A Sports Therapist holds a range of skills that enable them to work in a clinical or sporting environment. Graduate Sports Therapists, those who hold a relevant degree, are governed by The Society of Sports Therapists (SST). This organisation is responsible for upholding the standards of Graduate Sports Therapists across the United Kingdom.
Roles and responsibilities
The major roles and responsibilities of a Graduate Sports Therapist are defined by The Society of Sports Therapists (SST) as:
- Injury prevention
- Injury recognition and evaluation
- Injury management, treatment, and referral
- Injury rehabilitation
- Education and professional practice issues
In addition to these roles, Graduate Sports Therapists may work ‘pitchside’ to provide trauma support and emergency first aid. To prepare for this, we teach students specialist trauma skills on our BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy degree course.
Treatment of injuries can involve the use of specialised techniques, such as joint mobilisations, sports massage, and electrotherapy (e.g. muscle stimulation). Whereas injury rehabilitation focuses on designing and coaching structured exercise programmes, with the aim of returning individuals to peak physical performance—be that occupational or high-level sport.
Where do they work?
Graduate Sports Therapists have a range of career options. Many are self-employed, which can involve working in private practice, such as a sports injury clinic. Others work with sports teams, which could be part-time (lower level or amateur sport) or full-time (elite level or professional sport). In fact, many Graduate Sports Therapists have multiple job roles, due to the flexibility and options available.
Other job roles include:
- Exercise Therapist or Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor
- Multidisciplinary Clinic (working alongside other health professionals)
- Sports Massage Therapist
- Personal Trainer or Health Promotion (privately or in a health club)
- Research (either as a research associate or postgraduate study)
- Teaching in Further Education (college) or Higher Education (university)
How do I become a Graduate Sports Therapist?
To become a Graduate Sports Therapist, you need to hold a degree-level qualification. Here at Birmingham City University, our Sports Therapy course is accredited by the SST, which means our graduates are eligible to gain professional membership of the Society. Whether you choose to study with us, or somewhere else, there are a variety of study options to suit your lifestyle. Entry requirements will vary depending on how and where you would like to study.
What do our students think?
“I have had some fantastic experiences out in the field during my degree, one of which was shadowing the medical team at the Men’s Great Britain Basketball Team, only two months into starting here! It was a wonderful experience and one that made me even more focused to work within the sports industry. The content taught on my course is demanding but everyone is capable of learning and doing well. I think the most challenging thing for me is to keep achieving my expectation for each module.”
- Greg Downes, BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy student.