The increased public awareness in fitness & the need to exercise in order to lead a healthy well-balanced life has led to a massive boost in the numbers of people participating in sports. This interest in fitness has in turn led to an added demand for qualified sports massage therapist who have an understanding of sport & fitness from training regimes, to the effects of diet & nutrition, to the treatment & prevention of sports injuries and finally to understanding the psychology that will give an athlete the mental strength to win. 

This ITEC Sports Therapy course focuses on three main areas:

1. Understanding and preventing sports injuries
2. Dealing with the effects of physical and emotional trauma surrounding sports injuries and
3. The clinical process of returning athletes to peak fitness in the relevant sport.

Portobello Institute's newly revised and updated Sports Therapy course gives learners the opportunity to acquire the practical and technical knowledge necessary to deal with these three main areas of concern and pursue a career or further education in this area.

Qualifications Gained

• ITEC Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy (Level 3 & 4)
• QQI Level 6 Minor Award in Sports Psychology
• QQI Level 5 Minor Award in Kinesiology 

Entry Requirements

Entry to this course is by direct application to the college. Acceptance to Full Time courses is interview based, there are no specific points requirements.

Course Structure

This is a full time course delivered over one academic year.

Course Content Modules

Sports Anatomy & Physiology

The module aims to develop the learner’s knowledge and awareness of skill to understand the structure and function of the human body and the interrelationship between its systems. The module will enable the learner to describe the structure and function of a typical animal cell and its organelles as well as identify the different tissues types within each type and classification.

Sports Massage

Heat rate, blood pressure, respiration & digestion govern fitness & it is the management of these systems that is vital during sporting activity. During this module you will learn the effects of stress & strain on the muscles and how to counter this with effective sports massage techniques thereby preventing sports injuries.

Sports Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation

This module will prepare you to deal with the most common injury scenarios in rugby, soccer, GAA, track & field & swimming clubs. You will learn to analyse the factors that lead to these injuries together with the most suitable treatments to assist the athlete in their recovery.


This module aims to increase students understanding of the analysis of human movement of lower- limb patho-mechanics. Students will develop knowledge around sagittal, coronal, and transverse planes surrounding the body. The module will provide students with knowledge around the law of acceleration, action, and reaction in muscular movement. The module will aid awareness in applying the law of reciprocal innervation that is the relationship between the agonist and antagonist muscles.

Biomechanics of Human Movement

This module explores the basics of biomechanical understanding of human movement including human cell development, tissue and joints. Students will develop knowledge around biomechanical make up and how it changes with age, disease, injury, and possible implants. The module aims to broaden student’s awareness and understanding around the physiology of human movement, motor control, biofeedback and neuro-musculoskeletal biomechanics

Sports Psychology

Controlling the mind improves an athlete’s ability to control the body and in turn to overcome the obstacles they face both mentally & physically during training and competition. You will explore during this module the human instinct, our will to win, the relationship between stress and performance. You will learn key relaxation techniques & mental imagery skills to assist athletes to overcome anxiety and gain the winning edge.

Sports First Aid

The recognition, assessment and immediate on-site management of sports injuries are crucial to facilitate rehabilitation and to minimise further risk of harm to the athlete. The Sports First Aid module teaches the medical assessment and management of a wide variety of sports injuries. Importantly, participants will also know how to recognise when professional medical referral is warranted.

Progression Route

Those who complete the Sports Therapy course and achieve  a credit in Level 4 Sports Massage can progress directly into year 1 of the Sports Therapy degree programme.  You do not have to complete an interview through this route.

Protection for Learners

QQI have introduced a mandatory insurance protection policy fee that must be paid by students enrolled on all courses with a duration of 12 weeks or over. This insurance cost is in addition to your course fees. 



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