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Undergraduate Courses 2017

Sports Therapy - BSc (Hons)



This leading, externally accredited BSc (Hons) degree programme in Sports Therapy is for motivated students with a strong interest in this fast-growing profession. The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences provides a first-rate experience for its students in an innovative environment, with enthusiastic and supportive staff. You are taught by leading researchers and practitioners in their field and learn to diagnose, treat and prevent sporting injuries. In addition to honing your clinical skills, you learn how to exercise, train and rehabilitate people, ranging from young competitors to ageing adults, including elite athletes and those with chronic disease. Graduates from this degree may be eligible for voluntary registration with the Health Professions Council in the future.

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences recently opened sports injury clinics and laboratories in an £11 million development at Medway Park. This centre of excellence houses some of the latest therapy equipment, giving you the opportunity to learn the latest techniques and interventions from our experts. You can put what you have learnt into practice by working under supervision in these sports injury clinics. In addition, the Medway campus has facilities specifically designed and equipped for sports therapy teaching, such as a new rehabilitation gym, teaching clinic and exercise testing laboratories. The School encourages a range of teaching methods, combining lectures and seminars with more innovative approaches, such as practicals, clinics and problem-based learning scenarios.

Independent rankings

For graduate prospects, Sports Science at Kent was ranked 8th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Sports Science at Kent was ranked 13th in The Complete University Guide 2017.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

SS313 - Introduction to Sport & Exercise Nutrition (15 credits)

This module provides students with an introduction to the basic principles of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Students will explore the macronutrients and micronutrients and Fluid guidelines. A strong physiological understanding underpins much of the module content

Macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein and fat Micronutrients: Vitamins and minerals, Fluid regulation, Thermoregulation and fluid guidelines, Competition nutrition.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SS345 - Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics (30 credits)

The main aims of this module are to provide students with the knowledge and ability to explore and gain knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics. Students will learn to describe the structure and function of the major bones, joints, muscles and soft tissue structures of the lower limb, upper limb and trunk.

Students will also be able to describe the basic movements of the body and to explain the basic biomechanical concepts of human movement.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SS346 - Introduction to Human Physiology (15 credits)

The main aims of this module are to explore and gain knowledge of human physiology. Students will study the major systems of the human body including the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system and the nervous system. Students will gain an understanding of their structure and function.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SS347 - Sports Massage (30 credits)

This module develops the students’ ability to record and review massage treatments effectively. The module will enable students to apply a range of sports massage and soft tissue techniques effectively and safely.

‘Sports Massage’ will enable students to acquire the practical skills in order to demonstrate a range of sports massage skills effectively and safely. This module develops the students’ ability to record and review massage treatments.

Basic and advanced massage strokes:

- Massage of the back, shoulders, gluteals, legs, arms, chest, neck and abdomen.

- Indications and contraindications to massage.

- Client consultations and record keeping: medical history, case notes.

- Professional ethics and Code of Practice

- Health, safety and security legislation

- Pre- and post-event sports massage

- Muscle Energy Techniques

- Soft Tissue Release

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SS348 - Introduction to Fitness Testing (15 credits)

This module looks at the systematic processes involved in testing fitness. Consideration is given to the evaluation of fitness in both the field and in the laboratory. A range of fitness tests for a variety of parameters of fitness are covered. Students are taught to consider the reliability and validity of the tests as well as the specificity of the test to the population they are working with.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Health screening

- Fitness assessment & evaluation

- Principles of sport & exercise training

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SS349 - Introduction to Professional Skills (15 credits)

The module aims to provide students with the necessary foundation of skills to study at degree level. It will cover a number of topics that will be invaluable for success in subsequent modules in your degree. This will include referencing and plagiarism, academic writing, critical thinking, basic statistics and research methods.

- Introduction to referencing and plagiarism

- Introduction to academic writing style

- Introduction to history of science

- Introduction to critical thinking

- Introduction to research methods

- Introduction to statistical concepts

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

SS559 - Sports Injuries (15 credits)

This module will enable students to interpret the pathophysiology of a range of sports injuries by anatomical region and tissue type. The module develops the students’ ability to relate the biomechanics of human movement and injury to the sports injuries process. Students will be required to critically analyse the risk factors associated with sports injuries.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Introduction to movement analysis

- Identify pathology of major sports injuries

- Classify the mechanisms of injury of major sports injuries

- Identify the risk factors of main sports injuries.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SS561 - Examination and Assessment (15 credits)

This module develops the students’ ability to examine and clinically assess the upper and lower limbs. The sports therapy examination and assessment protocol will be used as the framework for delivery of this module. This module will continue to build skills in problem solving and clinical reasoning including subjective and objective assessment and the relation to presenting signs and symptoms.

The following topics will be covered in this module are:

- Objective clinical examination and assessment techniques: theory, practice

and application.

- Upper and lower limb joint assessment incuding: ankle and foot; knee; hip;

shoulder; elbow; wrist and hand.

