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ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Massage

Course Syllabus

Below is a detailed breakdown of the syllabus covered on the iTEC Level 3 Massage Diploma course. 

Unit iUCT24 - Provide Body Massage for Complementary Therapies

View the full ITEC syllabus here

Classes are taught in small groups with detailed practical demonstration and guided massage. Students work closely with the tutor learning not only the techniques but also how to protect themselves while carrying out body therapy.

On this course, you will learn:

  • Comprehensive Full-Body Massage Incorporating Various Techniques
    • Utilising an array of techniques including effleurage, petrissage, and percussive methods like hacking, cupping, beating, pounding, and tapotement, this full-body massage aims to promote relaxation and rejuvenation.

  • Treatment Environment and Workspace
    • Ambiance: Set the mood with soothing lighting and calming music.
    • Equipment: Employ a comfortable massage table adorned with fresh linens and utilize high-quality massage oils or lotions.
    • Hygiene: Prioritize cleanliness by maintaining sanitized equipment and proper disposal practices for used materials.

  • Therapist's Demeanor and Appearance
    • Attire: Present in neat, professional attire or a dedicated massage uniform.
    • Professionalism: Maintain a composed, respectful, and professional demeanor throughout the session.
    • Communication: Articulate massage techniques clearly while ensuring client comfort and understanding.

  • Client Care and Preparation
    • Preparation: Provide a private area for clients to prepare and ensure their modesty during undressing.
    • Comfort: Ensure clients are positioned comfortably on the massage table with appropriate draping.
    • Safety: Enquire about any allergies or specific preferences concerning massage oils or lotions.

  • Client Consultation, Contraindications, and Limitations
    • Consultation: Conduct a detailed discussion to grasp the client's health history, preferences, and any specific areas of concern.
    • Contraindications: Be vigilant regarding contraindications such as recent injuries, skin conditions, infectious diseases, or medical issues that might impede or restrict the massage.
    • Limitations: Adjust massage techniques or avoid certain areas based on the client's constraints or preferences.

  • Reflective Practice and Professional Development
    • Self-Assessment: Reflect on each session, analyzing strengths and areas for improvement.
    • Continuous Learning: Engage in ongoing education to refine techniques and stay updated on industry advancements.
    • Client Feedback: Value and encourage client feedback to enhance your practice and address any concerns effectively.

Unit iUCT38 - Knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for Complementary Therapies:

View the full syllabus for Unit iUCT38 here

Understand the anatomy, physiology and pathologies of each system:

  • Organisation of the body
  • Cells
  • Skeletal
  • Muscular
  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Digestive
  • Neurological/Nervous
  • Endocrine
  • Lymphatic
  • Reproductive
  • Urinary
  • Skin, Hair, Nails

Assignment 1: Unit 384 Principles and Practice of Complementary Therapies

View iUCT21 Assignment Guidelines Here

Identify and explain the origins and principles of 4 other complementary therapies.

Assignment 2: Unit iUCT34 Business Practice for Complementary Therapies

View iUCT34 Assignment Guidelines Here

Plan and prepare an appropriate business plan for a potential complementary therapy practice.

If you've completed similar assignments as part of a prior qualification, such as a Reflexology Diploma, within the last three years, you might qualify for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). Get in touch to discuss if this might be available to you.

Course Overview

Professional, iTEC Accredited Massage Courses

Master Holistic / Swedish massage with a strong foundation in Anatomy and Physiology, meeting the industry's highest standards.


+ About This Massage Course

+ What's Included in the Course

+ Choosing How and When to Study

+ Your Qualification Journey

Assessment Criteria

After the completion of your classroom days, you'll be required to complete home-based studies and assignments. You'll need to provide evidence of these studies upon your return to the Academy for final exams, typically taken 3-4 months after your course contact days.

Students have the flexibility to register for an exam block, which occurs every 3 months, once they feel prepared and have completed the following requirements. This approach allows for flexibility in the timeframe for completion.

To effectively prepare, we recommend dedicating approximately 5-10 hours per week to complete your case studies, theory studies, and assignments.

Folder Work / Portfolio

You'll be required to complete the following after your clasroom days:

  • 16 x Case studies (8 individuals, each receiving 2 treatments )
  • Plus 20 individual massage treatments
  • Writing 2 assignments (Business Plan & Complementary Therapies)


Examinations will be conducted at the Academy once you have completed the above and registered for an exam date:

  • "Mock" Practical Exam (scheduled 2 weeks before the practical exam, allowing you a practice run and providing feedback from your tutor for improvement)
  • Practical Exam, externally invigilated by ITEC
  • Anatomy & Physiology Theory Paper – 50 multiple choice questions

Entry Requirements

No Previous Experience Needed

If you do not yet have a Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology qualification, you will study this along side your Massage course via e-learning or classroom learning. Once you have selected your dates for the Massage course, you will be prompted to select how you would like to study the A&P part of this course which defaults to e-learning. If you need advice on whether you need to do your A+P qualification, please get in contact.

Already completed an Anatomy and Physiology qualification or similar assignments in another qualification?

If a student already holds a recognisable Anatomy & Physiology qualification, there might be an opportunity for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for the A&P Unit. RPL could also be considered for assignments completed as part of another Level 3 RQF qualification. However, specific criteria need to be met:

  • It must be a regulated qualification
  • Qualifications must be less than 3 years old
  • minimum of 80% of the syllabus must match like-for-like

It's important to note that if RPL is granted, the student will only receive a "Pass" mark; no Merit or Distinction will be awarded.

