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Applications are now open for entry in September 2024.

Foundation Degree in Contemporary Circus with Physical Theatre

Our undergraduate programme is split into a two-year Foundation Degree and a BA (Hons) top-up year. The Foundation Degree (FdA) 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. This course is validated by Bath Spa University.

Apply here.


“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)


What will I study?

The Foundation Degree begins with a five-week introduction to aerial, acrobatics, and juggling. After this introductory period, students specialise in two of these skill areas alongside classes in physical theatre, movement, fitness and conditioning, contextual studies and critical thinking.  Performance opportunities include the Spring and Summer Projects which are solo and group pieces allowing students to explore the integration of circus and physical theatre and perform Street Theatre shows at local and national events. Towards the end of the first year, students work alongside the MA Directing students to develop a large ensemble show performed at our city centre performance venue.

In the second year of the course, students specialise in more detail as they receive intensive teaching in just one discipline. They also explore performance styles such as clown, burlesque, stand-up comedy, narrative circus, political street theatre and circus for camera in the Stylistic Forms module. Essential employability skills are developed as students participate in teacher training, produce a website, CV and showreel, and learn the essentials of becoming a self-employed performer. Input and inspiration is delivered throughout the year by way of a series of seminars by a wide range of visiting industry professionals.  The year ends with Ensemble shows, where students work in groups to devise their own contemporary circus shows which are performed to a public audience at our city centre performance venue.

Students who successfully complete the FDA can apply for a third top-up year to achieve a full BA (Hons) degree. BA students develop a repertoire of acts, each for a different audience in a Performance Compilation. They then expand and develop their skills with a Practice as Research project in their chosen discipline.  The second half of the year includes the Final Major Project, a self-devised solo or group performance that pulls together everything students have learnt during their three years at Circomedia. The year finishes with the design, development and production of a full-length ensemble show that tours venues in the UK such as Jackson’s Lane in London and Déda in Derby.

“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 that.”

-Iona, BTEC & BA graduate

What do you need?

You must have a minimum of grades CDD 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 may be eligible to apply for Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Bath Spa advises that applicants aged 21 or over with three years worth of practical, full-time experience can use that experience in lieu of academic qualifications. This is ideal for applicants who don’t hold a Level 3 qualification, but who have been working in the industry for three or more years. For more information please email

Course Fees

Course fees are £9,250 (per a year) and you can apply for a Student Loan, including a maintenance loan for living costs (see Fees & Funding below).

British Citizens

Please bear in mind that at this stage, we can only accept students from within the UK, or that have British Citizenship. Therefore, if you have dual citizenship with a country in the UK, you can apply for this course.

EU Citizens

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept EU students onto our courses at the moment, because of Brexit. EU students are now considered international students, and we do not currently have the relevant VISA status to accept international applicants.

However, we can accept those who are eligible to apply for settled or pre-settled status. So, if you were settled in the UK before midnight on the 31st January 2020, we can accept you. See EU Settlement Scheme for further details.

Irish Citizens

The government has clarified that Irish citizens are exempt from the UK’s points-based immigration system, and there will be no change to the arrangements for the Common Travel Area. Therefore, if you are an Irish National, you may apply to study at Circomedia.

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 the Foundation Degree take you?

Many of our graduates have gone on to professional performance careers and many form their own companies. Examples of these include Ockham’s Razor, Green Eyed Zero and Can’t Sit Still. Graduates also develop solo careers, devising original work for theatre, street performance or the corporate market to name just a few possibilities. You might be like 2016 graduate Robin Dale and adapt a piece you’ve already created for Circomedia. Robin developed his FMP, ‘What Does Stuff Do?’ into an award-winning act, before taking it on tour nationally and internationally.

Others have 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 or cabaret.

You can learn more about where Circomedia can take you by reading about our alumni.

Where will you train?

You’ll train at our Kingswood campus five days a week. Our spaces include two large aerial studios, a gymnasium, a beautiful dance studio, and two theatre spaces. You’ll also have the opportunity to perform at St Paul’s Church, giving you the experience of working in a professional venue with a dedicated technical team.

“Circomedia is very generous with its training space! The opportunities to train outside of class are amazing!

– Emma Saunders, Circomedia graduate

Priority access to our Kingswood studios, which are open until 9.30pm every weekday, is given to our students. Although spaces are also used by Professional Members and Artists in Residence, we ensure there’s still plenty of room for students to train.

Fees 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 contact to confirm.

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

Applications for the FDA and BA courses for this academic year are now open. If you are interested in applying to start in September 2023 please do so. We look forward to receiving your application! If you would like to find out more about the course or how to apply, then please get in touch with our admissions team at

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

Access and participation

For more information about access and participation, please view our statement here.