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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Southern Institute of Technology
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Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage

This course is available

Online, On-Campus

Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


Southern Institute of Technology


SIT's Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage was the first named massage degree programme to be approved in New Zealand. It has been taught since 2002 and students have been graduating since 2004. Health care delivery has moved beyond clinical competence and beyond copying previously successful clinicians. Today's practitioners need to relate to a wider health care team and respond to the expressed needs and expectations of families, pressure groups, professionals and the wider community (Higgs & Edwards, 1999).

Backed by SIT's recognised infrastructures and academic community, the programme promotes research driven education, strong training in a community based clinic, and exceeds suggested industry requirements in both academic areas and clinical practice.

The Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage encourages graduates to join a professional group which represents their career interests, but can not endorse any one group.

Graduating students from this degree have good opportunities for employment, both nationally and internationally.

Graduates are critical thinking, reflective practitioners with technical and professional competence, sound reasoning and research literacy, and have a capacity to manage knowledge and its acquisition during their working lives.

This qualification has been designed to prepare graduates for careers in both the therapeutic and sports massage fields. The programme of study includes anatomy and physiology, general pathology, therapeutics, clinical reasoning and functional assessment, massage for physical performance, research and business management principles.

The Year 3 programme is available via Blended Delivery flexibility to remain in their home town massage therapy clinics and communities.

Qualification Pathways

Graduates can continue their education with:

  • Master of Applied Health Sciences (Wellness and Rehabilitation)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Health Science (Wellness and Rehabilitation)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Health Science (Wellness and Rehabilitation)

Career Opportunities

Graduates may work in the following settings: multi disciplinary health practices, private practice, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, community centres, gyms and sports complexes, sports teams, physiotherapy or chiropractic clinics, complementary health clinics, hotels and resorts, community mental health centres and nursing homes as well as in education.

Therapeutic and sports massage specialists will work with individuals and groups of all ages, assisting those recovering from or dealing with injury, illness or disability, as well as individuals and groups looking for stress management intervention and injury prevention strategies.

Satisfactory Completion

Attendance requirements as follows for Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage:

100% attendance required for the following papers:

  • GEN105 Health aspects of exercise and nutrition
  • MT5170 Therapeutics I
  • MT6270 Therapeutics II
  • MT7370 Health psychology and therapeutics III

90% minimum attendance required

  • MT6250 Clinical practice I
  • MT6251 Clinical practice II
  • MT7350 Advanced clinical reasoning and clinical practice III

All other papers require a minimum of 80% attendance.

For the Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage successful completion of all assessment requirements for each paper of the three year degree. This amounts to successful completion of 360 credits.

Entry criteria

Students are required to complete international qualifications equivalent to NCEA Level 3.

Admission By Mature Entry
Applicants in this category will have achieved the age of 20 by March 1 of the first year of enrolment in the programme and have provided evidence of relevant prior learning and experience.

Special Admission
The applicant has successfully completed a special programme at NZQA Level 4 or above, which prepares students for the required academic standard for entry e.g. New Zealand Diploma in Remedial Massage, or its equivalent, or successful completion of Year One of the Diploma in Sport and Recreation.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS test - Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5
  • TOEFL Paper based test (pBT) - Score of 550 (with an essay score 5 TWE)
  • TOEFL Internet based test (iBT) - Score of 60 (with a writing score of 18)
  • Cambridge English Examination - B2 First or B2 First for schools or C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill.
  • OET - Minimum of Grade C or 200 in all sub-tests
  • NZCEL - a) Expiring Level b) Current: a) Level 4 (Academic) b) Level 4 (Academic)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 50 with no band score lower than 42
  • Language Cert - C1 Expert IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill
  • Trinity ISE - ISE II with no less than distinction in any band

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