Project Description



ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage QN 603/4501/9

Qualification gained: ITEC level 3 diploma in Sports Massage.

This course is open to beginners

This course includes Anatomy and Physiology (A&P)

This course explores Injuries and Postural Issues

The ITEC level 3 Diploma is a stand-alone independent qualification as well as the foundational course for the BTEC level 5 Diploma.

The School of Natural Therapies’ ITEC diploma in Sports Massage Course provides an exciting, dynamic and thoroughly enjoyable learning experience for all students undertaking one of our internationally recognised diplomas.

The course provides a vital ‘stepping stone’ for candidates wanting to move into the rapidly growing field of remedial massage.

Following on from this, successful learners may choose to continue their studies with us and work towards the BTEC Level 5 Diploma.

The advantages of offering the course in a two-tier system of study are as follows:-

  • 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
  • Whilst studying towards level 5, students can build a successful sports massage practise earlier, or to seek employment, perhaps in the sport & leisure industry.
  • Whilst 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.
  • However, 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.

With a long standing reputation for learning excellence and on-going tutor support, the School of Natural Therapies’ prides itself on ensuring that students are well prepared for the ITEC Diploma examination. On successful completion of the examination, post graduate students will be able to begin a new career or earn  additional income in any of the following ways:

  • Work in a Health Club, Hotel, Cruise Ship or a Ski Resort
  • Set up a practice from a spare room at home
  • Supplement your full time income by building your own client base 
  • Carry out treatments for family/friends or colleagues
  • Move on to our BTEC Level 5 Clinical Sport and Remedial Massage Diploma Course programme, which takes place over a further 6 month period.

To complete the Diploma, we offer a ‘Fast track’ option, which takes place over 8 separate weekends, this means that throughout the three/four months you study with us, it will include most weekends, but not every weekend.

Course Structure

ITEC 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.

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 as follows:

iUSP160 – 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.

iUSP174 – 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

iUSP150 – Professional Practice in Sports Massage

To include:

  • Sports Massage Legislation
  • Scope of practice in the sports massage industry, including awareness and understanding of caution, contraindications 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

iUSP181 – 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

iUSP178 – 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

Course Fees

Level 3 ONLY £1497.00

A deposit of £295.00 will secure your place.

Course fees may be paid in full or the balance may be spread over three monthly instalments of £425.00 (This includes a 5% admin fee)

The course fees include the following:

  • Guided learning in class with tutor support.
  • Direction and support for home study.
  • Songbird professional massage wax.
  • Comprehensive SNT level 3 course manual.
  • A copy of Chris Jarmey’s ‘Anatomy of the Human Body’
  • Course folder, note pad and pen.
  • ITEC Final certificate.
  • 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.
  • A friendly and relaxed learning environment

Exam Fees

These are payable during the course, once you have been entered for the exam and are currently £135.00


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 is aimed at those who have no prior knowledge and who are looking for a career change, as well as those who do have some experience and/or qualifications already in either Swedish, holistic or body massage. 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 complete beginners with no previous massage qualification. Therapists from other disciplines wishing to learn sports massage are welcome.

Will I have to study Anatomy & Physiology again, if I have already studied it and obtained a qualification?
No, not necessarily. If you already have an existing UK recognised qualification in massage, or an holistic therapy which included this element, we may be able to exempt you from further study. There are however, three criteria which must be met:

  • The A&P qualification must be part of a massage qualification; UK recognised and listed on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF or QCF). Examples of such are ITEC, VTCT, City & Guilds. Please check with us if unsure, by email or phone call
  • It should be Level 3 or above
  • There may be a requirement to attend around two or three sports massage specific A&P sessions throughout the course, although we can exempt you from most other sessions, so long as you meet the above criteria in 2 and 3.

I already hold a qualification in Swedish/Body/Holistic massage-am I eligible to join this course and will I need to study Anatomy & Physiology again?
Yes you can join us and having previous training and experience is of course an advantage. Please be aware however that sports massage techniques differ from the type of massage you may have trained in, so it will involve moving away from a ‘routine’ and working in a completely different way to you are familiar with for sports and remedial massage clients – we will teach you how to do this and you will learn some new ways of working and some new techniques too.

With regard to Anatomy & Physiology – please see above.

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 sports 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?
2 bath towels for personal use. 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 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.

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

This practical unit will be externally assessed by a visiting ITEC examiner on the scheduled exam day and will last for one hour approximately.