There's an official RPL process initiated with ITEC after enrollment, involving a fee of £35+VAT (charged by ITEC for the service).

Please get in contact to begin the RPL process or check if your qualification is eligible. Alternatively, you can opt to "self-study" the A&P unit and still sit the exam element with us. 

Books for Study

Please find below our affiliated links for the books we recommend for your course:

An Introductory Guide to Anatomy and Physiology-5th Edition 


Anatomy & Physiology Book

An Introductory Guide to Business                            

This book is very useful in helping to write the business assignment, although we appreciate there are lots of resources online that students use, this breaks down the process really well.


Business Book

Why Train with Us

At the Academy, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality training in Complementary Therapies and Sports Massage, ensuring that each student attains the highest level of professional qualification. What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to your success.

Here's why you should choose us:

1. ITEC Accredited Course: Ensuring highest quality training.

2. Guaranteed Small Group Tuition: We believe in personalised support, so our class sizes are kept small, with a maximum of 10 students per tutor. This ensures that you receive individual attention and guidance throughout your training.

3. Passionate, Experienced Tutors: Our experienced tutors are not just educators; they are industry experts committed to upholding the highest standards. You'll learn from the best in the field.

4. Free Thursday Evening Support: Your learning journey doesn't end when you're qualified. We offer free Thursday in person evening support, available both during your training and after you've earned your certification. We're here to assist you every step of the way.

5. A Positive, Inclusive Learning Environment: Our academy provides a fun and friendly atmosphere where you can immerse yourself in your studies and connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for complementary therapies.

6. Exclusive student TOTUM Card Eligibility: All our courses qualify you to apply for a TOTUM card, granting you access to discounts and savings at various retailers, making your educational journey even more cost-effective.

7. Ongoing Industry Support: We are committed to your success as a qualified therapist. Beyond your training, we offer free talks on setting up your own practice, provide access to exclusive Facebook groups with job opportunities, and maintain regular contact with your dedicated tutor. We're here to support your journey into the industry.

When you choose the Academy, you're not just choosing a training college; you're choosing a pathway to a successful and fulfilling career in Complementary Therapies. Join us today and embark on a journey of knowledge, growth, and achievement.

About Your Tutor(s)

Annette Stoker

Holistic Tutor

I have been involved with the Complementary Therapies Industry since 2004 and have been teaching since 2008. I have a teaching degree in post compulsory education (Cert Ed) and am ITEC qualified in all the subjects I teach. Having worked in prestigious spas and run my own practice, I am confident that as a passionate and committed member of the team I can inspire, enthuse and provide you with the skills and knowledge to become a highly sought after therapist in your chosen field.

Yvonne Lockhart

Holistic Tutor

After completing diplomas in Massage Therapy, Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage in 1999, I spent 5 years in a managerial role working on board Carnival Cruise Lines and then as a spa trainer at a 5 star hotel in the Cotswolds. I now run my own successful practise dedicated to using only organic products and treatments and since taking up teaching in 2007, it has become my passion to give therapists the proper tools to excel in the field of holistic therapy.


Cotswold Academy has a wonderful family feel, everyone is polite and very helpful. I loved every part of my course. Annette is a lovely tutor, happy and helpful and a brilliant teacher.

Hannah C | ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Massage | July 2021

The course has been great! I have really enjoyed my days attending the course, which has been very well put together and designed. The lessons flow smoothly and are really enjoyable. I didn’t attend the theory mornings and actually felt as though I’d missed out as everyone was always so chirpy at lunchtime when I turned up!

The venue is absolutely lovely and very well equipped. We always had everything we needed and it was easy to ‘feel at home’ and comfortable in the environment. You have really created a special place there and I’ll certainly come back for CPD if all goes well in December!

I’ve saved the best to last - Yvonne! Yvonne is an amazing teacher. She is kind, lovely and professional throughout. She has the wonderful ability to provide feedback, both positive and negative in a sensitive and friendly manner which makes it very easy to learn! She is clearly very passionate about the subject which combined with her evident experience and in-depth knowledge of Massage theory (practice and theory) she is a joy to learn from. Yvonne really has made the whole experience truly fantastic and I would highly recommend the Cotswold Academy and Yvonne as a tutor to anyone! 

Thank you so much for providing this course and keep doing what you do! 

— Andreia (Andi) Ferreira - Massage Diploma | September 2018

Just wanted to say a massive thank you again for the two weeks on my course. I absolutely loved every minute and despite being convinced not a word of the science had stuck in my head except scaphoid and levitar, I sound like I know what I’m talking about ha!

— Naomi Spicer - Massage Diploma | July 2018

Many thanks for all your help, advice and support today and throughout the course. I have loved learning and feel very lucky to have found a craft that gives me as much pleasure as the client.

I will see you again, just want to keep on learning, and the academy is such a wonderful environment with caring, happy, kind and lovely people.

Thank you again and all the very best.

— Stephanie Davis - Massage Diploma | February 2018

Thank you Annette for all the brilliant teaching and support over the last few months! Was it only November when we started?!

Really happy to have passed today - couldn’t have done it without you lovely lot making me laugh, answering my (constant) questions and generally being so totally organised!!

Phew, now to start massaging and learning lots more...

Really glad to have done the course, achieved a pass and really really glad that I studied at the Cotswold Academy.

— Helen Grimwade - Massage Diploma | February 2018

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Frequently asked questions

+ How can I become a certified massage therapist in the UK?

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