- Principles and practical application of assessing ranges of movement; muscle

length and strength; ligamentous stability; and special tests as appropriate for

each anatomical region.

- Requirements and maintenance of medical records including recording

assessment findings.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SS562 - Rehabilitation (30 credits)

The main aims of this module are to provide students with the knowledge and ability to recognise and describe the different stages and components of rehabilitation. Students will learn how to progress athletes form one stage to the next and be able to recognise when athletes are ready to return to their sport or activity. The students will also be able to recognise when an athlete needs to regress their rehabilitation programme. Students will be able to formulate sport specific rehabilitation programmes for a range of sports.

The following topics will be covered in this module:

Components of rehabilitation and the criteria for progression and return to play including strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility, range of motion (ROM), cardiovascular endurance, sports specific requirements and psychological factors and PRICE

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SS568 - Therapeutic Mobilisations (30 credits)

This module develops the students’ ability to examine, select and apply appropriate therapeutic interventions for the vertebral and peripheral joints.

This module will continue to build skills in problem solving and clinical reasoning based on the principles of joint mobilisation.

The following topics will be covered in this module:

• Philosophies and principles of manual therapy.

• Kinematics of vertebral and peripheral joints.

• Core stability and its role in trunk rehabilitation.

• Sports injuries of the spine.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SS570 - Fitness Training Methods (15 credits)

This module will provide students with a grounding in training theory and application, specifically looking at programme design and implementation in health and athletic performance.

Indicative content includes:

- Principles of sport & exercise training

- Training methodology

- Programme design & organisation

- Adaptations to training

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SS571 - Research Design and Planning (15 credits)

The module is intended to provide students with an understanding of research design, planning and data analysis. The first half of the module is dedicated to learning about inferential data analysis and the use of SPSS to understand basic statistical concepts (the normal distribution) and perform parametric and non-parametric statistical tests (e.g., Student’s t-test). The second half of the module is dedicated to research design and planning. IN this part of the module, students will develop a research proposal that will ultimately become the basis of their year 3 dissertation.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- A range of statistical tests analysing parametric and non-parametric data

- The process of forming a research question and hypothesis

- Ethics in research

- Scientific writing skills

- Supervisor contact

- Presentation of current dissertation projects

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

SS566 - Research Study in Sport Sciences (45 credits)

The course takes the form of an individual research study. There are 4 taught lectures covering the management of a research project. The research projects are then conducted with the supervision of a department tutor who will advise the student on issues such as methodology, analysis and presentation. It is the student’s responsibility to organise, conduct, analyse and present the research as required.

Credits: 45 credits (22.5 ECTS credits).

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SS560 - Clinical Practice (45 credits)

Students are required to undertake supervised clinical placement hours in order to gain eligibility for membership of the professional body. This module aims to provide the framework for students to undertake these hours and to support their development of professional skills and employability for the working environment. The module enables students to experience work with

injured athletes in a variety of sports therapy environments and across disciplines.

The majority of the module will be the demonstration of sports therapy skills within a clinical environment. Topics that will be covered in this module will include:

• Working in interdisciplinary teams and referrals.

• Professional sports therapy organisations and continuing professional development.

• Setting up and running a sports therapy practice.

• Anti-doping, substance abuse and the role of the sports therapist.

• Electrotherapy theory and practice.

• Taping and strapping theory and practice.

• Immobilisation and protective devices, ambulation aids and gait analysis and re-education.

• Common orthopaedic surgical procedures.

• Differential diagnosis and special tests

• Injury prevention and risk factors.

• Nutrition and psychology.

• Hydrotherapy.

Credits: 45 credits (22.5 ECTS credits).

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SS558 - Soft Tissue Techniques (15 credits)

Soft Tissue Techniques will enable students to pursue inquiry into the treatment of selected soft tissue injuries, using a variety of soft tissue techniques. This module develops the students’ ability to use critical analysis and clinical reasoning skills in the application of soft tissue techniques.

Students will be required to analyse current issues in the use of soft tissue techniques within the field of Sport and Exercise Therapy.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Deep Tissue Massage

- Soft Tissue Release

- Reciprocal Inhibition

- Trigger Points

- Positional Release

- Taping techniques

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SS576 - Specialised Issues in Sport and Exercise (15 credits)

Individuals from a variety of populations take part in sport and exercise. This module takes an in-depth look at 'athletic populations' and factors that impact on performance. Students will critically analyse and discuss what types of exercise are optimal for different athletes and consider the risks and benefits associated with sport and exercise activities. Students will focus on some key issues related to sports performance, e.g. managing athlete with respiratory issues? What strategies could be used to minimise musculoskeletal injury in child athletes? Should pregnant females play sport? The module utilises the expertise of staff within SSES, guest speakers and student contributions. Students will be encouraged to think about how they might work with athletes on an individual basis.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SS527 - Exercise for Special Populations (15 credits)

