ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy

Our Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy is designed to train individuals to our exceptionally high standards in the delivery of Injury Assessment and Sports Massage Techniques.

Level 3 Overview: 

The foundation of the Level 3 is your understanding of how the body functions and heals itself. You will learn your Anatomy & Physiology (Unit 451) prior to the class contact days (via e-learning or classroom learning) about the body cells, skin, skeletal, muscular, vascular, lymphatic, nervous, endocrine, digestive, respiratory and urinary systems. 

When you start class attendance you will learn postural assessment, range of movement tests and developing your basic massage hand skills as well as myofascial release techniques/deep friction. You will develop a foundation in understanding the core benefits of sports massage and how the body heals itself from injury.

You can choose to join just the Level 3 course, or you can join both the Level 3 and Level 4 Sports Massage Course.  You can find out more about the Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy here.

Course Syllabus

Unit 451:  Anatomy and Physiology for Sports Massage

(to be completed via e-learning prior to contact days if you do not yet hold a Level 3 A+P qualification)

Full syllabus details can be viewed here

  • Organisation of the body including cells
  • Skin
  • Skeletal
  • Joints (studied in class)
  • Muscular
  • Nervous System
  • Endocrine System
  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory System
  • Lymphatic System
  • Digestive System
  • Urinary system
  • Effects of Massage on body systems
  • Muscle contraction terminology (studied in class)

Unit 455:
Sports Massage Treatments

Click here to view full ITEC Syllabus

Learners will gain the knowledge, theory and skills to understand and apply:

  • The history, origins and development of sports massage
  • Sports massage techniques and how to 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 carry 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 (CTM, Cross fibre friction, pressure, etc)

Assignment 1: Unit 452
Principles of Health and Fitness

Click here to view ITEC Assignment Guidance

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 class handouts and home assignment work.


Assignment 2: Unit 453
Professional Practice in Sports Massage

Click here to view ITEC Assignment Guidance

To include-

  • Sports Massage Legislation
  • Scope of practice in the sports massage industry, including awareness and understanding of caution, contra-indications, referrals 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 handouts and home assignment work


Assignment 3: Unit 454
Understand the Principles of Soft Tissue Dysfunction

Click here to view ITEC Assignment Guidance

Soft tissue refers to 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. Learners will therefore understand:

  • Soft Tissue Dysfunction and the process of repair of this tissue, including causes and types of injury and damage.
  • The difference between Soft Tissue Injury and Dysfunction.

This unit will be set as a combination of classroom lectures and home assignment work


    Assessment Criteria

    • 9 Case Studies (Treatment Evidences of 3 people x 3 times)

    • Plus 20 treatments logged in consultation forms

    • 3 x assignments (Unit 452, 453 & 454) - 2500 word minimum

    • A&P for Sports Massage - 25 question multiple choice paper  (usually 1-4 months after the course contact days)

    • Practical Exam (usually 1-4 months after the course contact days)

    • You will be required to sit a “mock” practical exam, usually 2-3 weeks before the “real” practical exam. This is to allow you a practice run, and for your tutor to give you feedback on areas to work on.

    Entrance Requirements: 

    No Previous Experience Required

    If you already hold a Diploma in Anatomy and Physiology, you may not need to enrol onto the Anatomy & Physiology part of this course. See Option 2 for course cost. All students will however still sit the A&P exam as this is specific to Sports Massage; we will advise you on the content of the A&P Theory exam so you can self study/revise in preparation- the exam will not be taken until after the course contact days.

    Course Dates

    Please note: You will return after the course contact days to take your exams- from starting the course to qualifying, we expect a time scale of about 4 months. This will allow you time to practice your hand skills and complete your Case Studies and Assignment work.

    This course can follow on to Level 4 (see Level 4 Course dates here)


    Below are options to attend on Monday/Tuesdays throughout 1-2 months.

    Attendance 9.30am - 4pm

    JULY 2018

    July: 9th, 10th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th

    OCTOBER 2018

    October: 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th 

    Fast Track:

    Below are dates for the Level 3 Fast Track courses.

    This course requires attendance of 8 days over two consecutive weeks, 9.30am-4pm

    may 2018

    Thurs-Sun for 2 weeks

    3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th May 2018

    AUGUST 2018

    Mon-Thurs for 2 weeks

    6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th August 2018


    Below are options to attend on Thurs/Fri throughout 1-2 months.

    Attendance 9.30am-4pm

    SEPTEMBER 2018:

    September: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st (1 weekend attendance)




    Option 1: Level 3, Level 4 and A&P e-learning- Bundle discount

    Receive a 10% discount when you book onto L3, L4 and A&P e-learning!

    Included: A&P e-learning package, Level 3 Sports Massage Course (8 classroom contact days), Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage (10 classroom contact days), polo shirt, all tuition fees, exam fees, ITEC registration


    See Level 4 Course Dates here

    Discount T&C's: A 25% deposit is due on enrolment to release your e-learning login, and the remaining balance for both Level 3 & 4 must be made 4 weeks before the start of the Level 3 course.

    Option 2: Level 3 + A&P e-learn            

    Included: Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy (A+P via e-learning & 8 classroom contact days), polo shirt, tuition fees, exam fees, ITEC registration


    Already have a&p?

    Option 3: Level 3 Only

    Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy (8 classroom contact days), polo shirt, tuition fees, exam fees, ITEC registration) 


    Please get in contact with us to confirm your A&P qualification is appropriate before enroling. 

    Option 4: Level 3 & Level 4

    Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy (8 classroom contact days), Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage (10 classroom contact days), polo shirt, tuition fees, exam fees, ITEC registration


    See Level 4 Course Dates here

    Please get in contact with us to confirm your A&P qualification isappropriate before enroling.


    How do I pay?

    A 25% deposit is payable immediately to secure your place on receipt of your invoice, with the remaining balance due at least 4 weeks prior to the start of your course.

    Payment can be made via bank transfer or cheque. If you would like to pay via Credit Card, please let us know upon receiving your invoice and we will send through a link for payment.

    In certain circumstances, we can offer an instalment plan to help spread to course cost. Fees apply. Please get in contact if this is something you would like to discuss.

    For further enquiries please contact us:

    01285 885122
    [email protected]

    Required Books for Study: Level 3

    Thursday evenings at The Cotswold Academy


    If you are interested in looking at a career in this industry, planning to do a course with us or just wishing to look around, our free Thursday Evenings could be the place to start.