Soft Tissue Therapy HNC

UCAS code 161B
Information line 01463 279190

What is special about this course?

The HNC Soft Tissue Therapy has been designed for those who want to perform hands-on treatments with people who participate in sport. The treatment could be designed to help an athlete optimise their performance, or help aid the recovery from injury that has been diagnosed by an appropriate medical professional.

Achievement of the award would allow you to work with any athlete from recreational through to elite level performers. It would also allow you to work within a sports medicine team, working beside other professionals, such as sports medicine doctors, physiotherapists, general and strength and conditioning coaches and nutritionists, or independently in a clinic-type environment.

You would also have the opportunity to progress to the second year of the HND Sports Therapy.

Special features

  • You will gain the knowledge and understanding required to analyse, plan and evaluate appropriate soft tissue treatment
  • You will also have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skill in administering accurate and appropriate soft tissue treatment and provide appropriate after and home care
  • This programme may include weekend and twilight (5pm – 9pm) classes/clinics
  • You may be eligible for Sports Massage Association membership on completion of a sufficient number of logged practice hours.
  • You may have the opportunity to provide support for cycle/running and other sport events
  • You may be eligible for reduced entry conference fees relevant to your field of study

During your practical work you will log a number of hours of practice that demonstrates your competence at using a variety of different techniques. This log, together with the HNC award, is the basic requirement for you to achieve membership of a professional association such as the Sports Massage Association or Sports Therapy Organisation. Membership of such an association assures the public that you are not only appropriately qualified, but will work within strict ethical guidelines laid down by the industry.


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 2 Highers at grade C or above and a core skills profile at SCQF level 5 with communication at SCQF level 6, or equivalent, OR
  • 2 A levels at grade D and relevant GSCE equivalent core skills
  • Alternatively, National Qualification at SCQF level 6, S/NVQ level 3, or equivalent, in an appropriate subject area eg health or sport
  • Applicants with relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • Successful applicants will be required to complete a PVG Disclosure Check and become PVG Scheme Members in order to undertake this course

You will be invited for a group and/or individual interview where you will get the opportunity to find out more about the course and tell us why you are interested in this subject area.

Year 1 - HNC

Subjects may include:

  • Sports Therapy: Anatomy and Physiology
  • Functional Anatomy
  • Basic Objective and Subjective Assessment
  • Clinical Sports Massage
  • Sports Massage for Events and Special Populations
  • Pathology and Aetiology of Sports Injury
  • Prevention and Management of Sports Injury
  • Sports Therapy: Professional Standards
  • Clinical and Team Experience 1
  • Sports Therapy: Graded Unit 1
  • First Aid for Sport and Fitness
  • Sports Therapy: Exercise Principles and Testing
  • Stretch Training

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (Structured)
  • Part-time (Unstructured)

You will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures, tutorials and practical sessions in college and in the community. 

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time (structured): 2 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • Perth College UHI

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2018-192019-20
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2018-192019-20
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,720
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £448

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2018-192019-20
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,855
Part-time (per HN credit)** £448 £457

*There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international students.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of course you may gain employment as a soft tissue therapist, opportunities include:

  • Independent therapist
  • Employment within sports clubs
  • Working with other professionals (eg physiotherapists, coaches, strength and conditioning specialists, or nutritionists)
  • Employment in single or multi-disciplinary clinics providing clinical sports massage treatments
  • You can also diversify to apply your skills to treat overuse injuries in an occupational setting

Can I progress into further study?

You may be able to progress to the second year of the HND Sports Therapy.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Soft Tissue Therapy HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2020

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.