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:
- 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.
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.
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.