teaching settings.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 22%
  • Guided learning: 43%
  • Independent study: 35%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

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, work-based learning portfolio vivas and a Research Project/Dissertation.

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.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

Fees and funding

2020/21 fees

  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £12,250

* Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Additional costs

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

Additional costs could be incurred should you choose to buy copies of the core textbooks rather than loan from our library, from your placement if you opt for one, and if you choose to purchase resources to support your practical teaching sessions.


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.


View all facilities

Further information

Teaching staff

Claire McLoughlin profile photo Claire McLoughlin
Principal Lecturer (Foundation Year Lead)

Andrew Stopher profile photo Andrew Stopher
Programme Director - Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development

Nicola Evans Nic Evans
Programme Director, Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development

Michael Hobson profile photo Michael Hobson
Lecturer - Physical and Sport Education

Joana  Fonseca profile photo Joana Fonseca
Senior Lecturer - Physical Education

Claire Mulvenna profile photo Claire Mulvenna
Lecturer - Physical Education and Sport Coaching

Liam McCarthy  profile photo Liam McCarthy
Senior Lecturer - Physical and Sport Education

Patrick Oxenham profile photo Patrick Oxenham
Lecturer - Physical Education and Sports Coaching

Visit the campus

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development (with a Foundation Year) video

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

UCAS Application Timeline