Let’s not beat around the bush, the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) is an expensive endeavour. Therefore, it’s best to know what you’re getting yourself into, how much it will cost and what funding opportunities are out there.
What is the BPTC?
Whilst we already covered what’s involved in the BPTC here, we appreciate it’s a bit of a pain to have multiple tabs open. So let’s quickly remind ourselves now…
The BPTC is a yearlong course that provides aspiring barristers with the skills needed to begin a pupillage. You’ll focus on advocacy skills, case preparation, negotiating and legal research. You also need to join an Inn of Court before you start the BPTC.
There are also key knowledge areas and core skills that you have to cover, including civil litigation, criminal litigation and sentencing, and evidence.
How much will the BPTC cost?
Brace yourselves (and don’t say we didn’t warn you), but a BPTC can cost you well over £18,000!
There is also a Bar Standards Board (BSB) registration fee. This currently stands at £550 and you have to pay this with your first instalment that you pay to your law school.
Obviously for such a fee, you want to make sure you pass the course, otherwise there are additional charges for resits—blimey!
There may be bursaries and scholarships you can apply for, and partial funding may be available from Inns of Court.
Other than that, there are plenty of funding opportunities. Professional and Career Development Loans allow you to borrow up to £10,000 from a bank. The interest is paid by the government (useful!) whilst you’re learning and then you can repay the loan after your course finishes. You can use the loan however you wish (though we wouldn’t recommend blowing it all on rent for a swanky London penthouse) and you can use this alongside other forms of funding.
You could also apply to charities and societies. Alternatively, you could study part-time and work part-time also, funding your studies along the way.
The BPTC is a major investment for the aspiring barrister and the most important thing to be sure of is that you can afford it and that you make the most of it and go on to secure a pupillage!