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BTEC Clinical Sports & Remedial Massage Course Level 5

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Qualification Gained

Fancy a new career in Clinical Sport & Remedial Massage?

Enrolling on this BTEC course provides an opportunity for complete beginners to train to Level 5 standard, one of the highest in the UK, with our unique 2-step programme. Successful candidates will also become members of the prestigious Institute of Sport and Remedial Massage (ISRM)

Read what this course has led to for just some of our successful graduates over the past two years here

On successful completion of the full level 5 programme, students will receive the following three certificates:

  •  A BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Sport & Remedial Massage
  •  An intermediate ITEC Level 3 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy – Level 3, whilst studying to BTEC Level 5.
  •  A certificate from the Institute of Sports & Remedial Massage (ISRM) which will  state - "Diploma in Sports and Remedial Massage (Level 5)"

Accredited by:


The School of Natural Therapies provides advanced sports and remedial massage training with our popular two-step programme, leading to a BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Sport and Remedial Massage.

The 2-step programme consists of practical and theoretical study, leading towards an ITEC Level 3 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy, providing students with solid robust skills in Sports Massage Therapy.
The next step is a 6 month bridging programme, allowing students who have qualified either with the Level 3 programme above, or those who already hold an existing, recognised Level 3 or Level 4 Sports Massage qualification. This part of the programme requires students to attend one weekend per month.
The advantages of studying a 2-step programme such as this are:-

  • It allows beginners, without previous massage experience, but seeking future employment within this area of healthcare, to join the programme and work towards a level 5 qualification.
  • It allows qualifying students to build a successful sports massage practise earlier, or to seek employment, perhaps in the sport & leisure industry.
  • Whilst actually working and building a client base, learners may continue to focus on the development of level 5 functional skills and upgrade their qualification to this standard, by continuing with their studies and undertaking our Level 5 Bridging Programme.
  • Students may take a study break, or stop at level 3 if they desire and re-join the bridging programme at a later date, in order to achieve a level 5 qualification through BTEC.


About the Level 5 qualification.

This qualification benchmarks not only the highest quality standards, but also the highest qualification available for the Clinical Sports & Remedial Massage Industry in the UK today. The level 3 and level 5 programme takes place over 11 months and is externally validated by:

  • Edexcel/BTEC (who are the national awarding body for vocational training) and
  • ITEC (International Therapists Examination Council), who are an International Awarding Organisation in areas such as Complementary Therapy and Sports & Fitness.

Developing the skills necessary to become an accomplished and advanced practitioner takes time and practice to learn and assimilate. Remember that once qualified, you may well find yourself working alongside other healthcare professionals, such as Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and similar. Therefore, we do not advocate fast-track training when working to these standards.

The main objectives of our full program, is to provide successful candidates with the skills needed to:

  • Assess  Musco-skeletal and soft tissue injuries and disorders
  • Select the most appropriate remedial massage and sports massage methods in order to treat the injury or dysfunction
  • Very importantly, to provide advice, guidance and rehabilitation procedures to assist with on-going healing and prevent injury in the future. Not just for sports men and women, but for the public at large.

After qualifying

On successful completion of the programme, the skills learned on the course will enable graduates to work not only within the sport and leisure industry, but also to work with other client bases unrelated to sports injuries; for example work and occupational musco-skeletal and soft tissue injuries. Therefore, it is worth noting that the skills gained on this programme can be applied to a variety of medical conditions as well.
It is also worth noting that we are validated as a school, by the Institute of Sport and Remedial Massage (ISRM) who have overseen this level of training for a number of years and have achieved much within the remedial massage industry, to establish what is now a recognised field in modern healthcare.



Level 3 & 5 Program Content


Initial Level 3 Syllabus (Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy)
This course will be examined by a visiting ITEC examiner and successful students will achieve a Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy at Level 3 initially

Additional Information

  • Level 3 is equivalent to NVQ 3, Advanced GNVQ, BTEC National and AS/A Level
  • Some home study and case studies are required away from the classroom.
  • The course will take place over four months, spread over seven study weekends and one revision weekend. You can expect to study therefore around two weekends per month – see dates for this course above and on the right hand side of this page.

