Physical Education Units 3 and 4


In Physical Education Unit 3, you are introduced to the biomechanical and skill acquisition principles used to analyse human movement skills and energy production from a physiological perspective. You will also investigate the relative contribution and interplay of the three energy systems to performance in physical activity, sport and exercise. You will discover the causes of fatigue and consider different strategies used to postpone fatigue and promote recovery.
You will learn to analyse movement skills from a physiological, psychological and sociocultural perspective, and apply relevant training principles and methods to improve performance within physical activity at an individual, club and elite level.

You will practice gathering data in order to analyse skill frequencies, movement patterns, heart rates and work to rest ratios to determine the requirements of an activity. These skills will then be put in to practice as you consider the physiological, psychological and sociological requirements of training to design and evaluate an effective training program. You will also undertake a variety of practical training sessions designed to improve or maintain fitness and evaluate the effectiveness of different training methods.

Who is it for?

Physical Education is a subject ideal for those who enjoy participating in sport and/or physical activity. The study of VCE Physical Education is ideal for students with a wide range of aspirations, including those who wish to pursue further study at tertiary level or in vocational education and training settings. The study prepares students for such fields as the health sciences, exercise science and education, as well as providing valuable knowledge and skills for participating in their own sporting and physical activity pursuits.

What do you do?

Activities include:

  • a range of physical activities, including five different training methods
  • collecting and analysing data to apply learning and enhance understanding of the concepts/outcomes
  • close liaison with the VCE PE teacher
  • attendance at teacher-facilitated workshops / seminars in Melbourne (highly recommended).

What skills do you need?

There are no prerequisites for entry to Unit 3, however you do need:

  • a willingness to have a go at a range of physical activities
  • some performance ability and some theoretical knowledge is an advantage.

You do not need to be an Olympic athlete.

What skills do you develop?

This study enables students to:

  • collect and analyse information from, and participate in, a variety of practical activities
  • develop and refine movement skills from a coaching perspective
  • apply biomechanical and skill acquisition principles
  • analyse data from an activity analysis and fitness tests to determine and assess the fitness components and energy system requirements of the activity
  • participate in a variety of training methods, and design and evaluate training programs to enhance specific fitness components.




The following textbooks are required:

  • Nelson Physical Education VCE Units 3 & 4 (Edition 6). Nelson Cengage Learning, 2017


  • Nelson Physical Education workbook VCE Units 3 & 4 peak performance (edition 3). Nelson Cengage Learning, 2017

Things to think about

Attendance at a one-day group practical laboratory workshop, which is conducted at the Virtual School Victoria and Exercise Research Australia in May, is highly recommended.

Attendance at other practical laboratory workshops and revision seminars which are conducted at the Virtual School Victoria in Terms Two, Three and Four, are optional. You will have been notified of the details of both seminars prior to the scheduled date.

Things you can do now

The main thing you can do now is review the key knowledge and key skills related to Body Systems and Human Movement, especially if you have not completed Physical Education Units 1 and 2. This information can be accessed in any of the Physical Education Units 1 and 2 textbooks (Nelson Physical Education / Jacaranda Live It Up 1 / Macmillan VCE Physical Education 1) from your school or local library.

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.




Things to have a look at

Training Methods

Food Fuels and Energy Systems