BPTC fees to increase again in 2015-16, while the Bar recruits fewer than 500 new barristers a year

Fees for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) have risen again this year amid warnings that millions of pounds are being spent by students who do not go on to secure pupillage.

The highest BPTC fees are charged by course providers in London, topped in 2014-15 by The University of Law, which charged £18,175; this will rise to £18,500 next academic year. Outside London the cost of the BPTC will increase at all providers for 2015-16.

Considering that the Bar is a relatively small profession, which according to the Bar Standards Board recruits "fewer than 500 new practitioners a year", this means that large numbers of students are completing the BPTC at great expense without ever being able to secure pupillage. As Lawyer2B reports, the Inns of Court have said that around £5 million in BPTC fees is spent every year by students who do not go on to pass the course (statistics highlighting the difference between the number of applicants, enrolments and successful completion of the course are available here). This is especially disadvantageous because the specialist nature of the BPTC means that it is not a transferable qualification which will be useful when embarking on a different career.

This all points again to our repeated warning: if you don’t have excellent academic credentials (a good 2.1 minimum), communication skills and a glowing CV to help you stand out, you probably shouldn’t take the BPTC.

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Recent comments

Anonymous | 06/05/2015 13:26 PM

Alternatively get 20K and set fire to it will be quicker than wasting your life on the legal training?

Anonymous | 11/05/2015 09:28 AM

When will Law Schools realise that they are bordering on unethical practices by taking on students for the BPTC when in fact many do not have the necessary requirements to enter the Bar let alone secure a Pupillage. It seems the only requirement that all Law Schools ask for is the fact you have money to pay for the course (and a 2.1). They do not care that one year down the line you are thousands of pounds in debt and unemployed. When will the Bar Standard Boards step in? Same can be said for the LPC.