Physical Education (Secondary) (with QTS) BA (Hons)

About the course


Train for a career where you will inspire and influence young people - giving them the motivation, confidence, competence and understanding to lead a physically active life.

Develop your understanding of teaching and learning, and apply it in practice via placement in each year of study, supported by a mentor and university-based staff.

Become an outstanding teacher of Physical Education with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), competent to teach a range of physical activities to children aged 11-16 (16-19 with enhancement).

This course is accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (a department of the Department for Education).


  • National College for Teaching and Leadership

Physical Education (Secondary) (with QTS) - BA (Hons) - Bedford Campus

  • Apply Via - UCAS
  • Course level - Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code - X1C6
  • Campus Location - Bedford Campus
  • Start dates - Oct
  • Duration - 4 Years
  • Attendance - Full time
  • Download Course Specifications

Why choose this course?

The course has achieved 100% overall student satisfaction for 3 consecutive years (National Student Survey, 2015, 2016, 2017).

  • Learn through classroom experience, applying theory to your teaching practice to develop the skills to teach young people in the secondary education phase
  • Study the scientific principles of physical education and sport, with applied practical activities (eg athletics, dance, games, gymnastics, health, swimming, outdoor and adventurous activities)
  • Develop your expertise in the classroom with the support of a strong partnership between the University and your placement school
  • Gain a qualification that includes recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • Explore issues in teaching, learning and assessment
  • Benefit from an experienced  University teaching team
  • 100% of recent graduates were in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, 2016)

Unit Information – What Will I Learn?

Year 1
  • Foundations for Learning, Teaching and Inclusion
  • Scientific Foundations of Physical Education
  • Developing Physical Literacy through Games, OAA and Health
  • Developing Physical Literacy through Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics and Swimming
Year 2
  • Teaching for Learning
  • Theoretical Foundations for Physical Education
  • Applied Physical Literacy through Health, Games and OAA
  • Applied Physical Literacy through Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics and Swimming
Year 3
  • The Reflective Practitioner
  • Teachers and the Pastoral Curriculum
  • Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Teaching Accredited Courses in Physical Education
  • Processes and Product – Reflections on Practice in Dance and OAA
  • Movement Replication in Gymnastics and Swimming
  • Developing Pedagogy in Athletics & Games Activities
Year 4
  • Reflecting on Teaching
  • The Action Research Project
  • Entering the Profession
  • Cultural Perspectives on Teaching Physical Education
  • Dance Studies 14-19*
  • Healthy Active Lifestyles*
  • Practical Assessment in Physical Education*   

(*denotes options)

Discover the School of Teacher Education

18th for Initial Teacher Training - National Student Survey 2017

We are very proud of our excellent reputation in training teachers, which spans over 100 years, and of the strong and effective partnership with schools and colleges in Bedford Borough; Central Beds; Luton; Milton Keynes and Peterborough. Our employment rate is amongst the highest in the country and the university hosts an annual Teaching Fair, which brings students and employers together for job and networking opportunities.

We take particular care to ensure that the individual needs of all students are met, and we encourage all students to reach their potential in a supportive environment.

Discover the facilities, see examples of students’ work, read about graduate successes, browse courses, view staff profiles and much more.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment for this course seeks to support you in developing your understanding of the interplay between theoretical perspectives and practice based experience.

You will be developing your skills of research and evaluation, critical thinking, creativity and independence.

The themes for your reflective writing are developed from local and national priorities and, therefore, allow you to develop the evidence of your understanding of values and principles underpinning the Teachers’ Standards as they apply to your working context.

Types of assessment include portfolios, essays, teaching observations, case studies, tests, practical exercises, reports, reflective evaluation, research projects.

Entry requirements

  • We will consider you as an individual and take into account all elements of your application, not just your qualifications. We are looking for breadth and depth in your current studies and enthusiasm for the subject you wish to study.

    UCAS has introduced a new tariff for courses starting from September 2017. This means the points you will be asked for are different to previous years but the grades you receive have not changed.

  • At least 104 points which should include three A levels at C or above
  • At least 104 points with Merit Merit Merit in BTEC Extended Diploma or Distinction* Distinction* in the BTEC Diploma or Distinction Merit Merit in a BTEC Extended Diploma
  • A completed Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Equivalent qualifications such as Irish Leaving Certificate, OCR Nationals, International Baccalaureate and CACHE Level 3 awards.
  • For more clarification about your qualifications in the new tariff view the UCAS tariff calculator

    Contact the Admissions Team for additional guidance on whether the qualifications you currently hold or are taking would be suitable for entry.