The topic areas covered in this module build upon the knowledge gained in SS348 Introduction to Fitness Testing & SS570 Fitness Training Methods, which covers the fundamental aspects of exercise testing and prescription. Special populations are those groups of individuals that may need some adaptation or modification to an exercise prescription or programme, to take into consideration a limitation, whether that be physiological, biological or psychosocial. The emphasis is on promoting health, fitness and safety in exercise, as well as some consideration being given to performance environments.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Exercise, physical activity & health

- Fitness assessment issues related to special population groups

- Children & physical activity

- Females & exercise issues

- Exercise considerations for a sedentary population

- Exercise & the older adult

- Special Exercise considerations & adaptations for special populations

- Risks & benefits of exercise for special populations

- Psychosocial issues & strategies for exercise / physical activity adherence

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SS533 - Applied Nutrition for Sports Performance (15 credits)

This module takes basic nutrition to the next level in an applied manner. The different needs of different sports persons are considered. Students will gain critical knowledge of common nutrition data collection and analysis methods.

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Elements of Digestion, absorption and energy metabolism

- Nutrition requirements for different sports and different types of individuals

- Changing body mass and related issues

- Nutritional Strategies

- Nutrition data collection and analysis

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SS546 - Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology (15 credits)

The module aims to provide students with more advanced knowledge and understanding of human responses and adaptations to sport and exercise environments. Using a psychological approach, students are offered the forum for discussion and understanding of cognitions, affect and behaviour and the complex interactions between these in the various scenarios that present within a sport or exercise setting. A key module aim is to provide an understanding of the psychological approaches within real ‘applied’ situations within sport and exercise settings

A synopsis of topics included in this module are:

- Introduction to the module

- Stress in sport and exercise

- Affect, mood, emotion

- Aggression in sport

- Interventions for behaviour change

- Psychological skills (imagery, self-talk, relaxation)

- Challenges for the sport and exercise psychologist

- Substance abuse

- Burnout in sport

- Psychology of sports injury

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Teaching & Assessment

The programme involves taking part in practical therapy sessions, clinical practice, designing training, small group seminars and private study. You are taught by a combination of lectures, practical sessions and seminars each week. You also spend additional time developing your clinical skills and experience through placements and in the student clinic.

The methods of assessment vary and predominately involve coursework, observed assessment, practical tests and clinical assessments. Some modules also feature written examinations.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • enable students to implement prevention strategies, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for injured athletes and exercisers
  • provide students with a multi-disciplinary education and an insight into being part of a multi-disciplinary team in sporting environments
  • present a valuable educational experience with the opportunity to learn through the integration of theory and practice
  • ensure that our graduating sports therapists have developed the level of knowledge and professional competencies to meet professional regulatory requirements.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • anatomy, nutrition and physiological principles related to sports and exercise
  • current developments in the practice and theory of sports therapy
  • the theoretical basis of qualitative and quantitative research
  • concepts of sport and exercise therapy relevant to becoming an autonomous sports therapist
  • the underpinning theory of prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries.

Intellectual skills

You gain intellectual skills in the following areas:

  • academic study including critical evaluation
  • how to plan, design, execute and communicate a piece of independent work that shows critical engagement with the relevant data
  • the use of knowledge to solve familiar and unfamiliar problems in order to develop reasoned arguments and challenge assumptions
  • self-appraisal and reflection on practice
  • how to recognise and respond to moral, legal, ethical and safety issues related to sports therapy.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in how to:

  • undertake competent, evaluative and reflective sports and exercise therapy
  • make judgements from the verbal and physical presentation of an athlete
  • apply and evaluate methods and techniques to prevent, treat and rehabilitate commonly-occurring sports injuries
  • demonstrate safe, appropriate, confident and competent patient-handling skills.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • communication, presentation, numeracy and IT
  • interactive skills and group-work
  • problem-solving
  • the ability to self-appraise and reflect on practice
  • the ability to plan and manage your own learning.


The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences was recently ranked in the top 5 in the UK for graduate employability. Graduates can immediately embark on a career as an accredited graduate sports therapist. Sports therapists can be employed or self-employed in, for example, a sports injury clinic, a sports club, National Institute of Sport, or with a professional team. Our graduates have gone into a range of careers including teaching, especially PE and/or science, physiotherapy, the NHS, physical activity or health promotion, health and fitness clubs, and sports development with local government authorities and national governing bodies of sport; or teaching/lecturing in a sport or exercise-related field.

Professional recognition

Graduates from this degree may be eligible for voluntary registration with the Health Professions Council in the future.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB including B in an appropriate subject (eg Biology, Chemistry, Sport, Physical Education, Statistics, Mathematics, Applied Science)


C in Mathematics

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

18 units at Distinction, Distinction, Merit in a sport or science subject 

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 16 at HL including Biology/Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics 5 at HL or 6 at SL and Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.


General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our scholarships pages.

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

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The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £13810
Part-time £4625 £6920

UK/EU fee paying students

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

Key Information Sets

Full Time

Part Time

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

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