You want to reach the top of circus. You are looking for an inspiring, international setting to bring out your talent as a performer and to develop your authentic and artistic identity. Codarts offers that setting.

At Codarts you study a wide range of circus disciplines. From acrobatics to juggling and aerials. You also choose a specialisation in which you wish to excel. You learn how to integrate various art forms in your performance: music, dance and theatre.

Each year you perform before an audience. You can do an internship either here or abroad. At the end of your studies you leave Codarts as a broadly trained artist who can design and perform the greatest acts, both individually and as a team member. During your studies you make good connections which enable you to find work in a varied workfield.

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Year 1

In the first year the focus is on improving your technical and performing skills.

  • You will be prepared to take a wide range of subjects in circus techniques and learn about the various circus disciplines.
  • The programme includes: circus history, health and anatomy, cultural philosophy, dance, theatre, ballet training, music and physical preparation.
  • As of the second semester you concentrate on your chosen specialisation. But you also continue taking classes in the various circus disciplines.
  • You create a group production with other students, supervised by a choreographer (Circus from Dance).
  • You design and perform a solo act or a duet.

Year 2

The second year marks the start of the main phase. You focus on deepening your specialisation and your profession as a performer.

  • You take intensive specialisation classes in small groups.
  • You create a solo act, which you perform before an audience.
  • You continue with the art classes from year one (dance/theatre/music) and a number of theoretical classes. You start with Laban movement analysis.
  • You continue with classes like health, safety, food, training and rigging.
  • You take part in a group production about circus based on theatre.

Year 3

In the third year, your independence as a circus performer becomes more important.

  • You take intensive specialisation classes in small groups.
  • You can do an internship with a company in the Netherlands or abroad, for at least three weeks.
  • You take classes in entrepreneurship to learn about production, marketing/PR and financial management.
  • You create one solo piece and one duet. For the duet you collaborate with a fellow third-year student from another specialisation.
  • Together with a coach you develop your own training programme. By now you know what the best warming up is for you.
  • You make a production, supervised by a circus maker/director.

Year 4

The final year is your graduation year, with the following highlights:

  • Your specialisation: with a coach chosen by you you will optimise your individual act.
  • You take classes in the fields of music, light, sound, production, costumes and styling. You use this knowledge in making performances.
  • You write a graduation paper, demonstrating that you have analytic research skills. You are capable of presenting a convincing and appealing performance and you have a well-considered view of the profession.
  • You graduate with an individual act and a group production supervised by a renowned circus maker. You perform these in one of the larger theatres in Rotterdam.

After graduation

After graduating you can start a career as an independent circus artist or as a member of a collective. Many of Codarts’ alumni have landed positions with professional companies, including Seven Fingers (Canada), Cirque Eloise, XY, Panama Pictures, Grensgeval, Freiwalds Menagerie Circus, Gandini Juggling, Corpus Acrobatics, the Dutch Opera and Freiwalds Menagerie Circus and various circus companies and vaudeville shows in Germany and Switzerland.

Joris de Jong (graduation year 2010), juggler:
‘Immediately after graduating I started working with TENT, a then new initiative by some friends of mine from Amsterdam. In their productions they combine spectacular circus techniques with other disciplines such as mime, dance, music, theatre, design and performance art.’

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To be admitted at the Bachelor Circus Arts at Codarts a specific entrance audition must be passed. Each area of study has its own admission procedure with accompanying selection criteria and supplementary requirements.

To enroll at Codarts you should be in possession of a havo diploma, mbo bve-level 4 or a (foreign) certificate of equivalent value, in which the subject packet or the profile is of secondary importance. In special cases the above diploma demands can be set aside. The student-to-be then has the possibility to take a capacity test, to check if there is sufficient general development to be able to follow the study. The fees for this test are charged to the student-to-be.

In order to gain an impression of your talent you are required to participate in an entrance examination. The entrance examination consists of a pre-audition and final selection. Throughout the entrance examination you will be observed to see if you possess the necessary talent to successfully complete the study course. You will be judged according to a number of criteria. These criteria relate to the degree in which you possess sufficient skill, aptitude and development possibilities to successfully complete the study course. Required competencies include artistic expression, technical circus skill, physical possibilities, stamina, ability to improvise, team spirit, and learning ability. It is important that you are physically fit.

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Practical info

Under more information we give you all the important information you might need to know for your study at Codarts. Information on the tuition fee, useful websites that can help with finding suitable accommodation, how to study at Codarts with a disability, and we give tips for applying for a scholarship. We will help you to find your way at Codarts.

Halving statutory tuition fees

The Dutch government has decided to halve the statutory tuition fees for first-year students from academic year 2018-2019. The discount is intended for Bachelor’s students who start their studies in higher education in 2018-2019 for the first time. The exact details of the new legislation can be found on the website of the national government (information is in Dutch). This page also states which conditions you must meet in order to qualify for a halving of the tuition fee.

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Student life

Student Life is a high quality student support programme, that enables you to realise your full potential and have a successful and joyful study career. Student Life provides information, training, guidance and care. We help to enhance your performance and contribute to your personal development, injury prevention and general well-being.

You can contact us for housing assistance, insurance guidance, medical screenings as well as nutritional and psychological counselling.

The Student Life Team consists of:

  • The Performing Arts Health Center team (PAHC),
  • Various study coaches
  • A student counsellor

The International Office is also part of Student Life

We work in close collaboration with colleagues who are familiar with the high demands of the professional group. Think of scientists, teachers and the artistic staff. As we are committed to support the individual learning needs of all students, we recognise the diversity of disciplines within performing arts and within different cultural backgrounds.

Our Student Life program is built on four interconnected pillars:
1. Physical screening
2. Education
3. Services & facilities
4. Research & development

Do you have questions or do you want more information? Feel free to contact us by mailing to


+31 (0) 10 21 71 06 0

Fenixloods I, Dolf Henkesplein 15

3072 LN Rotterdam