The BPTC is designed for aspiring barristers. It attracts students from around the world and from all parts of the UK. Students will have already completed a qualifying law degree or a non-law degree plus a Graduate Diploma in Law.
From recent graduates to doctors and front bench opposition MPs, the programme caters both for those who have always been dedicated to a professional legal career as well as people seeking a career change, and those who are able to make use of the training together with a professional legal qualification in business, management or administration.
In particular, the course is designed for students who want to develop their skills as advocates, and those who want to research and apply the law to help clients in presenting legal cases in court. Bar students often have a deep commitment to helping those who need assistance in protecting their legal rights.
Essentially we want students to be able to act as professionals, trusting in their own judgement, and able to provide convincing arguments in support of their case to a court, a client or a solicitor.”
Professor Stuart Sime
The Bar Professional Training Course is a rigorous programme designed to reflect the modern working Bar. We replicate life in chambers, so you learn how to represent a range of clients and to prepare for the demands of court.
Studying at Gray's Inn Place, in the heart of legal London, City Law School students achieve impressive academic success. In 2015 our students represented half of the national BPTC cohort achieving a grade of ‘outstanding’* – the most prominent indicator of success in securing future pupillage.
The programme is taught by a team of professionally-qualified experts who are the authors of the BPTC manuals in use across the country. Internationally renowned and highly skills focused, City’s BPTC provides a bridge between academic legal study and professional practice and covers three essential areas:
Underpinning all of these areas is a foundation of analysis and legal research, combined with the need to set priorities and organise your work in order to meet deadlines.
City’s BPTC is accredited by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). The BSB sets out the education and training requirements for becoming a barrister, which means once you graduate, and provided you complete the Inns qualifying sessions, you are qualified for Call to the Bar.
The Bar Course Aptitude Test is intended to ensure that students on the BPTC have the required skills to succeed. It is therefore taken before the BPTC, and is a pre-condition to starting the BPTC.
It is administered by the Bar Standards Board and must by passed to start the BPTC in September 2016. The test will open in April 2016, the closing date has not yet been confirmed.
For further details and to sign-up for the BCAT, please visit the Bar Standards Board Bar Course Aptitude Test.
If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.
The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:
If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.
For more information see our main Visa page.
Once you have studied at City we are sure you will want to stay with us to progress to the next stage of your legal training.
All you need to do is meet the minimum entry requirements for your second course and we will automatically take 10% off of your tuition fees.
Professor Stuart Sime is the Course Director of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) at The City Law School.
We offer a free language course for City University London students.
The course is designed to replicate the demands and discipline of life in chambers with an emphasis on learning by doing.
Teaching is delivered in the following ways:
To make sure that our feedback is useful to you:
Our Pro Bono Programme gives you the opportunity to interview and provide written advice to a range of clients. Over the past decade, the programme has grown to include an ever increasing number of partnership programmes at local, national and international level. We encourage you to take an active role in running these projects and in the development of both new and existing projects.
Our partnerships include:
We run several annual City Law School mooting competitions where you can act as counsel to argue a point of law before a senior practising judge. Our students also regularly participate in a variety of external national and international mooting competitions.
The City BPTC consists of 11 core subjects and two option subjects from a choice of 11. The course has been developed to deliver the relevant legal skills and knowledge that all newly-qualified barristers need, along with the detailed knowledge required for your chosen specialist areas/subjects. Three of the option subjects (FRU, Domestic Violence and Social Security) are Pro Bono based, which gives you the opportunity to get real life experience as part of your course.
Other important areas covered within the context of the main subjects:
The range of options offered in any one year is subject to availability and demand, but we usually run all 11 options. The same range of options is offered to part-time BPTC students as to full-time ones, but subject to demand, some may only be delivered during the day.
As with the full-time route, attendance at all classes is mandatory and is a requirement of the Bar Standards Board. Final term dates will be set prior to the start of each year.
Do consider the effects this effort will have on your time and energy before embarking on the course as gaining a professional qualification requires considerable commitment.
You are advised to refresh your knowledge of crime, contract and tort and the essentials of land law. In addition we advise you to read a book on evidence in advance of registration because it is one of the most technical aspects of the course.
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014-15