    T: +44 (0)1582 743500

  • As a general guide, to apply for a place on an undergraduate course (BA/BSc) at the University you need to have completed your high school education and have the required English qualification.

    We have students from all the European Union member countries so we are quick to make decisions on most qualifications. See your country page for more details

  • Check Your Country page to confirm that your local qualifications are suitable or contact your International Admissions Team.

  • English GCSE Grade C or above (or equivalent)
  • Maths GCSE Grade C or above (or equivalent)
  • Interview
  • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Written test (numeracy)

All candidates are interviewed and this process consists of: an individual verbal interview, a practical test for games, gymnastic and dance, a short reading and writing task and a numeracy test.

Prospective students normally have:

  • A minimum of 260 UCAS points from at least two A Levels (including Physical Education if taken) OR BTEC Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in a Sports-based pathway (or a combination of the above).
  • If A Level Physical Education is studied, you must achieve at least a B grade.
  • Five passes at GCSE (Grades A*- C) or equivalent, including English Language and Mathematics.
  • Mature candidates, over 21 at the start of the programme, with relevant experience are considered without A-Level passes or equivalent. They still must have the qualifications at GCSE (Grades A-C) in English Language and Mathematics or an equivalent.
  • All entrants must have passed the professional skills tests prior to entry

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

The course is framed by a commitment to help you to develop the characteristics of a University of Bedfordshire graduate teacher.

Graduates of this course have very high employment and career progression rates, with many teachers working in leadership and senior leadership roles.

You will be challenged to explore theories of teaching and learning and to examine the implications of such theories for your own development. In doing this you will refine, form and reform your own principles, perspectives and values in relation to professional teaching practice.

On completion of the course you will have the appropriate attitude, knowledge, skills and understanding to meet the needs of the children’s and schools’ workforce agenda.

Distinctive features of this course, through which you will develop these characteristics, include:

  • Partnership provision
  • Enhancements which improve personalisation and employability
  • Reflective practice
  • Frequent feedback to help you know how you are progressing
  • Support to excel in pastoral responsibilities

Our goal is to grow and inspire the next generation of outstanding teachers. Our highly experienced and qualified tutors challenge students to develop and apply their knowledge and skills in relevant, ‘real-world’ and active learning contexts, both in university and school environments. In recent successive years, 100% of graduates have been graded outstanding or good against the Teachers’ Standards for trainee teachers. However, we continue to strive for better teaching and learning in our own and student teachers’ practice.
Quote from a lecturer

Professional placements

We value real-world experience to prepare you for life beyond university, which is why we’ve forged connections with thousands of companies locally, nationally and internationally. Through our placements, you can gain that all-important practical experience whilst you complete your course.

From volunteering, internships and placements, through to a fee free year in industry, we offer a whole host of opportunities to enhance your employability. Discover more

Go Global

Whether you want to learn a new language, build networks, simply have the travel bug, or want to develop new skills and life experiences, our Go Global programme offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance your CV, and gain a truly international experience, all at the same time as studying towards your undergraduate degree. The Go Global programme is open to students from the UK and EU.

Travel to exciting destinations, including:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • New York
  • Malaysia and Singapore

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Go Europe

Our International students meanwhile, can make the most of trips to a series of exciting European destinations. From France and Belgium, to Holland and Germany, there are plenty of places to visit, network and broaden your knowledge of the global market place, by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, first-hand.

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Fees and Funding

  • The full-time undergraduate tuition fee is £9,250 per year. The part-time undergraduate tuition fee is charged pro-rata to £6,160. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees. You can also apply for a maintenance loan from the Government to help cover your living costs.


    The University of Bedfordshire offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to help you finance your studies.


    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • The full-time undergraduate tuition fee is £9,250 per year. The part-time undergraduate tuition fee is charged pro-rata to £6,160. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees.


    The University of Bedfordshire offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to help you finance your studies.


    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • The full-time tuition fee is £11,500 per year A prompt payment discount is available if you pay the full Year 1 fee before or at registration. There are also special scholarships available.


    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

Extra costs for this course

For this course you need a tracksuit and PE kit. We estimate that the total spend would be around £100.

Travel costs

You need to budget for travel costs to your teaching placement. The cost can be from £30 up to £1000 depending on the location of your school placement.

*The information above is for guidance only. Exact costs may vary.


