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Bachelor of Sport and Exercise (Physical Education)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • New regulations from 2019
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Be a positive force for youth with physical education

The Bachelor of Sport and Exercise (Physical Education) will prepare you for a satisfying career working with youth in sport and exercise.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise parent structure.

What is it like?

The Bachelor of Sport and Exercise (Physical Education) will provide you with the perfect foundation to use your talents in a professionally satisfying and productive way.

Physical education has long been recognised as an important part of an overall education. This major will provide you with the knowledge and skills to perform and teach aspects of physical education, exercise and sport in educational contexts.

As a graduate, you’ll be knowledgeable about aspects of physical education, particularly as it relates to the breadth and potential of human movement. You will be able to demonstrate the application of key pedagogical principles in movement education, especially as they relate to youth.

Gain crucial sport and education skills

This major takes an interdisciplinary approach to study. As well as gaining practical competency in a range of physical activities, you will enhance your critical skills and gain insights on movement education from a socio-cultural and biophysical perspective. You will gain an illuminating, big-picture view of the potential of physical education, taught well, to be a major positive force in society.

You will take a set of compulsory courses common to all the BSpEx majors, then select courses specific to physical education.

A good fit if you:

  • Are passionate about sport and exercise
  • Want to work with, and positively influence, youth in educational settings
  • See the potential of physical education to shape life-long, healthy, active lifestyles
Ashleigh Tito-Collins
Bachelor of Sport and Exercise (Physical Education)
Graduated in 2012
Currently pursuing a secondary graduate teaching diploma

Thinking back to my years at Palmerston North Massey University, the experience I remember the most is the connections I made with not only my classmates but lecturers as well. I believe the sport and exercise degree was unique in a way that it offered opportunities for students to be in similar classes throughout the three years. This allowed us to become very familiar with one anothers' personalities and interests, which helped us create close and strong relationships. These connections eventually lead our course to have group chats, study groups, lunches and even after-hours catch-ups in town. I am extremely grateful that my degree provided me with these friendships early on in my studies as it positively affected my mental health.

Moving to a new environment with no friends or family was very scary to get my head around. However, this feeling was soon replaced with a sense of belonging by having peers who could be approached about assignments, exams, class locations, courses, compulsory activities, or a friendly conversation. The course also supplied the same handful of reoccurring lecturers. This was my favourite part of the degree as my classmates and I became close and comfortable with them. This brought about a warm and humorous atmosphere to our classrooms, which encouraged me to turn up to 8am lectures and increased my enjoyment towards learning.

There are many reasons as to why I would recommend this programme to future students. The first being that the degree doesn’t require students to sit in lectures 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. Instead it offers a mixture of both theory and practice. The practical side is a really neat and effective way to get students engaging with and learning from one another. I am also a person who learns visually and practical lessons benefited me most. This is where I absorbed most of my learnings. The lecturers are also very competent in what they are teaching as well as being understanding and flexible, which allows them to be proactive when it comes to acquiring help in any way.

I decided to take the Physical Education (PE) major as I knew I wanted to be a teacher. The courses which helped guide me towards this path were Pedagogy 1 and 2. This is because they offered opportunities to not only learn about teaching, but also going out to schools and actually teach PE.

The courses also offered a lot of learning on teaching games for understanding (TGFU) and ways in which we could modify, change and manipulate games to suit students or target a certain skill. In relation to the teaching diploma I am currently completing, TGFU has been the main base for my lessons and is what I have utilised for majority of my PE practice at all levels. I believe TGFU has really helped me with my practicum.

The sport and exercise degree has given me a head start in my teaching career. All-in-all I absolutely loved Massey University and am thankful I chose this campus straight out of school as it has helped me grow and develop into the person I am today.


With the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise (Physical Education) you could go on to become a physical education teacher by undertaking one year’s further study: choose graduate diploma study in either secondary or primary school teaching programmes. The secondary diploma qualifies you as a teacher of health and physical education. Many graduates with this major become secondary school teachers in health and physical education, with opportunities for employment in New Zealand and overseas.

You may also work as a sports coordinator in a school or with local sports organisations, working alongside health workers and other educational staff.

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