Project Description


BTEC Clinical Sports & Remedial Massage Course Level 5 – Bridging Programme

Course Entry Requirements for existing practitioners

This course is 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.

Fancy a new career in Clinical Sport & Remedial Massage?

The School of Natural Therapies provides advanced sports and remedial massage training with our popular BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Sport and Remedial Massage. Enrolling on this BTEC course provides an opportunity for qualified practitioners to attain a Level 5 standard Clinical and Remedial Qualification, one of the highest in the UK.

Successful candidates will also become members of the prestigious Institute of Sport and Remedial Massage (ISRM)

On successful completion of the level 5 bridging programme, students will receive the following two certificates:

  • A BTEC Level 5 Diploma in ‘Soft Tissue Therapy’
  • A certificate from the of School of Natural Therapies (SNT) which states – ‘Level 5 Clinical and Remedial Sports Massage Diploma’

The School of Natural Therapies Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Sport & Remedial Massage Course is open to learners who have already completed our ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy, or the equivalent from another school or learning establishment.

If you are unsure whether your current qualification meets our entry criteria for level 5 please click here

For beginners wishing to progress to Level 5, the ITEC Level 3 Qualification must be taken first, (unless already qualified to level 3 or 4) leading to a further period of study to progress to Level 5.

Course Structure

BTEC Clinical Sports & Remedial Massage Course Level 5 – Bridging Programme

The course structure is as follows:

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

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 three 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

Connective Tissue Massage

Positional Release

  • 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 revisit and practice all techniques learned, in order for students to be able to consolidate these techniques into a cohesive treatment programme.

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.

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 are the awarding bodies.

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.

Course Fees

Level 5 only £1,497.00

A deposit of £299.40 will secure your place.

Course fees may be paid in full or the balance may be spread over 6 monthly payments of £210 (This includes a 5% admin fee).

Please note that a one-off BTEC/ISRM registration/exam fee of £385.00 payable in month 2 of the course or spread over the duration of the course.

Spreading the cost over 6 x instalments

Outstanding amount after deposit – £1200 + BTEC/ISRM Exam Fee (£385) and can be paid in 6 x instalments as follows: –

Instalments without exam fee x 6 £210.00/monthly
Instalments with exam fee x 6 £274.00/monthly

Total cost of full course with exam fee – £1882 (incl. exam fees)

Total cost of full course if spreading the cost (incl. exam fees) – £1942

The course fees include the following:

  • Guided learning in class with tutor support
  • Direction and support for home study
  • Songbird professional massage wax
  • Class notes for each session.
  • Course folder, note pad and pen
  • Advice, guidance and discount with choosing and purchasing a quality massage couch and equipment at student rates
  • A wide selection of discounted relevant massage, anatomy and other relevant Lotus publication books
  • Six month student membership of the ISRM
  • A friendly and relaxed learning environment


I have no previous massage experience and I have no previous background in science or anatomy – can I sign up for this course?
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.

Students who have no previous experience or sports massage qualification will need to complete the level 3 ITEC sports massage diploma first.

Is the level 3 diploma needed before starting the level 5 syllabus?
To complete the level 5 syllabus, the level 3 diploma must be attained first. This essential foundation qualification teaches students the hand skills and introduces strategies needed to begin the level 5 course.

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?
Three on-line research assignments are required at this level as well as three in depth case studies. 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.

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.

Exam Details

Level 5 bridging course has 3 assignments and 3 case studies with a 2.5 hour theory exam and a 1 hour practical exam.

Course Dates and Info

BTEC Clinical Sports & Remedial Massage Course Level 5 – Bridging Programme

Course Dates: Sept to March (exam)

Start and Finish Times: 9.30am – 5.30pm

Course cost: £1497 

Venue: Unit 7J – Clapham North Art Centre (Map here)


Sept Weekends (12 days Saturday/Sunday + exams) All sessions taught in-class

  1. Sept 28th/29th
  2. Oct 26th/27th
  3. Nov 23rd/24th
  4. Dec 21st/22nd
  5. Jan 25th/26th
  6. Feb 22nd/23rd

Exam: March 21st (Friday)

Accredited By


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.

Latest Reviews

5 star rating

After completing my ITEC level 3 in Sports massage I then spent 8 years working privately and working at a rugby club. I was looking for a course that would further my knowledge and make me feel more confident working with sports therapists and physios. I contemplated going back to uni and doing 3 years of Sports Therapy but eventually settled on doing the level 5 and it was the best decision I ever made. The course was extremely flexible, meaning I was able to continue working whilst studying and the course itself gave me such a boost and now I feel my manual therapy skills are a real asset to my place of work. The course tutors pitched it perfectly for all of us no matter how much experience and couldn’t do enough to help us. Having tutors from different backgrounds gave me the opportunity to see things from different perspectives and gave me the clinical reasoning skills to make better decisions and do more for my clients. I would recommend this course to anyone who would like to further their knowledge and give their career a boost. Since the course I now feel the world is my oyster in terms of career progression and further study and am now thinking of just topping up with 1 year to get my sports therapy degree. Thankyou so much to Joseph and the team!

Alexandra proctor (October 4, 2021)