BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy - Full TimeBook Your Place Now
Degree Level 8
BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy - Full Time
Are you interested in becoming a professionally qualified sports therapist with a BSc in Sports Therapy? Or perhaps Physiotherapy is your ultimate career goal – with this degree, you can access a direct path of progression to a Masters in Physiotherapy. During this three year BSc honours degree, you will develop a knowledge and understanding of Sports Therapy through an integrated programme of lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory based practical sessions. Our class sizes are small, with one to one support available to you, throughout your learning journey. As a graduate, you will be eligible for professional membership of the global Society of Sports Therapists – the only programme in Ireland to carry this recognition. There is an easy payment plan designed to make this degree affordable for you. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a level 8 degree that is accessible, affordable and achievable.
What is the role of a Sports Therapist?
If you are interested in working with athletes to support the prevention of injury and rehabilitate them back to peak fitness, then a role in Sports Therapy will be of interest to you. When working in this particular aspect of healthcare, you will support athletes to return to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of their age and ability. As a sports therapist, you will utilise the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes.
Why should I study this degree?
Portobello Institute's BSc Hons in Sports Therapy gives you the opportunity to learn from a range of experts whom are all practicing clinicians, working in the field of sport as therapists. They bring their insight, depth of experience and passion for teaching to this degree programme. You will obtain professional membership of the global Society of Sports Therapists - membership of the association has many unique benefits as detailed below. You will have career opportunities as a Sports Therapist working with teams, in a clinic or as a self-employed practitioner. You will also have the option, like some of our past pupils, to use this qualification as a route to study a Masters in Physiotherapy. Visit our Graduates Success Stories here to understand the opportunities they availed of, the further studies they have undertaken and their unique learning journeys.
What will I learn during this BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy?
During this programme, you will learn to assess, treat and where appropriate refer athletes for specialist advice and intervention. You will learn to provide immediate care of injuries and basic life support in a recreational, training and competitive sporting environment. You will learn to plan and implement a unique rehabilitation programme for each athlete you treat. The practical techniques you will acquire, include sport and remedial massage for injury prevention and rehabilitation.
Who will I learn from?
The programme management and tutoring team on this Sports Therapy degree have been carefully selected on the basis of their qualifications and combined practical experience in sports therapy and education. Each of our tutoring team are passionate about the contribution sports therapy plays in the overall performance of athletes and are eager to share their knowledge and experience with you. Meet our Team by clicking here
Who will recognise my degree?
Upon completing this degree you will hold a BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy awarded by London Metropolitan University (LMU). When you begin your second year of this course you are invited to become registered as a student member of The Society of Sports Therapists. You may become a full member of the society when you complete your degree. Sports Therapists who are members of SST are recognised globally for the high standards they have attained during their training and are employed by leading clubs throughout the sporting world. Members of the Society of Sports Therapy are eligible for Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance.
Has your dream to become a physiotherapist been smashed because of the lack of leaving certificate points? This year (2019) entry to physiotherapy at TCD or RCSI requires 542 points – if you don’t have that, don’t worry, you can join the growing numbers studying a BSc in Sports Therapy with Portobello Institute as an alternative route to physiotherapy. Available to study full-time or through flexible study at weekends and accredited by London Metropolitan University, entry to this 3 year programme is not based on leaving cert points.
Why can I use Sports therapy as an alternative route to Physiotherapy
You can use the BSc in Sports Therapy degree to access Physiotherapy because the curriculum is similar and therefore holders of this degree are eligible to apply for a Masters in Physiotherapy at home and abroad. For instance, Dan O’Mahony, Portobello Institute’s recent graduate of our Sports therapy degree, progressed directly to the masters course in physiotherapy at the RCSI ( read Dan’s full story). Jamie Judge chose Brunel University in London to complete her Masters in Physiotherapy. Read Jamie's story here
What else can I do with a BSc Sports Therapy degree?
With this degree you are a qualified sports therapist with the opportunity to open your own sports therapy clinic. Our recent graduate Conor Sheils has done just that, establishing his clinic with a growing client base including a leading professional soccer club in Ireland.
Conor has been recently appointed as Senior Sports Therapist with Shamrock Rovers FC.
“After 3 years of in depth study and research I was now equipped with the tools I needed to open my own clinic, the Athletic Injury Rehabilitation (link to clinic) clinic at a North Dublin sports centre”
Read more about the Alternative routes to Physiotherapy here
What is Sports Therapy?
Sports Therapy is an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of the patient back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of age and ability. It utilises the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prepare the participant for training, competition and where applicable, work.
A Sports Therapist is a healthcare professional who has the knowledge, skills and ability to:
- Utilise sports and exercise principles to optimise performance, preparation and injury prevention programmes
- Provide the immediate care of injuries and basic life support in a recreational, training & competitive environment
- Assess, treat and, where appropriate, refer on for specialist advice and intervention.
