The BSB has decided that the BPTC will be replaced as the means of qualifying as a barrister in England and Wales. Instead, barristers will have a new three-part system of qualification, made up of a knowledge component (a qualifying law degree), a vocational component and a pupillage or work-based period of learning.
In turn, universities and course providers have introduced their own compliant courses, particularly centred around the vocational component. Nottingham Trent University is one such provider.
What does the Barristers Training Course look like?
The Barristers Training Course is a shorter version of the vocational component compared to counterparts, giving students the chance to complete it in just six months. The key modules are taught in case-study format following a two-week introductory period. In the words of Nottingham Law School (NLS), you’ll “handle seven realistic briefs (four criminal and three civil) from commencement to trial”, with the necessary skills and knowledge taught via this format.
Specifically, knowledge-based modules include: civil litigation and evidence; criminal litigation; evidence and sentencing and professional ethics. Skills-based modules include advocacy, conference skills, drafting and opinion writing.
The BTC at NLS: key points
You’ll carry out your learning in small group sessions of around 12 students.
You will have the option of starting the course in September or March, with the first course coming into play in September 2020.
Completing this course gives you access to NLS’ award-winning pro bono programme and legal advice centre.
You will apply directly via the NTU online application portal. You’ll be expected to write a personal statement and submit evidence of any academic results/qualifications. You’ll also need to provide an academic reference.
The eligibility requirements for the BTC are in line with those of the BSB. In summary:
- You should have a qualifying law degree at grade 2.1 or higher or a GDL. A 2.2 degree combined with other achievements elsewhere may be considered. If your qualifications are non-standard you will need to provide a Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS).
- You must have a pass grade on the BCAT as specified by the BSB.
The BTC at NLS costs £11,750 regardless of whether you are a UK or International student, and this fee is inclusive of the BSB enrolment fee. There will also be a £1,000 launch award for anyone who is part of the starting cohort in 2020, which reduces the tuition fee.
NLS does offer scholarships to outstanding students and alumni discount to NTU final undergraduate students or anyone who graduated after 1 July 2015. The discount is automatic and will grant eligible alumni a £1,000 fee reduction.