Education (Health and Physical Education)

The Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education) is a four-year full-time specialist professional qualification to teach in the key-learning area of Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE). The program is structured to provide pre-service teachers with initial grounding in four strands: Health, Physical Education, Sports Science, and Professional Practice.

In addition Community engagement and service learning opportunities are embedded in the HPE degree to promote active engagement and motivation of pre-service teachers that deepens their understanding of health, physical education, physical activity, teaching, coaching, and leadership. This program requires students to undertake service learning opportunities across all four years of their degree. As the students’ progress through the years, there is an increased expectation of time commitment and level/nature of ‘service’. The program directly reflects the requirements of the Professional Engagement domain of the Professional Teaching Standards, whereby pre-service teachers are required to ‘expand their professional learning’. Students will be encouraged by the program to build relationships with, and contribute to educational and community organisations, and therefore develop a deeper connection with these communities than can be achieved by practicum alone.

While the course is dedicated mostly to teaching PDHPE in the secondary-school context, some training to teach at primary-school level is also included. Other examples of career opportunities include corporate training and human resource settings, community health, coaching, recreation, and sport.

Requirements for completion

Candidates must complete 192 credit points of units of study, as described in the unit of study table.

First year

In first semester students will study Physical Education 1 which focuses on the K-10 PDHPE framework and includes games, fundamental movement skills, gymnastics and dance. There is also a 10 day professional experience embedded in this unit. In second semester students will focus on a socio-cultural view of health and examine the relationships between health determinants, environmental and biomedical factors, and the Australian Health Priority Issues.

Second Year

In second year students build on concepts and skills learned in their first year. Physical Education II examines the use of both direct and indirect pedagogy to achieve tactical transfer across four games categories (invasion, striking, net/wall and target) as part of the Year 7-10 PDHPE syllabus. The second Health unit builds on the determinants approach and continues to explore the socio-cultural perspective of health, looking specifically at how young people experience health within Australia. Students will explore the policies and practices that inform teaching sensitive issues through a strengths based approach.

Students also study the first of three professional practice units. In this unit they explore the 7-10 PDHPE syllabus and other relevant support documents alongside an examination of current learning and teaching theories, practices and processes in HPE. This unit integrates a 15-day Professional experience in PDHPE in a secondary school and continues pre-service teachers’ development as reflective practitioners. Finally in Sport Science I students will study anatomy, physiology and biomechanics as elements of the biophysical foundations of physical activity and health. This unit draws upon content from the NSW PDHPE stage 4 and 5 syllabus and Physical activity and Sport Studies (PASS) syllabus.

Third Year

Physical Education III focuses on the Year 7-10 PDHPE syllabus and future Australian curriculum areas of lead-up games; challenge and adventure activities, major net/wall games, styles of dance and health related activities. The third Health unit explicitly examines the concepts of social justice and equity, principles which underlie the teaching of health within a socio-cultural context.

In Professional Practice for HPE II students examine the current NESA requirements in years 11-12 (Stage 6) PDHPE. Through an examination of the core and option modules, students will be afforded the opportunity to design creative, student-centred and challenging learning and teaching experiences and teacher support material. This unit incorporates an integrated 20-day Professional Experience in both PDHPE and the student’s second teaching area in a secondary school.

Fourth year

The final Physical Education unit continues to examine pedagogical practice and content related to aquatics, games, sport and recreational activities. This unit also focuses on inclusivity and differentiation during lectures and practical workshops. There is a strong focus on organisation and risk management and students participate in a 2-day field trip. The final health unit provides an in depth examination and critical reflection upon how diversity, social justice, equity, ethics and morality influence individual and community health status and health opportunities. It also examines the role of health promotion in addressing health issues.

The second Sport Science unit develops student’s competencies in interpreting research results, teaching modules from Stage 6 PDHPE and accurately responding to questions related to physical activity, training and performance.
The final Professional Practice unit focuses on elective Year 9-12 PDHPE courses and introduces students to action research methodology. This unit includes a seven week final year internship.

Contact/further information

Sydney School of Education and Social Work
Students may visit the Office of Professional Engagement and Program Support:
Level 3, Education Building A35. The office is open Monday to Thursday 10am–4pm and Friday 10am–1pm

Email: Submit a question online

Learning Outcomes

Health and Physical Education graduates have:

  1. Demonstrate deep knowledge and understanding of the disciplines of HPE and the associated pedagogies.
  2. Demonstrate they can use historical, philosophical, and sociological perspectives to debate current issues in HPE.
  3. Demonstrate competent motor skill performance in a variety of physical activities.
  4. Critically analyse and evaluate contemporary research and knowledge within health and physical education, and adapt and apply related skills to develop innovative and effective programs for teaching health and physical education and an additional key learning area.
  5. Demonstrate their ability to create learning experiences that allow students with diverse learning needs to integrate knowledge and skills from multiple subject areas.
  6. Critically review and apply research and knowledge whilst demonstrating autonomy, responsibility and critical inquiry in solving problems related to professional practice and challenges within a contemporary educational setting
  7. Demonstrate a coherent and independent exposition of the core knowledge, skills, attitudes and values of health and physical education in both oral and written form to a range of audiences.
  8. Respond to the needs of the 21St century learner through a demonstrated capacity to integrate ICT effectively into the learning environment, whilst promoting integrity, social responsibility and ethical use.
  9. Critically reflect on their own learning and practice and demonstrate the capacities of a lifelong learner through practitioner research, goal setting and the construction of an individual professional development plan.