The Level 3 course consists of five units, (numbered 451 to 455) as follows:-

Unit 451 – Functional Anatomy & Physiology for Sports Massage

Students will learn how to understand the structural organisation of the human body, in relation to sports massage application; these areas include:-

  • Human cells and tissues
  • The structure and function of the Skin
  • The structure and function of the Skeletal system, including joints and categories of joints, ligaments and tendons
  • The structure and function of the Muscular System and the location and function of relevant muscles in the body
  • The structure and function of the Nervous System
  • The structure and function of the Endocrine System
  • The structure and function of the Cardio-vascular system
  • The structure and function of the Lymphatic System
  • The structure and function of the Respiratory system
  • The structure and function of the Digestive System
  • The structure and function of the Urinary System

This unit will be assessed by an externally set multiple choice question paper (25 questions) on exam day.

Unit 452 – Principles of Health & Fitness.
Students will be able to understand the following –

  • The benefits of an active healthy lifestyle
  • The effects of exercise on the body
  • The components of fitness
  • The principles of training
  • Nutrition - the role of micro/macro nutrients, hydration and healthy eating and how this relates to growth, repair and injury.

This unit will be set as a combination of classroom lectures and home assignment work

Unit 453 – Professional Practice in Sports Massage
To include-

  • Sports Massage Legislation
  • Scope of practice in the sports massage industry, including awareness and understanding of caution, contra-indications and interface with other professionals and therapists.
  • Professional Standards and regulations, pertinent to the industry
  • Legal obligations, legislation and client record keeping

This unit will be set as a combination of classroom lectures and home assignment work

Unit 454 – Understanding the Principles of *Soft Tissue Dysfunction
*Soft tissue is an anatomical term to categorise the tissues that connect, support, or surround other structures and organs of the body, other than bone. This includes tendons, ligaments and muscle fascia, amongst other tissue and is relevant therefore to the sports massage industry. Learners will therefore understand -

  • Soft Tissue Dysfunction and the process of repair of this tissue, including causes and types of injury and damage.

This unit will be set as a combination of classroom lectures and home assignment work

Unit 455 – Applying Sports Massage Treatment
Learners will gain the knowledge, theory and skills to understand and apply –

  • The history, origins and development of sports massage
  • Sports massage techniques* and tools and apply them as sports massage treatments
  • Equipment and its adaptation/modification in relation to different environments and events.
  • Identifying contra-indications and contra-actions before, during and after massage treatment
  • Assessing and screening clients for sports massage treatments
  • Consultation and client assessment recording methods
  • Devising a suitable massage strategy for each client and their specific needs/requirements and carrying out an effective and safe treatment.
  • Develop and ensure good posture whilst working and making effective use of massage equipment, including massage couch, oils and massage mediums.
  • Working to good professional standards of practice, ensuring that hygiene and sterilisation is observed at all times.
  • Monitoring client communication and feedback.
  • Evaluating the outcomes and effectiveness of the massage strategy and treatment in every case.
  • Post massage analysis and aftercare advice and guidance.

Techniques will include :

  • Effleurage,
  • Petrissage,
  • Friction,
  • Tapotement,
  • Vibration,
  • Neuro-Muscular Technique (NMT)
  • Pre/Post/Inter-Event Massage
  • Other specific sports massage techniques (CTM, Cross fibre friction, pressure, etc)

Successful students may then continue their study program to Level 5 Clinical Sport & Remedial Massage, by undertaking the following bridging program:-

Level 5 Bridging Program (BTEC)

Course Structure
This comprises of a six study weekends, one weekend per month, culminating in an examination weekend (an additional 7th weekend), consisting of –

  • A theory paper – time allowed – 2 hours
  • A practical exam, lasting approximately 1 hour
  • An MET/STR assessment, which is also practical.

