Bar Professional Training Course

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The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC, Bar Vocational Course prior to the 2010-2011 academic year) is a postgraduate course that is completed by those wishing to be called to the Bar, i.e. to practise as a barrister in United Kingdom. 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.[1]

Entry requirements[edit]

The minimum entry requirements for the BPTC is a qualifying law degree with no less than lower second class (2:1) honours, or a degree in another subject with no less than First-class 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 European law as subjects during their course of studies as LLB students.

In 2008/09:[2]

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.[3]

As of April 2013, it is also a necessary requirement that intending BPTC students complete the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT). This is a test assessing an applicant's verbal reasoning skills amongst many other skills.

Course options[edit]

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”.


BPTC Providers
InstitutionLocationCircuitApprox. course feesReportWebsite
BPP Law SchoolLondonSouth Eastern£17,925ReportBPP
BPP Law SchoolLeedsNorthern£13,785ReportBPP
BPP Law SchoolManchesterNorthern£13,785First intake Sept 2013BPP
University of the West of EnglandBristolWestern£12,500ReportBILP
Cardiff UniversityCardiffWales & Chester£13,000(local) £15,000(International)ReportCardiff
Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamMidland Circuit£13,000ReportNottingham
The University of LawLondonSouth Eastern£16,485ReportULaw
The University of LawBirminghamMidland Circuit£13,925ReportULaw
City Law School (formerly ICSL)LondonSouth Eastern£17,500ReportCity
Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterNorthern£12,500ReportMMU
Northumbria UniversityNewcastle upon TyneNorth Eastern£12,350ReportNorthumbria
Kaplan Law School[4]LondonSouth Eastern£16,150ReportKaplan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Adam Kramer (2007). Bewigged and Bewildered: Pupillage and a Career at the Bar. Hart Publishing. ISBN 1-84113-651-4. 
  2. ^ Bar Standards Board statistics
  3. ^ "The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)". Chambers Student. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  4. ^ "Kaplan’s decision to discontinue its BPTC Programme". Bar Standards Board. 

External links[edit]