What is the BPTC?

  • Last updated 10-Feb-2018 11:04:24
  • By Maudie Powell-Tuck and Becky Kells, All About Law

The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) is penultimate stage on the path to a career as a Barrister.

The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) is a one year course that introduces participants to the first part of vocational training. The purpose of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) is to equip you with the relevant skills to begin a pupillage.

During the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) you will hone your skills in a variety of areas, such as advocacy, case preparation, conferencing, negotiations, and legal research.

As part of the course you will also have to join one of the four Inns of Court prior to starting the course (by the 31 May). It is possible to join an Inn at an even earlier stage to get involved with their social events and use their facilities. During the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) year, you are required to attend twelve sessions at your Inn in order to be called to the Bar.

What will I learn during the BPTC?

There are the obvious things, such as advocacy skills and professional ethics and conduct, as well as knowledge areas and core skills that you’ll have to cover.

The required knowledge areas are: civil litigation, criminal litigation and sentencing, and evidence. You’ll also be picking up core skills, such as conferencing, advocacy, drafting, legal research skills, opinion writing, fact management, and dispute resolution.

Who is eligible for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)?

By the time you embark on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) formerly known as the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) you will need to hold a law degree or have a non-law degree and have successfully completed the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), otherwise known as the law conversion course.

You will also need to have a minimum of a 2.2 law degree. The barrister profession is extremely competitive; you will need top academics and a real drive and determination to succeed. The BPTC is a very expensive course and pupillages are limited, so make sure that this is the right career for you.

How is the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) graded?

There are three levels of grading on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC): Outstanding, Very Competent and Competent. These will be awarded based on your performance in the twelve assessments.

Outstanding

A candidate must pass all assessments on the first attempt achieving outstanding in at least half of the twelve assessments. It is a difficult feat to achieve such high grades throughout the course and will need sustained commitment.

Very Competent

A candidate may only fail one assessment on the first attempt achieving outstanding or very competent in at least eight of the assessments.

Competent

A candidate must pass all assessments and this may include re-sits.

How much will the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) cost?

The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) will set you back between £13,000-£19,040. This does not include living costs. How you are going to fund the BPTC is definitely something you will need to think about.

Where can I do the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)?

The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) is offered by several providers, the largest two providers are BPP and the College of Law. You can find details about various providers in our law school section.       

How do I apply for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)?

You can apply right here.

Apply early: applications open in November and close in early January. The application system is then reopened for new applications into the clearing round in February. Those from the first round of applications will start to receive offers in March to accepted by April.  

Candidates have to complete the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) as part of their BPTC application. 

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