At The University of Law, we pride ourselves in offering the best legal training - and our Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) is no exception.
Our BPTC is designed to help you secure pupillage and prepare you for life as a barrister. In fact, of our 2016 Full-time UK/EU graduates, 51% have gained a pupillage to date. Furthermore, this year, 22% of our full-time graduates obtained an 'Outstanding' grade, which is more than twice the national average of 9% in 2015.
You can expect exceptionally high standards of tutoring and a wealth of pro bono opportunity. We’ll support you in preparing pupillage applications, with access to our specialist careers service from the moment you accept your place.
To celebrate 20 years of the BPTC at The University of Law, and in recognition of the challenges and costs of pursuing a career at the Bar, we’ve reduced this year’s BPTC fees.
We help our students get to the Bar by providing real life legal work experience opportunities. To support this, we’re now offering a new Master of Laws (LLM) as a part of our September 2017 BPTC programme.
Choose to study this award and you will have the opportunity to add an internationally recognised LLM qualification and real legal work experience to your CV and pupillage applications.
You will advise, manage and represent clients on a variety of cases in legal areas including family, housing and immigration law. As well as gaining valuable work and ‘on your feet’ advocacy experience, you will be paired with a Masters supervisor, who will guide you through a reflective learning process so that you can complete your reflective assessment and obtain your Masters award.
If you decide to study our BPTC LLM, there will be an additional course fee, but you could be eligible for a Student Loans Company (SLC) Postgraduate Loan to help cover the cost.
The University of Law is committed to producing exceptional advocates and so, since 2015, has been the only provider that requires all applicants to undergo an assessment before obtaining a place on the BPTC.
We will only offer places to students that we think have a realistic chance of passing the course and going on to obtain pupillage. Our rigorous Selection Process allows us to identify the brightest and most able students, creating a stimulating learning environment for all. As a result, when you undertake the BPTC at The University of Law you can guarantee that you will be studying alongside the committed, focused and intelligent students, which in turn will push you to succeed.
Those students who make it through the initial paper-sift will be invited to undertake an assessment at the centre of your choice. You will be asked to complete a written exercise; an oral advocacy test and a short interview with one of our BPTC tutors. Entry onto the course will be based solely on candidates' performance on the day. Decisions on our Advocacy Scholarships will be based partly on the candidate’s performance during the oral advocacy test.
During an assessment you will undertake:
There is no preparation required and we do not expect you to know any law: this is a test of your raw skills and potential as an advocate.
Our unique Advocacy Committee is made up of the students who excelled during our selection process. Led by the Master or Mistress of the Moots, they arrange entry into prestigious national and international advocacy competitions for BPTC and GDL students, (see below for a list of competitions entered this year). They also arrange numerous internal competitions and workshops in association with local chambers which provide an excellent opportunity to test the skills you’ve developed in the classroom and forge links with leading practitioners.
This year’s competitions include:
More information on the Advocacy Scholarships
To be eligible to take up your place, you must comply with the requirements for commencing a Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) set out by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). The Academic Stage Handbook gives you full information about these requirements.
Cambridge English: First Certificate, Advanced and Proficiency (test taken before January 2016)
Cambridge English: First Certificate (test taken before January 2016)
Cambridge English: Advanced (test taken before January 2016)
Cambridge English: Proficiency (test taken before January 2016)
Please note: The University will not accept TOEFL English Language test as a proof of students' English proficiency until further notice due to Home Office investigation.
If you are a non-EEA student you will also require a visa covering the full duration of your course (see below).
In order to be considered for a place on the BPTC, applicants will be required to attend a selection interview at one of our centres at Birmingham, Leeds or London Bloomsbury in February 2017. At the interview you will undertake:
Candidates seeking entry to the BPTC are required to pass the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) before being allowed to enrol on the course. The BCAT will open in April next year.
We strongly recommend you sit the test as soon as possible and no later than the end of August. We will guarantee to hold your offer open until you have successfully passed the test. Should you fail to pass, you are able to re-sit the test after 30 days. As you must successfully pass the test before you can enrol on the BPTC course, we encourage you to sit the test as early as you can – this will allow plenty of time should you need to take it again, before the deadline. For further information please check the Bar Standards Board website.
