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Physical Education & Sports Coaching BA (Hons)

Physical education teachers inspire people of all ages to get involved in sport and to get the most they possibly can out of it. If you’re aspiring to change lives and communities through sport, then this is the degree for you.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
Study abroad
Yes - see our study abroad pages for more information
Start date
September 2019

Course overview

A distinctive feature of all the Sport Degrees at York St John University is that they are underpinned by our philosophy (our ‘school of thought’) which is value-led and which stresses the importance of Social Justice. Therefore, on our Physical Education & Sport Coaching Degree there is a focus on the right to play, stressing participation over consumerism and holding to account those who seek elitism rather than sporting excellence.

The academics who teach Physical Education & Sports Coaching have both practical and research experience. Our research includes work on bullying in sport and PE and on equality issues in sport.

100% of 2017 graduates from the School of Sport are now in employment or further study, with 74% of these in professional or managerial roles.

(Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2017)

Course structure

Following a generic Level 1 aimed at providing all students with the fundamental knowledge, understanding and skills to be successful within the programme. 

In Levels 2 and 3 you will also have the opportunity to engage in specialist modules aligned to your Degree award title. This includes modules in Physical Education, Sports Coaching, Pedagogical and Coaching Practices and Contemporary Issues in Physical Education and Sports Coaching.

Level 1

Modules include:

Research, Practice, and Citizenship
This module sits at the juncture between research, evidence-based practice, and the commitment of the School of Sport at YSJU to a value-led approach to studying sport. The aims of the module are to introduce students to (1) a value-led approach to studying sport, (2) research and its importance in terms of providing a credible basis for advancing knowledge and improving practice, and (3) how a combination of our values and research can be used to improve the lives of people in our community.

Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Physiology
The aim of this module is to provide students with the fundamental knowledge required to understand the importance of human physiological systems for health, exercise and sport. Students will be provided with the necessary skills to correctly perform a range of physiological measures that can be used to evaluate an individual’s health status and acute physiological responses to exercise.

Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Psychology
The aim of the module is to introduce students to basic methodological approaches, theories, and concepts that are used to study the thoughts, emotions, and behaviours of participants in sport and exercise. The module provides foundational knowledge required to begin to understand and explain the psychology of sport and exercise.

Introduction to Research Methods in Sport
Research is a key form of learning and this module focusses upon the development of fundamental research skills enabling students to become informed consumers who have the capacity to recognise and evaluate research evidence and make sense of the literature that contributes to the body of knowledge in sport.

Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Biomechanics
This module provides an introduction to the fundamental aspects of mechanics that underpin all elements of human movement for performance and health.  The module adopts a multidisciplinary approach, which will provide a vital foundation for the theoretical and applied work covered across the remainder of the programme.

Fundamental Sociological Issues in Sport, Culture and Society
As future practitioners in a range of sports-related fields, it is important for all students to understand the increasingly complex and diverse nature of modern society. This module introduces students to a range of social issues in sport from a sociological perspective. Through the adoption of a sociological perspective, students will be encouraged to develop a more critical and detached understanding of long-term power-struggles surrounding issues of equity, diversity and inclusion in sport.

All modules are 20 credits

Level 2

Modules include:

Research Design and Analysis
The specific aims of the module are to: (1) introduce students to a range of quantitative and qualitative research designs commonly employed in sport research, (2) enable the critique of research through identifying the strengths and weaknesses of different designs, and (3) equip students with more advanced analytical skills to interpret and report both quantitative and qualitative data.

Theory and Research in Sport and Exercise Psychology
The aim of the module is to develop student understanding of complex theories and concepts in sport and exercise psychology, how these theories and concepts are empirically tested in sport and exercise contexts, and how the findings of research allows the utility of different theories and concepts to be evaluated.

Key Pedagogical Behaviours of Sport Educators
This module introduces key pedagogical concepts that allow students to have a critical understanding of the need to plan, teach and evaluate sessions which facilitate the learning and development needs of children in the context of the National Curriculum in Physical Education Key Stages 1 and 2, along with the LTAD active start, fundamentals and learning to train stages.

Applied Research Methods and Design
Students will work with an academic supervisor to identify a research question and plan a piece of empirical research to answer the question. Students will have the opportunity to share their proposed research at a student research conference and receive formative feedback from staff and invited guests.

Social Justice in Sport: Ethical Perspectives
The aim of this module is to produce graduates that have a passion for critical inquiry, as well as a confidence for challenging social injustices, students will examine a broad range of ethical dilemmas, theories and interventions in the field of sport. To this end, the module’s central aim is to develop students understanding of ethical thinking and practice in light of social justice issues in sport.

Pedagogical Processes in Physical Education and Sports Coaching
The module will broaden students understanding of inclusion in PE and Sports Coaching enabling students to adapt the learning environment to meet learner needs effectively. By applying effective pedagogical processes to both coaching and teaching, students will be able to develop an understanding of the multidisciplinary knowledge that is needed to underpin effective practice. With this in mind, the aim of this module is to apply principles of teaching and coaching in context of the National Curriculum for Physical Education key stage 3.

