Courses Menu

BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy - Full Time

Book Your Place Now

3 Years


Degree Level 8


Awarding Body

Start Date

Start Date
October 2019

BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy - Full Time


The contribution to athletic high performance by skilled, highly trained Sports Therapists is now recognised world-wide. This degree focuses purely on sports therapy and is the only programme of this type available in Ireland. This is a Level 8 honours degree, completed over 3 years for a BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy awarded by London Metropolitan University (LMU). Students will be registered as an undergraduate degree student with London Metropolitan University. The 1st year of this degree is common with the 1st year of the sports science and coaching degree so students can explore both the therapy and coaching and science elements of sport before deciding on the route they wish to follow at the end of first year.

With the demand and opportunities for professionally qualified therapists at an all time high, this degree gives graduates the opportunity to obtain professional membership of the global Society of Sports Therapists – the only programme in Ireland to carry this recognition and opportunity for this Society’s membership.

Download the Brochure


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:

  • Prevention
  • Recognition & evaluation
  • Management, treatment & referral
  • Rehabilitation
  • 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.

More importantly:

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.



BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy awarded at level 8 by London Metropolitan University (LMU)


Entry Requirements

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


Application Process

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 course delivered over 3 years – the programme schedule is generally delivered over 2-3 days per week.
Once students have completed year 1 they have the option to complete year 2 & 3 of Sports Therapy or change over to complete year 2 & 3 of Sports Science and Physical Education.
Knowledge and understanding of Sports Therapy is developed through an integrated programme of teacher-led lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory based practical sessions, and through the guided use of student centred learning activities such as problem solving exercises, case studies, directed reading and e-learning.

Year 1 provides a solid foundation of general subjects underpinning Sports Therapy including anatomy, human physiology and sports science. In-depth studies of the Sports Therapy examination and assessment protocol and rehabilitation and are the focus of Year 2 and 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.

Year 1 (Level 6)
Essential Principles in Sports Science
Sports Anatomy and Physiology
Practical Sport Experience
Science, Research and Application
Year 2 (Level 7)
Sports Physiology
Sports Rehabilitation
Sports Therapy
Sports Science Research Methods
Biomechanics of Human Movement
Year 3 (Level 8)
Sports Science and Therapy Dissertation
Advanced Sports Therapy
Work Placement and Electrotherapy
Principles of Sport Psychology
Biomedical Implications of Exercise
Business Developments in Sport

Learning Outcomes

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 Aims

The student will develop the subject-specific knowledge and the ability to relate it to the clinical situation. To understand the evidence-based nature of the therapies, it is essential that a level of understanding of science be achieved. Thus there is a substantial component of human and exercise science in the course. As the Society of Sports Therapists set the competency benchmarks for membership, these are reflected in the topics studied throughout the degree. It is essential that the students develop an ability to problem solve and clinically reason. These skills are the foundations for accurate diagnosis and treatment formulation. The course aims to develop these critical and analytical skills to ensure that practice remains current but supported by a body of scientific knowledge.  The ultimate aim is to produce a contemporary course that reflects current clinical practice in sports therapy. The students obtain a high level of clinical competence through practice and the problem based learning. The course develops these skills by directing the students to the resources that help them find solutions. Practical demonstrations and presentations ensure that they achieve the benchmarks for society membership.  The course encourages student interaction and contribution by developing their ability to work independently, in proposing and developing solutions to problems in a systematic and effective manner, and in communicating confidently and clearly both in writing and verbally.

Portobello Student Sports Clinic

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 Tharspists. 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 they are tasked with setting up the clinic, completing client consultations, providing sports therapy treatments and providing rehabilitation or follow-up as required. In doing so, our students learn essential clinical skills and work autonomously (with guidance and support from our Clinic Supervisor).

As a client, our students and tutors really appreciate your time and presence at the clinic and feedback is always welcomed. On booking a treatment with our Student Clinic you will be shown to the clinic room, towels, blankets and privacy screens are available for your comfort. You will be introduced to your Student Therapist and brought through a safety screening and consultation assessment before commencing your treatment to ensure that your Therapist can tailor your treatment to meet your needs. Afterwards, follow-up recommendations or interventions may be provided and our Students are always happy to answer any questions you may have. 

External Work Placements

Further to gaining experince with Portobello Student Sports Clinic, students also participate on a work placement programme. This provides students 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 full support in the event a student struggles 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

Meath GAA

The Beacon Hospital

St Mary’s Hospital

Naas General Hospital

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital

St. Michael’s House

Archview Physiotherapy

Peamount Hospital

National Rehabilitation Hospital

Highfield Healthcare

Career Opportunities

Successful completion of this course offers 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.

Course price €5450 per year

Exam fee £220

Society of sports therapy £275 (paid in year two)



“Portobello Institute provided me with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge for me to attain my ultimate career goal in Physiotherapy ”. Full story

Dan O' Mahony


“Without the communications skills gained, I would never have had the opportunity to progress to a Masters Degree in Physiotherapy. Full story

Jamie Judge

Apply Now

Course Code Location & Info Price
SBST-F-DS-OC-19 Portobello Institute, Dublin 1

Times vary in accordance with schedule
€5495 Book Now
We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. Read More Allow Cookies