Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy

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Park Lane Campus - A Block

This is a technical qualification that gives you the knowledge, understanding, and specialist skills needed for a career as a sports massage therapist. It’s taught across 18 weeks with the choice to start in September or February.

Course Information

Video Transcript

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Interviewee – George Trifunovic. Sports Massage Tutor, School of Sports Science and Exercise (SPEAKING)


Music – A gentle acoustic guitar melody plays.


Scenery – A learner wearing a black face mask, a black long-sleeved jumper and short neon floral print shorts stands by a massage table and rolls purple towels. She has a warm brown complexion and black type 4 hair tied in a high bun. The camera zooms in; she neatly folds a towel and then begins to roll it carefully. The camera cuts to a man sitting in a warm white room and facing the camera. He has a pale, peachy complexion, short brown hair in a side parting and a short brown beard.


Speaker: George Trifunovic – “So, I’m George. I am the tutor for Level 3 and Level 4 VTCT Sports Massage courses that we-that we run here at Leeds City College…”


Scenery –  The camera cuts and slowly zooms in on the before-mentioned learner as she neatly folds a large purple towel at the head of a massage table. She is in a white massage therapy suite, and behind her is a row of other massage tables separated by curved white partitions. In the background and out of focus, two other students also fold and roll towels at their stations. The camera cuts and zooms in on a purple massage table with a white table cover placed on top. Two purple towels are neatly folded at the head, and two smaller ones are rolled on top. Behind the massage table, a white tray table, extending light and massage oil, is visible. The camera cuts back to George.


Music – The acoustic guitar melody continues.


Speaker: George Trifunovic – “Yeah, so my background… I started off, er, in Sport and Exercise Science at A-levels, and went on to study Sports Therapy, erm, at university, erm, in which after that I managed to get a lot of experience out in the industry, working for professional football clubs, amateur rugby clubs and assisting in, in running clinics and, er, as-as you would do as a Sports Massage Therapist…”


Scenery – The camera cuts and slowly zooms out from the learner, carefully rolling a long purple towel horizontally on the massage table. The camera cuts to George demonstrating a Sports Massage on the learner, who is now lying on her front on the massage table. She has a purple towel draped over her lower back and legs and lies with her arms in front of her, head resting on her forearms. Using both hands, he firmly massages her calf in an up-and-down motion. 


Music – The acoustic guitar melody continues.


Speaker: George Trifunovic – “So this course can be for anyone really. If you’re wanting to change your career completely and you’re wanting to go off and do something completely new, then you’re supported all the way through, no matter if you’ve got any, er, any experience in sport or science at all…”


Scenery – The camera cuts back to George. He wears a green shirt and a colourful lanyard.


Speaker: George Trifunovic – “And it’s also really beneficial for those who are wanting to upskill and increase their toolset so, if you’ve studied sport- erm – personal training, if you’ve studied strength and conditioning, if you’re a sports coach, then it’s really good for you to have that in your-in your roster as well when it comes to, when it comes to your work…”


Scenery – The camera cuts to a close-up of hands massaging a calf covered in oil. Closed in a fist and with the knuckles pressed down, the hand firmly slides up to just below the back of the knee. The camera cuts to a wider shot of the massage, and George is visible performing it. Using both hands with fingers outstretched, he pulls across the middle of the calf and repeats the motion. The camera cuts to show another learner performing a massage in the station next to George. The learner wears a black t-shirt and face mask, with pale, pink-toned skin, and they carefully press into the lower calf of a learner who lies on their front, covered in a purple towel. The camera cuts back to George.


Music – The acoustic guitar melody continues.


Speaker: George Trifunovic – “It’s just a really really beneficial thing to learn; it’s why you should do the course. Erm, no matter what you do  – even now, I’ve been doing this for, erm, six, seven- six, seven years now, and I always get people asking me on a daily basis, can I give them a massage and stuff like that, so there’s definitely a market for it. Erm, and it’s-it’s people willing to go out there, study it, erm, and then they’ll be; they’ll be extremely busy when it comes to being qualified. It’s a really good route to go down, and it’s-it’s really enjoyable as well, getting to know clients…” 


Scenery – The camera cuts to the learner wearing black, slowly massaging a calf. Using both hands in opposite directions, they use a firm twisting motion on the upper calf before sliding their hands down and repeating the motion. 


Music – The acoustic guitar melody continues.


Speaker: George Trifunovic – “Getting to see them in-when they’re injured or when they’re not feeling so great and then working with them til they’ve- til they’ve come back to full fitness and full function and they’re really, really grateful and really pleased to have, erm, to have gone through that with you. So it’s a good industry, it’s a good job to go gown, it’s a good thing to learn…”


Scenery – The camera cuts to a close-up of the same massage, focusing on the twisting motion as the thumb firmly presses into the skin. The camera cuts to the student slowly and firmly pushing into the calves, starting at the Achilles and moving towards the lower back knee. The camera cuts back to George.


