Onsite Course
9 Feb, 2019 - 26 May, 2019
10.30am-5pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Orchid Massage Academy, “Hillcrest”, Rochdale, OL11 4AU
0 Students Enrolled
(6 Available)
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FAQ about our Massage Courses

I want to learn massage, where should I start?

If you’ve never done any massage before, you may like to attend our one-day Introduction to Massage course. You will learn all the techniques to give a full body massage to family and friends. If you are thinking about going on to learn massage professionally, this is a good opportunity to visit Orchid Massage Academy, meet the tutors and to see if massage is for you before committing to the Diploma course. The techniques you learn on the introduction course will also give you a good foundation for learning the more detailed aspects of massage that will be covered on the Diploma course.
The cost of the Introduction course is £85.00, with a £30 discount if you go on to do the Diploma course.

What course would enable me to practice massage Professionally?

If you want to start a career in massage, you would follow the Introduction course with the VTCT Level 3 Body Massage Diploma. Upon completion of this course you would be fully qualified, able to gain insurance and practice professionally as a Massage Therapist. The VTCT level 3 is internationally recognised and means you are qualified to work in spas, hotels etc and that, should you wish, you can go on to do more advanced massage courses.

Who are VTCT?

VTCT is a Government approved Awarding Body offering National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s) and other Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQ’s). VTCT has been in existence for over forty years and has been at the forefront of developing the vocational system of qualifications in the United Kingdom. VTCT is the largest provider of qualifications in massage, aromatherapy and reflexology.

Are there any entry requirements?

There are no prerequisite qualifications to join the course, however, in order to complete the VTCT qualification, it is recommended that you are educated up to at least GCSE level. You will also need a good command of spoken and written English, along with good communication/social skills.
You need to ensure you have the time required to complete the necessary home study (3-5 hours a week)
You must be comfortable with giving and receiving body massage treatments as part of this course. Training sessions may be mixed sex; however, screens are used to ensure privacy.
You will need to arrange models to complete your coursework/assessments.
You will need to have access to a computer for typing assignments and will need an internet connection with your own email address to enable the distribution of course notes and the submission of assignments. You will also need access to a printer.
Massage is physical work. You need to have good general health. No back, wrist or knee disorders.

What is covered in the VTCT Massage Diploma?

This course is designed to meet the needs of individuals wishing to become a qualified massage therapist/complementary therapist.
Content covered in the course:

  • Principles and practice of complementary therapies,
  • Knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology
  • Reflective practice for body massage
  • Client care
  • History of massage,
  • Benefits & effects, contra-indications,
  • Therapist & client preparation,
  • After care advice,
  • Posture & stance,
  • massage techniques including Effleurage, Frictions, Vibrations Neuromuscular/Passive Joint Movements
  • Full body massage routine,
  • Health & safety and salon/mobile professionalism,
  • Business & marketing.

What are the Career opportunities for a massage therapist with a VTCT level 3 Body Massage Diploma?

This qualification will confirm your competence for employment as a massage therapist. You will be eligible to join a professional association and gain insurance as a massage therapist. Career opportunities as a massage therapist exist in a variety of contexts, including:

  • Working in commercial a complementary therapy clinic, beauty salon or spa.
  • Working in the NHS in a hospital or care home.
  • Working independently/self-employed/mobile/home-based settings.
  • Working on cruise ships or working internationally.

How is the course structured?

Our Diploma courses are intensive courses. You have 7 full days at the Academy, learning the practical techniques and theory. These 7 days take place over 3 month period. There is then a 3 month break from class-room learning. During this time, you will complete the necessary home study of four written assignments and 30 case studies.

You then return to the Academy to hand in your finished portfolio and to complete one final practical assessment.

How is the course assessed?

You will be continually assessed throughout the course via the practical sessions where you work on other students and, if possible, the paying public.
You will also hand in a portfolio of written work. This is a record of supporting information to confirm that you have the skills required to complete the qualification. Your tutors will give you all the necessary guidance to help you complete your portfolio.

Are there any exams?

There are two external written papers from the VTCT which will assess your knowledge of Anatomy & Physiology

Are the courses insurable?

All VTCT courses are fully insurable by all the leading Holistic Therapy insurance companies. We recommend FHT, but can choose whoever you wish. Student insurance is also available, so you can start working on clients at home as you are learning.

How big are the classes?

In order to give the best individual attention to each student, we have a maximum of 6 students on each course. Our aim is to produce amazing therapists and small class sizes is one way to help achieve this.

What times do the classes run?

The teaching days run from 10.30am to 5.00pm.

What if I am not ready to take my assessments on the set date?