Physical Education and Sports Science Centre

Sports Hall

The sports hall is an integral space in the School of Sport Science and Physical Activity, complementing discipline leading Sport and Exercise Science and modern muscle cell and molecular biology laboratories, all co-located on the Bedford campus.

The sports hall is a major teaching facility for the University's Sport and Physical Education degree courses which have trained physical educators in the UK for over a century.

Together with its associated facilities it provides our trainee teachers and coaches with a superb environment in which to coach and teach pupils from local primary schools who are also benefiting from this new facility.

The sports hall is proud to host all Bedfordshire Bulls students' sports matches as well as national standard sporting events including British University College Sports championships – one of the few indoor sporting venues in the county to host prestigious tournaments all year round.

The facility also plays host to a number of University promoted Get into Sport activities which are open to all University students and staff.

Specialist labs

Our specialist labs give students a fantastic environment to develop their research skills and expertise, where a student can explore the genetics of an elite athlete who could be performing simultaneously within the sports hall.

Few Sport Science courses in the country offer students such unique discipline leading research experience and skills, alongside intimate access to world leading researchers within their field. Students are regularly offered the opportunity to be involved within discipline defining Sport, Health and Exercise Science research

Our state-of-the-art laboratories are purpose built for research and teaching in the fields of exercise and nutrition science. This includes specialised equipment and facilities for assessing human health risk and delivering exercise and diet interventions for health promotion.

This includes:

  • Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for assessing bone density and body fat content
  • BodPod and underwater weighing tank for body composition assessment
  • Environmental chamber that controls temperature, humidity, and oxygen levels in the air
  • Wet lab for assessing metabolic and hormone markers in blood

Our £8m Physical Education and Sport Science Centre was used to train athletes in the 2012 Olympics.

Theatre and dance studio facilities

  • 280 seat theatre
  • 80 studio theatre
  • Four fully-sprung dance studios
  • Dance studios equipped with ballet bars, mirrors, audio playback, internet and projection
  • Large dressing rooms with en suite showers
  • A scenery workshop reserved solely for student productions
  • Large 6m by 12m white Cyclorama screen for projection and lighting
  • State of the art HD projectors
  • Full backstage comms system with audio and video relay
  • Extensive lantern stock including Led fixtures, strobes and moving lights
  • State-of-the-art, industry-standard lighting and sound consoles
  • Built in media desk and roll-down screen

Gateway Building

Opened in January 2015 the Gateway is an impressive building featuring high-quality teaching spaces, informal learning spaces, and lecture theatres (including a Harvard style lecture theatre); as well as a new student services centre.

Campus Centre

Campus Centre featuring a 280-seat professional theatre, dance studios, a fairtrade café and social space for students.

Accommodation at Bedford

For on-campus student accommodation choose from luxury living at Liberty Park's modern en-suite study bedrooms or the Student Village which offers standard rooms with shared bathroom facilities, and en-suite rooms with a private shower. All have fully-equipped kitchens. Our rooms are on-campus and have easy access to the town centre and train station.

Subjects studied at Bedford campus

  • Primary Education
  • Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education
  • Education Studies
  • Physical Education and Sport Studies
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Tourism and Leisure
  • Accounting and Business Management
  • Performing Arts and Dance
  • Social Work

Bedford town location

The Bedford campus is a 20-minute walk from the town centre. The University offers a free bus service for staff and students that runs between Bedford town centre and the campus.

Directions to Bedford campus

Bedford offers excellent transport links to the rest of the UK as it sits between the M1 and the A1. The town connects by train to Luton (20 minutes) and London (40 minutes).

In addition to the University’s own facilities, students on this course will use a range of local, national and international facilities in and around Bedford. These include Bedford International Athletic Stadium, Priory Marina and Country Park and Bedford College Swimming Pool.

How to Apply

  • Application for most full-time undergraduate and foundation courses is via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

    We expect to receive UCAS applications between 1 September and 15 January for courses starting in the following academic year, but may consider applications received after this date should places be available.

    Please contact for further details.

    All UK schools and colleges are registered with UCAS to manage their students' applications. Advice on how to submit your UCAS application is available from your school or college.

    If you are not at school or college (including mature students) you should apply independently via UCAS

  • EU students applying for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply via UCAS or direct using our admissions form

  • International students applying for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or via our representatives in your home country

    You can also apply online

    Find out more about how to apply

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Physical Education (Secondary) (with QTS) - BA (Hons)

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