Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

72 (September 2021 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Set yourself apart as an industry-ready sports therapist and rehabilitation specialist, fully prepared to go into practice after graduation. Starting your studies with a foundation year gives you all the support you need to excel.

A 'The Society of Sports Therapists' logo featuring a navy logo of a man running.

Demand for skilled and confident sport therapy professionals is running at an all-time high. This course ensures you are ideally placed to take full advantage of the exciting career opportunities ahead.

Gain industry-ready skills

Clients and patients rely on sports therapists to help them reach optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports-specific fitness. As a professional working in this field, you’ll harness the principles of sport and exercise to help boost performance and develop injury prevention and rehabilitation programmes. You’ll also deliver assessments and treatments in a variety of recreational, training and competitive settings.

This course offers a powerful blend of science and practice. You’ll gain in-depth knowledge of anatomy and movement while covering the rehabilitation process in all its aspects, including manual therapy techniques, exercise therapy, and sports massage.  

Throughout, we introduce the latest research in this rapidly evolving discipline to help advance your practice as a therapist and ensure your work is informed by current thinking.

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

Boost your professional credibility

Many jobs within sports therapy and rehabilitation today require applicants to be registered with The Society of Sports Therapists. Because our BSc (Hons) is accredited by the Society, you’ll graduate with a highly regarded and nationally recognised qualification, together with a professional standing.

As the lead organisation for sports therapists in the UK, the Society gives its seal of approval to degrees which set high professional standards. When you start your course, you’ll therefore have the opportunity to become a member of the Society. Once you graduate, you’ll then be eligible to apply for full membership as a graduate sports therapist. This represents an important addition to your CV and will help you stand out when meeting potential employers.

Action-packed learning

Your studies will be varied, inspirational and grounded in the realities of professional practice. No day is the same: you could be taking part in placements, heading off on fieldtrips, investigating real-world case studies, undertaking laboratory work or challenging yourself with problem-solving exercises.

Opportunities for work placements are a cornerstone of this degree, enhancing your career prospects and ensuring you are ready to practise effectively once you graduate. You could gain hands-on experience with private therapy clinics or University sports teams, working with clients under expert supervision. Your clinical placements will amount to more than 200 hours overall.

Our programme of fieldtrips is equally important in broadening your professional outlook. In the past, our students have visited sporting events such as 10-kilometre runs, half marathons and golf tournaments for a close-up view of the work of the sports therapist.

Draw on our vast professional experience

You’ll be inspired and motivated by a teaching team with substantial expertise in sports therapy and rehabilitation, as well as wide-ranging partnerships with sports clubs. Such is the reputation of our staff that they are often called upon to provide consultancy services for elite track and field athletes, golfers and professional footballers.

Thanks to our strong industry collaborations, our course features exciting opportunities for you to attend guest lectures, take part in demonstrations and undertake employer-led projects.

Impressive sports facilities

Your learning experience and your social life at University will be enriched by the imposing facilities at our £10.8m Sports Centre. You can improve your practical know-how in our dedicated sport therapy clinical teaching rooms.

The centre also features a main hall, fitness gym with strength and conditioning area, studios, squash and badminton courts, an internal climbing wall, sprint track, changing rooms, treatment rooms and a café. With floodlit all-weather pitches and tennis courts adding to the picture, it means there is a wealth of opportunities to take part in a diverse range of sports – for elite performers and beginners alike. 

Join Team Derby

If you enjoy a challenge and would like to make the most of your own sporting passion and prowess, you could become involved with Team Derby which is the focal point for the University’s sporting community. It encompasses all aspects of sport, including courses, numerous sports clubs, the Athletics Union and sport development activities.

A video featuring out students experiences on the performance sport programme at University of Derby

View Performance Sport at Derby video transcript

A female Sport Therapy student working in our Human Performance Unit.

Work placement confirms Olivia's passion for the future

Work placements during your degree can help show you a path to your future. Olivia Brown’s work placement confirmed that a future in sport therapy is where her passion lies.

