Institute of Martial Arts & Sciences

Promoting professionalism and quality in the martial arts worldwide

Graduate of the Institute of Martial Arts and Sciences (Grad.IMAS)


Course Outline 


  1. Course Structure and Content.
  2. Aims and Objectives.
  3. Entry Requirements.
  4. Teaching and Learning Methods.
  5. Methods of Assessment.
  6. Assessment Regulations
  7. Supervision and Cohorts.

Course Structure and Content.


This has been designed to be completed within thirty-six months by a student.

During this time, the student will:

  • Devote ten to twelve hours to their studies per week
  • Attend regular classes at a martial arts club which must be recorded in the Log-Book provided, along with any/all seminars and courses attended and gradings passed, etc

Work will be supervised and supported by distance learning, augmented by 10/12 days of residential instruction/assessment to be carried out over various weekends spaced at regular intervals throughout the duration of the course.

Students will also have regular contact as and when needed with their supervisor via phone, computer and face-to-face for evaluations/tutorials.

Any student wishing to take a longer period to complete the course will be required to make a formal written request to the Institute.

Upon commencement of this course, students will be assigned a tutor, who will provide the primary source of guidance and advice for them throughout the duration of the course.  The student will also join a “tutor group” with peers undertaking the same qualification for additional support.


Course Breakdown

The course currently consists of three nominal academic year blocks of 6 units, with the last of these units consisting of a research project.

The student is expected to deliver the equivalent, or a similar level and standard to, that of a Bachelors degree.  Thus, the candidate must satisfy the examiners in all units of the course, and the Institute reserves the right to vary both the number and nature of the units examined in order to accommodate future developments and maintain standards.

Currently, the units are as follows:


Block 1:

  • Study Skills
  • Introduction to martial arts studies (general, broad-based overview)
  • History and tradition of martial arts (working from the general to the specific)
  • Martial art specific: Theory and Practice (In-depth look at the particular martial art(s) being studied by the individual student)
  • Health and Safety in the martial arts (H+S law, policies, specific areas)
  • 4 X Written Essays of not less than 2000 words + Residential component.
  • Assessed end of year written exam


Block 2:

Recap on year one coursework

  • Religious/Philosophic influences underlying martial arts development (underpinning beliefs and rituals)
  • Comparative Study of martial arts origins and practice
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Psychology in martial arts (conflict resolution, attitudes and behaviours, etc)
  • The impact of modern combat sports upon martial arts development
  • 4 X Written essays of not less than 2000 words & Residential component
  • Assessed End of year written exam


Block 3:

Recap on year two coursework

  • Research methods and resources module
  • Research Project (8000 – 10,000) words)
  • Recap on all coursework and Residential Component
  • Final Assessed Written exam / Assessed Oral exam (Viva)

Aims and Objectives.

By the end of the course the student will:


Have a knowledge and an understanding of:


  • The organisation and operational principles underpinning the provision of martial arts in their respective country
  • The way that physiology and psychology impact upon martial arts
  • Martial arts instruction, planning, delivery and evaluation, including adaptations to suit the needs of different population groups.

Be able to:

  • Select and integrate ideas and evidence to develop arguments
  • Link theory and practice.


Have gained the following Key Skills:

  • Application of number
  • Use and interpretation of graphical and numerical data.


Have the ability to effectively:

  • Organise and articulate opinions and arguments
  • Draw on appropriate conventions of academic writing
  • Engage, motivate and respond sensitively to others.
  • Reflect on the learning process and learning experiences.
  • Refine their study skills and practices
  • Use appropriate forms of ICT to communicate and present information, and to support research and learning.
  • Explore problems in order to gain a deeper insight and identify different perspectives.
  • Work effectively with others in practice situations and contexts.

The student will also gain valuable and transferable practical and professional skills.

  • Appreciation of the wider social context of martial arts practice
  • Collecting and analysing information to plan a progressive martial arts programme
  • Carrying out certain responsibilities in the club environment in relation to martial arts
  • Showing awareness and adherence to codes of conduct and operating procedures.


Entry Requirements.

Standard degree entry requirements apply (5 GCSE’s + 2 A Levels). However, mature applicants may be admitted through a combination of traditional/non traditional qualifications, martial arts grade and life experience. The final decision will be the responsibility of the admissions officer, who will APEL applicants learning and experience and, if deemed necessary, personally interview the applicants concerned.


