This course will give you a fantastic insight into the world of sports performance.

You will learn why some people outperform others, mentally and physically, and delve into the ethical considerations behind the use of drugs and the influence that modern technology is having on sport.

Through exercise physiology, sports psychology, biomechanics, and practical coursework, you will gain the knowledge to improve both your own and others’ performance.

The combination of physical performance and academic challenge gives you a complete grounding and allows you to acquire a diverse range of skills in the humanities and science areas.

You will develop a set of transferable skills including communication, decision-making, psychological understanding of people, independent thinking, coping with pressure, problem-solving and analytical skills.


You will study the following topics:

  • Psychology: personality, aggression, attitude, confidence, stress, leadership, groups and team dynamics
  • Skill Acquisition: classification of skill, practice methods, memory, guidance, theories of learning
  • Exercise Physiology: training programmes, nutrition, ergogenic aids, sports injury and rehabilitation
  • Biomechanics: forces, projectiles, linear and angular motion, technology, fluid mechanics, levers
  • Anatomy and Physiology: cardiovascular and respiratory systems, muscles and bones, energy and recovery
  • Socio-Cultural Issues: drugs, cheating, violence, commercialisation, Olympics, evolution of sport
  • Practical Sport: performance and oral analysis in one sport of your choice from OCR list.


As a minimum, you will need (or equivalent to);

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 4
  • GCSE English Language or Literature grade 4
  • plus three more GCSEs at grade 4
  • to play, perform or coach a sport on a regular basis (from the OCR list).

You are assessed on five components.

Three are theoretical, each assessed by a written exam and the remaining two are coursework tasks.

The components are:

  • Physiological factors affecting performance – 2 hour exam worth 30%
  • Psychological factors affecting performance – 1 hour exam worth 20%
  • Socio-cultural issues in physical activity & sport – 1 hour exam worth 20%
  • Practical performance  – logbook and video evidence (coursework) worth 15%
  • Evaluation and analysis of performance for improvement (EAPI) – oral task worth 15%.

Past students have gone on to study a wide range of careers, both sport and non-sport related.

These range from Sports Science to Naval Engineering, from Golf professional to member of the Public Services, and from Business Entrepreneur to Physiotherapist.

This subject when combined with other subjects allows unlimited possibilities as it has both Science and the Humanities covered.

Which sports can I be assessed in?

Sports included in the OCR specification

What level do I need to be performing at?

Any level but evidence must be recorded in the ‘authentic, contextual situation’ during your time at Huish.

For example, if you ‘play’ football, you represent a team; if you are a dancer, you complete organised performances/events; if you are a coach, you have a team that you have responsibility for coaching (you cannot merely act as an assistant coach). 

What is the difference between A Level and GCSE PE?

They are very similar and if you enjoyed the subject at GCSE you will most likely enjoy it at A Level.

The key differences are the A Level involves assessment in only one sport and takes several topics you study at GCSE to an ‘Advanced Level’, exploring more of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind the topics.

What is the difference between PE and Sport, Exercise and Coaching?

PE focuses more on sports performance and allows you to include two other subjects within your Study Programme.

If you choose to study Sport, Exercise and Coaching it will be the only subject you study. Because it is the sole component of your Study Programme it covers a wider breadth of content with greater emphasis on additional roles within sport, such as coaching and participation, rather than performance.

Another difference is the vocational Sport, Exercise and Coaching course involves more ongoing coursework assessment, whereas this course is assessed towards the end of your second year.