Bar Professional Training Course
The Bar Professional Training Course or BPTC (previously known as 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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:
- Criminal Advocacy
- Civil Advocacy
- Drafting References
- Opinion Writing
- Client Conferencing
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing
- Civil Litigation and Evidence
- Professional Conduct and Ethics
- Two optional modules (these vary from institute to institute)
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.
|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|
- "The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)". Chambers Student. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
- Adam Kramer (2007). Bewigged and Bewildered: Pupillage and a Career at the Bar. Hart Publishing. ISBN 1-84113-651-4.
- Bar Standards Board statistics