Frequently Asked Questions
We’re here to support you through every stage of your application. Please check to see whether your question is listed in the frequently asked questions section below. If there’s something you’re still unsure about then please drop us a line at email@example.com
The BTEC course is open to students who are aged 16-18 at the start of the course.
You must be aged at least 18 years old to study on the Degree or the Vocational Course.
Your eligibility for government funding to pay your course fees depends on your age and previous qualifications.
16 – 18: The government will pay your fees if you have a minimum of a grade 4 in GCSE English and Maths (or equivalent). Unfortunately, your place won’t be funded without it. If you are a European student then your equivalent qualifications will need to be checked by NARIC.
Please note that Functional Skills Level 2 is not considered equivalent to GCSE by the funding agency. You must have one of the following: GCSE; IGCSE; Scottish Intermediate 2; Scottish National 5; A or AS Level; International Baccalaureate.
Level 3 students are not eligible for a maintenance loan. Regardless of age, the government do not provide any funding for students on Level 3 courses to cover living costs. If you are moving to Bristol to study on the BTEC, it is really important that you know how you will finance your rent, bills, food and transport.
Circomedia’s partner, City of Bristol College, do offer a discretionary, means-tested bursary which is triggered by enrolment. The maximum available amount is £245 for the year (for a household income of £11,999 or less) or £1,200 a year for learners who meet any of the following criteria:
- In care or Care Leaver
- Receiving Income Support (or Universal Credit) in their own right
- Receiving Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance
- An unaccompanied asylum seeker
To avoid financial hardship we strongly recommend that anyone relocating to Bristol for the BTEC course can afford to do so.
As with any university course, students studying on our Foundation Degree and BA top-up year may be eligible for a student loan covering course fees and living costs. Students on undergraduate courses apply for tuition fees and maintenance loans separately. The maintenance loan is means-tested so please ensure you give full and accurate information. Please see Student Finance for full details.
As with any university course, students studying on our MA may be eligible for a student loan covering course fees and living costs. Students apply for tuition fees and maintenance loans separately. The maintenance loan is means-tested so please ensure you give full and accurate information. Please see Student Finance for full details.
The MA course fees are £7,790 and student loans of up to £10,000 are available. This amount is to cover course fees and living costs.
To be able to engage with the course at an appropriate level, we recommend that people applying for the Level 3 BTEC course have at least four GCSEs at grade 4 or above. It is mandatory for all applicants to have GCSE English and Maths at a minimum of grade 4. If you are worried about not having the correct qualifications please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants for the Foundation Degree need a minimum of three grade Ds at A Level or MPP from a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma (or equivalent), as well as some experience in circus, theatre, dance or another physical activity. If you are aged 21+ and you do not have these qualifications please email email@example.com to discuss Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
Like students all over the UK, most people studying with us live in privately-rented accommodation. House-sharing together in Bristol or the surrounding area provides our students with a great practical and emotional support network. There is plenty of rental accommodation around the Kingswood area which is more affordable than properties closer to Bristol City Centre. We recommend that you start your search early, as many students relocate to study in Bristol.
Whether you’re applying for the FDA, MA or BTEC, your personal statement needs to tell us why you want to study at Circomedia.
We want to get a sense of why you feel passionate about joining us to develop your skills and abilities in circus and physical theatre. We also want to get to know you – so tell us about your relevant experience and what makes you tick.
The BTEC, FDA and MA all involve written work. You cannot pass a Circomedia course without completing the written elements.
On the FDA, written work accounts for 30% of the course, including an essay on the Historical and Cultural context of Circus and Theatre, a Reflective Practice essay and a written Professional Development Plan.
On the BTEC, you are required to complete written work to complement your practical work. The format of your work is relevant to your learning and professional development and might include an online journal, blog, essay, or research project and the creation of professional self-promotional material.
There is no rule preventing you from working part-time while studying.
However all our courses are intensive and demanding, and trying to ‘juggle’ work and study can be exhausting. Many of our students take paid performance opportunities during the holidays and weekends to help manage their finances, and when we are notified of such opportunities we pass them on.
The BTEC course runs four days a week (9 am – 4.30 pm). There is therefore a bit more room to work alongside study.