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.

Detailed below are extracts from the Society of Sports Therapists website defining the role of sports therapy and the skills of a sports therapist. For further information, click 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:

  • 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.

Course Structure

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.


Qualifications Gained

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

Note: Students can become registered as a Student Member of The Society of Sports Therapists at the beginning of Year 2.


Entry Requirements

Entry to this course is by direct application with an offer of acceptance on the programme issued following an interview. Students will be registered as an undergraduate degree student  with London Metropilitan University.

Non EU Students

To book an interview for this course, please use the book now button below. For Non EU student course fees, see here.


Transfer Options

Students may choose to transfer to the BSc (Hons) in Sports Science and Physical Education delivered by Portobello Institute upon successful completion of year 1.

Career Opportunities & Progression

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 cohort from this programme graduated in June 2017 and to date over 65% 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.

The programme is also excellent preparation for further research or study and over 20% of the first graduate cohort have chosen to progress their studies to Masters level. This included studying for M.Sc in Physiotherapy and M.Sc. in Sports and Exercise Medicine. There are a wide range of universities that recognise and accept this undergraduate degree qualification for progression to Masters level. To see a full list of relevant routes, click here

Student Stories

Conor Sheils, Sports Therapy Graduate shares his story. “I have been into sports my whole life; I always knew it is the area I wanted to work in. If I wasn’t going to compete at a professional level then I was wanted to be involved and work with professionals in the field.”  I worked as a gym instructor for 4 years before deciding I was going to head back to college. I was playing sports and repeatedly getting injured. This frustrated me as I felt I wasn't getting the necessary attention and guidance I needed. I felt I could help people with their rehab with design specific programmes to maximise recovery and speed up the process.  Performing these exercises at home for the majority just wasn't stimulating. For me and many I spoke to agreed that having an instructor or therapist present while performing rehab exercises would be of great benefit and at least help individuals to perform these exercises at a higher intensity and with better quality.  I was no expert on injuries and as a gym instructor did not know anything about business or marketing so I began to look at my options and Portobello was the perfect choice for me.  Portobello institute provided me with a high level education in the field of injuries and rehabilitation throughout my degree in sports therapy. I received ongoing help and guidance from tutors and always found the content of lectures interesting and easy to follow. Read full story here

Sports Playing Opportunities

All male and female students of Portobello Institute have the opportunity to try out for the "Fresher" and "Senior" teams of IT Tallaght. Sports include Rugby, GAA football and hurling, basketball, hockey, boxing. For further information on these opportunities, email

Course Content Modules

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.


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