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Courses for Adults

VTCT Level 3 Sports Massage Therapy

Subject Area
Sport & Uniformed Service
Start Date
September 2024
Study Mode
35 Weeks
Entry Requirements
Candidates must be aged 19 or over for assessment. An appropriate level of fitness to carry out a sports massage and an interest in fitness and/or sport is also an essential requirement.

This course has been designed to provide students with the prerequisite knowledge, understanding and skills to work in an unsupervised capacity as a sports massage practitioner with dysfunctional tissue.

In this qualification, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of the theory underpinning the practice of sports massage therapy, including functional anatomy and physiology, nutrition, classification of sports injury, and stages of healing. It will also provide you with the understanding, skills and techniques to plan, prepare for and apply a range of sports massage methods to clients. You will also develop the skills to evaluate massage strategies and methods to inform on future practice.

Entry requirements

Candidates must be aged 19 or over for assessment.

An appropriate level of fitness to carry out a sports massage and an interest in fitness and/or sport is also an essential requirement.

It is recommended by VTCT that applicants complete the Level 3 in Swedish Body Massage prior to them starting this sports massage programme but this is not a pre-requisite and this can be discussed in more detail with course tutors if desired.

Course units

  • Anatomy and physiology for sports massage
  • Principles of health and fitness
  • Understand the principles of soft tissue dysfunction
  • Professional practice in sports massage
  • Sports massage treatments


Assessment will take place throughout the course. You must pass all assessment elements to achieve the qualification:

  • One externally set exam – online
  • Completion of sports massage portfolio tasks. For example, observed work, written questions, case studies, assignments
  • Practical Summative Assessments – 3 in total
  • Regular formative assessment will be included throughout the course, with home study required.

Course fees


The fees for this course can vary depending on funding eligibility and loan availability, if you feel you may qualify for funding, or wish to discuss loan options, please contact the Funding Team.

Course progression

There are several relevant courses available for students to progress to, including:

  • VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy
  • Level 4 and Level 5 VTCT qualifications in Sport Massage


  • VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training (Gym-based) – available part-time (evenings) through York College

Dates & course durations

September 2024, date tbc.

Study methods

A range of teaching methods will be utilised, including a mix of theory-based sessions and practical massage-based sessions in the newly refurbished Athletic Suite. Normally, a theory and a practical session each week will occur.

Practical sessions are held in The Athletic Suite with a range of commercial standard cardiovascular and resistance machines and free weights.


All materials are provided for you to complete the course. However, some courses may require additional study from home, you may need access to a PC/laptop and suitable Wi-Fi to access teaching and learning. You will be made aware of any additional study time at the time of enrolment.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs.

Career progression

On completion of the course, students can gain professional body recognition with the Sports Massage Association (SMA).

The common progression route is becoming a Sports Massage Practitioner.

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