The FDA course

Foundation Degree in Contemporary Circus with Physical Theatre

We’re one of only two places in the UK to offer circus education at degree level. A two-year full-time Foundation Degree at Circomedia is aimed at students aged 18 or over who wish to develop as well-rounded circus-theatre performers. It’s your chance to try out a range of circus and physical theatre disciplines, before specialising further in an area of your choice.

You’ll be encouraged to explore how circus skills can be integrated with physical theatre to create work that expresses ideas, communicates themes or tells stories.

We are holding an Open Day on Friday 26th April for anyone who’d like to get a feel for the course, see the site and meet staff and students. Please email to book your place.

“I can’t really overstate how much Circomedia has done for me… Most of what is rich and interesting in my life now is a direct result of all [their] hard work. Thank you Circomedia!”

– Robin Boon Dale, circus performer and director, Act Festival Prize winner (BE Festival 2017)

“If you’re looking for a space where you can really experiment, push your boundaries and take circus in any new direction, then Circomedia really supports you in doing that.”

-Iona, BTEC & BA graduate

Get to know the Foundation Degree

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

What will you study?

In your first year, we’ll introduce you to the basic building blocks of circus and physical theatre, helping you develop your professional technique. You’ll have the opportunity to try out a range of circus disciplines including juggling and manipulation, acrobatics, aerial and more, before specialising later on. You will also develop physical theatre techniques, dance, use masks, and try clowning and street theatre. In addition, you’ll be encouraged to explore the history of circus and performance. You’ll be required to complete written assignments in the cultural context of circus.

You’ll have frequent chances to devise new and original work that you’ll perform at our student shows.

What do you need?

You must have a minimum of three D grades at A-level, or MMP from a BTEC Extended Diploma (Level 3). You will also need to demonstrate a good level of fitness, and show a commitment to an understanding of theatre, circus, and performance. If English is not your first language then you will need IELTS at Level 6 or an equivalent qualification.

If you don’t meet the qualification criteria, don’t panic! You can get in touch with to discuss your qualifications or Accredited Prior Learning.

Please bear in mind that at this stage, we can only accept FDA students from within the EU. If you live outside the EU you can take a look at our Professional Diploma.

Course fees are £9250 and you can apply for a Student Loan. We also ask students to make an annual materials fee payment of £100.

What do you get?

If you pass the course you’ll be awarded a Foundation Degree, accredited by Bath Spa University. You can then apply to take a top-up year with us and be awarded a BA (Hons) degree.

Where will it take you?

Many of our FDA graduates have gone on to professional performance careers, forming their own companies, such as Ockham’s Razor, Green Eyed Zero and Can’t Sit Still. Others have then brought the skills they developed as performers to teach the next generation of Circomedia students. Not all of our graduates have stayed in circus – some have gone on to more formal theatre training and joined the RSC, while others have taken the step into stand-up comedy. You can learn more about where circus can take you by reading about our alumni.

Where will you train?

You’ll train at our fully-kitted out Kingswood site which has four studios, including a gym, and a library. You’ll also have the opportunity to perform at St Pauls Church for our annual FDA shows – giving you a real taste of what it’s like to be a professional circus performer.

Fee status and funding

Although we can accept international students who have dual nationality with an EU country, fee status and eligibility for student funding may be different. A student who has not been resident in the EU for three years prior to the course start date may be deemed an international student for fee status and charged accordingly. Please speak to Circomedia to confirm.

To be eligible for funding from Student Finance EU or Student Finance UK, a student needs to have been living in the EU or UK for a certain amount of time. Please contact Student Finance directly to check eligibility.

Any questions? Take a look at our FAQs or email us at

First year students performing their street theatre pieces in Liverpool, 17th May 2019.

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