The usual minimum requirements for entry to the course are as follows:

  • Students must have a good grasp of written/spoken English and possess basic numeracy skills
  • Students must be computer literate and have regular access to a computer
  • Students must be a member of a martial arts club and attend classes on a regular basis
  • Students will also be required to inform their martial arts instructor that they are undertaking this course, as their signature will be required in the Log-Book.

Teaching and Learning Methods.

Knowledge and understanding of the martial arts and sciences is developed through the main teaching materials and in-text questions, tasks and activities to support students learning. The main teaching material is offered through supervised and supported distance learning with associated material, including course reading texts, audio-visual material (when deemed necessary) and directed reading, further augmented by a residential component consisting of 10/12 days taking place over various weekends spread intermittently throughout the duration of the course. Summative assessment is mainly accomplished through submission of a research project of the required length and standard that must be well presented and defended at the viva (oral exam), and a final written examination consisting of questions drawn from the course content. Supervisors will support student development across all learning outcomes through tutorials, written feedback on assignments and online/telephone support.

Cognitive skills are assessed by course assignments. These will allow students to demonstrate their ability to structure a clear and reasoned argument and to analyse course issues. Club Based Learning will afford them the opportunity to demonstrate independent thinking skills; to demonstrate understanding of theoretical concepts and the underpinning principles for working in sport, fitness and health; to show evidence of reflective practice; and to use appropriate methods of enquiry.

Key skills are referenced to QCA National Standards and are promoted within learning materials and as part of continuous assessment. Assessment criteria for Tutor Marked Assignment’s (TMA’s) require students to demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in writing and orally. Learning skills focusing on identifying strengths and weaknesses, setting priorities and targets, and reviewing and reflecting are a feature of Personal Development Planning, the general approach to key skills and of the club-based   learning components. Working with others will be fostered through club-based training, as well as case studies and assessments that may include testimony from colleagues on contributions to team efforts.

Professional skills are developed through course work including evidence-based project work. This is part of an increased awareness and understanding of practice in planning, delivery and evaluation of martial arts activities, including courses, seminars, displays and gradings.

Reflection on practice will be central to this approach. The assessment of practical skills and abilities is through observed training sessions that will be logged by club instructors. There may also be some development of group working skills through the use of web-based tasks.

Assessment methodologies.

Each student will be examined in all units of the Programme and the minimum pass (Grade “C” – 50%), must be achieved in each unit. A Minimum Pass is also required for the Project.

Over and above this requirement all students will be required to submit a short introductory paper, based upon guided reading, which will assess their capability to deal with later work. A student who fails to attain a satisfactory standard in this paper will receive the appropriate guidance before being invited to proceed with the main body of the course.

The research project is seen as the student’s opportunity to apply the subject matter contained in the course to a topic that he/she is particularly interested in.  As such, it will be a negotiated process between the student and the Institute, in which the student offers suggestions for possible detailed study for ‘tailoring’ to meet the dual needs of academic rigour and the student’s personal objectives. Here, suffice it to say that the Project will be written on a topic as agreed between student and tutor and will be between 8000 and 10,000 words in length (excluding equations, bibliography and appendices).


Assessment Regulations.

In order to be eligible for the award of the appropriate qualification a candidate must make the submissions as required by the relevant Definitive Programme Document within the prescribed time limit – in this case, thirty-six months, subject to any extension granted.

1. A candidate for examination may, for reasons adjudged adequate by the IMAS, be exempted from any part of the normal examination or assessment procedure. This will particularly apply to people being awarded the qualification through the evaluation of their previous publications.

2. If an essay or report is otherwise adequate but requires minor amendment, such amendment may be made, within six weeks of notice to the student.

3. The marking scheme of the Institute sets the pass mark for the Programme at C = 50%. The range of marks is as follows: A, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, and D.

Supervision and cohorts

The Institute is acutely aware of the need to provide excellent supervision and support to students working in a distance-learning environment. Each cohort of students will be allocated a tutor/supervisor who is either an experienced academic and/or proven practitioner in this field of study. He or she will be the students’ guide throughout the duration of their learning experience.

Given the fact that distance learning is a potentially difficult and isolating experience, it is proposed that each cohort of students should receive a list of their peer’s as these will be people who are undergoing the same pressures and experiences. They will be facing the same assignments at a similar time and so should be able to help and support one another. Rather than feeling isolated, it is the Institutes hope that students will join with others to share their experiences in a feeling of mutual trust and support.