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Directing Circus

MA

Postgraduate degree

Key facts

Award
MA Directing Circus
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Circomedia - Bristol
Taught by
Circomedia
Course length
One year full-time

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We are generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent. Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Become a new kind of performance director, using circus techniques in an artistic context.

  • Work with professionals and stay up-to-date with the most recent developments within the industry.
  • Foster creative practices for directing circus-based performance work.
  • Explore circus direction through a variety of research methods.

You’ll study the roles, strategies and practical skills of circus directing, alongside a range of research methodologies. The course covers two areas – the director as author and the director as facilitator. During the course you might: share your work with specialist educators and student peers; study other subject areas; and work with youth circus groups.

You’ll use a variety of research methods and promote autonomous and collaborative learning to explore circus direction. You’ll engage with industry professionals on current debates and discourses of the discipline.

What you'll learn

Overview

You’ll study the roles, strategies and practical skills of circus directing, alongside a range of research methodologies. The course covers two areas – the director as author and the director as facilitator. During the course you might: share your work with specialist educators and student peers; study other subject areas; and work with youth circus groups.

You’ll use a variety of research methods and promote autonomous and collaborative learning to explore circus direction. You’ll engage with industry professionals on current debates and discourses of the discipline.

Modules

Research methodologies
This module gives you an opportunity to work alongside students from other Performing Arts disciplines. It develops a sophisticated understanding of, and ability to, research at a postgraduate level. The module recognises that research in the performing arts disciplines is a dynamic and varied field, which the methodologies explored on this module reflect. The module also provides specific context tailored to the individual needs of each Performing Arts MA course.

Circus Directing 1: Performer as Source
This practical module explores a range of roles, responsibilities and skills necessary for directing circus-based performance. You study different types of circus performance creation and demonstrate skills through practice and knowledge sharing. You begin by learning about all the roles that a circus director may be required to fulfil including dramaturgy, choreography and design, as well as the implications of different starting points such as performer-as-source and director-as-author. You engage in short, small projects, mainly working to facilitate the creative ideas and performance of the performer(s).

Circus Directing 2: Director as Author
This module develops your directing skills with a longer, more in-depth project, with more emphasis on director-as-author, shifting the emphasis from taught learning to more independent learning. You direct circus-based acts or pieces to demonstrate your advanced level skills through practice, at a semi-professional level. You’ll also reflect critically upon your overall skills development for directing circus and place them in the context of the contemporary industry. Teaching includes workshops, seminars, and off-site visits to companies in rehearsal.

Professional engagement
This module gives you the opportunity to explore your subject specialism within a contemporary professional context to promote entrepreneurialism and/or professional practice. The shared elements of this module links Performing Arts practitioners from different subject areas, while subject specific content focuses on professional approaches. This module includes placements with leading UK contemporary circus companies.

Thesis project
Your final project will draw on skills and knowledge acquired in modules 1, 2, 3, and 4. Drawing on an area of practice that is central to your interests and aspirations, your thesis content is decided in negotiation with your course tutors. It may take the form of a written submission or practical work or a combination of both. The initial stages of your project will commence with tutor guidance and then become self-directed in its later stages. A single summative assessment will conclude this final module of your Master’s degree.

How will I be assessed?

PA7024-30: You'll be assessed through the practical outcome of your projects and the written content of your blog.

PA7034-30: Formative assessment is through tutor feedback on your rehearsal processes and on the draft essay. Summative assessment is through the practical outcome of your project, your written reflection of the project, and your essay.

How will I be taught?

You’ll engage in short, small projects, mainly working to facilitate the creative ideas and performance of the performer(s).

Teaching includes workshops, seminars, and off-site visits to companies in rehearsal.

Opportunities

Work placements, industry links and internships

Our professional engagement module includes placements with leading UK contemporary circus companies.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

This course takes place at our Kingswood site which is home to Circomedia’s degree programme and main office space. It boasts four training spaces including three aerial spaces and mirrored studio. There is also a student room with a kitchen, quiet study room, classroom and IT suite. This site also holds a library with a comprehensive selection of books and media on contemporary circus with physical theatre.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2017/18 entry £6,600
2018/19 entry Published Jan 2018
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019

International students full time

Course fees
2017/18 entry N/A
2018/19 entry N/A
2019/20 entry N/A

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

This course suits individuals who have professional or semi-professional experience, either as a circus-artist performer who is interested in moving into directing or, as a theatre-based director who is interested in moving into circus-based work.

You’ll ideally have a background in circus, physical theatre or directing, or a related subject area, acquired through previous study as well as acquired experience through work or other means that will show you have the ability to succeed in the programme.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: info@circomedia.com

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk