1. Postgraduate applicants to City, University of London
  2. Offer, confirmation and registration - BVS

Offer, confirmation and registration - BVS

We are delighted that you applied to undertake postgraduate study at City, University of London.

We are delighted that you applied to undertake postgraduate study at City, University of London.

Here is a guide on the next steps about receiving an offer, how to confirm your place and finally register as a City student.

We hope that you will find the information on this site helpful as you prepare to embark on your study with us.

Receiving your offer

Offers will be notified by email. The standard entry conditions are below but you should check your formal offer email to see your specific conditions.

  • Obtaining a minimum lower second-class honour in a qualifying law degree OR at least lower second-class honours in a non-law degree AND a Pass in the CPE/GDL.
  • Being confirmed as a member of one of the four Inns of Court. Please note that the application deadline for Inn membership is usually the last working day of May. Please consult the website of the Inn you wish to join as soon as possible to confirm their deadlines.
  • Passing the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT). You should register for the test via the Pearson Vue website. We encourage you to take the test as soon as possible after it opens to ensure you pass it in good time. For UK/ EU students you will need to have passed the test by the end of August 2020, for overseas students you will need to have passed by the end of July 2020.
  • Being able to demonstrate that your oral and written English language ability is at least equivalent to a minimum score of 7.5 in each section of the IELTS academic test or a minimum score of 73 in each section of the Pearson Test of English. You will be asked to sign a declaration to this effect before commencing the course. Please note if you have completed your LLB entirely outside the UK you will be required to show evidence of having met the English language requirement for visa purposes.

You will not be able to register for the course if you cannot provide evidence that these conditions have been met.

Whilst you will have indicated on your application form which particular route of the Full Time programme you wanted to pursue any offer will be valid for all 3 routes of study (that is the Postgraduate Diploma, the Postgraduate Diploma with Specialism and the LLM). You will be asked to confirm your choice when you accept. However, you may change your mind up until your CAS is issued (for overseas students) or registration (for home/EU students).

Responding to your offer

In order to accept your offer, you will need to firstly pay a deposit of £400 and then complete the BVS acceptance form. A link to the acceptance form will be included in your offer email.

Deposit payment should be made online using your student number which can be found on your offer email. For further details of how to pay please see the section on paying your deposit/tuition fees or the fee sheet included with your offer

At the time of acceptance, you be asked to confirm your chosen route of study.  However, you may change your mind as set out above.

Please note that, in accordance with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations, you have 14 days from the time we receive your acceptance and deposit in which to cancel your acceptance. After such time your deposit will become non-refundable.

All acceptances will be acknowledged by email. We will contact you at various points over the summer by post and email, so it is important to inform us if you change either address. You will receive regular updates on the School, the course and the wider University regularly over the coming months.

Confirming your place

Once you have accepted your place, you can look ahead to starting with us. The full-time course is provisionally scheduled to begin on 7 September 2020.

Online registration

Online registration is scheduled to open in early August 2020. Once online registration has opened and you have met all of the conditions of your offer you will receive an automated email from City inviting you to register for the course online. Please note that you cannot register online until you have received this email.

Online registration is a relatively straightforward process. You will be asked to confirm course details and personal details (full name, address, date of birth etc.). You will also be prompted to pay the first instalment of your fees if you have not already done so. You do not have to complete online registration all at once, you can return to it later, however please ensure that it is completed before Registration Day.

When you have successfully completed the online registration process you will receive a Registration Certificate. Please print this and bring it with you to Registration Day. Please note that you will not be a registered student of City until you have completed both online and in-person registration.

In-person registration

In mid-late August you will receive further details about in-person registration which is provisionally scheduled to take place on 7 September.  Teaching will start immediately after registration and there is an attendance requirement so it is important that you are ready and able to register on time.

It’s a good idea to consider things which may delay your registration and work to avoid these as much as possible. Some common causes of delays are as follows:

  • Not obtaining academic transcripts in time
  • Bank transfers (particularly from abroad) being made and not clearing into our account before registration
  • Student loans not being approved before the programme begins

Preparing to start

On Registration Day you will complete the formalities of registration, this will include checking all students eligibility to study in the UK (so you will need to bring your passport/visa), and issuing your student card. The first batch of course materials will also be distributed including a number of text books.

The schedule for Registration Day 2019 is yet to be finalised but it's likely there will be other induction activities scheduled on this day including an introductory talk from the Course Director.