- Provide appropriate sport and remedial massage in a sport & exercise context
- Plan and implement appropriate rehabilitation programme
The spectrum of expertise that a Member of The Society of Sports Therapists must possess is built within five key areas of competency related to injury and illness in the sport and exercise environment. These are:
- Recognition & evaluation
- Management, treatment & referral
- Education & professional practice issues
Within each of these areas Sports Therapists and specifically those at Graduate level, are trained and educated in principles that have sound practical and evidence based philosophies with solid sport and exercise science foundations.
As such, Sports Therapists who are Members of The Society of Sports Therapists are required to meet clearly defined competency levels which cover the breadth of the above areas and gives them the knowledge, skills and ability to work at all levels of the sport and exercise continuum.
Sport and Exercise Therapy is not just about Sports Massage. However, Sports Therapists will possess massage skills that are an integral part of their scope of practice.
Sports Therapists are not Physiotherapists, but Sports Therapists will apply “physiotherapy” skills because physiotherapy is defined as “the treatment of disease, injury or deformity by physical methods including massage, heat treatment, electricity and exercise, rather than drugs or surgery”
Consequently, Sports Therapists will apply many skills and modalities that are included within this list but in a sport and exercise perspective rather than a traditional healthcare context.
Sports Therapists are not just first aiders. More significantly they are first responders who have the training, knowledge, skills and expertise to provide immediate care in a first response role.
Allied to their Sport and Exercise science knowledge, therapeutic abilities and understanding of sport, Sports Therapists, and especially Members of the Society of Sports Therapists, are capable and proficient in applying the necessary rehabilitation principles, to enable their patients to achieve the optimum levels of recovery, that their injury or disability will allow. As such, the journey from injury to a return to activities can be facilitated by professionals who have the knowledge, skills and science based principles to meet the needs of a clearly defined patient group. Sports Therapy is a distinct occupational title that applies to a clearly defined scope of practice. Furthermore, since 1990, The Society of Sports Therapists continues to ensure that both its Members and the profession are respected for the distinct scope of practice and science based foundations that are inherent and integral to Sports Therapists and Sports Therapy.
Physiotherapy versus Sports Therapy
Both Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists are highly educated in dealing with musculoskeletal disorders, treating pain and injury through hands-on treatment modalities, rehabilitation and patient education. Both focus on restoring, maintaining and maximising movement, relieving pain and increasing quality of life.
Sports therapists are experts in musculoskeletal disorders. They treat pain and injury through hands-on treatment and rehabilitation. Sports Therapists undergo an intensive three-year degree course which focuses primarily on the musculoskeletal system and on restoring, maintaining and maximising movement to relieve pain and increase quality of life. Sports therapists generally have more exposure to sporting environments at an undergraduate level making them ideal for preventing sports injuries through specific strengthening programmes. Sports therapists focus solely on musculoskeletal rehabilitation and have a sports focused background, it makes them attractive to patients who are aiming to return to exercise.
The regulating body of Sports Therapy is The Society of Sports Therapists (SST), who describe the profession as:
“An aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of the patient back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of age and ability. It utilises the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prepare the participant for training, competition and where applicable, work.”
Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). In order to use the title Physiotherapist or Physical Therapist, practitioners must graduate from an approved course of study, typically a three-year degree program, and meet a strict set of criteria set out by the HCPC. For a Physiotherapist to be classified as a Chartered Physiotherapist they must also be a full member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).
The role of the Physiotherapists is to help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. They maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain and prevent disease. Physiotherapist at an undergraduate level will study neurological (e.g. stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s), neuromusculoskeletal (e.g. back pain, whiplash associated disorder, sports injuries, arthritis), cardiovascular (e.g. chronic heart disease, rehabilitation after heart attack) and respiratory (e.g. asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis) disorders and treatment paradigms.
Upon successful completion of this programme, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy. This is awarded at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications
Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK
The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement. Further guidance on this framework is available here.
Many of our students use the BSc Sports Therapy degree as an alternative entry pathway to becoming a Chartered Physiotherapist. With the points ever increasing for professional degrees such as Physiotherapy, many Universities have opened graduate entry professional qualifications for students who have graduated with a level 8 BSc honors degree in Sports Therapy or other affiliated areas.
We provide individual support to each student who is hoping to pursue graduate Physiotherapy Qualifications in preparing their applications and for interview to ensure students chances of success are optimized. Our BSc Sports Therapy degree also provides students with supervised clinical practice hours and clinical research skills that are imperative for progressing to achieving the MSc in Graduate Physiotherapy.
