University of Sydney Handbooks - 2019 Archive

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Education (Health and Physical Education)

About the degree

Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education) offers students a four-year full-time specialist professional qualification to teach in the key-learning area of Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) and a second key learning area. The program will teach initial grounding in four HPE 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. 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, 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 year students will be introduced to the K-10 PDHPE framework as well as general concepts relating to education and teaching. Students will focus on a sociocultural view of health and examine the relationships between health determinants, environmental and biomedical factors, and the Australian Health Priority Issues. Physical Education 1 focuses on games, fundamental movements skills, gymnastics and dance. Further, students begin the discipline studies for their second teaching area. Students will complete 10 days professional experience focusing on teaching PDHPE, as well as 20 hours of service learning or community engagement within an educational/community organisation.

Second Year

In second year students build on concepts and skills learned in their first year. Students will examine pedagogical and professional practices in K-12 Health, Physical Education and Professional Experience including planning and programming. Students will complete the first of two Sport Science in HPE units and continue their discipline studies in their second teaching areas and two education units. Students will complete the first of three professional practice units of study involving 15 days of professional experience. They will also complete 30 hours of service learning or community engagement within an educational/community organisation.

Third Year

In third year students build on their previous learnt knowledge and are introduced to social justice and equity, contemporary educational issues and special education which underpin the teaching of PDHPE using a sociocultural context. The concept of physical literacy and models-based practices underpin Physical Education III. In Professional Practice for HPE II students examine Stage 6 (Year 11-12) PDHPE. Students also commence their curriculum studies in their second teaching area.

Students will complete 20 days of professional experience in PDHPE and the student’s second teaching area as well as 40 hours of service learning or community engagement within an educational/community organisation.

Fourth year

The final Physical Education unit continues to examine pedagogical practice and content related to games and sport and introduces outdoor and adventurous activities and health and fitness related activities. The concept of inclusive physical education runs through the unit and students examine risk management within outdoor environments. 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. Students will examine current social, political and economic challenges faced by Indigenous communities and the role education plays in addressing these issues whilst also completing their second Sport Science in HPE unit.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 where students are expected to practice teaching PDHPE and their second teaching area.


Education Honours is an integrated program undertaken during the final three semesters of an undergraduate degree. It consists of two enrolled units Education Honours Preliminary and Education Honours dissertation.

Contact and 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

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