Circus - Bachelor
DOCH, School of Dance and Circus

Circus - Bachelor

The Bachelor’s Programme in Circus is aimed at persons who want to work as artists within the field of contemporary circus. As a student you will work with artistic expression within the many different forms of circus art and also meet other bodily forms of physical expressions such as dance or improvisation. You will get the opportunity to explore your own discipline and develop your personal artistic language. The starting points for the Bachelor’s Programme in Circus are skills in circus disciplines and artistic traditions so that you as a student can achieve a high technical and artistic level of skill.

Contemporary circus can be presented in many different forms and arenas. Our previous students work as freelancers, in companies, take part in festivals and events and have expanded the boundaries for where and how you can present circus skills. In the contact with an audience there is a freedom to create visual circus art or to interpret/communicate feelings and courses of events. You receive the opportunity to focus solely on your circus discipline or work in fusion with other art forms in, for example, short performances, an installation or a six-hour happening. There is freedom to work both nationally and internationally, as a soloist or in an ensemble.

In the Bachelor’s Programme in Circus you develop tools for your artistic practice in two areas:

  1. Collaboration in a collective and creation of your own place within a joint vision and organisation
  2. Work on developing your own acts and performances


The programme contains courses in choreography, directing, artistic processes and entrepreneurship. As a student you will work with performance, interpretation, improvisation and how to face/approach the audience. Your different aspects of creative stage work will be deepened as you continuously explore, create, practice and present artistic projects in different formats. Another important part of the programme consists of the courses in safety for both physical training and rigging as well as mental training so that you can deal with various risk factors in your circus work.

In the Bachelor’s Programme in Circus there are also courses where you as a student can relate your own practice within circus to a historic, artistic and social context. For instance, this means studying the history of circus as an art form, the position of circus in the wider context of culture and knowledge of other art forms.

  • Read more

    The programme consists of three main areas:

    • Circus discipline training and movement techniques from other art forms such as dance and clown techniques
    • Theoretical courses about the history of culture, history of circus, health and mental training, rigging and safety
    • Courses focusing on creative and artistic work

    Right from the start you will be presenting your work and develop the ability to perform for different types of audiences. This will take the form of recurrent presentations within the courses during all three years. In addition to this the students work on various performance projects.

    In year 1 you will work together with the other students on a small performance project

    In year 2 you will be part of an ensemble project that will be developed together with a director and presented to an audience

    In year 3 in the autumn you will carry out research-based independent work and during the spring you and the other students will present the final performance of your programme: Closing Acts – a collage of the circus acts that you have all created during the programme.

  • Entry requirements

    You need to fulfil general entry requirements for university studies with the exception of Swedish 1, 2, 3 and English 6 (courses in the Swedish upper secondary/high school system). The language of instruction is English so you don’t need any knowledge of Swedish. You do need English 5 or the equivalent level of English language skills.



    If you don’t fulfil the formal entry requirements for the programme you may apply for recognition of prior learning, in other words that the knowledge and competence you have acquired through other activities are assessed as the equivalent of the formal merits that are required. Submit your application for recognition of prior learning with your application for the programme.

    You may also apply for an exemption/a waiver, that allows you to proceed to the selection process even though you don’t meet the general admission requirements. Submit your application for an exemption/a waiver together with your application.

    Read more about how you can show that you meet the entry requirements (that you are eligible).

  • Valuable prior knowledge

    You need to have prior knowledge of a circus discipline in order to be admitted to the Bachelors Programme in Circus. It is also an advantage if you have an interest in visual and dramaturgical communication and like performing on stage. Perhaps you have been active in dance, parcour, gymnastics or other movement techniques. You like to create and to train physically. You have the ability to work both independently and in a group and you are keen to learn about the opportunities available within the field of circus.

  • How to apply

    When the programme is open for application you apply through our web-based application system by clicking on the "Apply here"-button on this page.

    Start your application early! Don’t delay in submitting your application! You may run into trouble if you wait until the last day and your internet connection happens to be down, or you find that your files are in the wrong format. You will not be able to apply once the last date for applications has passed. Your application has to be turned in by 23.59 (swedish time).

    When you have entered the application system:

    1. Register by putting in your name and e-mail address.
    2. Input your personal data (including your Swedish civic registration number if you have one).
    3. Fill in the application form and upload the required documents.

    Before uploading your documents, they must be prepared as follows:

    • You should scan your original documents. If the document is in colour, scan it in colour.
    • Be sure to scan ALL document pages, even those that just contain instructions, or keys, or other information that is not necessarily your grade information. You must submit all pages in one documentt.
    • If you upload copies of original documents (degree certificates, transcript of records, language test results etc.) they must be certified/attested! This means that another person must sign their name, print their name and provide their telephone number on each document copy you submit. This person, by signing, is certifying that the copy you submit is an exact copy of the original. A friend, relative or government official can provide this certification for you.
    • All files must be in PDF-format to be accepted for uploading.
    • Please name your files with content and your name for example: CV_AnnaSmith.