Graduate Physiotherapy courses are accredited by CORU and by IACP, most offer the qualification over a 2-year period. The main Universities in Ireland/UK that offer graduate routes for Physiotherapy are University of Limerick, University College Cork, RSCI, University College Dublin. There are similar progression routes to Graduate Physiotherapy available in the UK. For more information see here.
Many of our graduates continue to pursue careers directly in Sports Therapy, working as allied support teams for sport or as part of multidisciplinary healthcare teams specializing in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Over the course of the three years students develop proficiency in therapeutic skills and modalities as well as business development in health sciences for those wishing to pursue private practice. Additionally, there is a heavy emphasis on research skills to support those who wish to pursue a combined career in applied practice and academia at MSc or PhD level. Our graduates also go on to teaching and tutoring in roles Sports Therapy at third level.
Entry is by direct application to Portobello Institute.
The entry routes are as follows:
Sitting the Leaving Certificate in 2019
Students may apply and be granted a "Conditional Offer" prior to completing the Leaving Certificate.
Step 1 - Submit application
Step 2 - Attend Interview
Step 3 - Conditional Offer issued on the basis of successful achievement of LC requirements
Step 4 - Confirm acceptance of a place and pay deposit as detailed
Places can not be held open for applicants awaiting leaving certificate results, however should a student accept a place and then choose not to progress with this course, after first round CAO offers have been made, a refund of 75% of fees paid will be made. Refunds must be requested in writing on or before 23rd August 2019.
With a Leaving Certificate;
Minimum of grade C or O6 in ordinary level Biology*, English and Maths with a pass in 3 other subjects.
*Students applying without LC Biology may complete QQI level 5 in Anatomy & Physiology, as a distance learning course, with Portobello Institute to compensate.
Without the required Leaving Certificate;
Applicants should meet one of the following criteria;
- QQI level 5 major award containing a biology subject
- ITEC level 2 award containing anatomy & physiology
- An undergraduate degree in another subject
- QQI Level 5 Anatomy & Physiology - available through Portobello Institute
- Mature entry at 21 years without meeting the above criteria
- Equivalent qualifications with biology/anatomy & physiology module
Step 1 - Complete the online booking form.
Step 2 - Applicants will be contacted for confirmation of the entry criteria
Step 3 - Confirmation of a place will be given to applicants immediately meeting the criteria.
Applicants who do not meet the criteria, maybe required to attend an interview with an offer of a place on the programme issued following assessment of suitability. Applicants confirm acceptance of offer by returning acceptance form.
Please note places on this course are only confirmed once tuition fees have been received.
Students will be registered as an undergraduate degree student with London Metropolitan University.
This is a full time degree delivered over 3 years. The programme schedule is generally delivered over 2-3 days per week.
Year 1 provides you with a solid foundation of general subjects underpinning Sports Therapy including anatomy, human physiology and sports science. You will carry out in-depth studies of the Sports Therapy examination and assessment protocol and rehabilitation which is the focus of Year 2. During Year 3 the emphasis is placed on advanced and applied aspects of Sports Therapy including manual therapy, electrotherapy, placement work, related theory, clinical reasoning skills and business developments in sport.
During your studies, you will develop subject-specific knowledge and the ability to relate this to the clinical situation of sports therapy. To understand the evidence-based nature of the therapies, it is essential you achieve a level of understanding of science, human and exercise science are a core theme throughout the programme.
As the Society of Sports Therapists set the competency benchmarks for membership, these are reflected in the topics. It is essential that you develop an ability to problem solve and clinically reason. These skills are the foundations for accurate diagnosis and treatment formulation. You will be supported to develop these critical and analytical skills to ensure that your practice remains current and underpinned by a body of scientific knowledge. A high level of clinical competence is gained through practice and the problem-based learning in Portobello Student Sport’s Clinic. Practical demonstrations and presentations ensure you achieve the benchmarks for society membership.
