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FdSc Sports Massage Practice

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire. This course aims to provide the practical skills and knowledge required for a successful career within sports massage and rehabilitation.

The emphasis throughout the Foundation Degree is on the development of a range of professional and technical skills. Modules are selected to ensure that students will develop the underpinning knowledge required to work within the sports industry treating sports related injuries through appropriate massage techniques and rehabilitation.

On completion of year 1 you will be level 3 qualified to work as a massage therapist. On completion of year 2 you will be level 4 qualified and be able to work with elite athletes at the highest level. Following successful completion of the two year course you will gain access to year 2 of the Bsc Sports Therapy at UCLAN to enable you to become a fully qualified Sports Therapist.

You will learn soft tissue skills, exercise rehabilitation, anatomy and advanced massage techniques as well as exploring modules in entrepreneurship, which will provide you with the skills required to be self-employed or run your own successful sports massage clinic.

Sports massage therapy is a key function within elite sports, enabling athletes to not only perform at their best but to prevent and recover from injuries and prolong their careers. Sports massage therapists are employed by national governing bodies and sports clubs all around the world.

As part of the course you will complete a first aid qualification and have the opportunity to practice massage at a wide range of national sporting events. Students will run clinics at these events to gain hands on experience of working with a vast range of sporting injuries. Events will include marathons, strongest man competitions, ‘Tough Mudder’ and Born Survivor style events. Students will also run a clinic from Myerscough college for the academy and sports teams. You will have opportunities to work with rugby, basketball, football, netball and golf professionals to provide massage therapy before and after training and games.

Course modules

Year 1

Management, Treatment and Referral in Sports Injuries

Develop the student’s role of Sports massage Therapist in handling acute injuries on and off the field of play together with the recognition and management of a range of common injuries, illness and trauma associated with sport and exercise participation. The module will provide you with opportunities to practically assess and treat a range of acute injuries and discuss the management of medical conditions and potentially life-threatening conditions that may present while working as a Sports Massage Therapist.

Foundations in Therapy and Practice

Introduce the principles and practice of basic examination and assessment techniques for soft tissue therapy application in relation to the clinical and sporting environment. Physiological, therapeutic and psychological effects will be explored to develop the student’s clinical reasoning skills for soft tissue therapy application. Provide a foundation for students to apply clinical skill competencies in soft tissue therapy practice through engagement in practical sessions, internal and external placements. Develop a hands-on approach to delivery and will provide the students with the professional and practical skills essential for Sports Massage Therapists.

Personal and Vocational Development in Sport

This module develops key academic skills in order to bridge the gap between work, school/college to university; from more dependent to independent modes of learning.

Developing Physical Activity

This module aims to provide the learner with advanced health and fitness evaluation skills and procedures, which include the use of laboratory and field tests. Analysis and interpretation of information relating to health status, fitness status, exercise experience, goals and needs allows the therapist to develop the client's health and lifestyle.


Provides students the opportunity to understand fundamental anatomical knowledge of the neuromuscular skeletal system. Further, develop knowledge of the human structure with relation to anatomical landmarks, surface anatomy and the underpinning knowledge required to understand the relationships between anatomical structure and function.

Fundamentals of Movement and Exercise Principles

The module will provide students with the underpinning knowledge to develop and lead an exercise class to a healthy population and understand the physiological responses of the body to exercise. Development of their understanding of kinesiological principles to prescribe progress and regress exercise. Develop knowledge of the use of hydrotherapy for exercise prescription and underpinning principles.

Year 2

Physiology and Pathology for Sport and Exercise

Understand normal physiology and the effects of pathological processes on the function of the respiratory, cardiovascular, musculo-skeletal & neurological systems. Understand how normal physiology and pathological processes affects human movement and response to exercise. Discuss how physiology and pathological processes relate to principles of assessment and treatment.

Sport and Exercise Science Nutrition

The module will introduce ideas on methods for nutritional and activity assessment, requirements for energy and nutrients in relation to exercise, and ways in which the diet can be manipulated and supplemented to enhance performance and recovery.

Soft Tissue Therapy and Practice

Develop your massage practice techniques to an advanced level this modules explores a variety of techniques used for elite athletes at the highest level. Refining your knowledge of application, timings and quantity of massage practice. You will finish this module with expert sports massage skill.

Health, Exercise and Wellness

This module will provide a knowledge and understanding of the term physical activity in the lifestyle context and attendant issue relating to lifestyle and wellness. The term Active Living refers to the need for physical activity (PA) to be used as a non-pharmacological intervention in reducing mortality and morbidity. Given recent attention to the need for humans to be physically active, and that an inverse relationship exists between PA participation and premature mortality, it is important for students to appreciate the context of PA. In addition, the prescription of PA should be understood in relation to a variety of practically orientated contexts.

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Start-up in the Sport, Exercise and Leisure Industry

Upon leaving your foundation degree, you will have the opportunity to start your own Sports Massage Therapy business. This module will give you the relevant business skills associated with succeeding in a competitive sporting environment.

Research Project

The aim of this module is to develop the ability of students to undertake investigative research. The module will focus upon information-related academic and market research skills, research methodology, data collection techniques, data analysis and writing skills.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

5 GCSE passes at Grade C (4) or above (including Maths and English or equivalent)

Plus 48 UCAS Tariff points from one or more of the following:

· 2 A-levels (A2), at least one at C or above

· BTEC/C&G Level 3

· 2 Scottish Highers at C or above

· 3 Irish Highers at C or above

· International Baccalaureate at 24 points

· NVQ Level 3 in a relevant discipline

AS levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and Scottish Intermediate 2s may be used to contribute to entry requirements but they are not sufficient for entry on their own. Alternative equivalent qualifications will also be considered positively.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for whom English is a second language must be able to demonstrate proof of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at level 6.0 (with no component score lower than 5.5) or equivalent.

All offers may be subject to successful interview.

Learning and assessment

Learning Environment:

Students find the course relaxed with approachable teachers. With the varying classroom environments, students feel energised within lessons.

Students are expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and group presentations form an important part of the course. Students will have access to specialist IT hardware and software, an on-line learning environment and reference facility.


There is a wide variety of assessment methods which help all learners. Practical assessments, written assessments, oral presentations and observations are spread across the course modules.

Additional Information:

As part of increasing employability, the second years lead and run sports massage clinics for the academy teams.

What work experience can I get?

As part of the course, work experience is an essential part of developing the student. Through academy clinics and providing sports massage for a wide variety of external sporting events.


On successful completion of the course, students may apply for the BSc Sports Therapy


Sports massage Therapist, Sports Therapist.

Special requirements

Extra Costs:

Additional costs for items that are essential for the course:

· Sports Kit £50

UCLan Sports Scholarship

The University of Central Lancashire offers opportunities for student athletes to be supported with their aspirations of maintaining their playing career whilst also studying for a high-quality degree. Our panel will consider applicants as part of the admissions cycle and will offer support to those they feel will make a valuable contribution to the University’s sporting objectives. Find out more and how to apply on their website.