You must join an Inn of Court before you can start the BPTC. The closing date for application to an Inn of Court is 31 May of the year your BPTC is due to commence. Please contact the relevant Inn for further details:
Again, you must fulfil all eligibility requirements by the start of the course – failure to do so may result in you being prevented from joining the course. If you think that this may be a problem (for example, if you have late assessment results), please contact our Admissions Team as soon as possible on 0800 289997 (UK), +44 (0)1483 216000 (international) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The criteria for admission onto the Master of Laws (LLM) is the same as for the BPTC.
The University of Law fully complies with equal opportunities legislation and actively encourages diversity within the legal profession. Our admissions process acts fairly and aims to enable students to make the best use of their talents. You are encouraged to tell us about any special requirements at the earliest opportunity. This will allow us to discuss how we may go about meeting your requirements.
Please see important information issued by the Bar Standards Board for those wishing to study for the Bar of England and Wales.
Further information for visa students
Non-EEA students requiring a visa to study should refer to the UKVI Policy Guidance, which can be found on their website: https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa. Please note that immigration regulations are subject to change at any time. Specific enquiries regarding University sponsorship of students under Tier 4 of the Points Based System can be e-mailed to email@example.com
It is the responsibility of all students from outside the EU to ensure that they have a visa covering the full duration of their course.
With its unique combination of face-to-face teaching and online training, the BPTC structure has been designed to reflect the litigation process that practising barristers encounter every day.
Knowledge areasCore skillsStudy optionsMock trialsMaster of Laws (LLM)
In your final term, you’ll choose to study two options from a list that includes:
We give you as many opportunities as possible to hone your essential advocacy skills and put what you learn into practice:
If you study our BPTC LLM, you will
undertake pro bono legal cases under the Legal Advice Clinic at your centre.
You will take part of the Full Representation Service which includes
representing lay clients in courts and tribunals. You will meet regularly with your
supervisor and work with your student partner(s) on the cases - meeting
clients, writing letters of advice, pleadings and representing the clients at
BPTC LLM: Full-time and Part-time weekend
If you choose the BPTC LLM, you
will need to anticipate working on LLM cases approximately 4 -5 hours a week
with more in some weeks e.g. where there is an initial interview or a hearing.
There are 12 assessments in total with practice assessments held for every module spread across the course. Prizes, sponsored by chambers, are available for the highest-scoring student in each subject.
BPTC LLM assessment
You will keep a reflective journal throughout the year about
your pro bono work, and then submit your Critical Reflective Review at the end
of the course.
BPTC Full-time Programme Demands (PDF) BPTC Part-time Programme Demands (PDF)
Detailed course dates for our September 2017 courses will be published soon. Start dates are subject to change.
To celebrate 20 years of the BPTC at The University of Law, and in recognition of the challenges and costs of pursuing a career at the Bar, we’ve reduced this year’s BPTC fees. Fees are the same for both full-time and part-time programmes:
Further information on course fees and instalment options.
Places are still available for our 2017 BPTC. Apply now
At The University of Law, we recognise that your ultimate goal is to obtain pupillage, progress onto tenancy and hone all the skills and experience you need to develop your practice. That’s why we ensure that every step of the way, you have dedicated careers support and a wealth of opportunities to progress.
The University of Law has the UK’s largest law careers and employability service, with more than 30 experts providing support as soon as you accept your place. Through one-on-one careers appointments, live and virtual workshops, the careers team advise on:
As well as bespoke advice and assistance, our careers team are able to organise a wide-range of events and presentations thanks to our excellent links with chambers across the country.
Typical events include:
The University runs a varied pro bono programme at all of our centres, which allow our students to gain experience in dealing with real cases while helping the local community. You’ll get valuable first-hand experience of client relationships, legal research and drafting, whilst helping those who may not otherwise have access to legal support and advice.
Current projects include: Legal Advice Centre, Own It (Streetlaw), Royal Courts of Justice Personal Support Unit, Family Law Advice Clinic, Social Welfare Legal Advice and Environmental Law Foundation.
Thank you for registering your interest in our BPTC programme. We will be in touch over the next couple of days with all the information you’ll need to know about the course.
In the meantime, why not order a prospectus or book an open day at one of our eight centres?
If you have any other questions feel free to call us on 0800 289 997
I chose ULaw because of the excellent reputation it has for the training of students for the Bar
Sam Frost, BPTC Student, Bloomsbury
I chose ULaw because of the excellent reputation it has for the training of students for the Bar