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What you learn

updated on 21 March 2024

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Bar courses vary in format depending on the Authorised Education Training Provider (AETO)/law school, but they all combine teaching legal knowledge with practical skills. All Bar courses are designed to prepare students for life as a barrister.

Depending on which course you choose, you may study the knowledge and skills elements simultaneously or separately.


Students will cover topics, including:

  • criminal litigation;
  • evidence and sentencing;
  • civil litigation;
  • evidence; and
  • alternative dispute resolution.


Students learn the specialist barrister competencies of advocacy, conference skills, legal research and opinion writing and drafting to prepare you for life as a barrister. Legal ethics is also part of the course.

Optional extras

Many courses provide the option to undertake extra electives or a dissertation to add a master’s qualification to the core Bar training course.

Incorporating a master’s into the Bar course may be an attractive option for some students because it grants eligibility for postgraduate student loan funding.

Find out more

Where to study

When and how to apply