Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)

If your goal is to become a barrister, BPP University's Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) provides the best possible training. We offer advocacy and conference sessions taught in groups of four, true-to-life mock trials and assessments and the widest range of electives of any provider. In addition, our Careers Service pulls out all the stops to help you secure pupillage.

On successfully completing our BPTC, you will be fully prepared for the demands of life as a barrister – and will be eligible to be called to the Bar of England and Wales (subject to meeting the qualifying session requirement of your Inn of Court).

The legal profession can be demanding and being a barrister is not for everyone. It is recommended that you read this important information issued by the Bar Standards Board if you wish to study for the Bar of England and Wales.

The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) is awarded by BPP University.

Programme details
Birmingham, BristolLeeds, London Holborn and Manchester
Study Options Duration Start date



1 year full-time

2 years part-time



Modes of study Assessment
Face to face Written and oral skills examinations
How to apply
Applications for the full-time and part-time must be made online through the Bar Student Application Service (BARSAS) .

*Subject to demand. Please note programmes/modes may not run at all locations.

^ Further details of eligibility requirements, interest rates and other key terms of the loan are available by visiting the Future Finance website. BPP University Limited acts as a credit broker and is not a lender for this arrangement.


Key Information

  • Small group sessions - all practical advocacy and conference sessions are taught in groups of 4
  • Learn from experienced practitioners with a strong practical focus
  • Option to type opinion writing and drafting assessments
  • Widest selection of options to choose from, more than any other provider
  • Increase your knowledge with introductions to pupillage lectures and court visits , helping you target your applications to the most appropriate chambers for you
  • Funding available through Scholarships, interest-free payment plans and Future Finance student loans^
  • Gain vital work experience - by advising real clients through our award-winning Pro Bono Centre
  • Practice your skills through mock trial and mooting events judged by members of the judiciary and practitioners
  • True-to-life assessments in advocacy and conference, using professional actors
  • Value for money - all books and learning materials included in the fee
  • Proactive careers support to give you the best possible chance of securing pupillage
  • Convert your BPP University BPTC to a full BPP University Masters degree by completing an additional 30 credits

BPTC Career Guarantee

Our Bar Professional Training Course gives you the best possible training for life as a barrister and we are so confident we are offering a Career Guarantee.

If you don’t get pupillage within six months of completing your BPTC you can study another qualification at BPP, worth up to £16,500* including the LPC, for free. Places are limited so for more details on how to apply or to find out more please contact our admissions team.

*Terms and conditions apply

Closely linked to the profession

The focus of the Bar Professional Training Course is on practical experience and application, with particular emphasis placed on advocacy. Our practitioner tutors are highly experienced  – some of whom are still practising or retain close links with the profession and are also trainers used by the Inns of Court.

Innovative study tools

Learning materials include:

  • Online demonstrations
  • Suggested answers for written work
  • Live mock assessments with professional actors – for advocacy and conference
  • Digital recordings to allow you to review your performance on a weekly basis
  • Recorded revision lectures for all Civil and Criminal small group sessions
  • The White Book and Archbold Criminal Practice

Study dates and assessment

The full-time BPTC runs for a whole academic year – September to June. Alternatively, you can choose to study for the qualification part-time, one weekend per month, over two years.

For the full-time option, classes can be scheduled over three or four days per week, with one day a week reserved for research and preparation. For the part-time option, there is a three-day induction programme followed by one weekend of classroom study per month.

You will be assessed by a combination of written and oral skills examinations throughout the year. For both full-time and part-time students most assessments will take place on weekdays.

At BPP University students have the option to type their opinion writing and drafting assessments as opposed to hand writing them.

Study our LLM Legal Practice (Barristers)

A new programme giving you the essential training you need to become a qualified barrister, we are proud to launch our LLM Legal Practice (Barristers), an integrated practice-focused Masters programme incorporating our highly regarded BPTC and qualifying for postgraduate loan funding of up to £10,280 from the Student Loans Company.

The new programme combines the teachings from our BPTC with a range of new modules. It is a challenging and rewarding programme, enabling you to acquire further knowledge and skills that are of real value in current legal practice.

Find out more about LLM Legal Practice (Barristers) and eligibility criteria for the postgraduate loan.

Free Masters top up

We give you the opportunity to enhance your BPTC and top up your qualification to a full Masters degree at no extra cost. This means, depending on your subject choices, you can either graduate with a BPP University LLM Commercial Legal Practice or LLM Legal Practice (Barristers).


