Health and Physical Education major: Bachelor of Sport and Recreation

Rachelle Bright
Student Profile – Rachelle Bright

It was while studying for her Bachelor of Sport and Recreation that Rachelle Bright first found a passion for teaching. 

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Health, sport and physical activity remain at the heart of New Zealand’s wellbeing. Health and physical education is vital in helping young people develop the knowledge, confidence and skills they need to be connected and active members of society. This major is designed to give you the best possible preparation for a career in health and physical education teaching.

AUT's Health and Physical Education major is unique as it integrates and develops an appreciation of hauora, health promotion and the socio-ecological aspects that support the philosophy of health and physical education in New Zealand schools. Students educated in health and physical education are able to make informed decisions about healthy, active lifestyles and are more likely to engage with their community throughout their lives.

It is important to note that this major is not a stand alone teaching qualification. To become a registered secondary school teacher, you need to complete this degree and then continue into AUT’s one-year Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching (subject to meeting entry criteria). The combined qualifications will provide you with what you need to teach in New Zealand schools.

Bachelor of Sport and Recreation: degree overview

Below is a summary only. For a comprehensive overview of this qualification, please refer to the academic calendar.

Year 1

SPOR503 Contemporary Issues in Sport and Recreation
HEAL507 Health and Environment
HEAL505 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
SPOR502 Innovative Planning in Sport and Recreation
HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
SPOR504 Leadership in Sport and the Outdoors
HEAL504 Lifespan Development and Communication
SPOR511 Skill Learning in Sport and Recreation
SPSC501 Sport and Exercise Science Fundamentals
SPOR501 Sport and Recreation in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Year 2

In addition to your Year 2 core papers you complete:

SPOR609 Teaching, Leading and Coaching
SPOR601 Health and Physical Education Principles and Practices
SPOR606 Hauora- Health Education
SPOR612 Skill Acquisition and Sport Psychology
SPSC604 Applied Sports Biomechanics I

This year also includes two work placements of 30-40 hours, designed to introduce you to the workplace and help you identify where you want to complete your third-year workplace experience.  

Year 3 papers

In addition to your Year 3 core papers you complete:
SPOR707 Pedagogy and Performance

SPOR706 Health and Physical Education Philosophy and Pedagogy
Selected papers from the Bachelor of Sport and Recreation

Workplace experience

In your third year you complete 350-400 hours in an organisation which includes working on a project related to your major through the Co-operative Education papers. This takes approximately two days per week. We recommend that you complete your workplace experience in a school setting.

Recent placements included:

  • Whangaparaoa College
  • Gladstone Primary School
  • KingsWay School
  • Wentworth College

Career opportunities

  • Health and physical education teacher*
  • Coach with local, regional or national sports organisations
  • Health promotion educator
  • Kiwisport Active Schools coordinator
  • Physical activity coordinator
  • Facilitator of activity/sport programmes for youth
  • School sports coordinator

* Upon completion of the Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching (one additional year of full-time study, subject to meeting entry and selection criteria).

For more information on a future in Health and Physical Education Careers

Graduates and students of sport and recreation

Other majors in Bachelor of Sport and Recreation


Last updated: 03-Apr-2017 4.12pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.