Diploma courses

(ISRM BTEC level 5 Professional Diploma in Soft Tissue Therapy)

Typically 12 weekend workshops over approximately one year (often Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm, each about a month apart) combining theory and practical subjects with closely supervised classroom practice.


Home study and practice

This is a BTEC level 5 qualification which is equivalent to a university under-graduate level of education. It has to provide you with a very high level of skill and knowledge to enable you to become a professional clinical therapist who can effectively assess and treat injuries. This cannot be compared to Level 3 or 4 qualifications which only teach you how to do a massage treatment and do not require such in-depth study. This is why we cannot run short intensive courses because it is not possible for the average student to complete all the essential home study in a shorter time.


We know from over 30 years of experience that the most talented and successful therapists we have trained are not always so strong in academic study. In fact, we have often found that those with the greatest hands-on skills also have learning issues such as Dyslexia. Being aware of this we have carefully designed the home study assignments to still be achievable to less academic students, or if English is not their first language. Our assignment markers are trained to make allowances for those with learning difficulties.



4 written assignments. These can be done from anywhere using our online system. The average student should allow about 5 hours a week to complete them on time and get high marks. Although we make allowances for non-English students and those with learning difficulties all assignments must be completed in English. We provide guidance and advice on how to achieve good results and offer extra help and support if necessary. We also allow students plenty of extra time to complete the assignment if they need it.


100 practice treatments outside the classroom (on average about 2 treatments per week). You start by treating friends and family, then as your skill, knowledge and confidence grows, your friends and family start to recommend you to their friends and family. In this way your client base increases as you progress so by the end of the course you should already have enough clients to start your professional practice with.


3 Case Studies to be completed towards the end of the course.


Theory exam and 1 Practical exam at the end of the course. Again we make allowances and provide special facilities for non-English students or those with learning issues.


Students on a ISRM Diploma course get free ISRM student membership through which they can obtain student insurance to practice (click here to visit Balens) and do their assignments on-line (requires an internet connection).


Starts Course code:  
23 Jan 2021 PT48 More
Central London
13 Mar 2021 LS 32E More
27 Mar 2021 LS 32SB More
The Cambridge School of Sports Massage
24 Apr 2021 CSSM-13 More
Central London
08 May 2021 LS 32F More
Central London
19 Jun 2021 LS 32G More
The Cambridge School of Sports Massage
18 Sep 2021 CSSM-14 More
Underpinning Theory
  • Functional anatomy of the musculoskeletal system
  • Musculoskeletal physiology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Pathology of injury
  • Contraindications
  • Acute Injury procedures
  • Injury scenarios
  • Case Studies
  • General anatomy (Blood, circulation, CV system, skin, nervous system, respiration, digestion)
  • Business and practice development
  • Case history taking
  • Muscle/tendon injuries
  • Joint injuries
  • Posture and trunk stability
  • Functional movement
  • Remedial massage techniques for all skeletal muscles
  • Sports massage
  • Injury treatment
  • Neuromuscular techniques
  • Soft Tissue Release technique
  • Muscle Energy Techniques (integrating Post Isometric Relaxation and Reciprocal Inhibition methods)
  • Myofascial techniques
  • Positional Release technique
  • Treating medical conditions
  • Post-acute rehabilitation
  • Remedial exercises
  • Injury prevention
  • Posture, core stability and functional exercises
  • Exercise compliance
  • Sport and Active lifestyle advice

Successful students will receive diplomas from their school, ISRM and BTEC. The qualification is recognised nationally and in some other countries as well. It enables therapists to practice independently as a professional Soft Tissue Therapist and obtain full Professional Indemnity insurance. It also entitles you to become a full member of ISRM as well as other professional bodies.


  • Ideally, 4 GCSE's and 1 'A' level, or a similar level of high-school education.
  •  Must have a basic acceptable massage qualification OR complete an  Introductory massage course at an ISRM school.
  •  Ideally, an active involvement in some sport, dance or exercise activity.
  •  A minimum of 21 years-old. Younger students can apply but acceptance will be subject to their schools rules.