BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy with Optional Sandwich Placement/ Study Abroad BSc (Hons)

About the course

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Our Sports Therapy degree will train you in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of sporting injuries. You will gain skills in the assessment of sporting injuries, the application of treatments such as sports massage, electrotherapy, and joint mobilisations, the pitch-side management of trauma in sport, and you will design injury prevention and rehabilitation programmes that take the athlete from initial injury back to elite sporting performance. You will also study anatomy, clinical biomechanics, exercise physiology, sports nutrition and psychology to develop as a thorough and competent Sports Therapist.

Sports Therapy is both an academic and practical based subject. We ensure that our students have a strong theoretical and evidence based approach to Sports Therapy, and we feel that hands on practical experience and well equipped learning facilities, such as our Sports Injury Clinic, are essential in producing a competent and well qualified graduate.

Year 1 -  The first year has a strong emphasis on the immediate management of sports injuries. During the first weeks of the course, you will complete a nationally recognised first aid qualification, and you will be given the opportunity to work alongside one of the University sports teams as their appointed first aider. This provides fantastic experience of acute injuries and of working with a competitive team. You will develop theoretical knowledge and practical expertise in the implementation of sports massage, and study the mechanisms and pathologies of lower limb injuries whilst gaining skills in joint assessment.

There is a focus on building a good foundation in human anatomy and physiology, in developing skills in scientific writing and research, and in relevant areas of sport and exercise science, such as implementing training regimens and studying patterns of human movement during sport. Sport psychology and nutrition are studied within the context of Sports Therapy.

Year 2 - The second year brings the study and assessment of sporting injuries of the upper limb, along with the implementation of appropriate treatments including electrotherapy and joint mobilisations. During this year, you will become skilled at planning and delivering rehabilitation programmes, which are sport specific and return athletes from injury back to full elite fitness. You will also consider injury assessment and treatment for athletes with disabilities.

Sports science modules provide you with understanding of how the body's physiological systems adapt and function during sport and exercise, and you will be able to choose a specific area of Sports Therapy to develop your research skills in preparation for your final year project.

Year 3 -  During the final year, the assessment of spinal injuries is introduced, along with the application of vertebral mobilisations. There is a focus on clinical biomechanics, studying mechanisms of sporting injuries and the correction of biomechanical problems, and you will learn how to implement strength and conditioning programmes in the prevention and rehabilitation of injury. You will also complete an independent project with the assistance of a supervisor, which includes research and testing in your chosen area of Sports Therapy, which is written up as your dissertation.

For the duration of the year, you will carry out clinical placement in our own Sports Injury Clinic, and also externally at sports clubs and independent sports injury centres and clinics nationwide. You will apply everything you have learned to real patients under the supervision of fully qualified staff. We have over 200 clinical placement opportunities in a diverse range of sport and exercise environments, allowing varied and invaluable experience with injured athletes.

Why choose this course?

  • The degree in Sports Therapy is an ideal course for those who wish to train in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of sporting injuries.
  • We offer a sandwich year enabling you to go on a full year placement to gain invaluable clinical experience with professional sports teams, either within the UK or overseas.
  • Graduates are eligible for full membership with the Society of Sports Therapists.
  • We have specialist labs for: Physiology, Biomechanics and Sports Therapy. Find out more about our facilities. You can also make use of the University’s £15 million Hertfordshire Sports Village at the de Havilland campus. 

Additional opportunities include:

  • Visits to observe human dissections,
  • Massaging at events such as the London Marathon
  • Presenting research at national conferences.
  • First aid cover at events such as the Women’s Rugby World Cup and Various sports events
  • Pre-season testing with Saracens and Northampton Saints
  • Sandwich Year and Work Placement opportunities
  • Specialist paramedic input onto sports trauma modules
  • Personal tutor scheme
  • HSE First Aid at Work
  • Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training

Graduate Stories:

Find out more about our sports staff

Entry requirements...

2016 entry 

300 UCAS points, plus GCSE English language, mathematics and double science at grade C or above  (or 2 single sciences). 
The 300 UCAS points to include;

  • Grade C or above in GCE A level Biology or relevant life science and other A-levels, or ;
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport & Exercise Science or Applied Science (no other Extended BTEC Diplomas are acceptable) or; 
  • BTEC Diplomas are accepted alongside an A-level in Biology or life science grade C.
  • Access Diploma students must have 30 Level 3 credits at Distinction in a Science discipline.
  • Our offer for the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) is made outside of the UCAS Tariff and is calculated by dividing the UCAS score by 10 i.e. 280 UCAS points equals 28 IB points

Subject to interview and CRB check.