Additional work will also be required for this course, as follows:

  • Evidence of 3 detailed case studies will also be required – these must be completed away from the classroom as home study
  • Three additional written assignments must also be completed as homework – these will be internally marked by our tutors. (Please see our FAQS if you may need help with written work)
  • Learners will also be required to undertake a 25-question multiple choice exam paper for unit 451 – (Anatomy & Physiology for Sports Massage) on exam day.
  • Final total marks are calculated and graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Course Dates and Info

ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage

Course Dates:   Sept to Dec (Weekends)

Places are limited …Book now to avoid disappointment.

Start and Finish Times: 9.30am – 5.00pm

Course cost: £1497 + Exam Fee (£130.00)

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


Sept Weekends (Saturday/Sunday) All sessions taught In-class 

  1. Sept 14th/15th
  2. Sept 21st/22nd
  3. Oct 5th/6th
  4. Oct 12th/13th
  5. Nov 2nd/3rd
  6. Nov 9th/10th
  7. Nov 16th/17th
  8. Nov 31st/Dec 1st

Dec 14th Exams (Saturday)

Examining Body


ITEC is an international examination board offering a variety of qualifications worldwide.

Latest Reviews

5 star rating

If you’re looking at following a career in sports massage, I recommend that you study here. I’ve been a qualified massage therapist for a number of years specialising in the Swedish technique. I felt that I wanted to do something different and more challenging, I was eager to further my education. I began looking for training courses in my local area and found the School of Natural Therapies. It was recommended on enquiry that I begin at level 3. This course was absolutely amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! The level of teaching is superior and is highly commendable! Joseph Trevor, Iris and Melanie all have a wealth of personal knowledge and experience and are all incredible teachers. I feel so privileged to be one of their students. I’m now looking forward to studying the higher level 5 course later on this year.

Jo Hussey (August 9, 2023)

5 star rating

A throughly enjoyable and resourceful experience at the School of Natural Therapies. Sports massage level 3 course was delivered in a highly-skilled, dedicated and professional manner. With individual approach and support tailored to each student, the tutors exceeded all expectations. I can highly recommend to all beginners and practicing in the field. Much grateful for the journey!

Gabriela Hristova (July 24, 2022)

5 star rating

Absolutely fantastic School of Natural Therapies, turning out highly-skilled, professionally-trained, top-quality therapists. It is strict because it needs to be; it is hard because it is important to have a good working knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and sport massage therapy.
The quality of teaching here is absolutely phenomenal!
I can see why SNT is labelled as one of the best schools in the world!
Good atmosphere at the course, wise and friendly Tutors Joseph and Trevor have gone above and beyond, and even make the difficult topics seem so effortless and enjoyable ! Fully enjoyed my time.
I would highly recommend It to anyone wanting to develop their knowledge and skills in sports massage. Will definitely go back in the future…

Romena G (May 24, 2022)

5 star rating

This has been my first course at this school and really enjoyed.
Also will not be the last as already got a new one to do.

The way has been organised was amazing, the teachers did all a great job explaining in a professional and also easy way for us to understand.

I learnt a lot of new strokes, and different way to massage, can’t way to do more.

I definitely recommend this school for anyone that want to learn massage in a safe and professional way.

Francesco Cappelluti (April 25, 2022)

5 star rating

There are not a enough nice things i can say about this school. The education programme is excellent, i have 13 years experience in the industry and have met a lot of tutors and the tutors here are passionate, patient and expert in their field. I have really enjoyed this course it has really improve my skills.

Please do choice this school you will not regret!

Jessica Sproson (March 29, 2020)

4 star rating

I loved my course with SNT; I qualified as a sports and remedial massage therapist taking their L3+L5 SARM bridging course lead by Joseph O’Dwyer. It was certainly challenging but exceptionally well delivered, the knowledge I received still is invaluable to me as a therapist so it was great value for money – and I was on a tight budget. All the tutors I had were excellent, Joseph, Trev & Helen all exceeded my expectations delivering carefully thought out course material in as clear and accessible way as possible. The world of massage is a rapidly developing one, and can be fraught with misinformation… I feel my advanced learning with SNT has put me in an excellent position to keep up with the cutting edge of the massage industry. The course was detailed and in-depth without being confusing or too overwhelming. – Supportive, extremely skilled & knowledgeable, great teachers and good resources and advice. Most of all we had loads of fun; it’s where it all began for me and I’m still happy massaging three years on. Thank you SNT

Jessica McDiarmid (January 31, 2018)