Introducing our academy

If you want to study circus with physical theatre and develop as a new kind of performer then look no further than Circomedia and our full-time courses delivered in partnership with Weston College and Bath Spa University. Based in the vibrant city of Bristol, famous for its thriving performance industry and links to the wider circus and theatre community, Circomedia has been at the forefront of contemporary circus education for over 30 years. It is one of our core educational beliefs that minds and personalities need developing just as much as physical skill. That is why we nurture our students to take an imaginative and innovative approach to training. We aim to give students not just what they need for the existing artistic landscape but to equip them to create their own blend of circus and theatre for the future. We encourage all our students to devise work that challenges and inspires, in the hope they will discover the fullness of their physical, emotional and creative potential.

“I got so much from my studies – Circomedia gave me a safe place to try things, fail at things and learn from them.”

  – Pedro Tochas, street theatre performer and TV actor

Our Courses

We offer a choice of full-time accredited courses to suit a variety of ages, abilities and levels of experience. Our unique approach to training means that graduates leave Circomedia with the skills and confidence to build successful careers where they can use circus and physical theatre to express themselves.

For learners aged 16+ we offer a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Performing Arts. This course is the only two-year Extended Diploma in the UK that allows students to specialise in circus alongside training in movement, physical theatre and devising. The course features the same academic rigour as A Levels whilst also focusing on more practical learning. BTEC students study four days a week and a full Extended Diploma provides enough UCAS points for university applications. The course is delivered in partnership with Weston College, rated Outstanding by OFSTED, who ensure the same quality extends to Circomedia and its teaching, management and outcomes.

Circomedia’s undergraduate Degree programme is split into a two-year Foundation Degree and a BA(Hons) top-up year. We are one of only two places in the UK to offer circus education at degree level and the only institution with a rich history of integrating the artform with physical theatre and other disciplines. Both courses are validated by Bath Spa University.

We also deliver a privately funded, unaccredited version of the Degree called the Vocational Course. This is ideal for people who want to develop their skills in contemporary circus and physical theatre but who don’t require the formal qualification. An intensive training experience, students have the chance to study a wide range of disciplines and styles, including circus, dance, theatre, cabaret, and street performance. The Vocational Course directly mirrors the Degree and can be studied as a three-month short course (September – December) or for a full year. Some Vocational Course students stay with us for just one year whilst others have done all three years of the BA as a Vocational Student!

In September 2017 Circomedia launched the world’s first Masters Degree in Directing Circus, also in partnership with Bath Spa University. The MA has been developed to address a recognised need across the global circus community to create and support a new kind of performance director – one who is aware of the possibilities and limitations of using circus techniques in an artistic context.

“Circomedia had a massive influence on all of us. Looking at the possibilities of circus, where it can be taken – and that it’s a free artform, what do you want to do with it – really formed the way I look at it.”

Charlotte Mooney, co-artistic director of Ockham’s Razor

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