Find out more about Olivia's placementFind out more about Olivia's placement
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What you will study

Foundation YearFoundation YearYear 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Optional Placement YearOptional Placement YearYear 3Year 3

Code: 3EV500

Research Methods and Data Handling

This module aims to develop an understanding of why and how research is conducted within science disciplines. Students will develop a working knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative data handling skills through the use of Excel and other appropriate software. Introductions to formulating and operationalising research questions and hypotheses will be included along with an exploration of the rationale behind applying different research methods for different purposes and the ethical considerations linked to these.

The module will be taught through a series of lectures introducing the theoretical background to research. These will be supplemented by workshops in which students will begin to apply the concepts they have heard about, developing their own research understanding in a practical way. Indicative content will include consideration of independent and dependent variables, research questions, hypotheses, ethics, quantitative and qualitative data, handling and recording data and report writing.

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20 Credits

Code: 3EV501

Academic and Practical Skills

This module aims to develop the study skills essential for study at university and facilitate the transition into Higher Education. The module will help student understand university systems and processes, the study skills they require to succeed and the role they have in their own learning.

The module will be taught through a series of lectures, tutorials, and workshop sessions. The module will cover three broad themes linked to individual awareness / personal development, digital literacy and study skills. Topics will be delivered by a range of academic and specialist support staff. Indicative content includes: learning styles, student wellbeing, employability, scientific writing, oral communication, teamwork, note-taking, exam preparedness, information location and retrieval and plagiarism and referencing.

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20 Credits

Code: 3FO501

Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology

This module will provide students with a theoretical understanding of physiology and anatomy of the relevant body systems. Fundamental anatomical and physiological concepts will be explored for a range of body systems in relation to what these systems consist of and how they function. The concepts of health and disease will be introduced as the range of body systems are explored.

The module will incorporate both theoretical and practical learning to enable students to apply their knowledge of the human body.

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20 Credits

Code: 3SO500

Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Science

This module provides an overview of the sporting landscape within the United Kingdom and how recent developments have helped shape it. Students will gain an understanding of the broad range of subject disciplines attributed to sport and exercise and begin to develop an appreciation of the skills required to work within the diverse sport and exercise field.

This module focusses on both the ‘art’ and ‘science’ of sport and exercise to ensure a grounding knowledge for all. Students will learn of the different roles a sport and exercise professional may take on and the skills attributed to each in order to be successful.

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20 Credits

Code: 2MO500


This is a level 2 module. The module is oriented towards providing students with sufficient English skills to enable them to engage confidently with level 4 modules.
20 Credits

Code: 2MO501


The course is equivalent to GCSE Maths and covers statistics and probability, number work, geometry, and algebra and graphs.
20 Credits

Code: 3GL501

Foundations in Physics

This Module will introduce students to the basic physical principles which underpin the Applied Sciences, including Geosciences and Sport. The module will apply the theoretical concepts to a wide range of practical applications, using laboratory and field exercises as well as employing problem- solving exercises within tutorial sessions. The module will also consolidate some of the basic mathematical skills required for this discipline.

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of topics and skills in Physics that are relevant to understanding the Applied Sciences
  • Appreciate the contribution that Physics makes to understanding and providing solutions to a range of real-world applications
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20 Credits

Code: 3PS500

Fundamentals of Human Behaviour

This module will introduce students to psychology as an integrated and multi-faceted discipline. Students will explore both classic and contemporary aspects of psychology from a position of little or no knowledge. They will gain an understanding of the breadth of psychology and the ways in which the topic areas included can be approached from a number of different theoretical perspectives using a variety of methodological approaches.
20 Credits

Code: 4SO500

Academic and Research Skills for Sport and Exercise

This module is taught in two parts: Academic skills and research skills. The academic skills component provides students with grounding in the key skills needed to be successful at undergraduate study; including, literature searching, literature review, academic writing, referencing, and presentation skills. The research skills component gives students an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods, including descriptive statistics.

