Skip to content
Students climbing on a practice rope frame

Physical Education and Outdoor Education BSc (Hons)

What makes Physical Education and Outdoor Education at Worcester special?

This course provides an opportunity for those who are willing to go out of their comfort zone. Students will still study PE pathway but this will be combined with outdoor education, for those who are eager to climb mountains, paddle rivers and scale rock faces before returning to base to apply what they have learned to teaching.

At Worcester, the 50/50 mix of physical and outdoor education allows you to gain extensive knowledge in teaching Physical Education whilst developing outdoor education as another string to your bow, enhancing your employment options once you graduate.

Key features

  • The 50/50 split between Physical Education and Outdoor Education gives you flexible career options
  • Supplement your course with additional national governing body awards and overseas study
  • Excellent facilities including the University of Worcester Arena, the Motion Performance Centre, fitness suites, Herefordshire and Ludlow College's Holme Lacy campus, the Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountains and the Wye Valley
  • Course designed to meet the needs of employers in relevant industries
  • Undertake work placements, such as teaching PE in schools and working within the outdoor industry
  • Run in association with Herefordshire and Ludlow College (Holme Lacy Campus)
a group celebrating with paddles aloft on a DIY raft

It was the perfect balance between practical PE and theory and the course gave me free rein to choose what modules and pathway best suited my interests and future career goals.

Paige Nicholls, Physical Education Joint Honours graduate.

It was the best decision I’ve made; the course couldn’t be more perfect for me.

Taryn Blackman, Physical Education and Outdoor Education graduate.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?


UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

104 UCAS points including GCSE English and Maths at grade C/4 or above.

A Disclosure and Barring service record is required for this course.

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from   

  • Case study

    Melissa Little

    Physical and Outdoor Education enables you to learn skills such as kayaking, climbing or even a those of a new sport. The course also shows you how to utilise these skills to be able to teach and ensure learning has taken place.

  • Case study

    Aaron Patching

    The course has dedicated lecturers from both subjects who are extremely knowledgeable and really helped me to develop my skills. The opportunities during term time are also endless as I have been able to gain my Mountain Leader training during Worcester Weeks but also the chance to spend an entire semester abroad in Sweden for my second year.

  • Case study

    Amy Cliff

    The course is the perfect combination between PE and Outdoor Education. Growing up loving both I couldn't find a university in the UK with a better combination. It's a hands on course with practical and classroom elements, which is just what I was looking for.

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Visit Herefordshire and Ludlow College at one of their Open Days

Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1


  • Introduction to Physical Education
  • Land-Based Personal Skills
  • Scientific Principles in Teaching and Coaching                


Year 2


  • Learning and Teaching through Games
  • Water-Based Personal Skills
  • Creating Successful Research
  • Facilitation and Reviewing


  • Contemporary Issues in Sport
  • Teaching Special Education Needs and Disability PE in Schools  
  • Teaching Gymnastics in Secondary Schools 
  • Swimming, Lifesaving and Risk 
  • Optional Language Modules 

Year 3


  • Independent Research Project
  • Outdoor Activities and the Natural Environment
  • Contemporary Issues in Outdoor Education
  • Residential Experience


  • Professional Placement
  • School based Placement
  • Leading and Developing PE in Primary School
  • 14-19 Curriculum

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.  A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of:

  • Lectures and seminars (for a theoretical perspective on pedagogy)
  • Practical seminars (to apply theory within a practical setting)
  • Online learning (via Twitter, Blackboard, Camtasia)
  • Work Placements (teaching opportunities in local schools/outdoor centres)  

You are taught through a combination of different teaching and learning styles to assist your own development of your pedagogical philosophy.  In most cases we try to create an interactive environment that allows you to comment and share your knowledge.  We encourage an applied approach from theory to practical application to develop your subject specific skills. During the course, you will be taught by an experienced and enthusiastic team of both physical education and outdoor education practitioners who are committed to providing a quality experience that will enable you to become a highly employable graduate.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors (PAT) are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course. Additionally you get regular opportunities to meet with the course leader.

