Masters | Postgraduate Course - Directing Circus MA Course Details within Bath Spa University

Directing Circus MA

Study Details

MA One year full-time

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

 Postgraduate course taught by Circomedia

  • 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.

Module details

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.

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.

Student Destinations

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