Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

MA Physical Education

UCAS code: XC61

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Education, The Moray House School of

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences


Introducing MA Physical Education

The MA (Hons) Physical Education programme aims to provide an education that develops professional learners with a well-developed understanding of scientific knowledge and both historical and contemporary perspectives in physical education.

The programme focuses on Scottish education, the physical education curriculum and contrasting perspectives on physical education. You will also be involved in professional placements in both primary and secondary schools. Graduates of the programme will be able to make a valuable contribution to the schools they work in and be capable of curricular and pedagogical innovation.

Teachers of physical education are required to have a detailed knowledge of children, the curriculum, educational settings, and teaching and learning approaches. You will learn from your own experiences in schools and research to develop an understanding of the changing relationships among teachers, parents/carers, other agencies and the wider community.

Working as a specialist teacher in secondary education is a demanding and rewarding career. You can support the development of young people and work in a subject area where your expertise helps to shape learners experiences.

In Scotland 'Curriculum for Excellence' locates physical education within the 'health and wellbeing' area of learning. As a prospective teacher of physical education you will engage in the debates about the aims, nature and purpose of physical education and consider issues related to children's learning experiences.

On completion of a teacher education programme, students can register with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

General Teaching Council for Scotland


The MA (Hons) Physical Education programme is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

Year 1

You will study physical education, educational studies and applied sport and exercise science. You will focus on the primary school curriculum, as the foundation for life-long engagement in physical education, and undertake a placement in a primary school.

Year 2

You will combine ongoing study of physical education and educational studies with two other courses to broaden your knowledge and inform teaching and learning skills. Your placement will be in a secondary school.

Year 3

Alongside extended placements in both years, you focus on national qualifications and curriculum development in physical education, educational studies and disciplinary perspectives. A major independent study forms your dissertation.

Year 4

As Year 3.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme structure (2017/18)

Our facilities

Most of the teaching will take place at Moray House School of Education, located at the Holyrood Campus within the University's Central Area.

You will also have access to the University's libraries and computing facilities.


You will engage with colleagues in partner schools throughout your programme. There are professional experience and practice days in Years 1 and 2 which build towards block placements in schools. In Years 3 and 4 there are extended placement courses where you will work towards the Standard for Provisional Registration, drawing on your university-based courses to inform your practice.

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops, independent small-group activity and the use of e-learning and virtual learning environments.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a range of methods including exams, essays, portfolios and student presentations. You will be assessed by school staff and University tutors while on school placements.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme details (2017/18)

Secondary teachers will usually go on to teach their chosen age group or subject area. There are opportunities to continue studying part-time to obtain skills for working in different areas of teaching, or to pursue postgraduate qualifications leading towards a career in senior management positions in schools.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6. Higher English required. National 5: Mathematics at Grade B. For alternative acceptable Mathematics qualifications please contact the Admissions Office.
  • A Levels: ABB. GCSEs: English Language and English Literature at Grade C or 4, Mathematics at Grade B or 6.
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 655 in HL subjects including English. SL: Mathematics at 5. Standard Level Maths Studies is not accepted for this programme.

Additional requirements

It is important that applicants for teacher education programmes show commitment, motivation and suitability for their programme and the profession.

This can be demonstrated in your personal statement by reflecting on relevant work experience, and explaining your understanding of the teacher’s role.

For more guidance please see the school website:

Moray House School of Education


Admission to this programme includes an interview process. Further details on the process will be sent to candidates shortlisted for interview.

Fitness to practice

There is fitness to practice guidance for people who wish to become teachers, we strongly advise you to make yourself aware of this before you apply. Please consult the Higher Educational Occupational Physicians/Practitioners (HEOPS) website for fitness to practice guidelines for this programme.


Find out more about entry requirements

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5

Protecting Vulnerable Groups

All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme before starting the programme. In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.

Key Information Sets (KIS) are part of a government initiative to enhance the information that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.

Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Physical Education

Additional Costs

All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme with the University of Edinburgh as the Registered Body. You must cover the cost of joining the PVG Scheme, which is currently between £18 and £59.

You will also be required to purchase a number of items of branded University clothing if your application is successful. This clothing is worn for all practical sessions as well as on teaching placement visits during the four year programme. The approximate cost of the clothing is £366. Successful applicants will be required to order and pay for clothing during Induction week.

In Year 2 of the programme there is an opportunity to attend a short residential course. The student contribution is currently £125 to cover all costs (transport and accommodation, equipment and food).

In each semester there is a programme of professional learning activities. Some of these lead to additional qualifications for which the awarding body normally levies a fee.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding