Bristol, University of the West of England

Bristol, University of the West of England

Bar Professional Training

This course provides the foundation of the students' careers as a barrister. It is a demanding course, but at the same time stimulating and rewarding. We aim to be as supportive of our students' pastoral care as we are of their academic progression. In addition the course equips students with the skills and knowledge to excel at the Bar and beyond. Our course aims to develop the reflective practitioner - providing opportunities to develop advocacy, research, conference and mediation skills and to assist the students in securing a pupillage in a competitive environment. We not only provide a BPTC of national and international repute but, crucially, provide a number of opportunities to enhance the students' CVs and thereby increase their chances of obtaining pupillage and improving employability generally. These include: conferencing with serving prisoners, teaching legal skills to LLB undergraduates both nationally and internationally, advocating in court for victims of domestic violence, advocating in mental health tribunals, participating in our Bristol chambers-sponsored civil and criminal advocacy competitions, advising on environmental issues.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have joined an Inn of Court by 31 May of the intended year of entry and should have completed the academic stage of study by having either a qualifying law degree of 2nd Class Honours or above or a qualifying non-law degree of 2nd Class Honours or above and to have achieved a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). If English is not your 1st language, you also need to demonstrate your English language proficiency, for e.g. applicants should have either a minimum grade of 7.5 in each element of the British Council International English Language Test (IELTS) or a TOEFL score of at least 600 (written) or 250 (computer) scale. In determining whether to accept an application, we take into account a number of factors, including: Your actual or predicted academic record; your statement in support of your application; commitment to the profession as evidenced by attempts, successful or otherwise, to obtain placements; mini-pupillage or any other experience in a legal setting; your reference. For those seeking entry to the BPTC from 2013, applicants are required to pass the BCAT before an offer of a place on the course can be confirmed.

Course modules

The knowledge areas: Civil litigation, evidence and remedies; criminal litigation, evidence and sentencing; professional conduct. The core skills: Advocacy (civil and criminal); conferencing skills; drafting; fact management; legal research methods; opinion writing; resolution of disputes out of court (REDOC). 2 options from: Clinical negligence; criminal law; employment law; international competition law; international environmental law; family; international trade; pro bono (free representation unit); refugee and asylum law.

Assessment methods

Assessments are all centrally set by the Bar Standards Board and are examined by way of multiple choice and short answer questions. Opinion writing and drafting are locally set, unseen assessments in controlled conditions. All other assessments are locally set and are either completely seen or partially seen; in that advanced information is made available to enable you to research the relevant areas of law. The criminal based subjects are assessed in the 1st year of the course and the civil based subjects and options are taught and assessed in the 2nd year. Mock assessments with generic and/or individual feedback are also given throughout the course in all subjects to provide the students with the opportunity to continuously monitor and improve performance.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
Full-time £ 13,350 per Whole course (home fees) 2 years
Full-time £ 13,350 per Whole course (overseas fees) 2 years
Part-time block-release £ 6,483 per Academic year (home fees) 2 years
Part-time block-release £ 6,483 per Academic year (overseas fees) 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Frenchay Campus Bristol BS16 1QY South West

Get in touch

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Key information

Admissions and International Development
Telephone number: 
0117 32 83333