If you need longer, that’s fine, you can take as long as you need and simply join an assessment day when you are ready. We do have a 3 year time limit in which to complete the qualification. There may be a charge for attending a different assessment day.

What does the course cost include?

There are no hidden extras! The course cost covers class tuition, VTCT registration and Record of Assessment Book, learning resources, assessment fees, portfolio marking and certification. You will need to purchase the necessary equipment for carrying out a professional treatment. (see below) etc. You may also want to buy some of the recommended text books, but this is not compulsory.

What else will I need for the course?

You will need the following :

  • For all assessments, a therapist tunic (NOT White – choose a dark colour – ie. black, brown or navy) with suitable, matching trousers. Shoes should be closed toe, clean and practical.
  • For class and general practical sessions, a smart, plain black or navy polo shirt or T.shirt with comfortable trousers is acceptable.

Stationary to set up your Assessment Portfolio

  • An empty A4 Lever Arch file A pack of A4 plastic wallets,
  • A pack of highlighter pens,
  • A pack of file dividers (at least 8)
  • Note pad & pen


  • 2 x large BATH SHEETS, 1 x Medium sized BATH TOWEL + 3 x HAND TOWELS

Equipment for delivering the therapy at home

  • A massage couch
  • Couch covers, cushions and blankets
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Hand sanitiser

What about more advanced massage courses?

Once you have the level 3 Body Massage Diploma, then you can go on to add any number of CPD (Continued Professional Development) courses in a range of subjects such as Deep Tissue Massage, Hot Stones Massage, Pregnancy Massage etc. It is up to you to choose what kind of clients and what style of massage most appeals to you and do further massage courses to create the career you want for yourself.

Image of therapist being trained in massage

7 Days + 3 hr exam

WEEKEND DATES: 7 Day Course – Dates to be confirmed

The VTCT L3 Diploma in Body Massage is currently accepted for full membership of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Units within this qualification have been mapped to the relevant National Occupational Standards (NOS) and the qualification is accredited on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) as well as being approved and supported by Skills for Health (the sector skills council for health).

Body Massage (also referred to as Swedish Massage) has its roots in Eastern Medicine and uses oil or cream. The massage routine covers the full body using traditional massage techniques.  This is the UK’s standard full body massage used throughout the industry and it also forms the basis for all advanced massage courses such as Deep Tissue Massage and Hot Stones Massage. It is particularly recognised for its ability to provide mental and physical relaxation as well as assisting joint mobility. Practitioners use a combination of gentle flowing massage strokes along with friction, kneading, percussion and stimulation of pressure points. .

Who will benefit from this course?

This course is designed to meet the needs of individuals wishing to become professionally qualified massage therapists/complementary therapists. It covers the theoretical and the practical aspects of:

  • Full body massage techniques
  • Health & safety
  • Principles and practice of complementary therapies,
  • Knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, less common pathology
  • Reflective practice for body massage
  • Business practice business
  • Client care

Entry requirements

  • We recommend attending our Introduction to Massage course, but this is not mandatory.
  • Educated up to GCSE level
  • Good spoken and written English
  • Access to a computer, internet connection and printer
  • Good general health

What does the course include?

  • 7 day programme including tutoring, practical and assessments
  • 2.5 hour examination on the date of your choice
  • Course designed to help you reach industry competence as quickly and thoroughly as possible
  • High quality learning materials to refer to throughout the course.
  • Limited class size to ensure each student has personalised training and the best possible learning experience.
  • Continuous email support throughout the course, from your tutor and the school principal.
  • Access to Orchid Massage Academy private Facebook group, allowing you to communicate with and get support from other students and graduates.

What is the cost?

  • Course Fee: £525
  • Registration, assessment & exam fees: £150
    Please note: these fees are levied on behalf of the VTCT and are additional to the course fee.
    This is payable when booking on the course.

Payment Plan

We offer an ‘interest free’ monthly payment scheme (flat £24 fee) for VTCT courses which allows you to spread the full payment of the course over 3 x easy monthly payments.

Course Content

Section 1History of massage
Section 2Benefits & effects, contra-indications
Section 3Therapist & client preparation
Section 4After care advice
Section 5Posture & stance
Section 6Anatomy, physiology & pathology of the body
Section 7Massage techniques including Effleurage {superficial to deep, stroking, feathering, draining}, Petrissage {kneading, wringing, pulling, circling, knuckling, pressures}, Tapotement {hacking, cupping, beating, pummelling, tapping}, Frictions, Vibrations {shaking, fine vibrations}, Neuromuscular/Passive Joint Movements, Muscle Stretching
Section 8Full body massage routine
Section 9Health & safety and salon/mobile professionalism
Section 10Business & marketing