Level 5 Sports Massage Course

BTEC Level 5 Sports Massage Diploma – Course Details

If you are interested in a professional and up to date Sports Massage Therapy Course then the Soft Tissue Therapy Level 5 BTEC Diploma is for you.  Created by the ISRM, this qualification was the first one to be accredited by BTEC at level 5. The ST School brings its own standards to the course by ensuring the content delivered is continuously up to date, relevant and reflecting of best practice . Our tutors are looked upon by their peers as leaders and experts in the industry. The ST School delivery of the Soft Tissue Therapy Diploma is one of the most comprehensive and highly respected in the industry. With its roots in the ISRM Sports and Remedial Massage, our diploma has evolved in line with current needs and evidence to incorporate different manual therapy techniques,  joint and injury assessment as well as rehabilitative strategies, such as exercise and lifestyle advice. Sports Massage is included but this course goes beyond the concept and application of Sports Massage . The knowledge acquired in our Diploma course allows our graduates to work with clients who are suffering with injury or pain to provide support to return to a pain free life or go back to their sports and activities. Massage and manual soft tissue techniques  form a key part of what we teach as well as communication skills, pain science, exercise and movement based rehabilitation all within a framework of current evidence informed practice.

To learn more about this course please click here.

Course Information

Full Course Fee: £3350
Deposit: £350
Location: Bristol or Exeter
Dates: Various. Full list of dates can be found here.

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Massage Module:

  • Evidence Based Practice principles
  • The Biopsychosocial model of pain and person-centred care
  • Pain Science
  • Functional anatomy (How we move)
  • Musculoskeletal physiology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Consultation Process
  • Language and Communication in healthcare
  • Therapeutic and Relaxing Massage
  • Contraindications & Red Flags

Advanced Soft Tissue Techniques:

  • Neuromuscular Techniques
  • Soft Tissue Release Technique
  • Muscle Energy Techniques
  • Myofascial techniques
  • Positional Release technique
  • Sports massage
  • Breathing Patterns and their influence on MSK care
  • Effects and Role of Manual Therapy in Pain management

Injury and Joint Assessment:

  • Understanding Tissue Repair Process
  • Understanding current evidence around Pain in Acute and Chronic Injuries
  • Physiology of common soft tissue injuries
  • Joint Assessment
  • Common soft tissue injuries assessments
  • Evidence-based approaches to the treatment of common injuries

Exercise and Movement:

  • Principles of Injury and Pain rehabilitation
  • Injury rehabilitation specific to our role as soft tissue therapists
  • Movement-based approaches for the treatment and management of common MSK pain and injuries
  • Principles of Gait analysis

  • Professional Conduct and Business Awareness

Level 5 Sports Massage – Course Format

Course Format
Practical Hours
Entry Requirements
Course Format

The BTEC Diploma takes approximately 14 months to complete and is delivered as a combination of weekend workshops and home-based learning through assignments


13 weekend workshops held over approximately one year totalling 26 tutorial days. Held about one month apart these combine theory and practical subjects along with closely supervised classroom practice.

Contact tutorial hours 182 Hrs.
Course times are Saturdays 9.30 to 5.30 and Sundays 9.30 to 4.30.


Students are required to complete 4 written assignments throughout the course. These assignments are designed to guide your home study to cover the required theory and anatomy & physiology subjects. These are completed through the ISRM online student platform.

On average, students should allow 2-3 hours a week for home study. We work hard to ensure that our course is inclusive and are happy to make adjustments as required for students with special learning disabilities (SpLDs) or for those for whom English is not a first language.

Practical Hours

Students are required to complete 100 hours of practice treatments outside the classroom. These can be started following your first weekend. If spread throughout the length of the course can be completed by allowing 2 hours a week.

At The ST School we offer students support and advice in finding suitable individuals for practice treatments, as well as the opportunities to work alongside us at sporting events and clubs to build practical hours and experience.

Towards the end of the course students will be required to complete 3 case studies showing progression in the treatment of an individual.

Students will receive free ISRM student membership through which they are able to obtain student insurance to practice ensuring you are covered when building practical hours.