All modules are 20 credits

Level 3

Modules include:

Research Paper (40 credits)
Students develop a research topic of their choice, reflective of their personal passion interest and programme of study.  Once the area of inquiry is chosen students exhibit a detailed comprehension of the topic of interest, applying a range of research skills and demonstrating informed critical thinking through synthesis of the wider literature, analysis of data and evaluation of empirical findings.

Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to develop student understanding of applied practice in sport and exercise psychology. This includes the roles and responsibilities of practitioners in sport and exercise psychology, psychological skills training used by sport and exercise practitioners, and the empirical basis for these techniques. The module will also provide students with practical experience of psychological skills training that could be used to improve performance, increase participation, and support wellbeing in applied contexts.

Teaching and Coaching for Lifelong Participation (20 credits)
Students will gain a greater understanding of the pedagogical process, principles and practice of physical education and sports coaching by studying in greater depth their specialist area of interest. This will enable students to critically reflect and evaluate their own professional practice and apply the model of evidence based practice to their particular professional development. 

Social Justice in Sport: Sociological Perspectives (20 credits)
This module aims to consolidate and develop students understanding of Social Justice through the theoretical prisms of classical and contemporary social thought. The development of such critical insight is designed to enable students to become analytical thinkers, providing them with the skills to inform and shape decisions relating to sports provision through a prism that emphasises fairness and equality. 

Contemporary Issues in Physical Education and Sports Coaching (20 credits)
Effective practice in Physical Education and sports coaching requires a critical understanding of current debates, controversies, and professional practice issues. The combination of an understanding of these issues and evidence-based practice means students are better able to negotiate novel and complex issues they may encounter in professional environments. 



Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Teaching & Assessment


The School of Sport boasts fully-accredited members of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) demonstrating sustained excellence to teaching, learning and assessment, resulting in research-informed contemporary practice. This puts us at the forefront of numerous teaching, learning and assessment initiatives, which have embedded technology enhanced learning into the curriculum. As a result, you will benefit from our use of video feedback in coach development, flipped classrooms, e-polling, engaging students through tablet technology, blended delivery approaches and audio feedback on written work and examinations. 


Teaching & Learning

To reflect developing knowledge, ability and competence within the field of Physical Education & Sports Coaching the assessment portfolio changes in nature, becoming more diverse and challenging over the course of the programme. Level 1 for example, utilises continuous assessment allowing in semester review and evaluation of performance as well as presenting the opportunity to employ interventions aimed at improving success within the semester.

Levels 2 and 3 present additional opportunities to demonstrate skills of analysis, synthesis and critical review through a variety of assessment approaches that seek to embed research design, engagement and interpretation into the curriculum.

Typically a standard student week will consist of:

  • Three lectures
  • Smaller ancillary classes to support the theory delivered in lectures (for example seminars and workshops)
  • Time-tabled supported open learning (for example journal club and supervised laboratory and practical activities)
  • Sports Scholarship sessions designed to facilitate your success as a University student and enhance your career development
  • Frequent time-tabled personal and academic tutorial sessions

All of this is underpinned by completing your own independent self-directed study, which often involves laboratory of field-based practical work, data collection and presentations.

Assessment & feedback

The teaching and assessment strategies employed across sport are engaging, student-centred and learning orientated. Examples include, 'real world' applied practical work  which develop career-orientated skills and competencies.

To improve the quality of the student learning experiences the programme will use formative assessment, i.e. regular opportunities to recieve feedback on your practical and academic development that does not count toward final degree marks. To facilitate the development of assessment literacy and reduce student confusion and anxiety, assessment modality has been streamlined alongside reducing the range of learning outcomes and assessment criteria employed.



The School of Sport offers a vibrant research culture for students. Students will read research, learn about the latest research techniques, and eventually conduct their own research as part of their programme. Students will also be taught by staff members who conduct research at the forefront of the study of sport and exercise. This means that students are able to learn about the most up-to-date issues in their areas of interest on our programmes.  The Motivation, Performance and Well-Being (MPaW) research group, for example, is among the largest and most productive in the world with regards to examining the consequences of being perfectionistic in sport and exercise. Other work within the school focuses on the physiological and biomechanical aspects of athlete development. This work is conducted in collaboration with professional sports clubs and our other community partners. There is also exciting research taking place examining socio-cultural aspects of sport participation including gambling in football and the experience of bullying in Physical Education (PE). We are proud to say that much of the research in the School of Sport was identified as “internationally excellent” and “world-leading” in the last assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (REF 2014).

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96-112 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Satisfactory Enhanced DBS Check

Professional sports experience and industry recognised qualifications may be considered in lieu of some of the academic admissions requirements.

For more details please contact

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Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships.

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.


Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment, stationery and books.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation webpages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Study abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.

Financial help and support

Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

Unistats data for this course

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