CLONE: Foundation Degree in Circus Arts

The Foundation Degree in Circus Arts is a two-year course which aims to develop a broad range of the skills required as a professional circus artist

Course overview

The Foundation Degree is intense in order to sustain technical and creative progression, with an equal focus on artistic creativity and collaboration. The focus is on the 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 presentations, essays and other assignment projects.

The degree is delivered at the National Centre for Circus Arts and is awarded by the University of Kent. Students must complete and pass all modules in both years of the course in order to obtain the qualification, and progress on the BA (Hons) Degree. Entry on to the BA (Hons) is at the discretion of the Higher Education delivery team.

Module map

Each module is worth a specified number of credits: enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interests. You must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course.

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) when you have registered onto the course.

  • Award

    Foundation Degree in Circus Arts


    We do not go through UCAS. Applicants need to apply directly through the school


    National Centre for Circus Arts – London


    University of Kent


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


    September – July

Foundation Degree Year 1 (Level 4)

During the first year of the Foundation Degree in Circus Arts students can expect to spend an important amount of their autumn term being inducted into the workings of the National Centre for Circus Arts, preparing for your time as a student here and getting to know their year group. Students will gradually be inducted into the use of spaces and equipment, and students will access these resources when we are sure that they are safe and secure in their use. Throughout the year they will undertake intensive physical classes in a range of circus-related activities, as well as sessions in performance, movement, and contextual studies which allow you to gain an understanding of circus in a wider performance context.

The Specialisation Process

Specialisation happens over the course of the autumn term as part of module CA110 – Specialisation Assessments. It is a collaborative process between the student and staff, leading to a decision about which circus discipline is suited both physically and creatively to that person.

Big Space discipline options will be invite only.

Discipline choices will be based on:

  • Availability of teachers
  • Space restrictions
  • Ability

Our goal is to help the circus performer to establish the foundation for a long and fruitful career. We aim for all students in this first year to have completed this process by the end of the spring term. Please see below list of disciplines that the National Centre offers:

Aerial Disciplines 

  • Single Point Trapeze
  • Static Trapeze
  • Doubles Trapeze
  • Hoop
  • Rope
  • Silks
  • Straps
  • Multi cord (Basic level of rope and silks required)
  • Net/Loop (Basic level of rope and silks required)
  • Aerial Pole (Basic level of Chinese pole required)
  • Cradle

Acrobatic Disciplines

  • Hand to Hand
  • Chinese Pole
  • Acro Dance
  • Hand Balancing
  • Banquine

Juggling and Manipulation

  • Ball, Club & Ring Juggling
  • Hula Hoop
  • Hats, cigar boxes, ball spinning and “Gentleman juggling”

Big Space*

  • CYR Wheel
  • Teeter Board
  • Trick Bike
  • Tight Wire
  • Slack Rope

*Invite Only – due to varying factors students will only be assessed in these disciplines by invitation only during the specialisation module.

In the final term we create a timetable that prepares students for continued development in the 2nd Year of the Foundation Degree in Circus Arts.

Foundation Degree Year 2 (Level 5)

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 your specific discipline, other physical complementary classes, acrobatics, performance, movement and contextual studies, as well as time for research and independent practice.

In detail

Foundation Degree Course Specification

FDA Course Spec 2021 Course Summary 2021

2022 Entry

Applications for our Foundation Degree and BA (Hons) Degree courses* will be opening in October 2021 for September 2022 entry.

*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.

Deadline for applications: 14 March 2022, 1pm (BST)

Attend an open day

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Admissions process

The admissions process is made up of two parts.

Apply now

Please fill out the application form to apply for 2024 entry

Part 1

How to find us

Shoreditch Electric Light Station, home of the National Centre for Circus Arts, is based in the heart of Shoreditch.

Old Street Underground Station (Northern Line) is 4 mins away and just two stops from St. Pancras International Rail Station. The London Overground network is close by as well as numerous bus routes making Shoreditch Electric Light Station easily accessible from all areas of London.

Further information

Attend an open day

Experience what it is to be a National Centre for Circus Arts student

Attend an open day

Download the prospectus

More information, with all your degree questions answered

Download our prospectus