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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

Study Areas Include:
  • circus foundation skills including tumbling, handstands, flexibility, manipulation, aerial and partner work
  • group acts incorporating adagio, aerial, juggling, hoop-diving and teeterboard
  • circus specialties such as: trapeze, tissu, rope, handstands, tightwire, contortion, Chinese pole, rolla bolla, juggling, hula hoops, and clowning
  • fitness, strength and conditioning for circus artists
  • performance skills incorporating improvisation, acting, vocal techniques and approaches to devising innovative performances
  • movement skills encompassing ballet, contemporary dance, improvisation, contact and composition
  • circus history and cultural studies
  • circus business and career management
  • technical aspects of circus production, equipment and safety in the circus environment
  • anatomy, physiology, nutrition and sports psychology for circus artists.
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. A video link may be provided by applicants unable to access an audition venue.

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

Applicants must be physically able to undertake the training required. Provision of medical evidence of suitability for circus training may be required.



Bachelor of Circus Arts
Career Opportunities

NICA offers employment opportunities through CircaNICA, Australia’s leading agency for professional circus artists. For more information visit the CircaNICA website

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. Graduate artists are employed internationally by companies such as Cirque du Soleil (worldwide), Dragone (China), Carnival Australia, Circa (Australia and touring internationally), Circus Oz (Australia and touring internationally), Cavalia (Canada and touring internationally) and NoFit State Circus (United Kingdom). Many others establish small project companies that tour festival circuits throughout Australia and the world.


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.


Bachelor of Circus Arts

*Applications open June 2019. IMPORTANT: join our Inside Track mailing list for application reminders and more info

Resources and references

Audition via online video footage is accepted for international and geographically remote applicants.

CRICOS number 00111D
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Department of Communications and the Arts
Victorian Government
Swinburne University of Technology
Pratt Foundation
Jack n' Jill
Sidney Myer Fund
City of Stonnington
Australian Roundtable For Arts Training Excellence