With the demand and opportunities for professionally qualified therapists at an all time high, Portobello Institute has designed this degree as a blended learning option with supported seminars held over the weekend. This gives mature students and those working full-time, the opportunity to access this degree qualification that can lead to a career as a sports therapist. This programme is delivered over 3 academic years each 6 months in duration. There are between 4 and 5 modules per academic year. Each module commences with a tutorial designed to support students progress through the module with a revision seminar held at the end of the academic year. A tutor is assigned to each student, for each module, with allocated one to one support time available. There is also a full-time programme manager available to offer students support during their learning journey.
Portobello Institute’s BSc Hons in Sports Therapy gives graduates the opportunity to attain a level 8 honours degree through blended learning and also to obtain professional membership of the global Society of Sports Therapists – the only programme in Ireland to carry this recognition – membership of the association has many unique benefits as detailed below.
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:
Recognition & evaluation
Management, treatment & referral
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.
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.
BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy awarded by London Metropolitan University (LMU)
Students can become registered as a Student Member of The Society of Sports Therapists at the beginning of Year 2.
The entry routes are as follows:
With a Leaving Certificate;
Minimum of grade C or O6 in ordinary level Biology, English and Maths with a pass in 3 other subjects
Without the required Leaving Certificate, students 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