01 April 2015

BPTC Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)

• How do I apply for a place on the BPTC?
• May I apply directly to the BPTC institutions?
• Can I study for the BPTC by distance learning or P/T?
• May I make an application if I am an overseas student?
• Can I make an application on behalf of someone else?
• What are the selection criteria?
• Do I have to be a member of an Inn of Court?
• What sources of financial support are available to BPTC Students?
• How much are the fees for the BPTC?
 What is deferral of Call and how does it affect BPTC graduates?
• Where can I study the BPTC?
• What if I am unable to attend part of the course?

How do I apply for a place on the BPTC?

Go to www.barsas.com where you will find an online application form. Admission for the BPTC is only through this method. Please view the timetable for the deadlines. 

May I apply directly to the Bar Professional Training Course institutions?
No. All applications must be made through the centralised applications system: www.barsas.com.

Can I study for the BPTC by Distance Learning or P/T?

There are currently six BPTC Providers offering the course on a part-time basis (the part- time course takes two years to complete). Of these, one, University of the West of England, also offers a partial Distance Learning programme.

• BPP Law School
• College of Law
• City Law School
• Manchester Metropolitan University
• University of Northumbria
• University of the West of England

May I make an application if I am an overseas student?
Yes. Applications are assessed on merit.

A place on the BPTC does not mean that overseas students may practise in England and Wales. The BPTC confers the qualification of Barrister but without rights of audience. Students without rights of employment and residency in the UK may not practise in the UK. Please note that some institutions have different fees for home and overseas students, so please check the prospectus of the institution where you wish to study.

Can I make an application on behalf of someone else?
No. A person's application must be their own.

What are the selection criteria?
To be considered for a place on the BPTC, applicants need to satisfy the Academic Stage requirements. Usually this would entail gaining (or being predicted to gain) a minimum of a 2:2 in their Qualifying Law Degree or a 2:2 in a non-law degree and a Pass in the Common Professional Examination, or Graduate Diploma in Law.

One of the entry requirements for the BPTC is that students are fluent in English. This rule applies regardless of the student's first language. From the first day of the course and at all subsequent times, students must be able to demonstrate that their oral and written English language ability is at least equivalent to

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

This score must be achieved across all sections in the same sitting.

Candidates will be required to achieve a pass result on the BCAT (Bar Course Aptitude Test). 

Any candidate wishing to start the BPTC must be a member of one of the Inns of Court.

Please note: Individual Providers may impose additional selection criteria above these minimum requirements, so you should check the prospectus of the places you wish to apply to.

Do I have to be a member of an Inn of Court?
You must have joined an Inn by the 31 May of the year in which your BPTC is due to commence to ensure that your application will be processed before the start of the course. If you are not a member of an Inn when BPTC registration starts, you will not be able to enrol on the course. You cannot start a course if your membership is not confirmed in time for enrolment.

What sources of financial support are available to BPTC students?
The Inns offer a wide range of scholarships. The closing date for such awards is usually November in the year before the BPTC starts. Some chambers give awards towards the BPTC or allow students to draw on pupillage awards during the BPTC. Please consult the Bar Council Website for further information on funding.

The majority of students have to depend on bank loans and/or other forms of support. Many banks offer loans for vocational courses but their terms and repayment rates vary, so you should study all options before making any commitment.

How much are the fees for the BPTC?
Applying for the BPTC through BarSAS costs £58, which is non-refundable.
2014/15 fees vary between £12,000 and £18,000 for the year. The BPTC Institutions require a non-refundable deposit upon acceptance of a BPTC place, which will be deducted from your course fees upon enrolment.

Where can I study the BPTC?
Please follow BPTC Providers to see where you can study the BPTC.

What if I am unable to attend part of the course?
You will be expected to attend and prepare thoroughly for all classes and there is a strict minimum 90% attendance requirement. Failure to adhere to this may result in you being asked to withdraw from the course. 

Applicants with disabilities who may require reasonable adjustments to enable them to complete the course must discuss this in advance with their Provider.

 

If you have been unable to find the answer to your query please email:

Technical difficulties with your BPTC application - technical@barsas.com 

Academic Stage queries - academicstage@barstandardsboard.org.uk

BCAT queries - bcat@barstandardsboard.org.uk

BPTC general queries - bptc@barstandardsboard.org.uk