Students will learn how to collect and interpret data using a range of approaches including questionnaires, interviews and experimental methods. The emphasis on the module is to develop student’s confidence in engaging with academic literature including the associated terminology.

Personal Development Planning (PDP) will be embedded into the program with a series of “step-to-success” workshops which will support students in their professional development . Students will be required to engage with the PDP programme by collating hours in a Sport and Exercise based placement in addition to participation in associated activities in an area related to sport.

Most of the delivery will be based on seminar sessions wherein students will be given structured tasks which will be completed individually or in groups. Delivery and assessment will provide students with the opportunity to engage and explore their own area of interest with respect to the associated academic literature.

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20 Credits

Code: 4SO508

Principles of Sport and Exercise Physiology

Knowledge of how the different parts of the body function during physical activity is necessary to understand how humans can take part in sport and exercise.

This module examines the basic physiology of the relevant body systems. What these systems consist of, how they function and how they respond to an acute bout of physical activity will be considered. In addition to building core knowledge of sport and exercise physiology, students will acquire a set of core skills in the laboratory. This module underpins the subsequent study of sport, exercise and health, and is therefore important preparation for modules at Levels 5 and 6.

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20 Credits

Code: 4TL526

Introduction to Sport and Injury Biomechanics

The human body continues to push the boundaries of performance across all areas of athleticism; two of the most critical characteristics situated at the centre of our physical potential are movement and adaptation. This module demonstrates to students that movement is essential to life itself, whilst introducing students to the fundamental principles of physics and mechanics placed into the context of their influences upon human movement.

In the context of therapy, students will be expected to apply and build upon their increasing knowledge of the musculoskeletal system; expanding their understanding of the specialist terms and parlance employed in the discussion and depiction of human movement. Students will be introduced to various techniques and equipment that relate to the measurement and assessment of stature, posture and movement. Students will go onto understand how the range of physical forces potentially critical to the occurrence of an injury are equally crucial in the process healing, repair in addition normal tissue health.

The module will offer insight in to the structure, function and adaptive nature of key tissues of our musculoskeletal system e.g. bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Students will be introduced to the principle factors that relate to injury in terms of ‘cause and effect’ i.e. extrinsic and intrinsic risk factors relative to both chronic and acute scenarios.

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20 Credits

Code: 4TL527

Introduction to Therapeutic Principles

This module provides students with a valuable foundation in assessment and treatment and will complement the knowledge and understanding being developed in other level 4 modules; Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Introduction to Sport and Injury Biomechanics. It will also acting as a precursor to the Musculoskeletal Assessment: Peripheral, Sports Trauma Management and Injury Biomechanics and Corrective Principles modules at level 5.

The overall modular framework is set within the context of an athletic injury and aligns to the stages of tissue healing. The students will be introduced to topics following the journey that an athlete / patient would experience from the original injury occurrence through to the end of the therapeutic stage.

Initially the module will look at acute injuries relative to the key tissues of the musculoskeletal system e.g. ligaments, tendons and skeletal muscle. Students will also look at the way clinicians grade / classify the injury and its severity. The associated physical examination (aka objective exam) will reflect this acute injury scenario and the assessment procedure employed is targeted to the immediate assessment of the athletes injury status in addition to the concept of on-field return to play assessment.

The various therapy modalities used to treat such injuries will be introduced, again relative to the tissue healing timeline. Students will consider a range of treatment modalities from the management of the swelling synonymous with acute injury via, strapping techniques and cryotherapy; or the reduction of pain, again via cryotherapy or through electrotherapeutic modalities such as interferential or TENS.

Ultimately the students will gain an important insight into the selection and integration of treatment procedures. Students will also be exposed to the proposed mechanisms that both underpin the symptoms as well the treatment e.g. the theory of pain in addition to how modalities such as cold application or TENS might positively influence the patients perception of it.

As the healing process progresses new tissue will be laid down, this will provide students with the opportunity to appreciate one of the most central tenets of sport therapy; understanding that the same stimulus that typically causes acute injury i.e. mechanical load is the same variable that is vital for its successful treatment.

As such students will develop a practical appreciation for the optimal balance in the application and manipulation of load as applied to the tissues; this will offer the students the opportunity to build an excellent foundation in the practical appreciation of how load influences tissue healing and adaptation. This topic will be further developed during the level 4 injury biomechanics module.

As the injury progresses through the timeline, regular assessment / reassessment is a fundamental part of this therapeutic stage. Subsequently students will go on to study the basic principles of ongoing objective assessment and explore the underpinning reasoning that clinicians apply to assessment i.e. selecting what information is required to accurately assess a patients progress concerning healing and treatment effectiveness. The understanding and skills developed here will complement and significantly support the Level 5 musculoskeletal assessment module.

Additionally students will be familiarised to the key legal requirements incumbent upon all practitioners; whereby the associated framework will be contextualised within the setting of the patient consultation process i.e. subjective examination, note-taking and record-keeping. The Overall clinical examination of patients is an essential area for Sports Therapists to develop competency in. Students will be introduced to the relative nuances of the subjective examination determining the role it plays in identifying and protecting both patient and therapist e.g. ‘red flag’ (contraindications) and ‘yellow flag’ situations i.e. screening for psychosocial issues.

Please note that whilst we expect a professional manner during ones studies at all times, this module covers techniques and treatments that have the potential to cause serious harm to individuals where the correct process is not followed. In response it is essential that students follow the correct procedures and protocols as they are taught. If you are in any doubt then ensure you check your actions with the academic / supervisor in charge.

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20 Credits

Code: 4TL528

Musculoskeletal Anatomy

This module provides students with the opportunity to consider the joints and muscles of both the Upper and Lower Limb relative to their position on the appendicular skeleton i.e. origin and insertion including their relative orientation (superior / inferior and superficial / deep appreciation).

This will involve students exploring key anatomical structures and their relationship to function; this will require students to study the passive and active structures that surround the major peripheral joints and go on to consider how and where a joint derives its necessary stability and integrity from.

As these key aspects are covered students will also be introduced to the Upper and Lower Limb anatomy relative to commonly observed patterns of dysfunction and injury.

As a therapist anatomical knowledge is one aspect but the importance of how to observe / analyse posture and movement relative to associated anatomy is a crucial skill that should not be underestimated.

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20 Credits

Code: 4TL529

Sports Massage

This module is designed to enable students to develop the practical and professional skills required to administer an effective sports massage. Students will develop communication and consultation skills and continue to develop basic subjective screening and objective assessment skills. Students will learn valuable handling skills in the context of range of motion assessment (active and passive).

Safe and effective practice is of paramount importance with students being offered a clear appreciation for the necessary indications and contraindications to sports massage.

Students will be able to plan, apply and justify effective sports massage treatments through the appropriate selection of techniques relative to the client’s needs. Students will administer a pre, inter and post event sports massage to non-pathological tissue.

This module will also develop students understanding of the ethical and professional codes of conduct associated with the scope of practice for massage therapy in the UK; alongside an appreciation for the associated evidence-base.

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20 Credits

Code: 5SO502

Research Methods for Sport and Exercise

This module builds upon the knowledge and skills developed in the level 4 Research and Academic Skills module. The module is designed to prepare students for their dissertation at level 6. Students will conduct a systematic literature review in a topic area related to their degree, in order to develop a coherent research question.

Particular emphasis will be given to developing a robust rationale for the research question proposed based on a review of existing literature. Furthermore, students will propose a research methodology based on the rationale developed. The overall focus of the module is on the process of “doing research”, and this will reflect in the delivery methods used. As such, students will be encouraged to explore the suitability different methodologies with respect to the research question asked. There will be the opportunity within sessions for students to attempt to critically review literature, and peer review research proposals. In addition to developing a research rationale and design for a proposed research project, students will undertake a range of in-class assessed qualitative and quantitative data analysis tasks using appropriate software, including descriptive and inferential statistics.

