Modules - Foundation Degree - 2nd Year


The second year of the course is devoted to the development of a student’s technical abilities in their circus discipline and other technical skills as well as increasing their understanding of creating, devising and performance contexts. Students will have a tailor made timetable that is specifically designed to support them in the development of their circus discipline, as well as scheduled independent learning sessions to allow students to work towards becoming an autonomous learner. A typical week during year two will include classes in their specific discipline, other physical complementary classes, acrobatics, performance, movement and contextual studies, as well as time for research and independent practice. 

Year 2 is comprised of seven core modules:


Circus Discipline Level 1 (35 Credits) 

Term: Autumn, Spring and Summer

In this module students will begin to work on sequencing and the creation of their own material in their circus discipline, developing their own artistic ideas, and the implementation of their own training regime. The module will be delivered as a combination of tutor led sessions/workshops and task driven independent learning. Some tutor led sessions will be specifically focused on the circus discipline itself, whilst other scheduled sessions will cover practices designed to complement discipline training – (e.g. acrobatics, handstands, ballet, Pilates).

Scheduled independent and peer led learning sessions are a central element of this module, allowing students the space to bring learning from across the programme into their practice, and to self-select areas of their training they wish to develop. Alongside progression with technical skills in their discipline, students will be expected to develop the habits required for professional practice as circus artists, and will be assessed on both of these aspects.


Action, Reaction and Creation (15 Credits) 

Term: Autumn and Spring

This module investigates methods of creating work for performance. Students will be assessed on the process of developing and performing work created during the module.


Movement & Composition 1 (15 Credits) 

Term: Autumn and Spring

This module addresses both movement technique and composition of material. Students are assessed on their work in both areas. 


Performance Review and Analysis (10 Credits) 

Term: Autumn

This module will help you to understand epistemologies of performance criticism and forge deeper connections between your ideas and artistic practice. Students will be assessed on a presentation to their peers, as well as an assignment submission and their engagement with research and discussion.


The Business of Being a Performer (10 Credits) 

Term: Spring and Summer 

This module includes a series of lectures on the variety of employment contexts open to a contemporary circus performer, as well as lectures in a range of topics such as employability skills, funding opportunities, health & safety regulations and international circus companies. The assessment of the module involves the production of a website/online portfolio, and the module includes practical workshops to prepare students for this assignment.


The Student Devised Piece (20 Credits) 

Term: Spring and Summer

In this module students will be able to demonstrate the development of their own artistic approach and create a performance piece, applying the technical and devising skills they have acquired during the programme. The presentations in this module are performed individually or in small groups to National Centre staff, students and some invited guests. Students will be assessed on both the process they undertake to create the piece and on their final performance. 


The Ensemble (15 Credits) 

Term: Summer

This is an ensemble production project emulating the experience of working as a member of a professional company. Students will work intensively over a number of weeks with a creative director or choreographer. As a member of this ensemble cast the objective will be to understand the needs of the creator and propose solutions and content that respond to those needs. Students will be assessed on both their engagement in the process and on their final performance.