National Centre for Circus Arts
National Centre for Circus Arts

The National Centre for Circus Arts involves thousands of people in the creation and performance of circus arts each year. As part of the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, it offers world-leading artistic and technical development for circus artists.

At the heart of its programme is three years of full-time study in circus: a two-year Foundation Degree course, with the opportunity to apply for a further top-up year to complete a BA (Hons) Degree.

With two large training halls and a range of smaller studios, including acrobatic, aerial, sound and lighting equipment, plus a library, the National Centre for Circus Arts is very well resourced.

It also has strong links with universities, and runs a range of other programmes, including professional support for performers and progressive youth circus training.

Curriculum offered
  • BTEC in Performing Arts (Circus) (Level 3*): 2 years (more info)
  • Foundation Degree in Circus Arts (Level 5*): 2 years (more info)
  • BA (Hons) Degree in Circus Arts (Level 6*): 1 year (more info)

*Level descriptors as per the UK Regulated Qualifications Framework

  • Language level

Applicants to our Higher Education programmes will be required to demonstrate a proficiency in both written and verbal English language, we usually require an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.5 or higher from applicants whose first language is not English.

  • Further and Higher Education programmes

Applications to the Further and Higher Education programmes are assessed by application, interview and audition.

  • BA

Applicants to the Foundation and BA (Hons) Degrees must be 18 or over on entry and should demonstrate their intent to pursue professional employment in circus arts. Entry to the Foundation Degree is based on physical capability and artistic potential, rather than circus experience. Potential BA (Hons) students should have an appropriate qualification from one of the recognised circus schools listed on the National Centre website.

  • BETC

The BTEC is aimed at those with some experience in performing arts, although students are accepted on the basis of future potential.