HND Sports Therapy

Higher National qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers.

The HND in Sports Therapy (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC in Soft Tissue Therapy. In particular, it covers rehabilitation and taping techniques and develops the learner's understanding of functional anatomy, clinical experience and team working.

This qualification is available through colleges.

Typically, an HND takes two years to complete. Learners can exit after completing one year and gain the HNC in Soft Tissue Therapy, providing they successfully attain all of the relevant first year Units.

The following optional guidance can be used to support delivery and assessment as an alternative to the approaches outlined in the Group Award / Unit specification.

Optional assessment guidance 2023-24

Higher National qualifications have been developed by SQA in partnership with colleges, universities and industry so employers recognise that they provide sound evidence of ability.

The Unit-based structure supports flexibility. A Unit is typically 40 hours of timetabled learning.

There is a choice of optional Units which will enable centres to offer courses tailored to meet the learners or local needs.

This HN provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

The HND Sports Therapy is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • individuals in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • individuals who participate in sport
  • individuals looking to start up their own business


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. Examples of formal entry qualifications include:

  • Highers: a minimum of two in academic subjects, preferably subject relevance
  • NQ Units/SGA's: at SCQF level 6 in appropriate subject area (eg fitness/health)
  • GCE 'A' Levels in appropriate subjects
  • S/NVQ / S/NVRQs at Level 3 in appropriate subjects
  • Occupationally relevant skills and experience

Different combinations of relevant National Qualifications, vocational qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies may also be acceptable.

Progression and employment

Learners who achieve an HNC Soft Tissue Therapy can progress to the HND in Sports Therapy.

HNCs and HNDs can provide progression to degree-level study. For example, the HND in Sports Therapy allows direct entry to third year BSc Sport and Exercise Science.

The HND Sports Therapy has been endorsed by the Sports Massage Association (SMA): the Association for soft tissue therapists.

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA's Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

Each individual Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

HND Sports Therapy

Group Award code: GJ58 16 (240 SCQF credit points)

HND Sports Therapy at SCQF level 8 consists of 24 mandatory Units (224 SCQF credit points) and a number of optional Units (16 SCQF points).

Qualification Verification Summary Reports were formerly known as Internal Assessment Reports.