For country specific international qualifications please check here.

If you do not have the required level of English for entry, our academic English and foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.

2017 entry 

UCAS are introducing a new tariff for 2017 entry so the points being asked for are substantially different to previous years.

120 UCAS points 

to include grade C in GCE A level Biology or other relevant life science, or BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport & Exercise Science or Applied Science (no other BTEC Extended Diplomas are acceptable).

Plus GCSE English language, mathematics and double science at grade 4 or above (or 2 single sciences) (Grade C or above if taken prior to 2015).

 IB - 120 points with a minimum of 2 HL subject at grade 4 or above including one Science subject (with the remaining points to come from a combination of HL, SL and Core).

Access to HE in a Science based subject with 60 credits overall and 45 at Level 3 with 30 Level 3 credits at Distinction. A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 is required for those for whom English is not their first language.

Subject to interview and DBS check.  

Careers

The Sports Therapy degree has led graduates to a wide variety of employments. Opportunities may be found working with professional sports teams, in independent sports injury clinics, in health centres and gyms, or on a self-employed basis. We also employ our own graduates to work for us in our Sports Injury and Rehabilitation Centre. In addition, graduates have gone on to study for a MSc or PhD, complete a PGCE to become a teacher, or found opportunities with athletes with disabilities or in schools and youth sport. The skills that are developed throughout the course give the graduate many choices as to where to take their career, with the strong vocational element of the degree and the extensive clinical experience giving a head start in the jobs market. 

Teaching methods

Due to the nature of Sports Therapy, each module has both theoretical and practical components. You will learn through a variety of lectures, practical classes, workshops, tutorials and clinical placements. Our lectures are interactive and encourage applying theories to relevant real life situations, and in the practical classes you will learn your clinical techniques. During workshops your skills are put into problem solving and sports specific scenarios, and individual tutorials enable you to discuss areas of your choice. Along with clinical placement, in your own time you will be directed towards the university's vast learning and research resources for independent study.

As everybody learns differently, methods of teaching and assessment are varied. Modules may require written coursework, practical assessments, and written exams at the end of each semester. Some modules also have oral presentations, group work, portfolios, and poster sessions to ensure that all key skills of the graduate Sports Therapist are evidenced.

On the full time programme, you will study four modules at a time. Each module typically consists of four hours contact time per week, with further reading, research and coursework completed independently. On the part time programme, the course structure is considered on an individual basis with the Programme Tutor, depending on your needs and other commitments.

Clinical placements are completed in your own time, allowing flexibility to gain experience during usual working hours, at evenings or weekends, and during University vacations if preferred. Extensive extra-curricular opportunities are encouraged to supplement your standard programme. Visits and excursions to develop your skills and experience are offered, along with short courses and qualifications including first aid and personal training.

Part-time study

If you are studying part-time you have 6 years to complete your course. You will complete 60-90 credits per year. All modules are compulsory, there are no options. Your timetable will depend on which modules you pick. Certain modules must be passed at each level before progression onto higher level clinical modules.

Work Placement

The optional year on placement provides a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills, gain incredible experience, enhance your employability, and travel. Whether abroad or in the UK, working with professional athletes in state of the art facilities gives you an amazing insight to the world of Sports Therapy, improving your practical abilities, theoretical knowledge and understanding, and personal skills such as communication and confidence.

Previous year placements have included Queensland Reds RFC, Australia, Nelson Giants Basketball, New Zealand, Georgia State Athletic Training Room, USA, and in the UK at Worcester RFC, Newport Gwent Dragons RFC, Charlton FC and Watford FC to name just a few.

 Sports Therapy student Sarah Gallacher did her placement at the Sports and General Injuries Clinic in Bournemouth:
'The main benefit I have gained is being able to put theory into practice. I have been able to deal with real patients who have a wide variety of injuries. Being able to observe treatments and having practical sessions with feedback from a Sports Therapist has allowed me to gain confidence in carrying out treatments with clients. I was therefore able to undertake sports massage appointments with clients giving me the chance to see regular members. Following this I was able to carry out the assessment and treatment of other clients. I have also learnt a lot about the general running of a business which is essential if you want to set up your own clinic after graduating. I have always thought I'd love to run my own clinic and not only has the placement year confirmed that but it has also shown me that it is possible to set up your own clinic after doing a sports therapy degree.'