The Steps-to-Success programme will be implemented in this module, in conjunction with the employability and careers office. The focus will be placed on graduate schemes, teacher training, networking, job applications and masters programmes. Students will be required to engage with the Professional Development Planning (PDP) for Sport and Exercise programme by collating hours in a Sport and Exercise based placement in addition to participation in associated activities in an area related to sport.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Develop a coherent research question based on a review of the associated academic literature
  2. Provide a robust rationale for the research question proposed based on academic literature
  3. Develop a suitable research methodology for the proposed research question
  4. Analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative data gathered from a range of research methods used in sport and exercise
  5. Demonstrate evidence of Professional Development through engagement with PDP and Sport and Exercise placement

Module content

The module will focus on the following topic areas:

  • Research proposal writing
  • Literature review
  • Research question rational
  • Research methodology (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Reliability and validity
  • Thematic analysis
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential statistics
  • Probability and significance
  • Reporting/summarising data
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20 Credits

Code: 5TL529

Injury Biomechanics & Corrective Principles

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of how events that lead to an injury ultimately relate to the ‘load’ i.e. forces as they are applied to and experienced by the body as it moves.

Load, and the variables that relate to it typically lead to one of three outcomes:

  • An acute sporting injury i.e. typical faulty loading of an excessive magnitude
  • A chronic injury i.e. faulty loading involving much lower forces yet repeated / experienced many times over
  • A situation whereby the two are interlinked e.g. chronic problem increasing the risk of and leading directly to an acute injury

Students will consider the common peripheral musculoskeletal injuries and conditions including their associated risk factors. Students will also consider the impact of musculoskeletal dysfunction as it relates to performance. This requires a sound understanding of functional anatomy. Students will also be introduced to the pathoanatomy that belies general chronic postures and patterns of dysfunction / derangement.

Students will go on to explore the principles that relate to corrective exercise in terms of the postural / movement analysis methods aimed at identifying faulty movement. Students will study go on to consider how such principles can be used to design exercise prescription programmes; when applied to the management of pain in symptomatic dysfunction as well as restoration of asymptomatic movement patterns with view to mitigating sport specific injury risks (a.k.a. prehabilitation).

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20 Credits

Code: 5TL530

Manual Therapy

This module will build upon students understanding of functional anatomy and biomechanics gleaned at level 4; specifically relative to the peripheral joints e.g. ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow etc.

Students will learn and build their confidence with the relevant handling skills whilst investigating the relationship between accessory (aka arthrokinematic) and physiological (aka osteokinematic) movements that occur at the various joints. The majority of the module will be based upon the central principles generally referred to as the ‘Maitland approach’ but will also include the treatment techniques associated with ‘Mulligan’ i.e. mobilisations with movement (MWM).

Please note that whilst we expect a professional manner during ones studies at all times, this module covers techniques and treatments that have the potential to cause serious harm to individuals where the correct process is not followed. In response it is essential that students follow the correct procedures and protocols as they are taught. If you are in any doubt then ensure you check your actions with the academic / supervisor in charge.

Students will cover the indications, contraindications, benefits and precautions etc.; going on to study the associated clinical reasoning skills inherent to the aforementioned approaches. The module will also cover the associated assessment techniques and consolidate the skills introduced at level 4 and level 5 (preceding semester). The ultimate aim being to produce effective practitioners who are capable of prioritising patient safety.

The manual treatment skills that underpin the treatment techniques e.g. graded mobilisations will be studied in the context of normal / altered function e.g. pain and stiffness; and applied within the context of the major joints of the periphery.

Likewise the module will consider the evidence relative to the above, encouraging students to consider these techniques relative to more contemporary and arguably more holistic approaches e.g. those that favour healing through movement.

