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MSc Sport Rehabilitation and Return to Play

Learn about the course below
September 2024
1 year Full time
In person teaching with supportive online content
September 2024: £10,500 (UK) *
£16,800 (INT) *
Course leader
Robert Walsh

Unleash your potential with the MSc Sport Rehabilitation and Return to Play program at Middlesex University! Designed exclusively for qualified therapy and performance professionals, this cutting-edge course bridges the gap in higher education by offering advanced training to the experienced professionals in the elite sporting and rehabilitation fields. Enhance your diagnostic, rehabilitation, clinical and leadership skills, and become a sought-after expert in sports medicine. Join us to elevate your career and transform the world of injury rehabilitation and human performance.

Why study MSc Sport Rehabilitation and Return to Play at Middlesex University?

Welcome to Middlesex University, where we offer an exclusive program tailored for qualified therapy professionals and performance experts. This innovative program addresses the need for advanced education across various therapy backgrounds.

Designed for mid to senior-level professionals in the sports industry, our program provides in-depth knowledge and skills in diagnostic, performance, and wellness applications. We strive to enhance the return to play and overall human performance. By exploring cutting-edge approaches in sports medicine, you'll learn to critically analyze and implement evidence-based treatment strategies. Moreover, you'll develop essential leadership skills required in high-performance sports.

At Middlesex University, we emphasize interdisciplinary collaboration, empowering you to make unbiased decisions through data analysis. We also equip you with the ability to search for and critically appraise literature to inform your practice. Our key modules cover a wide range of topics, including diagnostics, manual therapy, rehabilitation, wellness, personal development, and research methods.

By joining our program, you'll have the opportunity to become a leader in sport rehabilitation and advance your career to new heights.

Course highlights

  • Dynamic and practice focused teaching with highly experienced staff
  • Content developed with leading industry professionals and employability centred.
  • Linked with industry leading professionals and organisations.
  • Based at StoneX stadium this pioneering complex has been developed over the past 18 months in partnership with Middlesex University Saracens Rugby Club and London Borough of Barnet, which has funded the project through a £22.9m

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the MSc Sport Rehabilitation and Return to Play?

The MSc Sports Rehabilitation and Return to Play program is designed to enhance the skill set and critical reflection of experienced practitioners with a qualified therapy and performance professionals, preparing them to become leaders in sport rehabilitation. The program focuses on diagnostic, therapeutic, programming, and leadership qualities crucial for success in elite sporting organizations.

The course content covers various aspects, including diagnostics in sport performance, manual therapy and restorative input, rehabilitation and return to performance, wellness and recovery, and personal development and reflective practice. These modules provide an in-depth understanding of athlete performance profiling, the application of manual therapies, rehabilitation principles, wellness and recovery strategies, and leadership development.

Throughout the program, students will develop the ability to conduct reliable assessments, interpret diagnostic results, and communicate effectively with coaches and athletes. They will gain expertise in evaluating manual therapy techniques and formulating evidence-based rehabilitation programs. The program also emphasizes critical thinking, self-reflection, and leadership skills necessary for effective practice in a high-performance environment.

By the end of the program, students will possess the knowledge and skills to apply diagnostic procedures, critically analyze research and practice, construct evidence-based rehabilitation programs, apply soft tissue therapies, communicate complex issues effectively, and autonomously design research projects to support evidence-based practice. They will also understand the importance of wellness and recovery in athlete preparation and be capable of interpreting and applying wellness/recovery paradigms in performance sport.


  • Modules

    • Diagnostics in Sport Performance (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to enhance your understanding of diagnostics and athlete performance profiling, specifically in the context of return to play and risk reduction. As a rehabilitation specialist, it is vital to possess the knowledge and skills necessary to accurately assess an athlete's physical performance, track rehabilitation progress, and determine readiness to return to play. This module will equip you with the critical tools needed to conduct reliable assessments, interpret the results, and communicate their implications effectively to coaches and athletes

    • Manual Therapy & Restorative Input (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module will emphasize the importance of critical reflection on one's own practice, technical development, and the effective delivery of manual therapy. Students will be expected to demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the strengths and limitations of different manual therapy techniques and to evaluate their effectiveness in treating musculoskeletal conditions.

    • Rehabilitation and Return to Performance (15 credits) - Compulsory

      We aim to delve deeper into the principles of return to play, performance testing, profiling, and programming. Our focus will be on exploring practice guidelines, consensus statements, and evidence-based approaches that underpin the rehabilitation or graduated return to performance. We will discuss the most effective strategies for achieving an accelerated return to play/performance as part of a multidisciplinary team. Additionally, we will learn how to construct and critically evaluate both performance and rehabilitation programs.

    • Wellness and Recovery (15 credits) - Compulsory

      To provide an in-depth understanding of athlete wellness and recovery, which have become crucial components of athlete preparation. Students will examine current approaches and methodologies used in athlete monitoring and wellness. They will also engage in critical debates around the effectiveness of fatigue and load management, and how it informs decision making around adaptation, risk, and overload. Through practical application, students will learn to formulate effective wellness and recovery plans to manage athlete loads and facilitate recovery.

    • Personal Development & Reflective Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Leadership has been shown to be a fundamental factor influencing the performance of sport, this course is intended to develop leadership skills which will have a positive impact on career development and personal growth. Principles and practices of self- development and that of others will be discussed in depth. Management and leadership of performance teams with the goal of empowering others will be discussed in detail.

    • Research methods (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to equip students with the relevant knowledge and skills to undertake appropriate research in their subject areas. Students will learn searching strategies to identify relevant literature, how to critically appraise literature and relevant research methods topics such as research design, selecting and using suitable statistical tests appropriate to the subject area. This module will be delivered predominantly through shared and subject-specific online video tutorials allowing students to access a wide variety of resources which will prepare them for undertaking their dissertations. This innovative approach allows students to develop their research methods skills at their own pace with relevant step-by-step videos produced, allowing students to revisit the content at any time. This can be supplemented by traditional seminars and lecturers as deemed appropriate per programme. Students are also assigned an academic advisor which will support the students through their assignments and ensure that they receive appropriate and relevant guidance to successfully complete this module.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      To support students to undertake research, with a focus appropriate to their programme and area of practice and building upon the research proposal formulated in research methods . To create a peer learning community for students to critically support each other in the research process. To provide guidance, additional to that provided by the students’ supervisors, on matters of ethical application, research methods, data collection, analysis and writing-up.

  • Sports Rehabilitation Specification 23/24

Course specification 23/24

How is the MSc Sport Rehabilitation and Return to Play taught?

The programme is taught face to face with online supportive content. A large volume of time is dedicated to developing and fostering applied skills and the ability to justify your chosen thought processes


The assessments are heavily focused on employability and are designed to match the practical, presentation and clinical reasoning type questioning one would encounter when interviewing or working in the sports performance world.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International
  1. UK
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

Robert Walsh

Rob has been in the industry for over 25 years working across the field of corporate fitness; physical therapy; higher education, youth development; adaptive sport and elite sports performance He returns to Middlesex after two Olympic cycles as the Head of Physical Performance for the Netherlands Olympic Ski, Snowboard and Skeleton Bobsleigh programme.

Paul Holmes

A chartered physiotherapist his experience is exceptional spanning professional rugby (WASPS), National Sports Institute of Malaysia and UFC performance institute in China.

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