In order to satisfy BTEC requirements for the Level 5 program, learners will also need to undertake the following home study assignments:

  • Three practical assessments are taken during the course.
  • Three theory assignment papers are also undertaken during the 6 month programme and these are externally marked.
  • On occasions, students may be asked to complete an additional Anatomy & Physiology assignment paper – however, if students are able to provide suitable evidence of past robust learning in this field, RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) will be granted, but subject to our final decision.
  • It is expected that two full case studies must be submitted also as part of the final exam structure and requirements – these are handed in on exam day and are externally marked and verified.
  • Full details of all exam requirements and assessments are given on the first day of the programme, so that all students are fully appraised as to what is expected of them.

Summary of study weekends subject areas, there are 6 in total) :-
Biomechanics, Joint assessment and specialised Tests – during the programme, students’ will-

  • Revisit Postural Assessment and advance their current skills to a more advanced level
  • Learn how to undertake specialised function and mobility tests
  • Common injuries
  • Professional methods of note-taking and case histories
  • Remedial Exercise Advice
  • Trunk/Core Stability

Soft Tissue Release (STR) – to include:

  • Correct usage of technique
  • Active and Passive techniques
  • Weight-bearing
  • Clinical usage
  • Contra-indications

Muscle Energy Techniques (METs)

  • When these techniques can and should be used safely and appropriately
  • Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR) methods
  • Reciprocal Inhibition (RI) methods
  • Contra-indications

Preparing to set up a successful clinical practice – to include the following sessions:-

  • Business Practice
  • Working outside and at major sporting events

Neuromuscular techniques

  • Building on Level 3 techniques, we advance friction and NMT skills along with general massage practice

Consolidation and Clinical Practice Weekend – an opportunity to assimilate the whole bridging programme content, revisit all techniques and to prepare for the final Level 5 examination. The weekend includes a Clinic day, with real clients, with injuries, and muscular and soft tissue dysfunction. All clinical clients will be seeking sport & remedial massage intervention, help and remedial advice. Great preparation for the forthcoming exam.

Please note that the study weekends do not run in the above order, rather the full programme focuses on elements of the above disciplines during every weekend as appropriate and where required.
We do factor in plenty of time to re-visit and practice all techniques learned, in order for students to be able to consolidate these techniques into a cohesive treatment programme.

I have no previous massage experience and I have no previous background in science or anatomy – can I sign up for this course?
Yes, the course assumes no prior knowledge and is open to beginners who are looking for a career change, or those with related experience, who wish to further their knowledge.
We will train and guide you throughout the course on practical massage techniques and all sports massage related theory, including anatomy and physiology.

Course Entry Requirements for existing practitioners
This course is also open to qualified or student practitioners of disciplines, such as –

  • Students or Graduates of Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Chiropractic and students or graduates of Sports Science
  • Those with an existing Level 3 or 4 Sports Massage qualification may also join the bridging program part of the course
  • Acceptance on to the Level 5 bridging programme for all of the above students or graduates, is subject to an initial assessment day, where prior practical (eg massage skills) and theory based knowledge will be assessed by one of our tutors.

Who are the Institute of Remedial Massage (ISRM)?
The ISRM qualification in Clinical Sport & Remedial Massage has evolved over 20 years to best meet the needs of the client and it has become the benchmark for quality training in the UK. It has been developed by working therapists who really understand what it takes to provide good Remedial massage therapy and build a successful practice. ISRM sits on the Sport and Remedial Therapies Council (SRTC) which is recognised by CNHC as the lead body in the sector. There are only eight ISRM validated schools in the UK.

Are all the ISRM schools a franchise?
Absolutely not. All schools have to pass rigorous standards of practice and delivery of this BTEC validated qualification in order to be approved and accepted by industry leader and popular sports/remedial massage author, Mel Cash. He also oversees the examinations in most cases and heads the ISRM.

Do I need to do any pre-reading or preparation before the course starts?
Some general reading on the human body in advance of your course may be helpful if you haven’t studied any anatomy or physiology before and we will supply a basic recommended reading list prior to the course, once you have booked and paid your deposit. Don’t forget we also provide our own exclusive and comprehensive course notes as well once the course is under way?

