23 April 2014

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.barprofessionaltraining.org.uk where you will find an online application form. Admission for the BPTC is only through this method. The 2014/15 application system (for a place on a 2014/15 course) opened in November 2013. The full timetable can be found on www.barprofessionaltraining.org.uk in addition to the BPTC page of this section.

May I apply directly to the Bar Professional Training Course institutions?
No. All applications must be made through our centralised applications system, on www.barprofessionaltraining.org.uk

Can I study for the BPTC by Distance Learning or P/T?
There is currently one provision for partial Distance Learning of the BPTC at UWE Bristol. There are five other BPTC Providers offering the course on a part-time basis (the part time course takes two years to complete):

• 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 judged 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 do have different fees for home and overseas students, so check the prospectus of the institution where you wish to study.

We also suggest that overseas students wishing to apply for a place on the BPTC should check with the jurisdiction where they wish to practise that the BPTC is recognised in that jurisdiction.

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.

All students for whom English or Welsh is not their first language might be required to demonstrate that they have attained a minimum 7.5 IELTS standard in all sections of the academic test or a TOEFL score of 28 in each section.

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, as there are often delays in processing applications during August/September. If you are not a member of an Inn when BPTC registration starts, you will not be able to register on the course.

Students are advised that they should apply for Inn membership as early as possible in case there are delays in the processing of said application by the chosen Inn.  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 BPTC Online costs £40, 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.

What is deferral of Call and how does it affect BPTC graduates?
The Bar Standards Board has completed the consultation stage with regard to the issue of whether or not it is in the public interest to defer the stage at which a person is called to the Bar (and thereby acquires the title of Barrister), from the end of the vocational stage of training until the person is qualified to practise. Click on the following link to see the final report: Closed Consultations.

Where can I study the BPTC?
Please follow Course Contact Information 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 the need to withdraw from the course. You should be sure that you are able to make such a commitment.

Applicants with disabilities that may prevent them fulfilling this requirement are able to discuss possible alternate arrangements with their provider.

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

BPTC@barstandardsboard.org.uk - BPTC queries
academicstage@barstandardsboard.org.uk - Academic Stage Queries