    Documents to upload

    A copy of your valid passport or valid national identity card (if applicable for you)

    Applicants from non-EU, EEA-country, or Switzerland, need to pay application fee for higher education in Sweden, and if admitted a tuition fee. If you are a citizen in an EU, EEA-country, or Switzerland, you do not have to pay application or tuition fees. In order to find out which group you belong to, you need to show your citizenship. Therefore, you must upload a copy of your passport/valid national identity card.

    For the passport/national identity card to be considered valid, your copy must be uploaded a maximum of 3 months after the expiration date has passed. Since last day of application is February 1st 2017, the last valid day for your passport/national identity card must be November 1st 2016.

    If you have a Swedish civic registration number, or Swedish citizenship, you do not need to upload a copy of your passport. But don't forget to state your Swedish civic registration number when you fill in your personal data.


    For the General entry requirements there are three options.

    State what one is applicable for you.

    1. You have an exam from Upper secondary school. You must upload your diploma, a list of subjects taken and grades received from upper secondary school or a grades certificate or the equivalent from adult education at upper secondary school. Grades and certificates should primarily be in Swedish, but Danish, English, Faroese, Finish, French, German and Norwegian are also accepted. Regarding documents issued in another language, you must upload the original document along with a translation made by an authorized translator.
    2. You study the last year in Upper secondary school. Upload an individual study plan and/or transcript of courses and grades that shows your completed studies. This also applies to students in adult education at upper secondary level. If you are admitted you must send a copy of your final school grades, and this must have been received by DOCH no later than 21 June 2017 (for Swedish upper secondary school) or 5 July 2017 (for school grades from abroad).
    3. You don’t have the formal merits. If you do not fulfil the formal entry requirements for the programme, you may apply for recognition of prior learning/exemption. In other words that the knowledge and competence you have acquired through other activities are assessed as the equivalent of the formal merits that are required. You will be asked in your application to explain why you think that you will cope with the studies even though you do not fulfil the general and/or specific entry requirements. You also need to upload signed documents/certificates that confirm your merits/experiences that you refer to in your letter. The documents you upload need to be in English and marked with your name and day of birth.

    Here you can find more information regarding prior learning and exemption.

    Proficiency in English

    If you do not have English 5 from Swedish upper secondary/high school or the equivalent, you can show your eligibility in other ways. State one of the following options

    •  If you have studied a course/programme of at least 30 credits with English as the language of instruction you might be considered eligible in English and may be granted an exemption.
    • You can also demonstrate your English abilities through an internationally recognized English test (TOEFEL, IELTS Michigan English Language Assessment Battery or University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations). We need to have your test results no later than 21 June 2017.
    • You can apply to take a local language test at DOCH to be given in conjunction with the selection tests. Please note that the local language test is only valid when applying to an education programme within DOCH.


    Here you will find more information regarding the English language requirements, accepted tests and minimum results required.


    Circus Discipline

    You apply to the Bacehlor Programme in Circus with one circus discipline. In the webform you must state which discipline you apply with. If you work with a duo/group discipline you should also state a second discipline. If your partner/s apply as well to the programme please state their names. If the Department of Circus does not offer your discipline/s we will contact you.


    Letter of Motivation

    Write a short letter and answer the following questions:

    • Why do you apply to the programme?
    • What are your goals with the education?

    You can also write if you have any other interests that are useful for your work as a circus artist.

    The Letter of motivation needs to be in English only



     Upload your CV. The CV needs to be in English only.



    You must upload a film that is max 5 minutes long. It should contain:

    • A short presentation of yourself, max half a minute. Do you work with a duo/group discipline? Tell us how we can identify you on the video
    • A circus act that is between 3 - 4,5 minutes

    The act should be filmed without cuts. Make sure that we can see you clearly in the film.

    Please note that we only accept applications and certificates through the application system, not by means of regular post or e-mail.

    Confirmation of your application

    When you’ve submitted your application you will receive a confirmation to the e-mail address that you’ve stated. If you don’t receive an confirmation e-mail, you should firstly check your spam filter. If the confirmation e-mail is not there, contact the technical support for the application system by e-mail:

    Technical difficulties with your application?

    Phone: +46 520 580 050 (weekdays at the following times: 08:30–12:00 and 13:00–16:30).

  • When you have applied

  • Application and tuition fees

    If you are a Swedish citizen or a citizen of another EU or EEA country you are not required to pay application or tuition fees. Some other groups are also exempt from the requirement to pay application and study fees.

    A few years ago Sweden introduced application and tuition fees for higher education. The level of the study fees depends on which course/programme they are for, and the level is set in order to cover the actual costs of the course/programme in question. Uniarts has some possibilities of offering scholarships that cover the whole study fee or that subsidise it.

    If you are required to pay an application fee, we need to have received your payment by the last date for applications. The application fee is SEK 900. If you are required to pay the application fee and we have not received your payment by the last date for applications, we will not process your application.

    The tuition fee for the first term is 231 400  SEK  and for the whole programme 1 388 400 SEK.

    Read more about application and study fees, how you pay to Uniarts and tuition fee scholarships.


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