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Bachelor of Circus Arts

Bachelor of Circus Arts Overview

NICA, Australia’s Centre of Excellence in contemporary circus arts training, offers Australia's only Bachelor of Circus Arts, the highest level of accredited circus training available in Australia.

This program aims to push the boundaries of circus as an art form and create work which is innovative and inspiring.

The three year full-time Bachelor of Circus Arts degree course incorporates intensive physical training with performance opportunities, academic studies, technical production, health and business education. The elite level Bachelor of Circus Arts degree strives to produce highly employable, skilled and creative artists who will be respected nationally and internationally in the global circus and physical theatre industry.

Duration: 3 years full-time
Course code: BA-CIRCA1                                                                    CRICOS provider code: 00111D     CRICOS course code: 078080F

  • Circus basics such as tumbling, handstands, flexibility, manipulation, aerial and partner work
  • Group acts such as: adagio, group aerial, group juggling, hoop-diving and teeterboard
  • Specialty apparatus
  • Fitness, strength and conditioning
  • Performance skills: improvisation, movement, acting and vocal techniques and approaches to devising innovative work as an ensemble or solo performer
  • Movement skills: ballet, contemporary dance, improvisation, contact and composition
  • History and culture of circus
  • Circus business and career management
  • Technical aspects of circus production, equipment and safety in the circus environment
  • Basic anatomy, physiology, nutrition and sports psychology

Bachelor of Circus Arts students train at NICA’s purpose-built circus studios, performance spaces, drama and movement studios. Here they have access to dressing rooms, equipment and costume storage spaces. Students are also offered a range of services with NICA's health team; comprising a physiotherapist, sports doctor and sports psychologist - as well as the facilities and support services provided by Swinburne University.


   National Institute of Circus Arts


Bachelor of Circus Arts

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Career Opportunities

Formal training in circus arts opens up exciting opportunities for a future career. Graduates are highly employable, knowledgeable and creative. They have found careers nationally and internationally. NICA training can lead to work in contemporary circus, traditional circus, social circus, stunt work, corporate entertainment, festivals, teaching and other sectors of the arts industry. A number of graduate artists are employed nationally and internationally by companies such as Cirque du Soleil; Dragone, China; Carnival Australia; Circa; Circus Oz; Cavalia and NoFit State Circus, UK. Many other NICA trained performers establish companies that tour festival circuits.

NICA offers employment opportunities through CircaNICA, Australia’s leading agency for professional circus artists. Read more about where circus has led some of NICA’s graduates.

Bachelor of Circus Arts

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How to apply

Applications for 2017 entry have now closed.

Entry requirements

The successful completion of Year 12 or equivalent is the minimum required educational qualification.

Entry into NICA is by audition, interview and successful completion of a medical assessment. Applicants must apply to audition.

Applicants should have a background in areas such as performing arts, physical theatre, youth circus, diving, dance, martial arts, acrobatic sports or gymnastics.

Resources and references:
Audition Guide for 2017 Entry
Fitness Preparation Guide

Audition by DVD/USB/YouTube is accepted for international and geographically remote applicants. 

View a short video about NICA that explains the audition process.

Bachelor of Circus Arts - The Audition

CRICOS number 00111D
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