Next year, 2018, will see Physical Education (PE) return to the University of Canterbury (UC) as one of a series of new majors within the popular Bachelor of Sport Coaching degree. UC has a long and proud history of developing highly respected PE teachers and this new major is an exciting initiative towards continuing that tradition.

Professor Ian Culpan says that highly experienced lecturing staff and a well-established history in leading physical education in New Zealand provides the ideal environment for students who are passionate about PE.

“We have staff who are experts in the field of physical education. Many were previously teachers and others are leading researchers. We provide a comprehensive pathway to best prepare our students for their teaching careers. In one way or another, we have been doing this for a very long time.”

The structure of the Bachelor of Sport Coaching degree has been redeveloped from endorsement areas to subject majors and minors. This has provided more options for students to build a degree most suited to their interests and career aspirations.

For those wishing to pursue a career as a PE teacher the new PE major provides the clearest pathway to that goal. After completing the three-year Bachelor of Sport Coaching, students pursue a fourth year of study in the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) to gain teaching registration. The PE major can also lead to employment in community physical activity and health roles.

Professor Culpan says that “Our physical education graduates are known throughout New Zealand, and indeed the world, for their excellence. Many of our graduates hold high profile positions in schools, universities, education institutes, national sporting organisations and community physical activity and health programmes. Most commonly, our graduates become physical education teachers and /or health educators. They are also qualified, depending on their course choice, to teach other subjects in the school curriculum e.g. maths, geography, science, health and/or outdoor education.”

The PE major is one of five new majors within the Bachelor of Sport Coaching. Other new majors offered include leadership, sport science, strength and conditioning, and performance analysis. Students can pair a major with a minor, of which strength and conditioning, nutrition, performance analysis, adventure sports and environment, and sport science are all options.

“For someone who wanted to be a PE teacher, Adventure Sports might be a great minor to add, as it would help them with outdoor sports education,” said Professor Culpan. “The ability to learn and develop through the PE major, combined with the flexibility to choose other useful courses, provides students with a great opportunity to get the most out of their university experience.”

For more information visit UC’s Sport Coaching page. To apply for the Bachelor of Sport Coaching degree visit MyUC.