MA in Directing Circus

The Deadline for 2021/22 has now passed but please contact us if you are still interested as we may have some spaces available through clearing.

The Masters Degree in Directing Circus Course

Our MA in Directing Circus is the first of its kind in the world. 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 challenges of using circus techniques in an artistic context.

As an MA student, you’ll engage in both group and independent learning. You’ll have the chance to work with world-leading professionals in the industry and debate the most recent developments in circus and physical theatre performance and direction.

The MA is accredited by Bath Spa University.

“This brand new MA in Directing Circus is a really exciting development not just for Circomedia but for circus everywhere.”

– Dr. Bim Mason, Artistic and Education Director

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

Applications are made directly to Bath Spa University.

MA Fully Funded Scholarship supported by the Leverhulme Trust. Find out more >>

What will you study on the MA?

The course offers students the chance to study a range of research methodologies, as well as the roles, strategies, and practical skills of directing for circus. We’ll encourage you to explore the need for directors to be both authors/originators and facilitators.

The course is split into five modules:

Research Methodologies and Context

You’ll work alongside students from other performing arts disciplines to develop a sophisticated understanding of, and ability to, research at postgraduate level. You will also learn about the historical, contemporary and geographical range of context for circus.

Circus Directing 1: performer as source

This practical module gives you the opportunity to explore a range of roles, responsibilities, and skills necessary to develop as a circus-based performance director, exploring the potential and limitations of the performer. You’ll learn about the roles required of a circus director including dramaturgy, choreography, and design. Below is an interview with graduate Courtney Prokopas talking about her experiences of this module.

Circus Directing 2: director as author

You’ll develop your directing skills with an in-depth project that shifts the emphasis from taught to independent learning. Working with undergraduate students, you’ll direct a circus-based act or performance piece to demonstrate your skills.

Professional Collaboration

This module encourages you to collaborate on a project with MA students in other performing arts fields or within a placement of your chosen professional company.

Final Project

Your thesis content is decided in partnership with your course tutors. It can be a written piece, a practical work or a combination of both. Previous work includes presentations about the students’ experiences, work-in-progress showings and more developed performances, for example 2018 graduate Meri-Maija Näykki’s piece ‘Disconnection’.

Is the course right for you?

If you have a background in circus, devising new work, and performance, and you want to develop your abilities as a director who is interested in bringing together circus techniques with artistic expression, then you will thrive on this course.

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 for further details. The deadline to apply is 30 June 2021.

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 still apply to Circomedia.

Where will the MA take you?

On the MA, you will have the freedom to build upon your practice and research by developing a circus production from start to finish. As a result, you will become a more developed director, educator, scholar and circus enthusiast, ready to take on the next exciting challenge of your career.

How do you fund the MA?

The MA fees for 2020/21 are £7,295. You can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s loan of up to £10,609 to help you cover your costs. To find out more, email

Applicants with strong links to the South West can apply for our new Scholarship, in association with Leverhulme Arts Scholarships. The Scholarship will give the successful applicant a fully funded place on the course, plus £1000 in travel expenses. Click here for more information or email us at the address below.

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

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