BA Hons

This one year course consolidates the technical level of a specific circus discipline and its integration with a personal artistic approach.

Course Overview

This one year course consolidates the technical level of a specific circus discipline and its integration with a personal artistic approach.

The training is intensive; weeks are 35 hours long with a mix of taught sessions and scheduled independent learning. Each year is 33 weeks in length in order to sustain physical progression. As well as physical skill development there is a strong focus on artistic exploration and creativity, contextual studies and business planning.

The course will focus on continuous assessment of each student’s individual progress, as well as performance related assessment both as an individual and as part of an ensemble. Students analytical and critical skills are also assessed through research projects and presentations.

Independent Registration

After many years as a member of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD) we have recently decided to seek independent registration as a Higher Education Provider (HEP) and are currently in the process of making an application to the Office for Students (OfS). We aim to be independent by 2023. Students currently enrolled will therefore complete their studies under registration with CDD and students enrolling from 2021/22 will complete their 2-year Foundation Degree with CDD but continue with their 3rd year BA (Hons) top up registered with National Centre for Circus Arts. Students enrolling in 2022/23 should be aware that their course may be registered independently with the National Centre. The courses will continue to be validated by the University of Kent and we will work closely with CDD to ensure there is no disruption to students during this period of transition. For more information please read CDD’s Statement on future direction.


    BA (Hons) Degree in Circus Arts


    We do not go through UCAS


    National Centre for Circus Arts – London


    University of Kent


    1 year (full-time), 35 hours a week, 33 weeks in the year


    September – July

Module Map

Each module is worth a specified number of credits. You must take modules worth a total of 120 credits across the whole year.

Our teaching is informed by research, and active performers and directors who are already working in the professional industry. Modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

You can always find the most up-to-date information about your modules and who is teaching them on Teams, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), once you have registered for the course.


Autumn | 10 credits

Circus in the 21st Century


Autumn & Spring | 10 credits

The Business Plan


Autumn & Spring | 25 credits

Negotiated Performance Task


Autumn & Spring | 15 credits



Autumn & Spring | 15 credits

Movement & Composition 2


Autumn, Spring & summer | 30 credits

Circus Discipline Level 2


summer | 15 credits

The Ensemble

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a Foundation Degree from the National Centre for Circus Arts or another school listed below which is a recognised Full Type 1 member of FEDEC. Please see below list of schools:

  • Académie Fratellini (St. Denis, France)
  • Centre National des Arts du Cirque (Châlons-en-Champagne, France)
  • Circomedia (Bristol, UK)
  • Codarts Rotterdam – Circus Arts (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Dans och Cirkushögskolan (DOCH, Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Ecole Nationale de Cirque (Montreal, Canada)
  • École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque (ESAC, Brussels, Belgium)

Any candidate applying for direct entry to the BA (Hons) course from any of these institutions must provide evidence that they have successfully completed two years of training on a relevant course, equivalent to a Foundation Degree, along with details of their previous study (for example a student handbook or module guide).

Direct entry applicants will be interviewed at audition and will be expected to provide a reference and their transcript to date. This is to ensure that they are being assessed for entry on the same basis as internal applicants from the National Centre Foundation Degree.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate a proficiency in both written and verbal English language which would normally be GCSE English or equivalent International English Language Testing System. Overseas students may be required to take a Secure English Language Test (SELT) prior to entry in order to meet VISA requirements.

We define BA level in this context as someone who can formulate and communicate his or her technical and artistic needs at a level consistent with a view to entering the profession as a young practitioner. We also expect candidates to be capable of working at a level of autonomy not necessarily present, or acquired at, Foundation Degree level.


Degree applications for 2022 entry have now closed. Applications for 2023 entry will open on our website in October 2022. If you have any questions in the meantime regarding our admissions process, please do not hesitate to contact our Admissions and Registry Manager via

*The Courses at NCCA are validated by the University of Kent. We periodically review and enhance them to ensure we are delivering high quality degree courses to our students. We are due to review our course in the 2021/22 academic year. As a result, there may be some changes to the course content and qualifications in September 2022. We will inform all candidates about changes to the course when applicable but for now the course summary document outlines the course you will be applying for. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Stevie Taylor or Joanna Young.


Applications are now closed. Please check back in the Autumn term.

Admissions process

The admissions process is made up of two parts.

Part 1: Apply and submit video

  1. Apply directly through our website via (applications are currently closed)
  2. Pay the £25 application fee. Fee waivers are available*
  3. Submit your video link within the application. See part 1 video guidance and criteria
  4. Once we have received your application form, video and payment, we will invite you to part 2 (a one-day audition) so long as you meet the entry requirements above

*Application fee waivers

We are able to offer a number of application fee waivers to UK applicants from low-income backgrounds that may not otherwise be able to make an application. For further information about eligibility and how to apply please visit the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama website.

Part 2: Attend an in-person audition

Part 2 Auditions will be held in April at the National Centre for Circus Arts building, London. Find out more about the audition.


We are hopeful that the 2nd part of our 2-part auditions will be able to go ahead at the National Centre for Circus Arts building in 2022. However, if due to Covid-19 they cannot, alternative arrangements will be put in place and applicants will be required to audition fully via video. To help prepare for this scenario, we advise applicants to start gathering video material, such as training or circus discipline footage and familiarise themselves with our full video criteria.

Further information

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Download the prospectus

More information, with all your degree questions answered

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