Foundations of Sports Therapy
Human Anatomy and Biomechanics
Human Physiology and Training Principles
Sports Research Skills
Sports Science Research Methods
Peripheral Manual Therapy
Clinical Examination and Assessment in Sports Therapy
Psychological Factors in Sport: Individual Differences
Biomechanics of Human Movement
Practical Delivery in Coaching and Teaching
Sports Science and Therapy Dissertation
Advanced Sports Therapy Techniques
Sports Therapy Work Placement
Business Developments in Health Sciences
Principles of Sport Psychology and the Elite Athlete
1. Knowledge and understanding:
- Have a thorough systematic knowledge of the various scientific and clinical topics studied
- Show an ability to apply knowledge in practical settings involving sport, exercise and rehabilitation from injury
- Have the capacity to demonstrate the advanced scholarship required to execute and critically evaluate research relevant to exercise science, injury and rehabilitation
2. Cognitive intellectual skills:
- Be able to understand and develop clear & logical arguments in support or criticism of medical and scientific theories with support from primary sources of evidence and scholarly reviews
- Demonstrate an ability to solve problems by applying underpinning knowledge to the clinical situation
- Be able to analyse medical and patient information to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan based on current evidence
- Show fluency with appropriate quantitative and numerical skills, involving relevant mathematical and statistical methods
- Demonstrate academic and scientific literacy at graduate level
3. Transferable skills including those of employability and professional practice:
- Have the ability to devise and sustain arguments, both orally and in writing, in a concise, clear and professional manner
- Have an understanding of: ethical, equal opportunity and professional issues and work within the professional code of conduct
- Be able to demonstrate strong decision-making skills and work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary sports or medical team to prevent injury and diagnose and rehabilitate post injury
- Demonstrate a range of other key transferable skills including active involvement in learning, exercise of initiative and judgement, use of appropriate resources and technology
- Appreciate the skills necessary to secure and retain employment, including: punctuality, professionalism, communication, consideration for others, creativity, and commitment
- Demonstrate an understanding of the need to continually develop professionally
4. Subject-specific practical skills:
- Be able to analyse patient information and derive a diagnosis and treatment plan supported by current scientific and medical evidence
- Be able to make informed judgements to competently and safely implement treatment and rehabilitative strategies to a patient with a sports injury
- Have an understanding of the main philosophies of practice in the sports rehabilitation arena whilst appreciating the limits of knowledge
- Demonstrate an ability to lead and motivate others with an awareness of the different needs of patients
- Demonstrate an understanding of practical skills relating to sport and exercise science, from psychological inventories, and in implementing appropriate interventions
- Be able to suggest appropriate methodologies for a variety of measurements in sports and exercise science
Course price €5,450 per academic year
Exam fee £220 per academic year – due at the start of the academic year
Society of sports therapy £275 (paid at the start of academic year 2)
Fees are payable as follows:
40% of tuition fee due upon acceptance of an offer of a place, balance and exam registration fees are due 28th August annually
Places are not confirmed until tuition fees are paid.
Easy Payment Plan
40% of tuition fee due upon acceptance of an offer of a place
20% due 28th August, 28th November, 28th January
Instalment fee payable - €295 spread over the 4 scheduled payments
Deposit of €2,180, 6 monthly payments of €545 per month payable by debit/credit card on 5th of each month, commencing month after the academic year commences. Total payable is €5450 per academic year
Please note if you wish to pay by instalment, contact our enrolments department on 01-8920041 as our website can only process full payment.
The Portobello Student Sports Clinic has been an invaluable part of our BSc Sports Therapy Degree training. Our Sports Therapy Students are insured to practice under the Society of Sports Therapists. Our Student Clinic runs on a Thursday evening in the College. As a therapist, practitioner-skills are typically not learned from books or lectures but from years of hands-on work. Our students gain early client-contact hours in our Sports Therapy clinic where you will be tasked with setting up the clinic, completing client consultations, providing sports therapy treatments and providing rehabilitation or follow-up as required. In doing so, you will learn the essential clinical skills and work autonomously (with guidance and support from our Clinic Supervisor).
External Work Placements
Further to gaining experince with Portobello Student Sports Clinic, you will also participate on a work placement programme. This provides you with further valuable expierence in a professional environment whilst still under the supervision of an experienced and qualified practitioner. Portobello Institute has an extensive network of placements and we offer you full support in the event you struggle to secure a placement.The list below are just some of the centres currently participating on our work placement programme with our undergraduate sports therapy students.
Dunboyne Sports Injury Clinic
Dublin Sports Clinic
The Beacon Hospital
St Mary’s Hospital
Naas General Hospital
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital
St. Michael’s House
National Rehabilitation Hospital
Successful completion of this course offers you career opportunities as a Sports Therapist working with teams, in a clinic or as a self-employed practitioner.
The first cohorts from this programme graduated in June 2017 and 2018. To date over 70% are employed in careers directly relating to sport. Some of those graduate stories are detailed below with graduates now working as sports therapists for organisations including Shamorock Rovers, Santry Sports Clinic, the GAA and the FAI as well as other smaller sports clinics and many of the organisations detailed above.
The Student Sports Clinic has been an invaluable part of our BSc Sports Therapy Degree training. As a Portobello Institute Sports Therapy student, you are insured to practice under the Society of Sports Therapists. Our Student Clinic runs on a Thursday evening in the College. As a therapist, practitioner-skills are typically not learned from books or lectures but from years of hands-on work. You gain early client-contact hours in our Sports Therapy clinic where you will be tasked with setting up the clinic, completing client consultations, providing sports therapy treatments and providing rehabilitation or follow-up as required. In doing so, you learn essential clinical skills and work autonomously (with guidance and support from our Clinic Supervisor).