BA Hons Degree in Circus Arts


A one year course designed to consolidate the technical and creative level of a specific circus discipline.

Course info

Applicants should hold an appropriate qualification from one of the recognised circus schools listed under entry requirements below.

This one year course consolidates the technical level of a specific circus discipline and its integration with a personal artistic approach.

The training is intensive, weeks are 35 hours long with a mix of taught sessions and scheduled independent learning. Each year is 35 weeks in length in order to sustain physical progression. Class sizes vary depending on the subject being taught. As well as physical skill development there is a strong focus on artistic exploration and creativity, contextual studies and business planning.

The course is divided into modules for assessment purposes, details of which can be found by clicking on the programme content links below. The course will focus on continuous assessment of each student’s individual progress, as well as performance related assessment both as an individual and as part of an ensemble. Students analytical and critical skills are also assessed through research projects and presentations. There are no formal written examinations.  

The degree is delivered at the National Centre for Circus Arts (except for the Ensemble Performance Task module – see below) and is awarded by the University of Kent. Students must complete and pass all modules in order to obtain the qualification. Applicants should hold a Foundation Degree from the National Centre for Circus Arts or another school which is a recognised Full Type 1 member of FEDEC:

Programme content - BA Hons Degree

Entry requirements

Applicants to the BA (Hons) Degree programme should hold an appropriate qualification from one of the recognised circus schools listed below:

National Centre for Circus Arts, London

Académie Fratellini (St. Denis, France)

Centre National des Arts du Cirque (Châlons-en-Champagne, France)

Circomedia (Bristol, UK)

Codarts Rotterdam – Circus Arts (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Dans och Cirkushögskolan (DOCH, Stockholm, Sweden)

Ecole Nationale de Cirque (Montreal, Canada)

École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque (ESAC, Brussels, Belgium)

Fontys academy for circus and performance art- ACaPA (Tilburg, The Netherlands)

National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA, Melbourne, Australia)

Université de Sciences Appliquées de Turku – Département Cirque (Turku, Finland)

Any candidate applying for direct entry to the BA (Hons) Programme from any of these institutions must provide evidence that they have successfully completed two years training on a relevant course, equivalent to a Foundation Degree, along with details of their previous study (for example a student handbook or module guide).

Direct entry applicants will be interviewed at audition, and will be expected to provide an additional reference, a sample of written work and their transcript to date. This is to ensure that they are being assessed for entry on the same basis as internal applicants from the National Centre Foundation Degree.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate a proficiency in both written and verbal English language which would normally be GCSE English or equivalent International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at 6.5 pass level or higher.

We define BA level in this context as someone who can formulate and communicate his or her technical and artistic needs at a level consistent with a view to entering the profession as a young practitioner. We also expect candidates to be capable of working at a level of autonomy not necessarily present, or acquired at, Foundation Degree level.


Applicants must participate in a two-day audition process. Auditions are by invitation only.

We advise applicants not to make travel arrangements until you have been formally invited to audition.

Further information about auditions will be available after the application process. Please note that you must be able to attend the auditions on the specified date should an offer be made. 

Find out more about the audition process.

How to apply

Applications for entry to the BA (Hons) Degree in September 2017 are now closed. 

Applications for September 2018 entry will open in Autum 2017.

If you're interested in applying but have some further questions, you can complete this form or contact us on the details below.

For applications to the BA (Hons) Degree course please email or call us on +44 (0) 20 7613 8244.

Our BA Hons Degree is awarded by the University of Kent.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that National Centre for Circus Arts delivers consistently  outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.