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updated on 21 March 2023
Find out which institutions offer the Bar courses by using our Course search.
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 (BSB) 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.
Wondering if you should do the Bar? Read this Oracle.
Transitional arrangements for BPTC students
The BSB says: From Summer 2022, if candidates “have not successfully completed the relevant assessments for whatever reason, including where mitigating circumstances apply as determined by your course provider”, you’ll be affected in a number of ways, including that you’ll be required to pass the new centralised assessments for civil litigation and professional ethics. Candidates can find full details about the transitional arrangements on the BSB’s website.
For more information read LCN’s Bar courses guide.
New Bar courses
The Bar courses can be studied in one or two parts. This flexibility means that there are now multiple pathways to becoming a barrister, rather than just one, as was previously the case:
Whichever Bar course you choose, you’ll learn both the legal knowledge required to be a barrister (eg, criminal litigation, civil litigation, evidence and sentencing) and practical skills (eg, advocacy, opinion writing and drafting, and conference skills).
Check out the various barrister practice areas with these Practice Area Profiles.
All students must join an Inn of Court before enrolment on a Bar course.
Find out more