Bar courses

updated on 18 March 2022

Use the sub menu above to find out more about who is eligible, what you learn, where to study and more!

Find out which institutions offer the Bar courses by using our Course search.

The route to training as a barrister has changed. From July 2020, a range of new Bar courses replaced the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) as the mandatory vocational stage of training before pupillage. The variety of courses may appear confusing, with different fees and learning styles to consider, but all Bar courses approved by the Bar Standards Board result in the same qualification: a Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Practice. This qualification (alongside being ‘called to the Bar’ by an Inn of Court) makes a Bar course graduate eligible for pupillage, the final stage of on-the-job training to qualify as a barrister.

Transitional arrangements for BPTC students

If you started the BPTC before July 2020, you have until 2022 to complete the course and pass the assessments. For information about the timings of assessments running to 2022, see our student’s guide to the barrister training changes.

New Bar courses

The new Bar courses can be studied in one or two parts, with options to combine online and face-to-face learning in different ways. This flexibility means that there are now multiple pathways to become a barrister, rather than just one as was previously the case:

  • Three-step route: similar to the old route. The academic stage (a law degree on its own or a non-law degree plus law conversion) is followed by the vocational stage (a postgraduate Bar course). The Bar course is followed by the third and final step - pupillage.
  • Four-step route: the academic stage, followed by the Bar course divided into two parts, followed by pupillage. One part of the Bar course may be delivered through self-study (ie, no tutor contact). In this route, students do not pay fees for part two of the course until they have successfully completed part one. With part two the much more expensive part of the course, this means that students who fail part one are not locked into paying the full fees (as they were on the BPTC). Students can also take a break after completing part one and return to part two at a later date.
  • Integrated route: combined academic and vocational stages (where the Bar course is integrated into an undergraduate law degree) followed by pupillage.
  • Apprenticeship route: academic, vocational and pupillage components combined in an apprenticeship. However, while plans for barrister apprenticeships have been discussed, this route is not yet available.   

Whichever Bar course you choose, you will learn both the legal knowledge required to be barrister (such as criminal litigation, civil litigation, evidence and sentencing) and practical skills (such as advocacy, opinion writing and drafting, and conference skills).

All students must join an Inn of Court and pass the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) before enrolment on a Bar course.

Find out more

What you learn

Where to study

When and how to apply

Where to study

Use the sub menu above to find out more about who is eligible, what you learn, where to study and more!

 

Before choosing where to apply to for the Bar course, get as much information as possible about the various course providers. You should try to find out about not only the academic programme, but also any links with the profession, the level of individual career guidance, the facilities available and any relevant extra-curricular activities.

The table below provides key information to get started, but it is not exhaustive.

To find all the available Bar courses, use LawCareers.Net’s Course search.

University/law school

Name of Bar course

Locations

Routes offered

Annual start dates

Study format

Fees

BPP University Law School

 

Barrister Training Course (BTC)

Birmingham

Bristol

Leeds

London

Manchester

Course in one part

Course in two parts

Course with LLM

September and January

 

 

 

Full time

Part time

Course in one part: £13,416 outside London or £14,446 in London

                       

Course in two parts: £14,446 outside London, £15,576 in London

 

Part one only: £4,137 outside London, £4,652 in London

         

Part two only: £10,309 outside London, £10,824 in London     

 

Course with LLM: £14,935 outside London, £16,480 in London                        

City, University London

 

Bar Vocational Studies (BVC)

London

Master of Laws

Postgraduate Diploma

Postgraduate Diploma with Specialism

September

Full time

Part time

Course in one part: £16,500

  

LLM: £19,500                        

 

Postgraduate Diploma: £16,500

Postgraduate Diploma with Specialism: £18,500

 

 

The Inns of Court College of Advocacy

ICCA Bar Course

London

Course in two parts

September and January

 

Full time

Online learning (part one)

Course in two parts: total £14,155

 

Part one only: including ICCA fee, textbooks and BSB intake fee – £2,000    

 

Part two only: including ICCA fee and BSB intake fee – £12,155

Northumbria University

 

Bar Course Postgraduate Diploma

Newcastle

Course in one part

Course in two parts

Integrated MLaw (course with undergraduate law degree and LLM)

September

Full time

Part time

 

Course in one part: £12,300

LLM: £12,300   

MLaw: £9,250 a year undergraduate fees          

Nottingham Trent University

Barristers Training Course (BTC)

Nottingham

Course in one part

Course in one part with LLM

September

September

Full time

Course in one part for 2021: £12,000

Course with LLM for 2021: £14,800

The University of Law

Bar Practice Course (BPC)

Birmingham

 

Bristol

 

Leeds

 

London Bloomsbury

 

Manchester

 

Nottingham

Course in one part

 

Course in one part with LLM

January, July, September

Full time

 

Part time

Course in one part: £12,700 outside London, £14,000 in London

 

Course in one part with LLM, £15,300 outside London, £16,900 in London

The University of the West of England

Bar Training Course

Bristol

Course in one part

Course in one part with LLM

Course in two parts

Course in two parts with LLM

September

Full time

 

Course in one part: £13,500

Course in one part with LLM: £15,500

Part one only: £7,750

Part two only: £7,750

Course in two parts with LLM: £17,500

 

To help you make your choice, use our Course search to find contact information and prospectuses for information on course modules and funding.