Do I have the right background to study sport/remedial massage?
As we have said, the course is open to anyone with a genuine desire to learn the art of sport/remedial massage and is physically fit enough and able to perform what we term ‘bodywork’. This is quite a physical course, so it is important to advise us at the time of booking or enquiring, if you have an illness or condition which may affect your ability to perform massage. Something that may be helpful for potential candidates is a background in some sort of sport, exercise or dance, but it is absolutely not essential.

What will I need to bring to the course?
You will provided with a course manual, comprehensive course notes throughout the course.
Coloured pencils and general writing materials will be needed for the anatomy class, although we do provide a notebook and school pen.

Will I need to buy my own couch?
You will undoubtedly need your own couch for practise at home and for case study treatments. We will be able to advise you before you purchase one and we have an exclusive deal with a well-respected massage couch supplier, who is able to offer discounts and very good deals for students.  We will provide couches during class time of course.

How much study time at home will be needed?
You will need to allocate time regularly throughout the week for assignment work and some small pieces of written work. You will also need to set time aside for case study work/home treatments as the course progresses. Of course it depends on how quickly you learn as to how long you will need but you will need to make some time available.

Will there be lots of essay writing?
The ITEC Level 3 anatomy exam is multiple choice only. The other units involve some writing but the tutor will guide you as to the style of presentation. Generally, bullet point presentation is passable if the information is thorough, clear and accurate. As we progress towards Level 5, there is more assignment work to complete – we are able to make allowances if English is not your first language, or those who have any degree of dyslexia.

What if English is not my first language, or if I haven’t studied for a long time
We would expect anyone applying to possess a reasonable command of English language, both written and oral. However, there are many ways of presenting work and we can advise what is best for the individual in terms of how they present their work, if they find they are struggling with their written skills.

I have dyslexia
We can assist those who struggle with English, don’t have English as their first language, or have dyslexia – see question above.  

Is there an age limit?
We prefer students to be at least 21 years of age in order to undertake this course. Younger students may apply by contacting us and acceptance on this programme is subject to telephone interview first.

Can I park at the venues?
At our London venues, there is free parking available in the side roads near our Clapham venue at the weekends.
At the British School of Osteopathy, there is a car park and free local street parking at weekends. Borough tube (Northern Line) is across the road.

During the week there is pay and display parking (9:30am-5:30pm). Clapham North tube station is a 1 minute walk away.

Parking in Brighton is available in local car parks, but street parking is not advised at weekends. Brighton mainline station is a 5 minute walk away from the venue.

Do I have to provide my own “clients” to practise on for coursework?

Yes, you will need to find people to do case studies on in your own time – friends, family and work colleagues are usually very willing to receive a free massage session!!

Can I leave my belongings at the venue between sessions?

Students cannot leave belongings at the venue as there is very limited storage available.

Are the massage classes single sex?
The massage classes include both male and female students. You would need to advise us in advance if you have an objection to that and we will advise you if this course is suitable.


Level 3 has x3 assignments, plus 3 case studies with a 25 MCQ theory paper and a 1 hour practical exam.

Level 5 has x3 assignments and 2 case studies with a 2.5 hour theory exam and a 1 hour practical exam.

  • Total £2,499.00 - Fees include Exams, certification a six month student membership of the ISRM.
  • Deposit £299
  • Balance £2,200 payable by first day (or by 10 monthly payments of £220, details available upon booking).
  • For those who change their mind and only seek to take the Level 3 ITEC exam, a minimum payment of £1495.00 must have been paid, before a student will be entered for the exam.

Please note that a BTEC registration fee of £250 is payable in month 5 of the course.

On successful completion of the course, graduates can-

  • Become full members of the ISRM which has an online register of therapists and a Continual Professional Development programme, plus the entire necessary professional support a therapists needs, such as insurance etc. (see
  • Graduates are eligible to join the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council CNHC incorporating the SRTC (The Sports & Remedial Therapy Council

CNHC is the UK regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners. Its key function is to enhance public protection by setting standards for registration with CNHC. The CNHC quality mark (above) is being recognised as the hallmark of quality for the sector. This means that the general public, and those who commission the services of complementary healthcare practitioners, will be able to choose with confidence by looking for the CNHC quality mark.
The Department of Health in November 2009 stated: "CNHC is the only voluntary regulatory body for complementary healthcare which has official government backing. No other organisation has the same exacting criteria or focus on safety and quality."

