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Certificate III in Circus Arts

Certificate III in Circus Arts Overview

The Certificate III in Circus Arts offers young people in Year 11 and 12 the opportunity to gain a nationally-recognised qualification in Circus Arts after two years. The course provides basic training in contemporary circus arts for students who wish to pursue a career as a circus performer.

Duration: 2 years part-time
Course Code: 10110NAT

NICA’s Certificate III course is nationally recognised.
Training Organisation Identifier (TOID): 3059

  • Circus basics such as tumbling, handstands, flexibility, manipulation, aerial and partner work
  • Fitness, strength and conditioning for circus performers
  • Performance and movement skills for circus performers

Certificate III in 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

Certificate III in Circus Arts

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Career Opportunities

The Certificate III in Circus Arts can lead to further circus arts study and to work in community and contemporary circus, traditional circus, social circus, stunt work, corporate entertainment, festivals, teaching and other sectors of the arts industry. Graduates would be employed to perform in circus and physical theatre acts at an elementary level.

The Certificate III in Circus Arts can provide a pathway into vocational areas such as theatre arts, dance, fitness, live production, and rigging. Graduates may also wish to apply for the Bachelor of Circus Arts.

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.

Certificate III in Circus Arts

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How to apply

Applications for 2017 entry have now closed.

Note: Certificate III Course is only open to Domestic Students.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have:

  • a demonstrated capacity in learning, reading, writing, oracy and numeracy competencies to Level 2 of the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). See
  • completed Year 10 or equivalent
  •  a background in areas such as performing arts, physical theatre, youth circus, dance, martial arts, acrobatic sports or gymnastics.

Applicants must undertake an audition that includes the demonstration of basic technical and/or artistic skills in some of the following areas:

  • flexibility
  • handstands
  • tumbling
  • strength
  • manipulation
  • demonstration of body alignment
  • performance skills.

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

To be considered for the Certificate III in Circus Arts, students must plan to combine NICA training with Year 11 or 12 studies at the Centre for Adult Education (CAE).

Prospective students should audition for NICA initially. 

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

View a short video about NICA that explains the audition process.
Bachelor of Circus Arts - The Audition

CRICOS number 00111D
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