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20 Credits

Code: 5TL531

Musculoskeletal Assessment: Peripheral

Students will be introduced to the assessment techniques including subjective and objective assessment of the peripheral joints. With reference to the objective assessment, students will also be introduced to the matters concerning equity, diversity and ethnicity in the clinical environment. Students will extend their knowledge of pathology and the common sporting injuries as well as their functional appreciation for normal joint mechanics.

Students will be provided with appropriate learning materials and are expected to carry out self-guided anatomy of the upper and lower limb nerves and will be tested on this knowledge in the final assessment.

Students will gain skills in safe and effective examination procedures e.g. observation, palpation, active and passive joint assessment, ligament tests, end-feel etc.; as well as developing a comprehensive understanding of the associated theory and evidence i.e. sensitivity vs specificity.

The theoretical underpinning will be applied to progression of the student’s clinical reasoning skills alongside note-taking in the SOAP format.

Treatment per se will not be covered in the module but patient education and advice will be discussed along with onward medical referral.

Interpretation of findings and administration of special tests will also be covered.

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20 Credits

Code: 5TL532

Sports Specific Rehabilitation

Broadly speaking there are two strands to this module; the first being the rehabilitation aspect, including exercise and injury-prevention and the other being the fact that this process will typically involve other professional expertise.

Specifically the rehabilitation strand will build upon the exercise physiology and concepts of tissue healing covered at level 4. Students will be required to make clear decisions based upon an athletes initial clinical needs, later requiring integration with performance i.e. from early through to late-stage rehabilitation.

This decision-making process will be applied to the design and execution of progressive exercise plans, ultimately tailored to develop a range of skills and athletic qualities. Specifically student are required to utilise exercise and movement to guide and facilitate the rehabilitation process, a procedure that is founded upon the manipulation of exercise and movement. This represents a relationship that endures throughout the all phases of healing, facilitating not only an athlete’s eventual return to play but also playing a significant role in reducing the chances of future injury.

The second strand will require students to establish an appreciation for the necessary working relationships and roles that are core to a multi-disciplinary / inter-disciplinary team (MDT / IDT) e.g. nutrition, psychology, strength and conditioning. Essentially the Sport Therapist may well be the effective ‘lead’ practitioner relative to an injured athlete and therefore an appreciation for other professions is crucial e.g. in the process of rehabilitation management they may well have to refer or recruit other specialists into the care provision of the athlete.

Students will go on to consider the impact, influences and risks that a number of factors can have upon athlete performance, ranging from the effect that the working format of the MDT / IDT can exert to the issues that can arise as a result of the athlete’s lifestyle / behaviour.

Ultimately both strands converge in reference to a ‘return to play’ decision, an area with relatively little in the way of quantification or standardisation but one that is generally recursive requiring the input from a number of specialisms.

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20 Credits

Code: 5TL533

Sports Trauma Management

Students will be introduced to the theory and practice concerning the pre-hospital management of acute illness / trauma in sport.

Please note that whilst we expect a professional manner during ones studies at all times, this module covers techniques and treatments that have the potential to cause serious harm to individuals where the correct process is not followed. In response it is essential that students follow the correct procedures and protocols as they are taught. If you are in any doubt then ensure you check your actions with the academic / supervisor in charge.

This module offers students an industry-recognised certification required for one’s clinical placement (level 6) and on-going practice. Additionally students receive this certificate embedded within a format that extends significant theory and depth of understanding to the key assessment and treatment skills offered in the certificate.

The module requires two forms of assessment, the first relating to the certificate (please note that successful completion of the certificate makes no contribution to the overall module grade).

The items covered by the certificate will be included in the relevant materials.

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20 Credits

Code: 5SO528

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
40 Credits

Code: 5SO529

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline.

During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.

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20 Credits

Code: 6SO998

Independent Study for Sport and Exercise

The independent studies module provides students with the opportunity to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by conducting an in-depth investigation; requiring a systematic and significant application of both acquired research skills and understanding.

The investigation may adopt a variety of frameworks, typically dependent upon a combination of both the discipline and topic in question. The rationale being to avoid limiting the students to the traditional empirical research format; instead empowering them to select an investigatory design that is best suited to the conduct, completion and presentation of the study in focus e.g. an industry report or an individually focused / institutionally targeted case study etc. 

Irrespective of the study framework, all work requires students to apply critical scrutiny and analysis to a diversity of appropriate theories, concepts and procedures. Such work will inevitably relate to a field of study deemed appropriate by a specialist in the area. The module offers the opportunity to develop an in-depth critical understanding alongside the refinement of both their subject and research skills.

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40 Credits

Code: 6TL521

Advanced Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Assessment: Spinal

This module will progress students assessment, treatment, and manual therapy skills covered at level 4 and 5 and integrate them within the context of the key structural and functional elements of the vertebral column.

Please note that whilst we expect a professional manner during ones studies at all times, this module covers techniques and treatments that have the potential to cause serious harm to individuals where the correct process is not followed. In response it is essential that students follow the correct procedures and protocols as they are taught. If you are in any doubt then ensure you check your actions with the academic / supervisor in charge.

Students will cover the structure, function, anatomy of the axial skeletal system enabling students to systematically and critically evaluate the signs and symptoms related to the various pathologies and dysfunctions of the spine and pelvic regions. As the spine is one of the most injured body parts in sport, both the acute and chronic mechanisms will be considered. Students will go on to cover the fundamentals components of a patients neurological examination and its interpretation relative to complaints e.g. radiculopathy, referred pain etc.

The module will develop student’s clinical reasoning and decision-making skills, placed within the context of sport and integrated with the associated evidence-base. Students will go on to cover assessment and treatment / management of spinal complaints; as with the peripheral joint assessments, the Maitland approach will be central to the direction of the module whilst also considering the body of work associated with Mulligan.

Students will also go on to consider the role of exercise and its integration with manual treatments relative to the concepts central to core stability and spinal stabilisation pertinent to both asymptomatic and symptomatic resolution.

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20 Credits

Code: 6TL522

Advanced Soft-tissue Skills and Clinical/Critical Thinking

This module will enable students to develop the professional and practical skills required to understand, evaluate and apply myofascial and neuromuscular techniques.

Please note that whilst we expect a professional manner during ones studies at all times, this module covers techniques and treatments that have the potential to cause serious harm to individuals where the correct process is not followed. In response it is essential that students follow the correct procedures and protocols as they are taught. If you are in any doubt then ensure you check your actions with the academic / supervisor in charge.

Students will develop their clinical reasoning relative the associated evidence-base and in the context of comparative treatments i.e. selecting one technique over another and critically evaluate the therapeutic outcomes of said techniques.

The module will explore advanced aspects of the objective examination and apply understanding of the various sources of referred pain and its recognition; thus extending their understanding of peripheral nerves, as well as extending students contextual appreciation for nerve root involvement introduced in spinal assessment.

As a result the student’s progress their capacity in construction and subsequent testing of a clinical impression / working hypothesis.

Students will learn a range of advanced techniques related to: Muscle Energy Techniques, Myofascial Release, Soft Tissue Release and Specific Soft-Tissue Mobilisations (SSTM’s). The techniques and applications that are represented by these terms will be considered in order to offer the student an appreciation for inherent treatment rationales as proposed by the originators of the techniques in addition to the associated evidence-base.

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20 Credits

Code: 6TL523

Sports Conditioning

Students will consider what and how the term ‘strength and conditioning’ applies to sport and appreciate the common ground shared between prehabilitation / rehabilitation and performance enhancement.

The module will discuss fundamental training concepts and principles largely concerning the application of resistance training. 

Performance terms such as strength, force, power, rate of force development, high-speed strength, acceleration, agility, and functional strength will be analysed and discussed building on modules such as ‘Injury Biomechanics and Corrective Principles’.; Topics will be discussed from the perspective of movement enhancement and stability-based models e.g. kinetic chain theory and therefore applied to Sport Therapy practice.

To achieve this, students will look at the components of a sports-specific needs analysis aimed at serving such an approach.