The BPTC comprises an induction and a series of compulsory modules. You must also choose two of the optional modules – depending on the area you wish to specialise in. Our tutors and careers service can provide guidance if required.

The introductory lecture for each compulsory module includes an overview of the programme, details of the method of assessment and an introduction to key concepts.


  • Professional Ethics
  • Civil Litigation, Evidence and Remedies
  • Advocacy
  • Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing
  • Drafting
  • Opinion Writing
  • Resolution of Disputes out of Court
  • Conference Skills

Optional (choose two)

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Advanced Criminal Litigation
  • Employment
  • Judicial Review
  • International Trade
  • Intellectual Property
  • Public International Criminal Law
  • Property and Chancery
  • Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence
  • Company Law
  • Family Law
  • Professional Discipline
  • Asylum, Detention, Deportation & Extradition

Please note that optional modules run subject to demand, therefore all modules may not run in all locations. International Trade and Public International Criminal Law will only run on the full-time London Holborn programme and numbers will be limited.

Entry requirements

The BPP University Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Practice (BPTC) entry requirements are:

  • Qualifying Law Degree or non Law Degree plus CPE/GDL (minimum 2:2)
  • Membership of an Inn of Court
  • A pass in the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT)
  • Fluency in English:

a. a minimum score of 7.5 in each section of the IELTS academic test; or
b. a minimum score of 73 in each part of the Pearson Test of English (academic)

On or before registration, students from non-English speaking countries will be required to produce a certificate issued by one of the above test providers certifying that they have achieved the required scores in each section of the test at the same sitting. Alternatively, students predicted a 2:1 or 1st class degree, who consider that they may exceed the language requirement, may request a Skype interview with one of the Directors of BPTC Programmes or their nominee who may waive the requirement for a certificate on registration.

Certificates issued by a test provider verifying the score achieved by a candidate in one of the above tests must be current and valid by reference to the rules of that test provider as at the date the candidate commences the BPTC.

Subsequent to being admitted to the BPTC, should BPP University consider that a student's language ability is unsatisfactory or there is question as to whether any aspect of it is at the required level, it will require the student to take one of the above language tests at any stage in the course (at the student’s cost) and achieve the required score. This right is unrestricted regardless of the students’ first language.

Should the student then fail to achieve a required minimum score in one of the tests specified above, BPP University may require the student to:

a. withdraw from the programme; or
b. intermit and improve their score prior to being re-admitted in a subsequent year. This will be dependent on how much of the programme has been undertaken.

In all cases the student is wholly liable for any costs incurred.

The Bar Standards Board believes that compliance with one of the standards identified above is the absolute minimum necessary to successfully complete the Bar Professional Training Course.

For further details regarding the BCAT please visit the Bar Standards Boards website:

BPTC selection criteria

  • Strong academic profile and achievement
  • Evidence of good written communication skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to a career as a barrister
  • Demonstrated commitment to studying with BPP University
  • Any special circumstances revealed in your application
  • Academic or other references

How to apply

Applicants should apply to For more information on how to apply, please read the BarSAS Applicant guide.

If you wish to discuss your application to the BPP BPTC programme request a call back.

Study locations

You can study the BPTC full-time in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol or Manchester OR part-time in London or Leeds

For the full-time option, classes are held four days per week, with one day a week reserved for research and preparation.

For the part-time option, there is a three-day induction programme followed by one weekend of classroom study per month.

For both full-time and part-time students most assessments will take place on weekdays.

Fees for September 2018

Full-time and part-time programme

Location Fees (incl. £500 deposit) BSB Fee Total
London Holborn £18,520 £550 £19,070
Leeds £15,130 £550 £15,680
Manchester* £15,130 £550 £15,680
Bristol* £15,130 £550 £15,680
Birmingham* £15,130 £550 £15,680

*Part time option not available

A deposit of £500 will need to be paid within 48 hours of accepting your offer, in order to secure your place.

Awards and scholarships

There are a number of awards & scholarships available to BPTC students. To find out more about the latest awards and how to apply please click here.

Future Finance student loan

A student loan, from Future Finance, of between £2,500 to £40,000 is available to our full and part time BPTC students.

Further details of eligibility requirements, interest rates and other key terms of the loan are available by visiting the Future Finance website. BPP University Limited acts as a credit broker and is not a lender for this arrangement.