Type of institution: University/Higher Education Institution
Level: Undergraduate
CRICOS: 00111D

The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) is a centre of teaching excellence for professional education and training in contemporary circus arts. The Bachelor of Circus Arts degree aims to produce graduates with a broad body of knowledge and skills through immersive and experiential practice-based studies in contemporary circus arts. An intense student-centred approach to learning through the conservatoire model seeks to enable students to develop the knowledge and abilities necessary to become confident and autonomous circus arts practitioners. The program provides preparation for further learning and regular opportunities for performance in diverse contexts.


300 credit points comprising: 24 core units.


  • Circus arts

Standard entry requirements

  • Year 12 or equivalent
  • VCE prerequisites: Units 3 and 4 - a study score of at least 30 in English (EAL) or at least 25 in English other than EAL
  • Entry into NICA is by audition, interview and successful completion of a medical assessment. completion or partial completion of an approved tertiary qualification (including Certificates, Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Associate Degrees and Degrees). 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 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. International students are also required to complete an application form. English language requirements - satisfactory completion of one of the following: Swinburne's English for Academic Purposes (EAP 5 Advanced level) with overall 65%, all skills 65%
  • Minimum IELTS overall band of 6.0 (Academic Module) with no individual band below 6.0
  • TOEFL iBT (internet-based) minimum score of 75 with a reading band no less than 18 and writing band no less than 20
  • Pearson (PTE) minimum score of 50 (no communicative skills less than 50)
  • Any other equivalent assessment of English language proficiency. Note: A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) can now be done on campus in Hawthorn.


The National Institute of Circus Arts is recognised both nationally and internationally as a centre for excellence in training. NICA is a current member of the Arts8 - The national elite performing arts training organisations. NICA is accredited as a full member of the Federation Europeenne des Ecoles de Cirque Professionnelles (Federation of European Professional Circus Schools). NICA is the South East Asian training partner for Cirque du Soleil and has strategic alliances and training partnerships with: Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, Shanghai Circus School, Belfast Community Circus and Taiwan National Academy of Performing Arts.

Study pathways

Pathways allow students to progress from one qualification to another where the first course is recognised as an entry requirement and/or provides advanced standing to the second. Credit is granted in recognition of previous study and/or experience and allows students to gain advanced standing towards their course. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Study information

CampusFeesEntryMid year intakeAttendance
Prahran International: $86,940 No
  • Full-time : 3 years

Fee comments

Campuses: Prahran.

The indicative course fees shown in Course Search apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

Further information

The contact hours in the Bachelor of Circus Arts are higher than other degrees because of the intensive education process. The acquisition and performance of circus skills require continual repeated practice in order to achieve and maintain the level of fitness, conditioning, strength and technical expertise required to meet international standards of excellence.

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