Study abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad in the Sandwich Year through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme. Find out more about Study abroad opportunities

Professional Accreditations

The BSc Hons Sports Therapy is accredited by the Society of Sports Therapists.

Structure

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Examination and Management of Lower Limb Sports Injuries

    Sporting injuries to the lower limb, their mechanisms, epidemiology, aetiology, pathologies, typical symptoms and common clinical signs will be introduced during lectures and this information will contribute to practical classes. Appropriate treatment options for lower limb sporting injuries will be discussed. Functional anatomy of the lower limb will be embedded within all lectures and practical classes. Skills in appropriate, safe and effective examination and assessment techniques for the lower limb (including observation, touch, active, passive and resisted movements, muscle and ligament tests, palpation, function, special tests), which focus on the hip, knee, ankle joints and lumbar spine, will be taught in practical classes. Taping and strapping of the lower limb will be addressed. During workshops, knowledge and skills will be applied to sports specific clinical scenarios.

  • Therapeutic Modalities

    Semester A will focus on the indications, physiological effects and contraindications of remedial soft tissue massage techniques. Practical sessions will focus on the safe, effective and appropriate application of remedial soft tissue massage techniques. The lecture programme will address subjective and objective assessments, thermal treatments, the inflammatory response, healing processes and pain mechanisms that occur as a result of sports and exercise injury. An introduction to Sports Psychology to support the Sports Therapist is embedded within the module. Semester B workshops will focus on the indications, physiological effects and contraindications of electrotherapeutic modalities, and the safe, effective and appropriate application of ultrasound, interferential and TENS.

  • Foundations of Human Physiology

    Foundations of Human Physiology will provide students with an introduction to human physiology applied to sport and exercise. In particular, this module will involve fundamentals of structure, function and biochemistry from cellular, to tissue, organ, and organism levels. A basic understanding of muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, digestive, endocrine and nervous systems will be developed. There will some coverage of applied sporting topics of relevance to physiology, such as the principles of training and periodicity, and the design of training programmes. Practical work will used to provide additional insight into specific physiological systems. Practical work will include instruction in the use of physiological interfaces, transducers, and recording and analytical software, basic studies on the respiratory (spirometry and off-line techniques) and cardio-vascular system (ECG and blood pressure) and measurement of spinal reflexes and reaction times.

  • Foundations of Nutrition

    This module introduces students to basic components of human nutrition, with applications to sport, health and exercise. The module involves the study of human digestion and absorption, including aspects of endocrine control of metabolism. There is also an introduction to essential themes underlying dietary macro- and micro-nutrients, and explores basic applications of nutrition pertinent to dietary assessment and problem-based learning scenarios.

  • Foundations of Anatomy and Biomechanics: Sports Therapy

    The module provides an introduction to human anatomy and biomechanics, relating to structures, properties and functions of bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscle, in relation to the mechanical principles which govern human movement. The axial and appendicular skeleton will be studied in regard to joint type and associated movements, while the skeletal muscle system will be investigated in terms of the origins and insertions of selected muscles and the movement they produce. Human movement will be studied in terms of the basic variables and units associated with concepts in both linear and angular kinematics and kinetics, including calculations and quantification of human movement.

Optional

  • Foundations of Anatomy and Biomechanics

    The module provides an introduction to human anatomy and biomechanics, relating to structures, properties and functions of bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscle, in relation to the mechanical principles which govern human movement. The axial and appendicular skeleton will be studied in regard to joint type and associated movements, while the skeletal muscle system will be investigated in terms of the origins and insertions of selected muscles and the movement they produce. Human movement will be studied in terms of the basic variables and units associated with concepts in both linear and angular kinematics and kinetics, including calculations and quantification of human movement.

