The University of Law

The University of Law

Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)

The BPTC is the vocational course that enables students with a qualifying Law Degree or Graduate Diploma in Law to be called to the Bar and to commence pupillage. Once pupillage is completed the students are fully qualified barristers, eligible for a full practising certificate. The students study and are assessed in 12 subjects areas: Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing; Civil Litigation and Evidence; Professional Ethics; Advocacy (three assessments); Opinion Writing; Drafting; Resolution of Disputes out of Court; Conference and two option subjects from a current choice of nine. The first three subjects (Criminal, Civil and Ethics) are the Knowledge subjects and the assessments for these are set externally by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). The remaining subjects are known as the skills subjects. The subjects studied by the students are those which a barrister needs to be competent in and which would make them ready to start pupillage.

Additionally, for the LLM element of the course, the students will undertake pro bono legal cases under the Legal Advice Clinic at their centre. They will take part of the Full Representation Service which includes representing lay clients in courts and tribunals. The LLM element means that the students will qualify with a Masters at the end of the course. They will have gained valuable work experience by undertaking real life cases which will assist in their ability to perform well on the BPTC and will significantly enhance their CV and employability. Finally the students who take the LLM will be eligible for a Student Finance England loan if they are either English or from the EU.

Entry requirements

Students must possess a 2:1 or above from a qualifying Law degree (QLD) or a 2:1 in any undergraduate degree along with the Graduate Diploma in Law. Applicants with a 2:2 from a non-law degree will be required to achieve a commendation or distinction from their GDL studies. Some students with a 2.2 but other qualities such as additional higher education qualifications, relevant work experience etc may also be considered.

Students must comply with the requirements for commencing a Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) set out by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

You will be required to pass the Bar Standards Board aptitude test (known as the Bar Course Aptitude Test - BCAT).

Applicants meeting the eligibility criteria will be required to attend a Selection Interview at one of our centres at Birmingham, Leeds or London Bloomsbury generally in the February consolidation week and at other specified times.

Applicants from outside of the UK must also possess an English Language level either IELTS 7.5 with a minimum of 7.5 in each component or Pearson level 78.

Course modules

Students starting studying each subject at the start of the programme, with the exception of the two option subjects. Assessments are taken at different points within the programme and are listed below by subject;

  • Resolution of Disputes out of Court (RODOC)
  • Conference
  • Drafting
  • Opinion Writing
  • Professional Ethics
  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Litigation.
  • Civil Advocacy
  • Examination in Chief Advocacy
  • Cross Examination Advocacy
  • 2 x options assessments

Assessment methods

The assessments for each assessment are spread throughout the terms. So conference and RODOC teaching stops after the assessments in term one / year one but all the other subjects continue to be taught until their assessments.

The assessments are as follows:

  • RODOC - an unseen, closed book, written paper with multiple choice questions (MCQs) and short answer questions (SAQs).
  • Conference - students get the brief / papers in advance and then conduct a timed conference with their lay client, played by an actor, and filmed.
  • Drafting - students get areas of research in advance and then sit a timed unseen paper in which they have to draft a document.
  • Opinion writing - students get areas of research in advance and then sit a timed unseen paper in which they have to write an opinion for their lay client
  • Advocacy - there are 3 separate assessments
  • Civil advocacy - students get the papers in advance, draft a skeleton argument and perform their advocacy to a judge (tutor) which is filmed
  • Examination in chief (Criminal context) - students get the papers in advance and examine in chief a witness, played by an actor and filmed
  • Cross Examination (Criminal context) - students get the papers in advance (except for one last minute fact) and cross examine a witness, played by an actor and filmed
  • Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing - assessment set by the Bar Standards Board. Unseen, closed book, written paper with MCQs only from 2016-17 of which around 30% will be Single Best Answer questions.
  • Civil Litigation, Evidence and Remedies - assessment set by the Bar Standards Board. Unseen, closed book, written paper with MCQs only from 2016-17 of which around 30% will be Single Best Answer questions.
  • Professional Ethics - - assessment set by the Bar Standards Board. Unseen, closed book paper with SAQs only from 2016-17.
  • Options. The basic rule is that each option must be assessed in one of the skills formats from the skills in the compulsory part of the year. The only exception to this is Mediation where half of the assessment is a reflective journal and the other a drafting exercise. All papers are released in advance to the students.

The pass mark for all assessments is 60%.

Course fees

Course fees vary slightly depending on which campus you'd like to study at. Please contact the University of Law for more information on course fees.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
Bar Professional Training Course Part-time September 2018 GBP 17,600 per Whole course () 2 Years
Bar Professional Training Course Part-time September 2018 GBP 14,450 per Whole course (Home/EU) 2 Years
Bar Professional Training Course Full-time September 2018 GBP 14,450 per Year 1 () 10 Months
Bar Professional Training Course Full-time September 2018 GBP 17,600 per Whole course (Home/EU) 10 Months
Bar Professional Training Course Full-time September 2018 GBP 14,450 per Whole course (Home/EU) 10 Months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Birmingham centre Birmingham B18 6AQ West Midlands
Leeds centre Leeds LS1 5HD Yorkshire and the Humber
The University of Law London Bloomsbury London WC1E 7DE

Get in touch

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Key information

Contact: 
Admissions Enquiries (Law)
Telephone number: 
01483 216500