Music – The acoustic guitar melody continues.


Speaker: George Trifunovic – “We have online lessons through Google Meet where it’s interactive, it’s all recorded as well, and it’s posted for-for future reference, erm, if you wanted to go over that lesson again. Erm, and in terms of support, everything that we do is put to-put online so access can be given at any point really…”


Scenery – The camera cuts to the learner wearing a black T-shirt firmly pressing into points in a learner’s calf with their left hand and gently sliding their right hand to the position. The camera cuts to George using his right hand to hold a learner’s leg in position while he firmly presses into their calf and pushes upwards, using his knuckles. The camera cuts back to George.


Music – The acoustic guitar melody continues.


Speaker: George Trifunovic – “So, with this course, when you- when you’ve finished, there’s a variety of different options you can- you can go work down as to the course, there’s sports massage therapy,  there’s a sport route way if you want to go work for, erm, a football, rugby or sports team. Erm, you’re more than welcome to go down there, and you’re qualified to provide massage therapy to-to those athletes. Erm, however, it’s not all just sports. You don’t just do sports and that’s it. There is a professional practice where you can help work people with everyday problems, aches and pains, any tightness. Erm, you are-you are licensed to be able to go treat them so you could be maybe setting up your own clinic. Working for your own- working for yourself, setting up your own business. Erm, or going and joining another successful clinic in the area and adding to their bolster using the skills you’ve learned on this course to really add to what they’ve got to offer already…”


Scenery –  Cut to a close-up of hands making a fast, firm, chopping motion down a leaner’s calf. The learner is lying on their front, on a massage table with a purple towel over their lower body and above their knees. They wear black socks with pink ankle sections. Cut to a close-up of a person standing with their back to the camera, gently massaging fair, cool-toned calves. A purple towel covers the person’s legs above the knees. In the background, other learners are practising sports therapy massage on participants at individual massage stations. The camera cuts back to George.


Music – The acoustic guitar melody continues.


Speaker: George Trifunovic – “Erm, so, after this course, we have a Level 3 massage course, there’s also a Level 4 Massage course where you go on and you learn more advanced things, more advanced theories and more advanced treatments, er, and injury assessment which can be really – and bolster your own, erm, toolset essentially. The more you can offer to a client, the more popular you will be, er, when you’re out in the industry…”


Scenery –  Cut to a student wearing a black T-shirt, carefully pressing into the upper calf of a participant lying on their front on a massage table. The camera cuts to a close-up of hands neatly rolling a long purple towel into a neat cylinder and placing it on top of two folded towels and another rolled towel. The camera cuts back to George.


Music – The acoustic guitar melody continues.


Speaker: George Trifunovic – “So what I love most about teaching this course is that-that progression from day one – from week one to week 18. It’s just that when the learners come in and they start this course, a lot of them don’t really have much of a clue about sports massage, about anatomy and physiology, about how the industry runs and then by the time they’re finished on week 18 they-they sound like experts, they are experts and can perform a really good massage. They can have a very detailed conversation with how the body works, how massage works. Erm, and just seeing that confidence boost from day one to day 18 is-of week 18 is really good.


Music – The acoustic guitar melody continues.


Scenery – The camera zooms across a dressed massage table, with purple rolled towels placed neatly on folded towels in a clean white space. The camera cuts to the learner in neon floral printed shorts as she puts a rolled purple towel on top of a neat pile and neatens it. The camera cuts to George talking enthusiastically.


Music – The acoustic guitar melody fades to silence.

Scenery – The screen fades to white. A large green logo reads “School of Sports Science and Exercise, Leeds City College” appears.


Units / Modules

The structure of the qualification is comprised of 5 units which are all mandatory:

  • Anatomy and physiology for sports massage - USP41 - Unit ref: J/506/7220
  • Principles of health and fitness - USP42 - Unit ref: R/506/7222
  • Understand the principles of soft tissue dysfunction - USP43 - Unit ref: Y/506/7223
  • Professional practice in sports massage - USP44 - Unit ref: D/506/7224
  • Sports massage treatments - USP45 - Unit ref: T/506/7228

Course Video

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Career Progression

Learners who complete this qualification will be able to gain employment and obtain insurance to work as a sports massage therapist.


  • VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Sports massage therapy
  • Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing & Personal Training

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Course Details


18 weeks, evening or day course option

Study Type

Part time

Start Date


Course Code


Course Fee (16-18)

No fee

Course Fee (Adult)

£2,126 plus exam fee of £99   You may be entitled to support with fees. Click here for more info.

Course Facts

Labour Market

By 2024, the sports coaching, sports instructing, and sports officials sector in Leeds is predicted to grow by 3.1%. (EMSI, 2019)

School of Sport Science & Exercise
Leeds City College
Leeds City College