Bar Professional Training Course

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The reputable City Law School is one of the eight Universities to provide the BPTC.

The Bar Professional Training Course or BPTC (previously known as Bar Vocational Course, or BVC) is a postgraduate course which allow graduated to be called and work as a barrister in England and Wales. The eight institutes that run the BPTC along with the four prestigious Inns of Court are often collectively referred to as Bar School.

The BPTC is considered to be the most expensive legal course in Europe.[1][2] Currently, fees for the BPTC are between £12,000 and £20,500.[3]

This academic stage is the first of the three stages of legal education, the second being the vocational stage and the third being the practical stage. Only those who have successfully completed the course and obtained the pupillage can be called and practise as a barrister.[4]

Entry requirements

In addition to pass the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT), the minimum entry requirements for the BPTC is a qualifying a LL.B with no less than upper second-class (2:1) honours or else a non-law related academic degree with First-class honours alongside the Graduate Diploma in Law.

Besides, 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.

Numerous UK ministers took the BPTC from The University of Law.

In 2008/09:[5]

  • 3,540 students applied for the BPTC,
  • 1,449 received a place,
  • 732 passed the BPTC,
  • 405 received pupillage,
  • 312 gained tenancy.

As a result of the apparent over-supply of barristers, the Bar Standards Board recently considered four controversial proposals:

  • Capping the number of BPTC places
  • Deferring call until the completion of pupillage
  • Raising the minimum entry standards to a 2:1 degree (implemented into some BPTC offering institutions)
  • Mandating a minimum IELTS score of 7.5/9 in all individual component (speaking, reading, writing and listening) for foreign students (implemented into some BPTC offering institutions)

As of 2008, only two of these proposals have been able to find enough support to be implemented.

Course options

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".

  • To gain the award of "Outstanding" a candidate must have passed all assessments at the first attempt and must achieve either an overall mark of 85% or above, or six or more grades in the outstanding category.
  • To gain the award of "Very Competent" a candidate must have failed no more than one assessment at the first attempt and must achieve either an overall mark of 70% or eight or more grades in the very competent or outstanding categories.
  • To gain the award of "Competent" a candidate must pass each assessment subject to the rules governing the opportunity to re-sit at 60% or higher.


BPTC Providers
Institution Location Circuit Approx. course fees Report Website
City Law School (one of the seven schools of City University) London South Eastern £17,500 Report City
The University of Law Birmingham, Bristol, Chester, Guildford, London, Manchester and Leeds South Eastern £18,500 Report ULaw
BPP Law School London South Eastern £18,000 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 £13,000(local) £15,000(International) Report Cardiff
Nottingham Trent University Nottingham Midland Circuit £13,000 Report Nottingham
Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester Northern £12,500 Report MMU
Northumbria University Newcastle upon Tyne North Eastern £12,350 Report Northumbria

See also


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

External links