Glasgow's circus school

1 Year Professional Development Course in Circus Arts

Got circus skills? Want to develop to pro level? This course hones technique in your chosen arts, upgrades everything else including performance, introduces essential documentation AND you get a pro showreel! Runs 10am-5pm Monday to Thursday, starting in September. Fridays? Use them for self-training, or to work.

1-year Professional Development Course

Your Programme

Turn your circus skills and talent into your career

On this course, you focus on your preferred arts from the get-go, instead of learning a broad range of disciplines in the early stages. But you still get to train other arts too.

First, you hone technique in your chosen disciplines then you spend a full term preparing an ensemble show with a professional Artistic Director. In Term Three, you focus on creating a solo act and understanding how to rig it safely, along with processes for becoming a professional performer.

And of course you’ll have a fabulous professional show reel that you can use to apply for work and funding.

Like our other programmes, you get the benefit of our decades of expertise in circus arts and educational development.

What disciplines could you learn on the course?

  • Static Trapeze
  • Rope
  • Silks
  • Aerial hoop
  • Flying Trapeze
  • Straps
  • Acrobatics
  • Acrobatic balancing
  • Handstands
  • Dance Acro
  • Trampoline
  • Flow arts
  • Teeterboard
  • Acro & Aerial Conditioning
  • Flexibility
  • Self-physiotherapy
  • Circus Performance practice
  • Rigging & Safety
  • Act Creation

Your Journey

Making your skills work

Our approach is always to start where you are, and build from there. For this course, your starting place will need to be further along the road than beginner status. If you don’t already have circus skills, you can quickly gain the entry requirements on one of our other programmes.

On this course, you learn a lot more than circus skills. You go big on how to perform, and the process of putting an act together in a group setting and as a solo or duo. You also learn how to ensure you have safe rigging, and what you need to do to you get work.

The course has been designed to meet the needs of graduates of our Foundation Course who wanted to carry on learning in a friendly and supportive environment that challenges and develops them.

It’s also great for you if:

  • You can put a routine together and want to transform that into a fully fledged act
  • You want to improve your technique or to gain performance capability
  • You want to do a degree course and want a bridge between your current level and that stage

Photo credit: Max Crawford

Entry Requirements

If you have pull-ups and leg lifts, and you can invert without jumping off the ground, we’d love to see some video showing examples of your work. You could come into the school to show us in person, if you prefer.

If you can do all of the above and more, you’ve got what it takes!

If you have some experience of physical activities, you can gain the entry requirements in a short space of time through programmes with us or other circus schools.

Options with us include intensive training in evening recreational classes plus self-training sessions, perhaps leading into our Pro Track Programme, our four-week full time Circus Intensive Course or our four-month Foundation Course.

How does it work?

  • Term 1 (September to December): The focus is on improving technique and physical conditioning, making sure that the fundamentals are excellent in your chosen arts, and that you know how your body works so that you can train safely to minimise the possibility of injuries.
  • Term 2 (January to March): Your technique will be further honed through the process of preparing for an ensemble performance at the end of this term, working with a professional Artistic Director. Tuition in act creation and choreography will expand your creative bandwidth.
  • Term 3 (April to June): The focus will be on solo act creation in one or more arts which will lead to a cabaret performance at the end of the term.

Along the way you will learn about:

  • Promoting yourself on social media and on the web
  • Technical documentation which are needed for professional performances
  • What to expect in the professional environment

And at the end, you’ll have a gorgeous pro show reel captured by Gabriel Stella, our amazing in-house cinematographer.

Why Aerial Edge

We are the largest circus school in Scotland, established in 2007. As a non-profit Community Interest Company, our core principle is: circus for all regardless of age, size, shape, ability and other factors.

If you’re just starting your circus journey, or if you’ve already got years of aerial or acrobatics behind you, we’ll make sure you see great progress, and you’ll gain strong foundational abilities in other arts too.

You’ll discover how our passion and speciality is developing people through circus – your gains go deeper than learning the arts. We’ll nurture you not just through the physical challenges as you grapple with the techniques, but other pieces of your progression puzzle that arise along the way.

We have specialist knowledge to support you to make breakthroughs which have a positive impact on other aspects of your life.

Our Facilities

Aerial Edge has its own warehouse building for training and performance. We’re well known for our flying trapeze and cradle rig, but there are other dedicated areas for ground-based and aerial disciplines. Our space is highly adaptable and able to accommodate nearly any circus discipline, and convert to a fantastic performance stage with a superb sound and lighting set-up.

You can discover, learn and hone just about any aerial discipline on our rig, and we have safety lines for acrobatic training, teeterboard and tightwire.

Our matted floor and tumble track give you the ability to safely train anything from handstands to acrobatic dance and parkour.

As well as trampoline which can be used for anything from warm-up to wall-running, there’s an act creation and rehearsal space which can be rigged in multiple ways.

And as if all of that isn’t enough, there’s a café reception area, we’re big into coffee at Aerial Edge so we take great delight in choosing speciality roasts for that fresh bean-to-cup buzz!

There are also numerous cafés, restaurants and shops within just a few minutes’ walk.

What does it cost?

As a non-profit organisation, we price everything as low as possible. And you get incredible added value with your pro show reel. Great care and expertise has gone into our course planning, to ensure you get the best, personalised, experience and outcomes.

Course Fees

£5,995 for the year. Course fees are payable in full or in three instalments: £250 deposit, then £3,000 six weeks before the course begins, and the £2,745 balance to be paid before starting.



Aerial Edge is conveniently close to Glasgow city centre, with two Subway stations nearby and on several bus routes.

Glasgow is a vibrant, busy city which a has a thriving art scene, and many multi-disciplinary collaborations and exhibitions to be found.

During August, you can take a short train ride to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe: the biggest arts festival in the world. As well as numerous small venues hosting circus acts, the festival has a dedicated Circus Hub where world-famous companies come to perform.


Accommodation is not part of the course package, visiting students typically find a place to stay through or AirBnB

If you would like any further advice on Glasgow or relocating to the city, please get in touch to arrange a chat with our friendly team.

What our students say

People love training at Aerial Edge – but don’t take our word for that. Watch the video below to see what other Foundation Course students got from their experiences with us.

Watch the video below to learn more about our student's experiences

Apply now


Apply Here

The application to the Foundation Course is quick and easy. Simply fill in the form and sign up online. This form will take your details and take the deposit payment of £200.

Feel free to contact us with any questions in advance