The VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy (QCF) is a technical level qualification aimed at those wishing to develop the knowledge, understanding and technical skills needed for a career as a Sports Massage Therapist. The aim of the course is to provide students with all of the required elements needed to work effectively and efficiently as a sports massage therapist, either employed or self-employed. This includes learning anatomy and physiology, professional practice, an understanding of the principles of health and fitness and how to provide sports massage treatments. The Level 3 Sports Massage therapist will be able to work safely and effectively on dysfunctional tissue in a range of contexts, to include, pre-event, post event, intra-event and for maintenance purposes.

You will be required for a maximum of 10 hours per week additional study (variable throughout course). Practise on a willing body outside guided learning hours to consolidate knowledge and practise techniques. Attendance of offsite sporting events to gain experience.

What Will I Study?

This course involves learning through theoretical means and practical application, discussion groups, group activities, individual research and presentations, with regular written assessments to check progress. A certain element of this course will be practical application, requiring the completion of massage treatments, so the candidate will need to practise on a willing body outside the guided learning hours, and also some weekend attendance may be required at offsite sporting events to gain experience.

Students will complete the following mandatory units:

  • Anatomy and Physiology for Sports Massage
  • Principles of Health and Fitness
  • Understand the Principles of Soft Tissue Dysfunction
  • Professional Practice in Sports Massage
  • Sports Massage Treatments

Entry Requirements

Candidates should be over 16 years old. No formal pre-requisite qualification required, but ideally candidates should have a level of general education comparable to GCSE's at pass grade or above, or have related qualifications at Level 2. Any basic knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology would be beneficial, especially with regards to muscles. Students would benefit from doing some general reading around the subject prior to the start of the course.


Students will require:

  • A Uniform (to be advised by tutor at interview)
  • Flat enclosed shoes or smart trainers, pens, paper
  • 2 x A4 ring binders for coursework and portfolio
  • Course text book. 
  • A massage couch and massage materials for practice at home and to take to offsite events.

There may be small additional fees for semi-consumables and exam fees. In addition, student personal liability insurance is required if working unsupervised to complete treatments.


On successful completion of this qualification, learners will be able to gain employment as a Level 3 Sports Massage Practitioner, providing pre, post, intra/inter and maintenance massage. This may include working in clinics, for sporting teams or as a mobile therapist in either an employed or self-employed context.

Students will also be able to progress onto the VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage (QCF) which will build upon the skills, knowledge and understanding gained at Level 3. It will introduce more advanced massage and assessment techniques, preparing the candidate to work with non-acute injury and preexisting conditions. 


* This course is free to certain students depending on circumstances.

Payment Options: Level 3 Courses

Age 19-23 Age 24+
  • Free for eligible courses if this if you first full Level 3 qualification.
  • Advanced Learner Loan
  • Pay in Full
  • Instalment Plan
  • Advanced Learner Loan
  • Pay in Full
  • Instalment Plan

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