Year 2

Core Modules

  • Exercise Physiology

    Cardiovascular aspects of exercise, blood pressure and haemodynamic response at rest and exercise, exercise and cardiovascular disease. Respiratory aspects of exercise: haemoglobin and respiratory variables, acid balance and asthma. Basic laboratory testing in athletes and metabolic responses to training. The endocrine system during exercise, exercise-induced endocrine secretions/catecholamine response. Endocrinology-fluid balance. The immune system and exercise. Fatigue and exhaustion; de-training and the human body. The effect of exercise in different environmental conditions and on different populations such as ageing; energy supply and systems.

  • Research Design

    In this module students will explore the principles and methods that underpin scientific research in sport and exercise science and sports therapy. The module will enable students to comprehend, critique, and effectively utilise existing scientific research in their studies and professional practice, either as sport and exercise scientists or sport therapists. The knowledge gained will also provide a foundation upon which to design and develop an appropriate research proposal in order to successfully complete the final year project.

  • Sport and Exercise Rehabilitation

    This module will cover the principles of rehabilitation and exercise therapy in the early, intermediate, late and pre-discharge stages of recovery from injuries sustained in a sports and exercise environment. Students will be taught how to increase and maintain muscular strength and endurance, joint range of motion and proprioception in the lower and upper limbs, trunk and neck. Rehabilitation and exercise techniques such as core stability, functional and sports specific programmes, hydrotherapy, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitated stretching and strengthening will be taught, as will crutch walking, gait re-education, gait analysis, return to running and sports specific function, circuit training and remedial games. There will also be coverage of commonly used procedures in orthopaedic surgery for the treatment of sports injuries and the effects of inactivity and immobilisation on the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, nervous and respiratory systems.

  • Examination and Management of Upper Limb Sports Injuries

    Sporting injuries to the upper limb, their epidemiology, aetiology, pathologies, typical symptoms and common clinical signs will be introduced during lectures and this information will contribute to practical classes. Appropriate treatment options for upper limb sporting injuries will be discussed. Functional anatomy of the upper limb will be embedded within all lectures and practical classes. Skills in appropriate, safe and effective examination and assessment techniques for the upper limb (including observation, touch, active, passive and resisted movements, muscle and ligament tests, palpation, function, special tests), which focus on the wrist, elbow, shoulder joints and cervical spine, will be taught in practical classes. During workshops, knowledge and skills will be applied to sports specific clinical scenarios. Taping and strapping for the upper limb and diagnostic imaging will be addressed.

  • Applied Manual Therapy

    This module will further develop the understanding of peripheral joint biomechanics, in particular the relationship between accessory and physiological movements between normal/ altered function and in the presence of sport and exercise related injuries. The ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow and wrist joints will be given particular attention as the module explores the role of manual therapy in the restoration of normal biomechanics of these joints. This includes the indications, benefits, precautions, and the practical implementation of manual therapy techniques. The major part of the module will concentrate on the Maitland principles and techniques of peripheral joint manual therapy, which will also be compared and contrasted to those of other philosophies. Clinical reasoning skills will be developed and integrated within the practical sessions to ensure safe, effective and appropriate assessment and implementation of peripheral joint manual therapy techniques.

  • Sports Trauma Management

    Students will develop and implement Emergency Action Plans for water and land-based sport and exercise activities. Individual roles and responsibilities will be explored, along with relevant legislation and documentation. The pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, and management of injuries, illness and trauma associated with sport and exercise participation will be discussed. The assessment and documenting of vital signs will be addressed, along with the clinical evaluation of injuries, illness and trauma. Clinical reasoning for referral and return to play decisions will be considered. The guidelines, reasoning and practical application associated with basic life support, automated external defibrillation and airway management will be addressed. Students will discuss and rehearse the appropriate monitoring and management of head and cervical spine injury, along with use of associated equipment. Safe removal from water and land based environments will also be addressed. Students will develop awareness and skills in professional standards, communication and scope of practice.

Optional

Year 3

Core Modules

Optional

  • Sandwich Placement - Sport

    The sandwich placement will provide students with the opportunity to expand, develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills learnt in the taught years of the degree in a work-based situation. The establishment will appoint a work-place supervisor, and the student will also have a University supervisor. During the placement the student will return to the University to a one day Symposium which all placement students attend. During this day they should present a poster about their placement and attend talks on future employment.

  • Year Abroad: Sport

    Learning and teaching methods may include taught courses, a research project, field studies or a mixture of these components. The Year Abroad will be for two academic semesters or their equivalent. The students will therefore follow a programme negotiated by the Associate Head of Department or nominee and an equivalent representative of the host institution. Prior to commencement of the Year Abroad, the student, the programme officers from the University of Hertfordshire and from the host institution will agree a learning agreement and mode of attendance.

