19 September 2019

BPTC Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a place on the BPTC?

Go to www.barsas.com to complete the online application form. No other forms of application (email, postal, etc) are acceptable. Guidance is available on the BarSAS website here.

May I apply directly to BPTC providers?

No. All applications must be made through the centralised applications system: www.barsas.com.

Can I study for the BPTC part time?

There are currently six BPTC Providers offering the course on a part-time basis (the part-time course takes two years to complete):

• BPP Law School;
• University 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?


A place on the BPTC does not mean that overseas students may practise in England and Wales. 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 website of the provider 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 requirements. Usually this would entail gaining 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 Graduate Diploma in Law.

All BPTC students must be 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:

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

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 that providers may impose additional selection criteria above these minimum requirements. Applicants should check details in providers' websites.

Do I have to be a member of an Inn of Court?

Students must join an Inn by 31 May of the year their BPTC is due to commence. Students who are not a member of an Inn when BPTC registration starts will not be able to enrol on the course.

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 £36, which is non-refundable.

Course fees for the 2017/2018 intake ranged from around £13,000 to around £19,000, including fees/deposits. Please check the websites of individual providers for current course fees.

Where can I study the BPTC?

Visit our BPTC Providers page for details on where the BPTC is available.

What if I am unable to attend part of the course?

The BPTC has a minimum 90% attendance requirement. Failure to adhere to this may result in a student being withdrawn from the course. 

Applicants with disabilities who may require reasonable adjustments to enable them to complete the course should 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 

BPTC general queries - bptc@barstandardsboard.org.uk

BCAT queries - bcat@barstandardsboard.org.uk

Academic requirements queries - authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk 

Future Bar Training (FBT) - What's changing?

Depending on which pathway is offered by an Authorised Education and Training Organisation (AETO) components may be integrated rather than taken sequentially. 

Potential AETOs may apply for authorisation from early 2019. Once they are authorised by us, AETOs are likely to need to go through further internal approval processes to set up their new pathways. We anticipate that the first new pathways are likely to be up and running from September 2020.

If and when any training becomes available which increases the choice about how you may complete the Vocational Component, we will update the top part of this webpage accordingly.

The BPTC in its current form will be available in the 2019-20 academic year and applications will open in the usual way later in the 2018-19 academic year.

Nobody who has already completed a BPTC or who started a full-time BPTC in 2018-19 or a part-time BPTC in either 2017-18 or 2018-19, or who starts a course in 2019-20, will be disadvantaged as a result of any changes to Bar training as pupillages will still be available to them in the usual way.

Starting from the 2020-21 academic year, additional changes will be made to the curriculum and assessments on both the Vocational and Work-based Learning Components of training. You can read more about the changes to assessments on the Vocational Component online. 

If you would like to read more about all the FBT changes in one place, please visit our Future Bar Training webpage.