Project Description


Sports Conversion Course

Qualification gained: ITEC level 3 diploma in Sports Massage.

This course has been designed to bridge the difference in massage strategy and hand skills between holistic or beauty therapy and sports and remedial massage therapy.

Therefore, this course is open to existing therapist, who are qualified at: – 

  • Level 3 QCF/VRQ in massage. 


  • Beauty Industry NVQ Level 3 or equivalent
  • An Aromatherapy qualification will also be considered
  • All qualifications must be a UK recognised and conform to NVQ/VRQ or equivalent standards.

These pre-requisite standards allow us to recognise your previous theoretical and practical learning and experience, which will lead to an ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage, with a view to progressing to BTEC Level 5 qualification in Clinical Sport and Remedial Massage and Soft Tissue Therapy*

*Soft Tissue Therapy is a clinical term used in professions such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic – the use of this term, alongside sports and remedial massage brings our level therapists in line with these professions.

This course explores Injuries and Postural Issues

The ITEC level 3 Diploma is a standalone 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.

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 this system 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

Course Structure

In order to address the skills gap, the course will take place on ‘live’ zoom sessions and two in-class tutor lead practical training days – as follows: –

  • 8 x on-line ‘live’ tutoring sessions 
  • 2 x compulsory in-class tutor lead days (9.30am – 5.30pm)
  • There is the opportunity to attend additional in-class sessions if needed/required
  • A&P notes, exclusive to the school will be made available for revision, as students will be required to undertake the ITEC Level 3 Sports Massage theory examination – this consists of a 25 Multiple Choice Question Paper (MCQP).
  • There will be an additional exam day to attend, which consists of a practical examination (approx. 1 hour) plus theory exam 25 MCQP as mentioned above.

The qualification consists of five distinct units and the online training will encompass the following: –

  1. Principles of Health and Fitness
  • 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
  1. Professional Practice in Sports Massage
  • 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
  1. Understand the Principles of Soft Tissue Dysfunction

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

An assignment for each will be required

  1. Sports Massage Treatments

In class: –

  • The principles of deep tissue massage and the ’tools’ of sports massage.
  • Passive/active stretching for your client’s treatment/aftercare advice.
  • Abdominal massage (this is over and above the ITEC syllabus)
  1. Anatomy and Physiology for Sports Massage

Comprehensive notes and test papers will be supplied to reinforce students existing A&P knowledge. 

Pre-existing A&P will be taken into account – however, a sports massage specific A&P paper must be undertaken in order to obtain the qualification. The paper consists of 25 multiple choice questions.

Course Fees

Level 3 Conversion Course
A deposit of £147.00 will secure your place.

The balance payable will be – £590.00

Course fees may be paid in full or the balance may be spread over three monthly instalments of £206.50 – this includes a 5% admin fee (Full cost if spreading the payments will be £619.50)

The course fees include the following:

  • Guided learning with tutor support and home study.
  • A full set of comprehensive Anatomy and Physiology notes.
  • Individual A&P system test papers and access to mock exam A&P papers with answers.
  • An exclusive School of Natural Therapies course manual.
  • On-line sessions, which reduce travel time and cost.
  • Songbird professional massage wax.
  • ITEC examination fees and final certificate.
  • A copy of Chris Jarmey’s ‘Anatomy of the Human Body’
  • 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.
  • A friendly and relaxed learning environment

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.


I have some previous massage experience and a qualification – can I sign up for this course?
Yes, the course is aimed at those who have prior training and experience and are looking to advance their massage skills to provide sport and remedial massage as an additional skill. We will train and guide you throughout the course on practical massage techniques and all sports massage related theory, including anatomy and physiology. We ask that any previous qualifications have been achieved at Level 3 and conform to a UK recognised qualification – see below for more details.

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 a holistic therapy, 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
  • The school’s own A&P exam notes will be made available to students enrolling on this course.
  • Individual A&P system test papers and access to mock exam A&P papers with answers will also be supplied for revision.

I already hold a qualification in Swedish/Body/Holistic massage-am I eligible to join this course?
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.

Do I need to do any pre-reading or preparation before the course starts?
You can take advantage of our full set of comprehensive Anatomy and Physiology notes and A&P system test papers and access to mock exam A&P papers with answers.

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, if you don’t already possess one. 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 for assignment work. You will also need to set time aside for case study work/home treatments as the course progresses.

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.

Course Tutor

Joseph O'Dwyer

Joseph O’Dwyer

Course Dates

One line – live zoom sessions

  • Sept 10th, 17th
  • Oct 1st, 8th
  • Oct 18th (optional date)
  • Oct 22nd
  • Oct 29th,
  • Nov 5th

In-class (Practical)

  • Nov 1st
  • Nov 15th

December 5th A&P Mocks and Revision (optional date)

Scheduled Exam Date: – December 12th 2020 (Theory and Practical)

Examining Body


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

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