There is no required preparation prior to the course. Before joining the BPTC you will have completed a Qualifying Law Degree or the Graduate Diploma in Law, which will have covered the most important legal subjects, particularly crime, contract, tort and, to some extent, land law. Knowledge of the fundamentals of these subjects will therefore be assumed on the BPTC, and you will be doing a range of exercises in which you will be applying law from these areas in advising and representing clients. It may be advisable that you ensure that your understanding of these subjects is refreshed, because on the BPTC the focus will be on using the law in order to achieve results for your clients, rather than in developing your understanding of the law. If you have studied evidence before, you may wish to revise your knowledge of it too, as it is an essential part of life at the Bar, but there is no need to have any detailed knowledge of this subject as it is taught on the BPTC.

Receiving your timetable

You will receive your timetable for Registration and Induction Week by late August.

Timetables for the remainder of Term 1 will be issued during Induction Week. The nature of the BVS (fixed groups of 24 students for workshops, 12 students for tutorials and six students for oral skills sessions) means we cannot finalise your group and, therefore, your personal timetable, until we know exactly who has registered.

You will be timetabled for classes three days per week, with one day guaranteed to be free from teaching (your 'Preparation Day', available for research, preparation and professional development activities) and one further clear day in most weeks, but on which you may occasionally have timetabled teaching. Students should be aware that some activities might be scheduled on their Preparation Day, for example assessments, etc.

Students will be allocated a Preparation Day at the start of the course. It is not possible to choose your Preparation Day, however if you have special circumstances, such as medical requirements, religious observance, childcare or travel arrangements, which may result in you having difficulty attending on a particular day, please inform the School, and where possible we will attempt to accommodate them.

All requests should be sent to the Timetabling Department at bvs@city.ac.uk by the end of July.

Classes will be spread through the day from 9am – 6pm, with no more than 4 hours consecutive teaching. The timetable is designed so that all students have an equal share of early classes. Other than in exceptional circumstances, students are not permitted to alter any timetabled classes.  Teaching and assessment on the core modules will take place from September through to April.

Students undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma with Specialism or the LLM will be asked to indicate their chosen specialism and electives over the summer. The teaching and assessment of the elective subjects takes place from April - June. New timetables will be issued for the electives based on your chosen subjects.

You will have approximately 4-6 hours teaching per week during the electives. Most electives classes will only operate once per week so it is unlikely to be possible to accommodate requests for specific non-teaching days during this period.

Reading lists

You will be issued with course materials at appropriate points during the course, including at Registration. Hard copies of all core text books are included in the course fee, these include: Blackstone’s Criminal Practice, The White Book, A Practical Approach to Civil Procedure, the Jackson ADR Handbook and the Bar Manuals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I study the BVS at The City Law School?

  • A proven track record – You will be studying in the Law School where the original Bar course was developed. We have been designing and delivering Bar training for a very long time, first as the Inns of Court Law School then as part of City, University of London.· Best Results - From the Bar Standards Board’s Central Examinations Board Chair’s Report for Spring 2019: City Law School students comprised 25.6% of the Bar students taking the centrally-set assessments but our students achieved 28.6% of the Very Competent grades and 35.5% of the Outstanding grades.
  • Pupillage Figures - From the Bar Standards Board’s Central Examinations Board Chair’s Report for Spring 2019: City Law School students comprised 25.6% of the Bar students taking the centrally-set assessments but our students achieved 28.6% of the Very Competent grades and 35.5% of the Outstanding grades.
  • Course taught by experts - Our staff are experienced and qualified teachers as well as having extensive experience of legal professional practice. Many of our staff remain in practice and some are also qualified arbitrators or mediators and some hold part-time judicial appointments.
  • Extensive pupillage and careers support – you will have full access to our award willing Pupillage Advice Service which will provide comprehensive support through preparation for pupillage interviews.
  • Access to City, University of London’s University Careers Service
  • A wide range of electives and pathways (for students enrolling on the Postgraduate Diplomna with Specialism or LLM routes)
  • Extensive pro-bono opportunities
  • Classes usually timetabled over no more than 3 days
  • Small group teaching and learning - Regardless of what route or programme you choose, you will receive teaching in small groups of 6 students for skills sessions, 12 students for tutorials and 24 students for workshops.
  • Individualised feedback and online support. Individual formative feedback exercises in all modules will typically occur on a one-to-one basis. Teaching on all modules is supported by a range of carefully designed, innovative and interactive online resources delivered via our easy-to-use Virtual Learning Environment.
  • Our range of scholarships - see your offer email for further details.
  • Real-life simulations. Teaching on all modules, including elective modules, takes place in the context of realistic scenarios or case papers that simulate the sort of instructions and briefs you will encounter in practice.
  • State of the art facilities. You will be based in a brand-new purpose-built Law School building and will be taught in rooms that are equipped with the latest modern technology and that have been specifically designed to accommodate Bar training.
  • The benefits of belonging to City, University of London. You will have access to the modern facilities available at City and the University of London as a whole. These include a dedicated new Law Library, a modern Sports Centre, the Student Union, Academic Success and Student Health Services as well as assistance with student accommodation.