In addition to ongoing, in-house assessments as part of the course, final examination takes the form of one written and one practical exam, both of which are externally assessed.

Entry Requirements

Ideally 4 GCSE’s and 1 “A” Level or similar academic qualification
An acceptable Massage Qualification OR The ST School Intro to Soft Tissue Therapy Course.

The BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Soft Tissue Therapy is a vocational qualification designed to be accessible to candidates from all backgrounds and walks of life, should you have any concerns around entry requirements please contact us to discuss.

If you already hold a recognised Sports and Remedial Massage qualification please see our Upgrade Course.

Minimum age for enrolment is 21 however we may accept younger applicants at discretion of our Director


What employment opportunity are there following the course?

This course will equip you to be an independent practitioner and work as employed, self employed or set up your own clinic or studio.

What is a realistic earning for a Soft Tissue Therapist?

On an average a Soft Tissue Therapist charges around £50 per 45 min. It is normal for a therapist to see a minimum of 15 clients pw. So gross income pw could be £750 if seeing 15 clients at 45 min per clients.

Can I work full time while attending your course?

Our course is vocational training therefore directed at adult learners who want to learn a profession. This is reflected in the format of the course which is run at weekends (one weekend a month) over 12 or 13 months making it accessible to students in full times positions.

I am not academic and not been at school for many years would the course be too difficult for me?

The course is structured and formulated to cater for people with no previous academic or professional experience. It is integrated to fulfil learning outcomes starting from level 3 and ending at level 5. Our skills as educators lie in delivering and ensuring the content is assimilated and understood which is usually achieved by making the classes practical and interactive

How much is the course and what payments terms do you offer?

We are not the cheapest in the indust ry. But our course fees reflect the quality of content, the individual support given and the opportunities available to you as one of our students.

Our course fees for 2023-2024 is £3350. This includes registration and exam fees for BTEC and ISRM.

A deposit of £350 is necessary to secure one of the limited spaces.

To settle the rest you have different options:

Option one:
– Pay full balance before weekend one of the course which will give you £100 discount

Option two:
– Set up standing orders with your bank for the remaining balance to be cleared by the end of the course. So if you pay a £350 deposit you will then have 12 installments of £250 per month.

Our course allow the Earn while you Learn.

What is Earn while you Learn?

After weekend 5 of the course you can start charging for the practice sessions which you are required to undertake as part of the course.  The charge needs to be much lower than market fee, therefore we recommend up to £25 per session.

If you only see 3 people per week for the 8 months left of the course, from weekend 5 to weekend 13, then you will have earned around £2100, just from doing your practice which will effectively fund two third of your course fees.

Why choosing The ST School over other providers?

We have been shaping the industry since 2008. The ST School tutors are considered leaders and experts from industry peers. We are actively involved in the research around touch and soft tissue therapy role in health and speak both nationally and internationally about the subject.

We are highly regarded by other professionals as physiotherapists and osteopaths as providing best most up to date training in Soft Tissue Therapy.

However we strongly feel that the best reason for you to choose us over other providers is that once you join us you will become part of a community of likeminded modern practitioners and will be supported in your private practice by us and your peers.


Full course fee




Discount for full payment upfront:
If the full course payment is made on application or by the first day, a saving of £100 can be made, making the course total £3250

Spreading the cost – Monthly repayments:
To secure a place, a deposit payment of £350 is required, which is non-refundable. The balance then can be settled by monthly instalments which range from 6 to 12 months, according to applicant’s preference.

Charging while a student therapist:

After the first practical and theory assessment at weekend 5, you will be able to charge a fee to the people you are providing practice treatments to. The fee you can charge must be noticeably below current market rate. Usually student therapists charge around £15 to £20 and they find this to be of help towards course fees.

Cancellations Policy

Deposit is non-refundable unless cancellation is provided within 14 days of enrolment.

Enrolment can be cancelled up to 4 weeks before course is due to start, apart from non refundable deposit all fees paid will be refunded. After this date, thus within 4 weeks of course start, an agreement to attend the course is assumed and course fees will be due irrespective of attendance. We are a very small business, with very small classes and each enrolment is significant and can make the course viable or not, therefore we will always enforce this clause.