CNHC Registration
The ISRM has been approved by the CNHC to verify applications for registration and encourages its members to register in order to gain the quality mark. The ISRM/BTEC qualification exceeds the standards set by CNHC and graduates are eligible to register.


Student Feedback about this course

"I did the ITEC Level 3 & BTEC Level 5 courses. The tutors were all absolutely brilliant as was all course contents. Even when I had not finished the course and doing case studies clients often asked where I was studying and it was my pleasure to say SNT. It was re-iterated to us throughout the course that the idea was to make us great therapists and not just students who made it through or passed an exam, what great focus. The standards were always high and all the tutors supported us in all the right ways including trusting that their teaching and our ability as students to learn would make us great therapists. In particular Joseph, Trevor and Luke I cannot thank you enough and I will always be grateful that I made the right choice in choosing to learn massage therapy at SNT. So I now just need Joseph & all at SNT to make sure they run all the CPD courses I wish to attend going forwards and we're sorted. SNT rocks and I am beyond grateful to be an alumni. I am inspired to be the best therapist I can be and I have SNT to thank for that. I had a such fabulous experience at SNT that I am actually going to miss the tutors! "
Submitted by Patsy Jawo (Aug 8th 2017)

" Hi Marc and the SNT Team.   Now that all is said and done and the certificates have arrived/are arriving. I would like to say a massive thank you on behalf of myself and all of the Essentials for Health group. Out of the long list of massage schools that i personally contacted, SNT was the only one to show a legitimate concern for our situation and an unwavering enthusiasm to help provide us a cost effective solution to getting the group qualified. The high standard of professionalism and quality of teaching and support throughout has left us blown away, with many of us wishing that we elected to study through SNT from the off. In an industry of ever increasing competition you have truly set yourselves apart from the rest.   I therefore wish you all the best of luck in the future. I am certain that we as a group will continue to sing your praises to other potential trainees for a long time to come!   Sincerely   Arran McDougall  "
Submitted by Thank you (Jun 20th 2015)

" I would like to thank the School of Natural Therapies for the excellent BTEC L5 program in Sport and Remedial Massage. The program covers ALL essential theoretical knowledge required by professional massage therapist for successful practice. The academic and support staff is very friendly and helpful and ready to clear any potential doubts that students may have. The lecture is scheduled over the weekend which allows for combining work and study. Furthermore the first certificate ITEC L3 will be achieved in first 4 month allowing you to start work and practice. I highly recommend The School of Natural Therapies to anyone who would like to study massage therapy as reliable and respectful institution which will meet you expectations.   Ex Student JG "
Submitted by Jev Goronin (Sep 12th 2014)

" Hi Marc, I just wanted to thank you and your team for the great experience I had, studying the Level 5 Diploma in Sport and Remedial Massage course with you and all these fantastic new skills I now possess. I am so glad I did the course. Particularly the level 5 part of it really brought things together for me and made me feel that I can make a difference and that I have the tools to treat clients as individuals with very different clinical histories, scenarios and needs. It is incredible how much we have learned on this course. I remember the very first day and for the first time making an attempt at effleuraging someone’s leg and getting a little scared, realizing just how new and alien this craft was to me.  And now I feel confident will all these techniques. It’s simply fantastic!!! But in the main, I just wanted to let you know what a great team of tutors Alison and Trevor are. I think I can speak for most of the group by saying that we all absolutely adore both of them. They are both such different people and their teaching styles are also so very different. But I found this makes them an amazing team. Trevor is always energetic and fun. He creates a relaxed, positive and fun atmosphere and his passion really comes across and inspired us all. He is so knowledgeable, but also honest and human and made us feel comfortable with not being perfect straight away and keeping practicing and trying to get better. Alison is more serious (but still fun!!) and more importantly, calm and organised. She always made sure we remained focused and got stuff done. Her demonstrations and advice were always clear, consistent and constructive. Her skill and knowledge is inspiring and she made us want to up our game and work harder. When the two of them worked together it was a wonderful mix of both their strengths. After learning from them for nearly a year I feel very strongly that I will miss them and grew to like them an awful lot. I have to say I also am a huge fan of Julie Anne too. I love the way she taught us in her calm, clear and jolly manner and her knowledge and skill always impressed me. So thanks again for supplying these great tutors and an amazing course!!! Kristin L. Level 5 Graduate – July 2014. "
Submitted by Kristin Loeer (Jul 23rd 2014)

