Find Best Programs for Master’s in Physical Education in the UK

A Master’s in Physical Education in the UK is a graduate program that explores diverse approaches to teaching physical education in a variety of contexts. Students will cover topics in advanced physical education curriculum design and practice. They will also examine and critique different teaching models in this area. The Master’s curriculum addresses the teaching of physical education in schools as well as other types of community settings.

What Is a Master’s in Physical Education?

A Master’s in Physical Education at UK schools typically consists of a combination of core modules and optional concentration areas. The full time program usually takes one year to complete; many schools offer part time and flexible schedules to accommodate working students. Earning a Master’s in Physical Education generally requires the submission of a major research project. Most programs accept Bachelor’s graduates with a degree in a relevant subject such as education or kinesiology. They are also often open to those currently working in sports or sports education.

The set of fundamental courses typically included in the Master’s curriculum may cover topics such as education theory and practice, research methods and diversity in sport. Students learn about the various approaches to designing and implementing a sports curriculum for children and young people. They then analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each, identify factors that influence the success of a particular approach and discuss the ways in which children today experience sport and physical education.

Depending on students’ areas of interest, they may choose to focus on one or more of several areas relevant to physical education. These optional subjects may include:

  • Health outreach and promotion
  • Learning and development
  • Sport injury
  • Innovative practices in physical education
  • Approaches to lifelong fitness

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Physical Education in the UK?

UK Physical Education Master’s programs tend to focus on the dual aspects of teaching physical education to children and youth: the science of sport and educational theory. Students who complete the program gain an understanding of the mechanics of sport, especially in the context of child development. They also obtain comprehensive knowledge in the area of teaching practice as well as critical approaches to educational theories and techniques.

The Master’s program imparts a high level of critical thinking and analysis in the area of physical education. Graduates learn to analyse the pros and cons of a particular approach and to understand why a particular curriculum may work in one setting but not another. They also examine the role of community and family in establishing fitness habits and health.

Graduates of the Master’s in Physical Education are also required to engage in independent research and analysis. In the course of this project, they gain data gathering and interpretation skills as well as the opportunity to hone written communication and presentation skills.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Physical Education?

Many graduates of Master’s in Physical Education programs go on to successful careers as physical education teachers in primary and secondary schools. Some choose to focus on general health and fitness education for school-aged children, while others head competitive or amateur dedicated sport programs.

In addition to schools, employers of qualified physical education teachers with an advanced education may include private sports clubs, municipal and community sports centers and junior sports leagues. Some graduates may also go into business as private coaches or health and fitness consultants.

An advanced degree in Physical Education may also qualify graduates to assume leadership positions. They may find employment as sports program directors, sports club administrators and post-secondary sports instruction. The rigorous Master’s curriculum empowers them to design an effective curriculum and guidelines for health and fitness that are suitable to a specific community.


Master’s in Physical Education graduates may also pursue research-oriented careers with government agencies, healthcare centers or policy institutes. Their skills and knowledge can qualify them to contribute to formulating policies, designing health education and promotion initiatives for particular communities and to obtaining funding for fitness outreach programs. Their advanced education enables them to promote and encourage fitness on a broader level.

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