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The Bar Professional Training Course (Bar Vocational Course or BVC prior to the 2010-2011 academic year) is a graduate course that is completed by those wishing to be called to the Bar, i.e. to practise as a barrister in England and Wales. The ten institutes that run the BPTC along with the four Inns of Court are often collectively referred to as 'Bar School'.
This vocational stage is the second of the three stages of legal education, the first being the academic stage and the third being the practical stage, i.e., pupillage. Only those who have successfully completed the course can practise as a Barrister.
The minimum entry requirements for the BPTC is a qualifying law degree with no less than lower second class (2:2) honours, or a degree in another subject with no less than 2:2 honours in addition to a pass in the Graduate Diploma in Law. Applicants for the BPTC should also demonstrate excellent extracurricular activities. Additionally, a suitable candidate should provide strong evidence of a commitment to the English Bar. It is important for a student to have Common law reasoning and EU law as subjects during their course of studies as LLB students. Such decision should be made as soon as a student wishes to start his LLB programme. Also students are required to send in their admission to their selected Bar by the end of their LLB second year. A student who is selected will be notified by the start of their third year.
As a result of the apparent over-supply of barristers, the Bar Standards Board recently considered four controversial proposals:
As of 2008, only two of these proposals have been able to find enough support to be implemented.
Fees for the BPTC are now between £12,000 and £17,000.
As of April 2013, it is also a necessary requirement that intending BPTC students complete the Bar Aptitude Test. This is a test assessing an applicant's verbal reasoning skills amongst many other skills.
The course bridges the gap between academic study and the practical work of a barrister by teaching subjects with which a practising barrister will need to be familiar. Core modules include:
Students successfully completing the course may be awarded the overall grade of “Outstanding”, “Very Competent” or “Competent”.
|Institution||Location||Circuit||Approx. course fees||Report||Website|
|BPP Law School||London||South Eastern||£16,885||Report||BPP|
|BPP Law School||Leeds||Northern||£13,785||Report||BPP|
|BPP Law School||Manchester||Northern||£13,785||First intake Sept 2013||BPP|
|University of the West of England||Bristol||Western||£12,500||Report||BILP|
|Cardiff University||Cardiff||Wales & Chester||£12,180||Report||Cardiff|
|Nottingham Trent University||Nottingham||Midland Circuit||£13,000||Report||Nottingham|
|The University of Law||London||South Eastern||£16,485||Report||ULaw|
|The University of Law||Birmingham||Midland Circuit||£12,435||Report||ULaw|
|City Law School (formerly ICSL)||London||South Eastern||£16,500||Report||City|
|Manchester Metropolitan University||Manchester||Northern||£12,500||Report||MMU|
|Northumbria University||Newcastle upon Tyne||North Eastern||£12,350||Report||Northumbria|
|Kaplan Law School||London||South Eastern||£16,150||Report||Kaplan|