" When I first wanted to do a training in massage therapy I wasn't sure what course to take. After speaking with Mark I decided to go for the Clinical Sports and Remedial Massage Therapy (BTEC Level 5) course. I did my training at the SNT and it was truly worth it! No regrets! It took me less than a year to build up my clientele. I'm now managing my own business and this is very exciting and rewarding. Have a look at my website: If you are thinking about developing a professional activity in this field I can highly recommend this course as it's much more than just massage. You'll learn a lot about anatomy, physiology which will make your work more interesting as you'll understand much better what you are doing when you are treating a client and why.   It is a solid base to start working as a therapist. The course is a consequent commitment - especially if you are a full time worker, as I was during my training - but I enjoyed it so much and it is totally doable. I think it was the right amount of work - with a perfect balance on theory vs practical. It is also a financial commitment but again I can tell you if you are motivated you can easily get the reward of this investment.   The tutors at the SNT where fantastic, complementing each others very well. I did my training in 2003 with Trevor, Alison, and Julianne. All presented high level of teaching, were very professional and they also knew how to make learning fun and interesting. Thank you Mark! I'm so glad you advised me to do this course! Julien "
Submitted by Julien Burnier (Mar 15th 2014)

" Thanks for the opportunity to study with you guys, it was a great experience and I've learnt a lot. The lectures were the best I've ever had, especially Trevor and Alison. NC x "
Submitted by NC- 2013 (Nov 19th 2013)

" Firstly can I thank you, Trevor, Alison and Julianne for a fantastic course. I have really learnt so much about so many different aspects of sports & remedial massage. The confidence levels that your lecturers have installed in me are first class. I would also like to compliment you on the thorough anatomy & assessment criteria needed on the course. My knowledge has been severely tested in past 3 months as I have been treating injuries galore within the gym I work in, plus in addition to this I am now the resident Sports Therapist for Old Owens FC each Saturday. The knowledge I gained from completing the level 5 course has stood me in great stead with the assessment & treatment of soft tissue injuries. I have used as this alongside the PT exercise rehabilitation benefits I can offer with the gym. In addition to this I have now landed the Sports Therapist role for The SAL (Southern Amateur League) & The AFA (Amateur Football Alliance) My only regret is that I should have completed the course years ago. Send my best wishes to all the team at SNT. "
Submitted by Ed Pritchard (Nov 1st 2013)

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Dates for this course
This is a Weekend course
Jan: 27th, 28th
Feb: 24th, 25th
Mar: 24th, 25th
Apr: 28th, 29th
May: 19th, 20th
Jun: 30th
Jul: 1st
Venue Details: Synchronicity Clapham
Tutor: Joseph O’Dwyer
Co-Tutor: Iris Kettner
Co-Tutor 2: Trevor Gorard
Note: Course runs for a total of 12 days
and is held on a Weekend
Cost: £2499.00
Exam Info: Exam dates 21st & 22nd July TBC
This is a Weekend course
May: 26th, 27th
Jun: 16th, 17th
Jul: 28th, 29th
Aug: 11th, 12th
Sep: 15th, 16th
Oct: 13th, 14th
Venue Details: Synchronicity Clapham
Tutor: Joseph O’Dwyer
Co-Tutor: Iris Kettner
Co-Tutor 2: Trevor Gorard
Note: Course runs for a total of 12 days
and is held on a Weekend
Cost: £2499.00
Exam Info: Exam dates 3rd & 4th November TBC

Examining Body


The BTEC National Diploma is a vocational qualification taken in England and Wales and Northern Ireland by young people aged 16 and over and by adults.


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