How will you help me obtain a pupillage?

We have a highly successful Pupillage Advisory Service with a proven track record in helping students obtain pupillage, which organises a number of different activities to support students in their quest to obtain pupillage. These include:

  • One-to-one advice sessions and CV clinics with members of our PAS team, all of whom are barristers with experience of involvement in pupillage selection for their Chambers
  • Mock Pupillage Interviews
  • Mock Pupillage Advocacy exercises
  • Lectures and workshops on the Pupillage Application Process
  • A lecture on preparing for practice with an accountant specialising in barristers' accounts.

In addition, you will have access to City’s Careers Service.

We also offer a number of other activities, such as Pro Bono work, which can help you to boost your CV and make you more attractive to chambers and, by scheduling your classes over three days, we assist you to undertake professional development activities such as mini-pupillages whilst you are on the course.

How can I find out more about the Pupillage Advisory Service?

The School is committed to assisting our students in the search for Pupillage and once you accept your place, you will have access to the School's Pupillage Advisory Service.

The Pupillage Advisory Service is dedicated to providing the best advice, information, and assistance for those looking for pupillage, and for those who have already obtained pupillage.

Details of Pupillage Advisory Service events can be found on our website. You can also follow us on Twitter @CLSPupillageAdv.

To book an appointment with a Pupillage Advisor please contact bvs@city.ac.uk.

Can I begin the course after the stated registration date?

This is best avoided. Teaching starts on the day following registration so any student who registers late will immediately be at a disadvantage. Arrangements for late starts can be made in exceptional circumstances; please put a request in writing to the Admissions Officer (bvs@city.ac.uk) explaining the reason you're making the request. It will then be considered by the Course Director.

However, please note that any student given permission to register late will need to make up all missed work (in order to comply with the attendance requirement) and registration more than one week after Registration Day will only be permitted in wholly exceptional circumstances. Under no circumstances will any students be permitted to register more than two weeks after the start of the course.

Can I request to be in a group with a friend?

Please make any such requests to bvs@city.ac.uk by the end of July. We cannot guarantee to accommodate this but we are willing to look at grouping students from the same university together within reason. That is to say that we will allow up to four students from any one institution to be in the same group. You should be satisfied that you are all happy with the arrangement before making the request and also consider any other specific timetabling needs you might have amongst yourselves (a certain day off each week, for example). Please also note that this arrangement applies to standard tutor groups of 12, we do not guarantee groupings for advocacy classes where students are taught in groups of six.

What are the differences between the Postgraduate Diploma and the LLM?

The Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Vocational Studies is the vocational qualification required to practice as a Barrister in England and Wales. If you successfully complete this course then you will be certified as having met the educational requirements to be called to the Bar.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Vocational Studies (with specialism) will allow you to build on the compulsory elements of the course by adding a focus on a specific practice area.

To obtain this award, in addition to completing the 10 modules which make up the Vocational Component, you will be required to undertake 2 elective modules from within a particular specialist area. These modules will be taught over a 7-week period from April – June (approximately).

The LLM in Bar Professional Training satisfies all the requirements of a traditional LLM but has a primary focus on practice. In addition to meeting the educational requirements to be called to the Bar, the LLM gives you the chance to focus on a specialist area of professional legal practice related to the BVS.

To obtain the LLM, in addition to completing the 10 modules which make up the Vocational Component and two elective modules from a specialist practice area you must also complete a Dissertation or (for Full-time students only) Clinical Legal Education project.

Whether you undertake the Postgraduate Diploma, the Postgraduate Diploma with specialism or the LLM you will be certified as completing the vocational component of training for the Bar of England and Wales, and therefore be eligible for Call to the Bar once you've successfully completed the 10 core modules which make up the vocational component.