Project Description

Master of Science in Sports Injuries and Return to Performance Management


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Programme Information
Programme Brochure

Programme Overview

Programme Background

The MSc in Sports Injuries and Return to Performance Management covers and moves beyond the fundamentals of sports rehabilitation and performance science by focusing on significant areas in the applied contexts of sport and exercise. While providing a critical understanding of the early phases of sports rehabilitation and the journey towards the end-stage return to performance, the programme aims to equip students with the knowledge and, importantly, the applied skills to guide and deliver individualised care within best evidenced-based practice guidelines along the rehabilitation continuum. The programme is designed and delivered to enable practitioners to progress within sports rehabilitation and performance contexts. The academic rigour will also allow students to progress to further academic study and academic careers in sports and exercise science, Physiotherapy/Physical Therapy, etc.

Modules covered:

  • Research Methods & Data Management
  • Reflective Practice & Professional Skills
  • Athlete Monitoring & Coaching Technology
  • Movement Analysis and Biomedical Aspects
  • Managing Return to Performance and Upper Body Injuries 
  • Return to Performance Pathways and Lower Body injuries

Course Duration

The programme duration is 84 weeks. This includes:

  • 6 Online Modules (each module is 12 weeks in duration)
  • On-Site Residential Conferences
  • Final Project (additional 3 months to complete)

A joint programme by:

Setanta and the Irish American University

The Master of Science in Sports Injuries and Return to Performance Management is awarded by Irish American University under its accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, one of the world’s leading accrediting bodies. Furthermore, Setanta Professional Advisory Board, other subject matter experts, and international sporting organisations have informed, reviewed, and approved the programme content. This includes World Rugby, the Titleist Performance Institute, and the NSCA who recognise our programmes and qualifications.

Course Details & Enrolment

This programme will be delivered part-time via distance learning to allow active professionals to study while maintaining their current commitments. Given that this programme is designed to advance the knowledge of active practitioners, it will flexibly fit into your life.

The programme is 70% online, with the 30% face-to-face occurring on campus and taking in the more applied and practical elements of what is a hands-on field of study.

The on-site conferences take place at Setanta campus locations twice during the 84-week programme. These ‘residential’ blocks take place over 5 days and offer a unique opportunity to advance your practical knowledge, learn from the expert lecturing faculty, and engage in peer-to-peer learning from your practitioner class mates. The locations of these face-to-face components are one of the most unique aspects of the programme delivery, being based at Setanta’s high performance centres in Ireland and the UK. This provides exposure to the application of course content in elite performance environments.

Final Project and Assessment

You will submit a final project following the completion of the six online modules. During the online element, you will receive guidance and mentoring from a tutor who will assist you in the selection of a final project.

Upon completion of the MSc in Sports Injuries and Return to Performance Management, students will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and competencies in the following areas:

  • The ability to critically evaluate the current knowledge, theory, and evidence base relevant to sports rehabilitation and performance.
  • To develop advanced knowledge skills and capabilities required for an effective practice to deliver early to end-stage sports rehabilitation and a graded return to performance.
  • To understand mechanisms of injury, principles of diagnosis, clinical assessment, investigation, treatment, and principles of rehabilitation of common sports injuries.
  • To evaluate sports rehabilitation and performance approaches in the broader discipline of sport and exercise science and to integrate methodologies in an interdisciplinary manner.
  • To utilise a range of appropriate practical techniques to enable a range of solutions to address the challenges of the rehabilitation journey, optimising the return to performance pathway.
  • To evaluate and apply appropriate research methods applicable to approaches adopted in sports rehabilitation and performance.
  • To have the capacity to apply relevant ethical, legal, safety, and professional practice standards and to maintain the appropriate professional scope of practice boundaries.
  • To engage in evidence-based practice, evaluate practice systematically, and participate in injury auditing and review of procedures employed at all stages of the rehabilitation process.
  • To understand the role of audit and review in quality management, including quality control, quality assurance, and the use of appropriate outcome measures.
  • To attempt to mitigate the risk of injury or re-injury along the return to performance continuum.
  • To communicate effectively (verbally and non-verbally) with a range of audiences and to disseminate their work in a range of appropriate formats.
  • The ability to synthesise information from multiple sources into comprehensive and appropriate support systems.
  • To be able to reflect on one’s practice critically and to develop a professional identity.

Candidates may be accepted onto the programme with a bachelor’s degree or above in any one of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in the area of human rehabilitation. This would include areas such as physiotherapy, physical therapy, biokinetics, sports therapy, athletic training, athletic therapy, chiropractic, etc.
  • A bachelor’s degree in the broad area of sport and exercise sciences. This would include areas such as strength and conditioning, physical education, biomechanics, kinesiology, etc.
  • If the applicant has a bachelor’s degree in a non-cognate discipline, it may be necessary for the applicant to complete such bridging modules as the Admissions Office deems necessary in order to achieve the prerequisite intended learning outcomes for participation in the program. The length of this bridging program depends on the number of prerequisite learning outcomes achieved by the applicant but normally will not exceed the duration of one year.


Appropriate professional qualification and at least five years of relevant experience


Special Case Registrations: Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) entry will be available for those without a related degree. Individual assessment will apply and applicants will be subject to interview.

English Proficiency:

To be demonstrated through any of the following:

  • GCSE pass in English at Grade C or above
  • IELTS with an average overall score of 6.5 for postgraduate study with at least a 5.5 in each component TOEFL IBT minimum score of 88 IBT for Postgraduate **
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): exams taken from January 2015 – overall score of 176 for postgraduate study with at least 162 in each component; exams taken before January 2015 – Grade C and no less than borderline in each skill for undergraduate and postgraduate
  • Trinity College English Language qualifications: ISE III Pass for postgraduate taught courses and research applications City and Guild’s IESOL/ISESOL tests at expert and mastery levels (C2 and C1) for the majority of postgraduate programmes.
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) with a minimum of 67 points in each element for the majority of postgraduate programmes.

Setanta College holds a number of academic accreditations alongside industry recognitions. From a European perspective, Setanta College has programmes that are validated by Quality Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the Irish governmental accrediting agency. QQI programmes are recognised globally under various European and EU initiatives, which offers graduates a significant advantage globally. In North America, Setanta holds provisional State Authorisation to operate as a higher education institution in the USA under approval from the Commission of Independent Education (CIE) of the Florida Department of Education. Also, from a US perspective, this programme is regionally accredited by the Irish American University under their award of accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), one of the world’s leading accrediting bodies and the accreditors of a large number of US Ivy League schools.

Fees & How To Apply

Tuition for Complete Programme

  • Annual Intakes: March & September
IMPORTANT: There is no automatic entry onto the Programme. To be considered for the Master of Science in Sports Injuries and Return to Performance Management, please complete the Application Form by clicking the button below:
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