Bachelor of Physical Education

Work to change the world, one attitude at a time.

The physical education degree approaches health and wellness from a holistic perspective. As a student you will learn how to build positive relationships, be inclusive of all participants, and be socially and culturally responsible while learning how to be effective agents of change. 

You will learn by doing. Physical education provides individuals a chance to learn about (and through) movement - being active while learning about being active. A BPE means studying movement, with a focus on how people learn to move. So, you'll learn about the human body and its muscular and skeletal systems, along with a fundamental understanding of the cardiovascular system and the effects of exercise on heart rate, caloric consumption and oxygenation of tissue. In addition, you will learn about social and emotional development. 

You'll take courses about active living, health, and well-being; physical education curriculum; adapted physical activity; coaching; cultural and managerial studies of sport and leisure; physical activity and sport; performance; and individual study.

As a graduate, the skills and values you teach will contribute to longer, healthier lives and improved self confidence; fostering personal and community wellness.

Teaching option

The teaching option has courses in the fundamentals of physical education as well as courses in curriculum planning, teaching methods, and pedagogy relevant to physical education curricula for various grade levels. You'll study the benefits of active living including the basics of movement, the importance of physical literacy, sports, the human body, and individual and group activities.

Within the teaching option students will be placed in an educational setting for some of the course work. After completing of a physical education degree - teaching option, a student wishing to teach in a school setting normally completes an intermediate/secondary degree program offered by the Faculty of Education.

Sample courses

HKR 2004 - Enhancing Performance in Physical Activity
HKR 3320 - Introduction to Biomechanics
HKR 4220 - Physical Activities Course: Territorial Games

Possible career options:

  • Physical education teacher (K-12)
  • Fitness/wellness manager
  • Movement scientist
  • Outdoor leadership coordinator
  • Physical therapist
  • Trainer
  • Performance analyst
  • Sports and recreation manager
  • Personal trainer
  • Athletic trainer
  • Coach
  • Fitness/recreation centre director
  • Police, military and fire fighter

Note: some of these careers may call for supplementary education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential learning or professional courses and exams.


School of Human Kinetics and Recreation

230 Elizabeth Ave

St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 CANADA

Tel: (709) 864-2530

Fax: (709) 864-2552