This will involve students analysing the sports-specific movement patterns and select / design exercises that resonate with the movement i.e. exercises are designed with the central rationale of enhancing a movement as opposed to a ‘muscle’.

This module will allow students to further refine their movement analysis skills and examine the principles of movement enhancement when carried out via the application of conditioning methods. As well as this, students will build on the exercise prescription principles developed in stage two.

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20 Credits

Code: 6TL524

Clinical Placement

Whilst not a traditional module in terms of delivery the 200 hours of clinical placement represents the pinnacle of all that has been studied thus far. Students are provided with a range of opportunities across an array of clinical and exercise-related environments; all aimed at maximising students’ experiential exposure and input.

Please note that whilst we expect a professional manner during ones studies at all times, this module will involve you applying techniques and treatments that have the potential to cause serious harm to individuals where the correct process is not followed. In response it is essential that students follow the correct procedures and protocols as they are taught. If you are in any doubt then ensure you check your actions with the academic / supervisor in charge.

Whilst a sizeable number of hours can be provided within the University’s own clinic; in the spirit of lifelong-learning and professional development students are encouraged (alongside consultation with their tutor) to analyse and pursue their individual professional / academic needs.

In contrast, students will also be provided with input that directly relates to the working environment e.g. manual handling sessions, safeguarding topics, interpreting clinical imaging; essentially aiming to offer experiences that will facilitate their transition into the clinical environment, i.e. some sessions will be remain ‘open’ and be designed around the students requests; this may take the form of any aspect or subset across the area.

From an official perspective students are expected to progress the skills and understanding already gleaned from the course itself; the aim being that they will successfully attain the required standards of a Sports Therapist as detailed in The Society of Sport Therapists Standards of Proficiency.

From a clinical perspective, the reality is that students are to spend time in sports-injury environments so that they can learn to contextualise the knowledge and skills they have and relate this to the information they collect from a patient.

Students will learn how to establish rapport as they manage, organise and react to the data retrieval process inherent to the subjective and objective assessments.

Following this students will develop their capacity for the interpretation and evaluation of findings, resulting in the decision-making process that will lead to a safe and appropriate treatment plan; a process that relies upon a clear underpinning of theory, evidence and skilled application.

Development of such skills can only occur in the real-world and through graded exposure and supervised experience, students will learn to meet and deal with the natural complexity of real-life clinical situations.

More information
20 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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How you will learn

You’ll learn through a combination of clinics, lectures, practical sessions, seminars, laboratories, workshops, tutorials, and guided self-study. During your study, you will complete a number of work placements in our real world learning labs and, using the knowledge, skills, and understanding you acquire, you’ll learn to evaluate research and use it to develop your clinical decision making skills and inform your practice as a therapist.


The course assesses the professional, academic, and scientific skills considered key to becoming a research savvy, industry-ready sports therapist and rehabilitator. Assessments will include oral presentations, structured clinical examinations, written projects, problem solving exercises, laboratory reports, professional development work, exercise prescription tasks, essays, practical viva voce, and case studies.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

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Who will teach you

Jennifer Wilson
Programme leader

Jennifer is a lecturer within the Sport and Exercise department at the University of Derby.

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Entry requirements

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSE

GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study.

IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year



£14,045 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit


Because this course is aligned to the professional guidelines set out by The Society of Sports Therapists, you’ll be fully prepared to go into practice as an injury and exercise-based rehabilitation and fitness specialist. You can also progress to roles working in multi-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary healthcare teams.

Your qualification also puts you on the pathway to postgraduate education, including the exciting and innovative masters courses available at Derby. You could consider our MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Science.

Through our Professional Development Package, you'll gain valuable transferable skills, including:

Careers and Employment Service

To boost your employment skills, you can access the University's Careers and Employment Service. The team can connect you with employers to help find opportunities for work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering. Our careers consultants are also on hand to guide you through the career options for your degree, CV writing, or starting your own business - and we commit to helping you for three years after you graduate to find a job. 

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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