Full time circus-theatre education for 16+ on a Level 3 BTEC

Circomedia offers students aged 16+ the chance to study on the UK’s only two-year Extended Diploma in Contemporary Circus and Physical Theatre

A BTEC is a Level 3 qualification that follows on from GCSE. The course features the same academic rigour as A Levels whilst also focusing on more practical learning.

The course gives young people from the age of 16 the chance to learn a range of circus disciplines (aerial, juggling, acrobatics and balance) alongside classes in physical theatre, movement and devising. Underpinning this practical skill development is a rigorous programme of academic study in which learners will investigate theatre practitioners, plan a community project and explore various employment opportunities within the arts industry.

Physically and mentally it feels so good to be at Circomedia. If you want to do something creative, this is the place to be

Kiah Bailey, BTEC student

Get to know the BTEC 

Hopefully the following information will answer most of your questions about studying on the BTEC with us. However, if you have any more questions, please drop Ben an email on [email protected] 

What will you study?

You’ll have the opportunity to study a range of circus disciplines, including juggling, balance, aerial and acrobatics. You’ll learn about physical theatre, movement and performance techniques, as well as developing your knowledge of influential practitioners and the business skills vital to working within the performing arts industry. The course is very physically intensive and you will need a good level of fitness. Your learning is underpinned by academic study and assessments will be both practical and written.

What do you need?

To apply for our BTEC, you need to be aged 16+ and have four GCSE passes at grades A* - C (or 9 – 4 in the new 2017 grading structure). Applicants without grades 4 – 9 in English and maths will be able to study GCSE re-sit classes alongside the course. If you are home educated or haven’t taken GCSEs then you will do Functional Skills.

You don’t need to have any previous circus experience, but you will need to demonstrate an interest in circus, dance, drama, gymnastics, parkour, martial arts or other type of physical or performance activity.

Applicants aged between 16 and 18 will have their course fees funded by the government. If you are 19 or over please look at our FAQ section to check your eligibility.

What do you get?

A BTEC Diploma is the equivalent of two A-levels. If you successfully complete the first year, you may be able to stay on for an additional year and achieve a qualification worth three A-levels. 

Where will it take you?

Many of our BTEC graduates progress to study on Circomedia’s own Foundation degree course, while others have headed off to train at schools across Europe including Codarts in Rotterdam and DOCH in Sweden. BTEC students have also gone on to join professional companies, set up their own, or taken their careers in a whole other direction. You can find out more by reading about our alumni

Where will you train?

Most days you'll have the chance to train in the historic St Pauls Church in central Bristol, while once a week you’ll train at our Kingswood site. You’ll also have the opportunity to perform in St Pauls Church for our twice-annual BTEC shows - giving you a real taste of what it’s like to be a professional circus performer. 

Any questions? Take a look at our FAQs or email Ben at [email protected] 

Apply now

Back in November 2016 our BTEC students made their own contribution to the short-lived internet craze the "mannequin challenge".  We thought they did pretty well!