It’s no secret; the Bar Professional Training Coursee can be pricey. But the darn good news is that there’s plenty of funding out there, particularly in the form of BPTC scholarships. From the enticing offers of Inns of Courts to some financial support opportunities from BPTC providers, it’s worth having a snoop round to check out what scholarships are out there. The majority of scholarships are offered on a merit basis, but there are diversity focused awards and bursaries awarded on the basis of financial need too.
Inns of Courts scholarships…
The first port of call for many will be Inns of Court Scholarships. Around £4.5 million is awarded annually and a sizeable chunk of this goes to BPTC students. Applicants must be a member of the Inn of Court to apply for the scholarship.
In 2016, the Inner Temple made a whopping 101 awards to the BPTC year. These scholarships could be anything from £100 to £22,000. The largest BPTC scholarship awards on offer are:
- Peter Taylor Scholarship of £22,000;
- Stephen Chapman Scholarship of £21,000;
- And five Princess Royal Scholarships of £20,000.
Candidates for the scholarships must apply online and make sure you get your application in early. All scholarships are awarded on merit. Inner Temple also has disability grants for those affected by serious disability.
Middle Temple offers a number of scholarships to BPTC students, interviewing every candidate who secures a place on the course and intends to become a member of Middle Temple. In 2016, over £1m was offered in scholarships. Major scholarships include:
- The Queen Mothers’ Scholarship, which is intended to assist “outstanding candidates”;
- Diplock Scholarships, preference being given to those undertaking the BPTC who didn’t study law at undergraduate level;
- Jules Thorn Scholarships;
- Diana, Princess of Wales, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge scholarships: awarded to a candidate who is “specially deserving of financial assistance”; who has "overcome adversity".
- And Joseph Jackson Scholarships for those interested in family law.
Lincoln’s Inn has around £1,569,000 in scholarships to offer each year. These are all awarded based on merit: taking into account personality and presentation as well as intellectual qualities. Scholarships for the 2017/18 period include:
- 90 Scholarships of between £6,000 and £18,500
- Up to 20 Bursaries of up to £3,000 each
- Tancred studentships - two awards of up to £15,500, or a lower monetary award with accomodation within the Inn.
Gray’s Inn Scholarships
The majority of Gray’s Inn Scholarships are for BPTC and are awarded irrespective of background - 40 awards were made in 2016. Anyone who wins a scholarship based on merit will recieve a £10,000 base amount, with additional funding being available based on financial need. Benefactors include:
- The Birkenhead Award
- Nine Bedingfield Scholarships
- Prince of Wales Scholarships
BPTC provider scholarships…
BPP have quite a significant scholarship programme, many of the awards are aimed at, or specifically for, their BPTC students. Some are merit based, whilst others take into account financial circumstances and diversity.
- Vice Chancellor's Scholarship - Full Cost of Tuition
- BPTC Regional Programme Leader's Award - up to £5,000
- BPTC Advocacy Award - up to £5,000
- BPTC Pro Bono Award - up to £5,000
Mister/Mistress of Moots Scholarship
This scholarship recognises excellence in organising and leading successful student activity in mooting, debating and advocacy. Candidates will also need to impress in advocacy at Kaplan’s Selection Event. The recipient of the scholarship will get a 50% reduction of their Bar Professional Training Course fees.
An impressive performance in advocacy at Kaplan’s Selection Event is again a crucial part of the selection process for these scholarships. Candidates need to demonstrate a track record in debating, mooting, public and speaking. There are ten advocacy scholarships up for grabs and they are each worth £2,000.
Manchester Met University offers one student the chance to win a BPTC scholarship of £4,000 to go towards their tuition fees.There are a further eight awards of £1,000 each. Assessment is carried out on the basis on the BPTC application and interview, and candidate must have placed MMU as their first or second choice of provider.
University of Law
The University of Law offered £50,000 worth of BPTC scholarships in 2017, in areas including:
- Master / Mistress of the Moots (London only): £6,500
- Senior Scholar (Birmingham): £4,000
- Senior Scholar (Leeds): £4,000
- 12 Advocacy Scholars (London only): £2,500
- 6 Advocacy Scholars (Birmingham and Leeds): £2,000
There are also a number of scholarships available which can be used for any course studied at the University of Law. It is worth checking the University of Law's website to keep up-to-date with these.
The Graham Rushton Award for Blind and Partially Sighted Law Students
The Graham Rushton Award is a grant of around £7,000 for blind and partially-sighted students studying English law in the UK. Preference is given to law courses without local authority funding, such as the LPC and BPTC.
Inderpal Rahal Memorial Trust
This scholarship is aimed at women from immigrant or refugee backgrounds who want to practise or teach law in the UK. Usually, one award of £2,000 is made every summer to go towards undertaking Bar or solicitors' exams, pupillage, solicitors' training, or other legal placement or research in the UK or abroad.
Kalisher Scholarship Trust
Every year, the Kalisher Trust funds at least two students on their Bar Professional Training Course. The scholarships intend to support those who want to practice at the Criminal Bar. Applicants are assessed on the basis of: intellectual ability, motivation to succeed at the Criminal Bar, potential as an advocate, personal qualities, and financial need. The awards include:
- The Kalisher Scholarship, which covers the cost of the entire BPTC;
- The Cloth Fair Scholarship, a full scholarship for the BPTC;
- Bursary awards for the cost of training;
- And practitioner’s textbooks for the pupillage year.