• Code:EF
  • Certification QQI Level 5 Award in Sport, Recreation and Exercise (5M5146)
                                            ITEC Level 3 in Sports Massage Therapy
  • Duration One Year


This is a one-year course designed to prepare students for a career in the treatment of Sports Injuries and Physical Therapy. The majority of students successfully completing this course progress onto Third Level Degree Programmes in Technology Universities nationwide. The main aim of the VTCT (ITEC) Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage is to gain the necessary practical and theoretical skills in order to provide sports massage therapy treatments to the general public and to gain employment in the sports industry.

Programme of Study


  • Sport and Recreation Studies 
  • Sports Anatomy & Physiology 
  • Sports Psychology  
  • Exercise and Fitness 
  • Nutrition  
  • Communications 
  • Work Experience 
  • Kinesiology
  • First Aid


  • Professional practice in sports massage  
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Sports Massage 
  • Principles of health and fitness
  • Sport Massage treatments 
  • Understand the principles of soft tissue dysfunction

Components subject to change

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate or its equivalent. Extenuating circumstances may be considered
  • Leaving Certificate Applied Award
  • Full QQI Level 4 award
  • Mature Applicants – experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications

Places are offered following successful interview. Garda vetting is necessary prior to work experience placement.

Career Opportunities
  • Sports Massage Therapist
  • Sports Injury Clinics
  • Health & Wellbeing Centres
  • Hotels
  • Leisure Centres
Higher Education Progression*

Examples of potential courses include:


  • Professional Trainer, Strength & Conditioning

SETU - South East Technological University (Carlow Campus):

  • Physiology and Health Science (SE936)
  • Sports Rehabilitation and Athletic Therapy (SE901)

SETU - South East Technological University (Waterford Campus):

  • BSc in Sports Coaching (SE904)
  • Health Sciences Common Entry (SE900)
  • Exercise Science (SE902)
  • BBus in Recreation & Sport Management (SE933)
  • BBus (H) in Recreation & Sport Management (SE906)

TUS - Technological University of the Shannon (Athlone Campus):

  • Sport Science with Exercise Physiology (US951)
  • Athletic and Sports Rehabilitation Therapy (US957)

MTU – Munster Technological University (Kerry Campus) :

  • Health and Exercise Sciences with Massage Therapy (MT512)

*Places are not guaranteed in these Institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria. Please consult the individual college websites for more information on application. Information available also at www.cao.ie

Course Co-Ordinator

Charlie Batt

Where are they now?

1 ellen roche"When I accepted my place in Bife, I knew I was going to work hard for the year. To reach Level 8 Sports Rehabilitation and Athletic course I had to achieve 5 distinctions in my end of year exams. I was extremely nervous as I was afraid, I wouldn’t be able to achieve this, but with the motivation and great learning resources such as my lectures and the library I was able to achieve eight distinctions out of my eight subjects I studied in Bife. From here, in august of 2022 I received an early offer in Round Zero for 2 positions in IT Carlow, these were:
1. Sports rehabilitation and athletic therapy level 8
2. Physiology and health level 6/7 I accepted the level 8 course. I would like to say to anyone who is considering doing a PLC course in BIFE, to 100% apply.
It was the best decision I made as a stepping stone to get me to where I am today. The help and effort from tutors with regards to my course was second to none always, and they were always on hand to help and advise me." - Ellen Roche

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