The ISRM Soft Tissue Therapy Level 5 BTEC diploma was the first qualification to be accredited by BTEC and is one of the most comprehensive and highly respected in the industry. With its roots in Sports and Remedial Massage, our diploma has evolved in line with current evidence to incorporate joint and injury assessment as well as rehabilitative strategies, such as exercise and lifestyle advice. This knowledge allows our graduates to work with clients to truly get results and improvements in daily living.
Massage and manual soft tissue techniques still form a key part of what we teach. We are passionate about the benefits these modalities can have when used as part of an evidence-informed approach.
MODULE ONE Fundamentals
- 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
MODULE TWO Manual Techniques
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
MODULE THREE Injury and Joint Assessment:
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
MODULE FOUR Exercise and Movement:
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
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.
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.
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 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.
Ideally 4 GCSE’s and 1 “A” Level or similar academic qualification
An acceptable Massage Qualification OR The 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.
Exeter: Starts 26th March 2022. You can register your interest in future Exeter courses here.
Bristol: Starts 7th May 2021
Total course fee:
£3000.00 inclusive of examination fees.
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 £2900.
Spreading the cost – Monthly repayments:
To secure a place, a deposit payment of £500 is required, which is non-refundable. Please see the cancellations policy below. You will then pay the balance of the course as 10 continuous monthly installments of £250.
Cancellations made 4 weeks prior to the start of the course will receive a refund of fees paid, less the non-refundable deposit. After this date, an agreement to attend the course is assumed and payment in full will become due on the first day of the course. Students cancelling less than 4 weeks prior to the start of the course will be liable for the full course fee.
Enrolment / How to Apply
1. To apply online, please click below.
2. You can also apply by downloading the enrolment form from the link below and sending it to us, making a deposit payment by BACS as detailed on the form for £500 (or £350 if you attended an ‘Introduction to Massage’ Course with us).
"I just wanted to share my thoughts about the standards of teaching at The Massage Training School, Exmouth & Bristol. Today I attended the BTEC level 5 therapists in their final assessment and I commend both your tutors and your students. Whilst I've no idea about the world of massage therapy, I teach and assess students at degree and masters level and was credibly impressed with their level of knowledge, the attention to detail from tutors and the students' professionalism. I also have to say that just 5 minutes of sports & remedial therapy on my shoulder has achieved more than hours of other therapy. A credit to the standards at the school. Many thanks!"
Head of Drums at BIMM Bristol & Triathelete (PACTri)
Anna-Maria is an incredibly knowledgeable tutor and her passion for the industry is completely evident in the way she delivers each session. She seamlessly includes critical thinking and challenges her students to do the same and this element becomes more of a focus as the course develops. The School is forward thinking in its approach to evidence-based practice with a client-centred approach and I continue to benefit from the latest learning by attending CPD events. As a past student, it is great to know that high quality content is still available, as is the growing community of ISRM members.
I found the CPD format very easy to follow and was very impressed by how interactive it was. The content was thorough, yet simple to understand. I found this style to be less intimidating as a newly qualified STT which allowed me to get involved in the polls and questions. I found the 3 tutors presenting to have the perfect mix of personalities, knowledge and delivery.
Soft Tissue Therapist