You have an opportunity to undertake a semester long placement in the second year of the course. However, there are many additional opportunities for learning in an applied context in semester time as well as in Worcester Weeks.


Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 12-16 contact hours of teaching.  The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study.

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • Outdoor practicals: every other week for a full day
  • 4 - 6 hours of lectures (large group)
  • 5 - 7 hours of practical seminars of around 30-35 students
  • 4 hours of slectures (blend of lecture and seminar)  

In year two there are work placement opportunities in at least two modules (SPRT2011 or OALM2015). In year three there is a paired work placement (SPRT3045).

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 24-28 hours of personal self-study per week.  Typically, this will involve:

  • Completing directed study tasks
  • Engaging with online activities
  • Practice of practical activities
  • Reading research articles
  • Watching videos
  • Working on individual and group projects
  • Preparing for assignments and learning experiences
  • Reflection and evaluation

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes members of the Physical Education team and Outdoor Education staff from Hereford and Ludlow College.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and majority of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include:

  • Practical assessment
  • Exams
  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Video presentations
  • Reflective essays
  • Viva examinations
  • Resource card
  • Lesson plans and units of work
  • Dissertation.  

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1:

  • Resource card
  • Practical assessment
  • Essays
  • Exam
  • Presentation (paired)  

Year 2:

  • Reflective essay/viva ·
  • Exam
  • Video presentation
  • Essays
  • Practical  

Year 3:

  • Resource pack/video presentation
  • Presentation (individual)
  • Essays
  • Ethical approval
  • Dissertation


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate. We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Meet the team

Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:

  • Rachael_Bullingham

    Rachael Bullingham

    Rachael is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Course Leader of the Physical Education and Outdoor Education at the University of Worcester.  She previously taught Physical Education in a secondary school, as well as performing various pastoral roles.  In addition to teaching she has been involved in research and has recently published on the topic of homophobia in sport.  Rachael’s PhD analysed the experiences of openly lesbian athletes participating in team sports.  She has recently published ‘Out in Sport’ which offers an up to date examination of homophobia in sport.  She is currently working on projects with colleagues within education, examining the experiences of gay and lesbian teachers. Additionally she is part of the Sport Collision Collective which is focused on making rugby within educational settings safer for children.  As part of this collective she is currently interviewing teacher’s experiences within playing, coaching, teaching and refereeing rugby.        




Where could it take you?

With more people playing sport and engaging in physical activity there are many new additional job opportunities in this sector. Graduates from the University of Worcester have gone on to gain employment in the following areas: Sport Community coaching (including disability coaching career opportunities); Sport performance coaching; Outdoor Instructing; Sport Development officers; FE lecturing; Sports Marketing; Expedition leadership; Performance Analysis; PE teaching; Outdoor centre management; Armed forces & Police; Coaching business start-up; Graduate level employment in the Private, public and voluntary sectors.

Alternatively, there are opportunities to continue to postgraduate study and other professional qualifications.

Prospectus cover - students outside our historic City Campus buildings

Request or download a prospectus

Request now


How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £12,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2019/20 will be £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module and £2,313 per 30-credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying.  The amounts vary between courses.

There will be the opportunity to go on a variety of trips, these are optional and you will be expected to meet any costs.

We recommend buying the following outdoor equipment: waterproof top and bottoms, walking boots, 30-35 litre rucksack, and compass (silva- type 4).

All Physical Education and Sports Coaching students are expected to wear School of Sport and Exercise Science branded sports kit. This includes a polo top, t-shirt and a hooded sweatshirt and costs approximately £85.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page


How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Physical Education & Outdoor Education BSc (Hons) - CX63 BSc/PEOE

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.



Apply now via UCAS

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111  

Course Leader

Rachael Bullingham
01905 542699