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ITEC Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage

Course Overview

Professional Level 4 sports massage qualifications with a blend of interactive online home study and class attendance

The ITEC Level 4 certificate in sports massage aims to advance your expertise in addressing fascial imbalances within the body. This certification provides specialised techniques focusing on stretching tight muscle groups through Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) and Soft Tissue Release (STR). Additionally, it encompasses orthopedic special tests designed to pinpoint joint and fascial defects.


The ITEC Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage elevates your postural assessment techniques, taking them to an advanced level. You'll gain a deeper understanding of postural imbalances and enhance your proficiency in correcting these imbalances effectively. By honing these skills, you'll be equipped to provide targeted therapeutic interventions that address fascial issues, muscle tightness, and postural discrepancies, thereby offering comprehensive care to clients seeking sports massage therapy.

This course offers a gateway to elevate your sports massage career, enabling you to thrive in various professional settings such as working with professional sporting teams. Completion of this certification equips you with the following opportunities and benefits:

Professional Recognition and Scope:

Professional Level 4 Sports Massage Therapist

  • Attainment of professional status as a Level 4 sports massage therapist, certified to update insurance and acquire membership in prestigious professional associations, including CNHC.

Internationally Recognised Qualification

  • An internationally recognised qualification empowering you to work across diverse settings and geographical locations.

Career Prospects and Work Settings:

  • Private Practice and Self-Employment
  • Salons, Clinics, Health Clubs, Spas, and Hotels
  • Healthcare Settings

Further Educational Advancement:

Progression to ITEC Level 5 Certificate in Sports Massage

By successfully completing this course, you'll be equipped with the skills, recognition, and opportunities necessary to excel in the field of sports massage therapy. This certification not only expands your career horizons but also provides a solid foundation for further educational growth and specialisation in sports massage.

If you are new to the industry, take a look at the first step towards training in sports massage with our Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage.

The Level 4 Sports Massage course offers a dynamic blend of online learning and hands-on classroom training, designed to equip you comprehensively in sports therapy. Here's what the course includes:

Online E-Learning (Theory Component)

  • Interactive presentations, videos, written materials, and quizzes for theoretical understanding.
  • Elements of the online theory to be completed prior to attending the classroom sessions.

Classroom Training (Practical Component)

  • Six days of classroom tuition focusing on body assessment and practical hand skills, mastering the consultation process essential for Level 4 sports therapists.
  • Each student receives a polo shirt on the first day of classroom attendance.

Ongoing Support and Learning Opportunities

  • Optional biweekly Zoom study sessions conducted by your tutor for additional support.
  • 'Thursday Evenings': A dedicated space for practice, peer learning, and becoming part of a therapist community.
  • Small class sizes (8-10 students maximum) ensuring personalised attention and support.

Additional Inclusions and Support

  • ITEC Registration and final exam fees are covered within the course cost.
  • Access to a private Facebook group offering local job opportunities and equipment listings.
  • Free Business Building workshops to enhance entrepreneurial skills.

Clicking on the course syllabus tab will provide a comprehensive breakdown of the curriculum and learning objectives.

This course structure blends interactive online learning with hands-on practical sessions, creating a well-rounded educational experience. The small class sizes, ongoing support sessions, and access to a supportive community ensure a nurturing environment for aspiring sports massage therapists.

Upon enrolling in the course, you'll gain immediate access to the Level 4 sports massage online pre-learning study, covering an introduction to MET (Muscle Energy Techniques), STR (Soft Tissue Release), special tests, and honing assessment techniques. During your 6-day classroom attendance, you'll delve deeper into these areas and further refine your assessment and hand skills.

Classroom Attendance Options:

  • Fast Track: This option involves attending the course for 6 consecutive days (usually Monday-Saturday). It allows immediate immersion into coursework after completing the block of classroom days.

  • Mon/Tues: With this choice, you'll attend classroom sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays over three weeks. Coursework can commence towards the end of your classroom days.

  • Thurs/Fri: Opting for Thurs/Fri means attending classroom sessions on Thursdays and Fridays over three weeks. Similar to the Mon/Tues schedule, you can begin your coursework towards the end of the classroom days.

Assessment Criteria:

For detailed information on coursework and examination requirements, please refer to the Assessment Criteria tab, providing insights into what's expected throughout the course.

Course Syllabus

Unit iUSP151: Conducting Subjective and Objective Assessment

Click here to view full ITEC syllabus

  • Conduct Subjective and Objective Assessments, covering all joints of the body.
  • Understand the anatomy and physiology of the major joints of the body.
  • Identify bony structures associated with the major joints.
  • Develop how to devise a treatment plan based on assessment of client and how to record and log findings.
  • Learn Range of Motion testing. (ROM) and Special Tests as used by physiotherapists and osteopaths.
  • Develop and grow your palpation skills.
  • Develop your ability to deal with and prevent soft tissue injuries.