Year 4

Core Modules

  • Special Populations

    In this module students will explore the role of physical exercise as both a prophylactic and causative factor in a range of diseases, disorders and conditions. Relevant pathophysiology will be examined, and risk factors will be addressed. Physical exercise will also be considered in the treatment and management of a range of diseases, disorders and conditions. Students will consider the influence of these diseases, disorders and conditions on the role of a sports therapist in the assessment, treatment and management of sports injuries.

  • Examination and Rehabilitation of the Vertebral Column

    The appropriate, safe and effective, examination and assessment of vertebral conditions, including the cervical, thoracic, lumbar areas of the spine, and the sacro-iliac joint will be addressed. The current evidence based management of specific spinal conditions will be reviewed to support an appropriate management plan for spinal conditions. The indications, benefits, precautions and contraindications associated with the use of manual therapy techniques for the vertebral column and its associated structures will be discussed. Clinical reasoning and decision-making skills will be developed alongside, and integrated with, teaching of the practical aspects of manual therapy.

  • Applied Independent Research Project

    The Applied Independent Research Project module allows students to design and undertake an individual research study relevant to an area of personal interest and choice. The module follows on from Research Design at Level 5, where students will have undertaken basic planning and preparation for their own research project. In some cases, students will have undertaken the ethical application process ahead of Level 6, although all students will be required to submit an ethics application early into the module. The module allows students to apply and develop their knowledge and skills pertinent to a research area of choice, which encourages independent responsibility to develop a research methodology, undertake data collection and analyse the findings. The module also aims to allow students to develop skills pertinent to critical thinking and interpretation/presentation of underlying data collected.

  • Sports Therapy Clinical Placement

    This module will include seminars starting at the end of level 5, and continuing into level 6 focussing on the development of critical reflective skills and support for gaining a placement. These sessions will also reinforce evidence-based practice in the context of the experiences gained by the students in their clinical placements. Early seminars deal with production of cv's and letters of application, and will also introduce the concept of reflective practice, as well as stressing the assessment procedures to be used for this module. Students will complete a minimum of 200 hours of supervised clinical placement in a sport and/or exercise- related clinical environment. Thirty of these hours will be provided within the university undergraduate Sports Injury Clinic. The student is supported in obtaining and completing further supervised placement outside the university.

  • Strength and Conditioning

    This module allows students to further develop skills related to optimisation of human physical performance. It involves the screening, monitoring and development of factors that impact on human physical performance. It looks at the scientific rationale behind strength and conditioning practices and helps students critique common training modalities, with the aim of developing their own practical skills, supported by a strong scientific rationale. In particular, programme periodisation and injury prevention will be covered, as well as looking at the training modalities which make up concepts in human performance such as strength, power, speed, agility, endurance, core stability and flexibility.

  • Advanced Management of Sports Injuries

    This module uses an incorporation of problem-based learning techniques and practical workshop teaching sessions. The focus will be on common injury conditions encountered in a sporting environment. Assessment of these conditions will highlight subtle clinical signs and symptoms by introducing advanced clinical techniques. The underlying pathophysiology of presenting problems will be considered together with the implications for treatment and rehabilitation. The aim is to further develop practical sports therapy skills alongside clinical reasoning and decision-making processes. This is so that successful students will be able to devise and implement appropriate, safe and effective advanced treatment and rehabilitation protocols in the light of up-to-date evidence-based practice.

Optional

Fees & funding

Fees 2016

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,000 for the 2016 academic year

Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged on a modular basis. The cost is £1,125 for each 15-credit module

International Students

Full time: £11,500 for the 2016 academic year

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

View detailed information about tuition fees

Additional course costs

You will be expected to purchase navy tracksuit bottoms, a white polo shirt and navy shorts before starting the course. These can be University of Hertfordshire branded, bought from us before induction, but do not have to be.

Scholarships

  • University of Hertfordshire Sports Scholarships

Find out more about scholarships for UK/EU and international students

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply

2016

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201620/05/2017Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201620/05/2017Apply online (Part Time)
26/09/201620/05/2017Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201620/05/2017Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

2017

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Part Time)
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)