Should I study sports rehabilitation or physiotherapy?

As students across the country look to their future, many will be deliberating over what the right path is for them – a choice which can prove overwhelming and exciting in pursuing a career in health and fitness.

Promoted by University of Cumbria
Thursday, 12th September 2019, 11:00 am
Almost everyone will, at some point, suffer either an injury or a re-occurring physical issue that will require the help of an expert.
Almost everyone will, at some point, suffer either an injury or a re-occurring physical issue that will require the help of an expert.

A degree in Physiotherapy or Sports Rehabilitation offers exciting prospects in a diverse range of industries, from hospital and offices to sports clubs and charity centres.

The strains of modern life mean that almost everyone will, at some point, suffer either an injury or a re-occurring physical issue that will require the help of an expert - but should that be a Physiotherapist or Sports Rehabilitator? What does each one really mean and which one is right for you?

With spaces still available for September 2019 on the Sports Rehabilitation courses at University of Cumbria, we have found out the facts from the expert lecturers at University of Cumbria to determine the type of client, physical goals and treatment suitable to each occupation.


What is Sports Rehabilitation?

Sport Rehabilitation is a profession through the British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers (BASRaT) which is regulated by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). Their specialism is in musculoskeletal injuries and rehabilitation, typically arising from sport and physical activity.

The central aim is to rehabilitate people back to full, functional fitness to be able to meet the demands of their sport or activity. They can also continue to work with athletes through strength and conditioning, which can prevent further injury.

Kate Walker-Small, Senior Lecturer at University of Cumbria defined two further areas within the field: “Each rehabilitation journey is the same for both recreational and professional clients, regardless of level. Anyone can pull a hamstring or twist an ankle playing sport. However, the difference in their rehabilitation lies in where they need to be. Whereas a recreational sportsman may need to be able to reach a certain level, these demands will be far exceeded by a professional player who needs to produce a high level of performance.”

A degree in Sports Rehabilitations prepares you for a career in areas such as:

NHS: Hospitals and Clinics

Private sports injury and rehabilitation clinics

Professional and amateur sports

Health and Fitness centres

Research & Academic Sports Rehabilitation


What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a science based health care profession regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), focusing on physical activity that helps people cope with the demands of daily living.

The skills required for physiotherapy enable you to examine, analyse, diagnose and treat people with a range of health conditions. Physical treatments and exercise can be effective in stabilizing or improving individuals to offer a better quality of life.

A degree in Physiotherapy at University of Cumbria offers the in-depth knowledge, practical experience and skills, alongside an understanding of the necessary values and behaviours. This prepares you for a variety of fields and areas of interest within the industry, including:

NHS: Hospitals; Clinics; GP surgery; Community.

Voluntary Sector: Charities; Hospices.

Private Practice: Clinics; Work places.

Professional and amateur sports.

Research & Academic Physiotherapist


Which one is right for me?

Both careers and degrees share the overriding aim of offering support and treatment to reach a physical goal. The difference lies in the type of client or patient and the method and extent of treatment.

The similarities between the two can make it a tough choice to make, and it really comes down to personal choices – are you really into your sports and fitness, or are you more driven to improve the lives of the wider community?

One option is to study for a degree in Sports Rehabilitation, then complete your MA in Physiotherapy, this is a common route taken by students at University of Cumbria, allowing them to explore the two routes.

The two occupations complement one another in their drive to help improve people’s physical ability and wellbeing, based on progression and sustainability. There is great job satisfaction overseeing the visible physical journey that leads to a positive impact on people’s general wellbeing as well as physical ability.

Click on the video at the top to hear recent graduate and new Students Union Welfare and Support Officer Joe Morrell tell his inspiring story that led him to Sports Rehabilitation at Cumbria.

And to learn more about courses in Physiotherapy and Sports Rehabilitation at University of Cumbria visit or call 03722912992. Don’t miss out on a September 2019 start date for Sports Rehabilitation and apply now through clearing.