About the course
Our BSc Sports Therapy aims to provide you with the knowledge base to underpin your practical skills and expertise in order to become eligible to register as a sports therapist. Our course focuses on employability and self-development, supporting you to become an autonomous practitioner upon graduation, confident in your practice yet aware of the need for continuing professional development.
Split across two specialist areas, BSc Sports Therapy builds on the experience of delivering physiotherapy in the School of Health and Human Sciences as well as the Sports and Exercise Science team based within the School of Biological Sciences. You develop a range of treatment options including electrotherapy, exercise and manual skills.
A high proportion of our specialised teaching is practical-based in small classes and upon graduation you are eligible to register with the Society of Sports Therapists, allowing you to work independently in a clinical setting or with a team or club.
A unique feature of our School of Health and Human Sciences is that many of our staff work with local NHS Trusts and other local agencies, which enhances our grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, the major issues of the day and practice. We also host the NIHR Research Design Service for the East of England.
The University of Essex, recently ranked 2nd in the UK for student satisfaction, offers you one of the best student experiences around. You experience a lively, informal environment with many possibilities to pursue your own interests, whether you are studying part time or full time. There are a number of societies within our Students’ Union which allow you to pursue your interests, including Charity Society, St John ambulance and many others.
Students are expected to take up placements in accordance with 'normal' Sports Therapy practice.
During the placement students will work (supervised) as a Sports Therapist, practising elements of the profession which they have been taught and assessed in.
Our course is endorsed by the Society of Sports Therapists (SST), which ensures that we provide an adequate, effective and appropriate training programme.
We are committed to embedding the NHS Constitution Values (which are strongly reflected in our University values) into everything we do. They define the behaviours and expectations of all our staff and students underpinning the work we do in the university, clinical arena and other workplaces.
We understand that not all of our students and staff are employed within the NHS, but these values uphold the underlying principles of excellent care as a standard and as such we expect that anyone who has any aspect of their work which ultimately cares for others will aspire to uphold these values.
For us, involving not only our students but service users, experts by experience, carers and NHS/non NHS professionals in the creation and delivery of all programmes is vital.
Our School is located in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester Campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend Campus. On both these you will find purpose-built accommodation to meet the needs of a growing and lively School. BSc Sports Therapy is taught at our Colchester Campus.
Within our School of Health and Human Sciences, we have a range of specialist clinical laboratories and IT facilities to assist you with the effective learning and acquisition of new skills. You also have access to the Centre for Sports and Exercise Science, which has five fully equipped Sports Science laboratories, state-of-the-art analytical equipment, and access to the equipment used by the Centre for Brain Science.
We offer excellent physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives and other research materials. You can take advantage of our links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects, many for Government, EU and other public agencies, and has its own library. The UK Data Archive is also based at our Colchester Campus and stores national research data.
Graduates will be eligible to register as a sports therapist with the Society of Sports Therapists working as an independent private practitioner, with a team or in a sports and leisure club. There is an increasing emphasis on the use of exercise in health promotion which offers other opportunities.
The course also prepares students for postgraduate study, which could be in a range of areas including sports science, other healthcare professions (including nursing and physiotherapy) or teaching (PGCE teaching qualification) for example.
Studying at Essex is about discovering yourself, so your course combines compulsory and optional modules to make sure you gain key knowledge in the discipline, while having as much freedom as possible to explore your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are just a selection of those available. The opportunity to take optional modules will depend on the number of core modules within any year of the course. In many instances, the flexibility to take optional modules increases as you progress through the course.
Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current first-year students, including details of all optional modules.
Ask difficult questions, and develop the skills needed to answer them. In this module, you learn how to critically analyse research literature to find gaps in scientific understanding, and gain the fundamental practical skills needed to create new knowledge.
Develop skills in research design, the application of key methods, the statistical analysis of data, and the interpretation and presentation of research findings. The practical skills that you will develop in this module, such as blood sampling, heart rate monitoring and psychological testing are also the professional competencies expected of Sports Scientists and acquiring them will begin to prepare you for a career in Sports Science support or in the field of exercise and health.
