MA Physical Education
UCAS code: XC61
Duration: 4 years
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 (GTCS).
The MA (Hons) Physical Education programme is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).
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 lifelong engagement in physical education, and undertake a placement in a primary school.
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.
The year begins with an extended placement in a secondary school and you will engage in an educational studies course and a physical education course which will make productive links about the nature of educational practice and issues related to national qualifications.
You will draw on the courses taken in Years 1 and 2 to select a disciplinary perspective to inform your professional practice.
The Physical Education Curriculum course will enable you to focus on the future direction for physical education and your capacity to engage in its development.
The Physical Education Perspectives course enables you to specialise in a disciplinary perspective and the major independent study on an area of professional interest forms your dissertation.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
You will be based in the University’s Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences on our Holyrood Campus, which offers excellent academic and sports facilities.
These include sport science laboratories, gymnasia, several sports halls and a dance studio. The Institute is part of Moray House School of Education which has a library and full student facilities, situated just 10 minutes’ walk from the University’s Central Area campus.
Holyrood park is a short walk away and some of our practical sessions take place with Arthur’s Seat providing a wonderful backdrop.
The University’s Peffermill playing fields occupies a 27 acre site two and a half miles from the city centre and boasts some of the finest sports pitches in Scotland. At Peffermill, there are 10 grass pitches, a 3G football/rugby pitch, two water-based artificial pitches for hockey and a 100 metre synthetic training track.
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?
Teaching on this programme involves a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops.
We know that students learn best when engaged in tasks and where they are encouraged and supported in a process of reflection. A key feature of the programme is its focus on practical experiential learning which enables you to engage in tasks designed to link elements of current practice with new areas of development and knowledge.
You will work in groups of varying sizes across different courses, which helps develop the professional skills required in schools and other places of work. University-based teaching, includes opportunities for peer teaching and micro teaching because we value the opportunities they provide for you to learn about professional practice and to learn from your peers.
There are work-based placements where you will plan, teach and self-assess your progress and have opportunities to receive feedback and mentoring from qualified teachers.
How will I be assessed?
Courses are assessed in variety of ways to suit the learning outcomes and develop the professional skills required for the workplace.
There is also a major project in Year 4 which enables you to engage in detailed professional enquiry. All courses have formative assessment activities designed to enable you to develop knowledge and awareness of your strengths, and receive feedback on areas where you may need to take action in order to meet the required learning outcomes.
Summative assessment tasks for courses comprise coursework, assignments, presentations and examinations. You will also be required to maintain a professional portfolio during all four years of the programme and engage in professional learning to address areas of development.
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.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Our programme is approved by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), which allows UK and EU students to register with the GTCS as provisionally qualified teachers. Graduates are eligible for the Teacher Induction Scheme organised by the GTCS which offers a guaranteed one-year training post after successful completion of the programme as graduates work towards the Standard for Full Registration (SFR) with the GTCS.
Once teachers attain the SFR they can seek employment in Scottish schools or apply for posts in other parts of the world. Former graduates are employed as teachers of physical education across the globe and many in promoted posts.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5. If you haven’t achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: Higher: English at grade B. National 5: Mathematics or Applications of Mathematics at grade B. For alternative acceptable Mathematics qualifications please contact the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Admissions Office. (Revised 8/3/2019 to include National 5 "Applications of Mathematics".)
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English Language and English Literature both at grade C or 4, Mathematics at grade B or 6. (Revised 19/3/2019 to provide more comprehensive information).
- IB: HL: English at grade 5. SL: Mathematics at grade 5. SL Mathematical Studies is not accepted for this programme.
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:
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.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB 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
Level 2 Certificate Grade C
IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
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
PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)
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.
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.
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 normally 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.