Course overviewCircomedia BTEC Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Practice (Circus) City of Bristol College
The course offers the chance to learn a range of circus disciplines (aerial, juggling, acrobatics and balance) alongside classes in physical theatre, movement, and devising. Underpinning this practical skill development is a rigorous programme of academic study in which learners will investigate theatre practitioners, plan a community project and explore various employment opportunities in the arts industry.
You can apply on the Circomedia website.
Who is this course for?
This course is for 16-18 year olds, or adults aged 19+ for a fee, who can demonstrate some ability in physical or performance disciplines such as dance, drama, gymnastics, parkour or martial arts. You will need a keen interest in a career in the performing arts, but don’t need to have any previous circus experience. Applicants will need a good level of fitness as this is a very practical course!
What you'll learn
You’ll have the opportunity to study a range of circus disciplines, including juggling, balance, aerial and acrobatics. You’ll learn about physical theatre, movement and performance techniques, as well as developing your knowledge of influential practitioners and the business skills vital to working within the performing arts industry. The course is very physically intensive and you will need a good level of fitness.
Module E – collaborative performance across the disciplines,
Module F- Performing Arts Industry
Module G- Duo performance and self-promotion
Module H- collaborative performance project
Course entry requirements
Students must have GCSE English and maths at grade 4 (C) or above.
Applicants aged between 16 and 18 will have their course fees funded by the government (providing you have English and Maths GCSE). Adult funding (19+) has unfortunately not been granted by the funding agency for the new course specification. This means if you are aged 19 or over then you will have to pay privately, or you could consider the Foundation Degree course.
Circomedia can accept applications from international students within the EU and EEA, however they are unable to take anyone requiring a visa to study.
If you do not meet the funding requirements then Circomedia can accept private payment. The course costs £4250 per year. Please note that private students will still be enrolled on the BTEC qualification and are expected to fully engage in all aspects of the course.
How is the course delivered and assessed?
Most days you will have the chance to train in the historic St Paul’s Church in central Bristol, while once a week you will train at Circomedia’s campus in Kingswood, also home to the Degree students. Circomedia provides supervised practice sessions outside of college hours so you can really hone your skills.
You will have the opportunity to perform at St Paul’s Church for twice-annual BTEC shows, giving you a real taste of what it’s like to be a professional circus performer.
The course is module based. Assessments are through course work only, no exam. They will be performance based, written research and self reflection.
Future career and study opportunities
Many Circomedia BTEC graduates progress to study on Circomedia’s own Foundation Degree course, while others have gone to develop their skills at schools across Europe including Codarts, DOCH and CNAC. BTEC students have also gone on to join professional companies, set up their own company, or taken their careers in a whole other direction.
As a City of Bristol College student, you may incur additional costs to attend your course. For example, it is likely you may need to pay for travel and stationery. All equipment is supplied but some students wish to purchase their own circus equipment if they require specialist equipment not supplied by Circomedia.
We will let you know in advance if there will be additional costs.
If you are on a limited income, you may be able to receive help from our Learner Support Funding Bursary.
For guidance on which career path to take, to explore career options related to our courses, find out which careers are in demand, and then get the training you need.