Top athletes can move their bodies with astonishing speed and precision. But how? This module is concerned with the physical and mechanical principles that govern how our bodies move. You consider the effects of force, mass, speed, velocity, acceleration and momentum, and study how our bodies interact with other moving objects. You get hands-on right from the start, investigating theory through a number of laboratory-based practicals.
Is it all in the mind? The margin between victory and defeat is thin, but can an athlete’s psychology really give them an edge? You explore the potential application of Freudian Behavioural and existential psychology on a range of sport and exercise topics, focusing particularly on coaching and training. Investigate how psychology may be used to improve sports performance, and its role in sport with reference to the social forces of racism and sexism.
What is sports therapy? Explore the ethics and obligations behind the practice and the fundamental skills required to be a sports therapist in this fast-growing profession. You will also be introduced to remedial sports massage techniques and the concept of reflective practice.
How is the human body organised? How does it function? Explore the anatomy and pathophysiology of the human body in relation to sports therapy practice. You will look at the key systems of the body and their functions including the skeletal, circulatory, integumentary and nervous systems, and the common sporting disorders associated with them.
How do our bodies respond and adapt to exercise and training? You review the structure and function of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, assessing how they respond to physical strain, and how they contribute to the limitations of human performance. You also consider how the nervous and endocrine systems are affected as well as the overall influence of environmental temperature and altitude.
To optimize performance in sports or rehabilitation, we first need to understand it. Biomechanics provide an interesting tool to do so. You start by exploring the most common and basic human movement: walking. You will learn about research on human gait and how we can use biomechanics to better understand human movement and enhance performance. In a practical, you will collect your own data and perform scientific experiments to understand and characterize the effect of footwear on performance, moving on to other cyclic movements, such as wheelchair exercise and mobility in the context of rehabilitation.
You also consider how biomechanics can help to prevent injuries in Paralympic wheelchair athletes, or improve mobility for persons in a wheelchair. Learn how to apply biomechanics in the multi-disciplinary context of sport sciences by modelling cyclic sports performance using an energy flow model.
Building on knowledge gained in previous modules, you develop your skills in assessment and diagnosis, and explore the treatments currently utilised by Sports Therapists. You explore interventions such as soft tissue and other manual techniques, including spinal and peripheral joint mobilisations.
Investigate the role of functional rehabilitation within the practice of sports therapy. Exercise is an essential component of injury management, and you pay close attention to injury prevention and performance enhancement. You develop your abilities to prescribe and deliver progressive exercise programmes, and learn to make reasoned decisions in the selection of exercise, basing choices on factors such as flexibility, endurance, strength, skill and co-ordination. You also explore the topics of return to sport, warm-up and cool down, the participation of specific populations in exercise and sport, and the role of exercise and mental health.
Using a regional case-based approach, you examine the evidence behind the assessment and management strategies currently employed in Sports Therapy. You also refine your clinical skills, building upon previous knowledge of first aid and considering more advanced emergency and trauma management.
Gain real-world industry experience. The culmination of your course, you undertake 200 hours of supervised clinical placement in a sport or exercise-related environment (60 of which will be in the University’s own clinic). You build upon the skills, experience and knowledge already gained to reach the standard needed to achieve the Society of Sports Therapists Standards of Proficiency.
On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
- This course combines University learning, e-learning and work-based learning to help you enhance your practice skills
- Modules have their own accompanying webpages on Moodle where you can download relevant readings, power-points, podcasts and YouTube clips, and contribute to online discussions
- We also work closely in partnership with the NHS and the independent health sector to provide placement opportunities
- Your assessment is by a combination of written coursework and end-of-year examinations
If you already have your results and want to apply for 2016 entry through Clearing, complete our Clearing application form
and we’ll get back in touch with you or give us a ring
to discuss your grades.
IELTS entry requirements
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. (Different requirements apply for second year entry.)
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.