Bachelor of Education (Physical Education)*

Physical Education students running

* This programme is not open to new enrolments in 2018.


‌The Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) is a four-year degree which may be awarded with honours. It is the only secondary teaching qualification in the country which allows students to graduate with the ability to teach three subjects at no extra cost.  

The UC programme is unique in the way it blends knowledge and skills in sport and exercise science with the socio-cultural and teaching aspects of Physical Education. It also allows students to combine teacher training with the study of Physical Education, outdoor education and health, with the ability to add another teaching subject as well.

Features of the Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) at UC

  • Balances theoretical study with professional study and practical experience
  • Students get 24 weeks of teaching placements over four years in primary, rural area, and secondary schools covering Years 1 to 13
  • Provides the opportunity to specialise in Physical Education and one other teaching subject, increasing employability
  • Graduates are also qualified to teach health and/or outdoor education

* This degree is not open to new enrolments in 2018. For those interested in a career as a secondary school Physical Education teacher, UC offers a pathway via the three-year Bachelor of Sport Coaching or three-year Bachelor of Health Sciences degrees followed by a one-year postgraduate teaching qualification, the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary).

Qualification structure and duration

The Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) requires a total of 480 points over four years covering professional studies, professional practice, PE courses, curriculum studies, education courses and courses from your elected 'other teachable subject'.  

Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Education (Physical Education)*

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
    Professional Studies
    Professional Practice
    Physical Education
    Curriculum Studies
    Education courses
    Other teachable subject
    Optional honours course (30 points)
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points or more.
* This degree is not open to new enrolments in 2018.

Subjects and courses

Areas of study

Courses are grouped by the following areas of study:

  • Professional Studies
    Lesson planning, classroom management and teaching strategies
  • Professional Practice
    Practical teaching placements in schools
  • Physical Education
    Academic PE courses
  • Curriculum Studies
    Specific curriculum knowledge for the relevant subjects
  • Education courses
    60 points of Education courses, with at least 30 above 200-level
  • Other teachable subject
    Additional subjects you could qualify to teach are:
    - Art - English - Health - International Languages - Mathematics - Music - Outdoor and Environmental Education - Performing Arts - Science with Biology, Chemistry or Physics - Social Studies with Classical Studies, Geography or History - Technology - Te Reo Māori.

Teaching placements

The degree includes 24 weeks of teaching placements over four years in primary, rural area and secondary schools covering Years 1 to 13.

Further study

The College of Education, Health and Human Development has a wide range of options for graduate and postgraduate study:

Graduates of the Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) are also eligible for postgraduate study in Sports Coaching, Exercise Science or Sociology, including study at overseas institutions. 

Career opportunities

The BEd(Physical Education) gives you a recognised teaching qualification that opens up career opportunities nationally and internationally. The practical placements will thoroughly prepare you for a professional teaching career. The opportunity to specialise in one other teaching subject will also significantly increase your employability.

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Education (Physical Education), you will gain transferable skills which enable you to work in a range of jobs including education management, policy and planning, sports and recreation, community health, local government, sport development and coaching.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Physical Education.

More information

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Education (Physical Education). For more information on facilities, resources and staff, see the College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora.

For more general information email info@canterbury.ac.nz or freephone 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact the Liaison Office (new students), or a College of Education, Health and Human Development Student Advisor (advancing students).

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Melissa waite

Melissa Waite

'All of us wanted the same thing out of the course, so we helped to motivate each other...'

Haidee Tiffen

Haidee Tiffen

'New Zealand needs top-quality PE teachers...'