Unit iUSP157: Provide Sports Massage Techniques to Prevent and Manage Injury

View the full ITEC syllabus here

  • Understand the principles of soft tissue techniques used in sports massage.
  • Explain the protocols to follow for each soft tissue technique ; Soft tissue release (STR); Connective tissue massage (CTM); Corrective frictions (transverse)
  • Learn Muscle Energy Techniques (MET)
  • Critically evaluate the effects of each soft tissue technique

Assignment: Unit iUSP193 Treatment Modalities to Support Soft Tissue Repair

View iUSP193 Assignment Guidelines Here

Research and critically evaluate a variety of modalities to support soft tissue repair.

To include:

  • Treatment options to support soft tissue repair during the acute, sub-acute and chronic stages of injury including aims and protocols
  • The use of cryotherapy during soft tissue repair, including physiological and neurological effects of ice, methods of application, contraindications, adverse reactions to cryotherapy and actions to be taken in the event of an adverse reaction.
  • The use of heat treatments during soft tissue repair, including physiological and neurological effects of using heat, methods of application, contraindications, adverse reactions to heat treatments and actions to be taken in the event of an adverse reaction.

Assessment Criteria

After completing your sports massage class days, you'll begin home-based studies and assignments.These must be submitted upon your return to the Academy for final exams.

Students are able to register for their final exams, having completed the required folder work which as an estimate takes an average of 3-4 months. To prepare adequately, it's suggested to allocate 5-10 hours per week for case studies, theory studies, and assignments.

Folder Work / Portfolio

After your contact days, you will complete: 

  • 15 Case Studies (5 individuals, each receiving treatment 3 times)
  • Plus 20 individual treatments
  • Writing 1 assignment (Treatment Modalities to Support Soft Tissue Repair) - estimate of 2500+ words


  • "Mock" Practical Exam (2 weeks before the actual exam, for practice and tutor feedback)
  • Practical Exam, externally invigilated by ITEC

Entry Requirements

Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Required

If you don't have a Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage, it's necessary to complete this before starting the Level 4 course. You can:

  1. Enroll in both Level 3 and Level 4 courses simultaneously, with recommended spacing between them.
  2. Begin with the Level 3 course and later progress to Level 4.

You can find more information about the ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage here.

Books for Study

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

Trail Guide to the Body: How to Locate Muscles- Andrew Biel 5th or 6th Edition

ISBN: 0-9658534-5-4

Soft Tissue Release - Mary Sanderson

ISBN: 978-1-905367-37-5

Muscle Energy Techniques: A Practical Handbook for Physical Therapists - John Gibbons

ISBN: 978-1-905367-238

Sports Injuries - Their Prevention and Treatment - Martin Dunitz - 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-1853171192

Hardcover Sports Injuries: Their Prevention and Treatment - 3rd Edition Book

Orthopedic Massage Theory and Technique - Witney W. Lowe - 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0443068126

Orthopedic Massage: Theory and Technique: Amazon.co.uk: Whitney W. Lowe  LMT: 9780443068126: Books

Postural Assessment - Jane Johnson

ISBN: 978-1450400965

Postural Assessment

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)

Chris Phillips


The Academy has a proud history as a private training provider in the complementary health sector for the last twenty five years.

One of my core beliefs at The Academy concerns training standards. I believe there is a real need to further raise and develop credibility in our industry, so that more clients can benefit from high professional standards. We can contribute to this by sharing our knowledge and working experiences with each other. This is the main drive behind my weekly evening groups; Thursday Evenings.

I trained as a Massage and Sports Therapist in 2000 and have been developing my private practice from my home just outside Northleach in the Cotswolds ever since. In 2006 I completed my Certificate in Further Education Teaching (CFET1) and I have been teaching Sports and Remedial Massage ITEC Level 3 & 4 here at the Academy since. I have a background of working with young troubled people and their families in a therapeutic setting, both as key worker and as a manager and supervising and training staff.


I have loved this course. Fascinating subject delivered by a tutor who is passionate and in an environment which is homely and supportive. We had a great group, with everyone contributing well and bringing really interesting knowledge and experience into the room

- Student wished to be anonymous | L4 Sports Massage | June 2019 

The environment is homely, welcoming, clean and light. The staff are extremely welcoming. There is a lot of support available on the course. I would recommend anyone wanting to attend a course such as ones provided at this facility to come here.

 -  Student wished to be anonymous | L3 Sports Massage | June 2019 

Doing the level 4 course over 4 weeks enabled me to practice in between sessions. The instruction was very good and informative and given in a professional way. Good interaction and practice with other students

- Patricia | L4 Sports Massage | February 2019

Course was absolutely excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish and teaching was to a very high standard. Chris clearly knows the profession extremely well and is able to communicate and explain things effectively and clearly. Chris is very patient, outgoing and approachable and I would recommend the course to anyone interested in sports massage. 

- Samuel | L4 Sports Massage | September 2018 

Course was absolutely excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish and teaching was to a very high standard. Chris clearly knows the profession extremely well and is able to communicate and explain things effectively and clearly. Chris is very patient, outgoing and approachable, I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in Sports Massage

— Chris Heffernon - Sports Masage | May 2017

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