Barrister Training Course (BTC)

Barrister Training Course (BTC)

If your goal is to become a barrister, BPP University Law School’s Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Practice, known as the Barrister Training Course (BTC), provides the best possible preparation. With advocacy and conference skills taught by experienced practitioners, plus the widest range of electives of any provider, we are dedicated to putting you into practice.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Practice is awarded by BPP University.

On successfully completing our BTC, you will be fully prepared for the demands of life as a barrister, and will be eligible to be called to the Bar of England and Wales (subject to meeting the qualifying session requirement of your Inn of Court).

  • Study in one of five UK city centre locations and learn full-time or part-time

  • Learn from experienced practitioners who can help develop your legal career and have links to chambers

  • Create your own competitive niche with our wide selection of optional modules – more than any other provider

  • Advocacy and conference skills taught consistently in groups of four, using professional actors

  • Gain practical legal work experience through our award-winning Pro Bono Centre and internship schemes

  • Access expert careers advice, guidance with pupillage applications and interview support through our Careers Service

To apply, please select your preferred intake and study mode. All applications are made through BarSAS. 



The full-time BTC runs for a whole academic year – September to June. Classes can be scheduled over three or four days per week, with one day a week reserved for research and preparation.


Alternatively, you can choose to study part-time, one weekend per month, over two years. There is a three-day induction programme followed by one weekend of classroom study per month.

How the course is taught


You will be assessed by a combination of written and oral skills examinations throughout the year. For both full-time and part-time learners most assessments will take place on weekdays.

Benefit from the option of typing the ‘written skills’ exams on your own computer, with software provided free of charge.

All books and learning materials included in your fee, and you will get discounts on a range of optional extras, such as becoming a qualified mediator.

Learning materials include:

  • Online demonstrations

  • Suggested answers for written work

  • Live mock assessments with professional actors – for advocacy and conference

  • Digital recordings to allow you to review your performance on a weekly basis

  • Recorded revision lectures for all Civil and Criminal small group sessions

  • The White Book and Blackstones Criminal Practice


Preparing you for practice

The focus of our BTC is practical experience and application, with particular focus placed on advocacy. Our practitioner tutors are highly experienced and retain close links with the profession, or are also trainers used by the Inns of Court. 

Many still practice and are routinely engaged in activities such as training police detectives in mock homicide cases, and training qualified lawyers in countries such as Turkey, China, Albania and Rwanda.

Of the top chambers in the country (including Fountain Court, Matrix, 39 Essex Street, Brick Court, Blackstones and Doughty Street), listed by Chambers and Partners, over 50% or more of those in tenancy since 2008 are BPP University Law School alumni.*

Specialist careers advice

From the moment you accept your place, you’ll have access to our careers service, which offers:

  • Advice on CVs, covering letters and application forms

  • Help with preparing for interviews

  • Mock interviews

  • Advice on alternative careers

  • Advice sessions to help you build a career action plan


BPP Pro Bono Centre

Gain hands-on legal experience by volunteering for a project with our award-winning Pro Bono Centre. Opportunities are available at all of our study centres. Find a project.


LLM Legal Practice (Barristers) – either complete one research project and enhance your specialist legal knowledge in a wide range of areas, or complete a shorter research piece and one Practice-Ready module, with options including Business Management and Strategy.

*Source: taken from listed tenants on chambers’ websites. Correct at time of research – September 2016 **T&Cs apply 


The BTC comprises an induction and a series of compulsory modules:

  • Advocacy

  • Civil Litigation, Evidence and Remedies

  • Conference Skills

  • Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing

  • Drafting

  • Opinion Writing

  • Professional Ethics

  • Resolution of Disputes out of Court

You must also choose two of the optional modules, depending on which area you wish to specialise in:

  • Advanced Criminal Litigation

  • Asylum, Detention, Deportation & Extradition

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution

  • Company Law

  • Employment

  • Family Law

  • Intellectual Property

  • International Trade

  • Judicial Review

  • Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence

  • Professional Discipline

  • Property and Chancery

  • Public International Criminal Law


Our tutors and careers service can provide guidance if required.

The introductory lecture for each compulsory module includes an overview of the programme, details of the method of assessment and an introduction to key concepts. 

Please note that all optional modules run subject to demand, therefore all modules may not run in all locations. International Trade and Public, and International Criminal Law will only run on the full-time London Holborn programme and numbers will be limited.

Entry requirements

Important information for applicants

We recommend that you read this important information issued by the Bar Standards Board if you wish to study for the Bar of England and Wales.

Educational background

BPP University Law School BTC entry requirements are:

  • Qualifying Law Degree or non-Law Degree plus CPE/PGDL (minimum 2:2)

  • Membership of an Inn of Court

  • A pass in the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT)

  • Fluency in English

Selection criteria

BPP University Law School use the following selection criteria for our BTC:

  • Strong academic profile and achievement

  • Evidence of good written communication skills

  • Demonstrated commitment to a career as a barrister

  • Demonstrated commitment to studying with BPP University

  • Any special circumstances revealed in your application

  • Academic or other references

Language requirements

If English is not your first language you will be required to provide proof of fluency in written and spoken English. This can be proven by:

  • 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)

Students may complete a language interview with BPP University’s academic staff and if successful may register without providing an IELTS certificate, but BPP University Law School reserve the right to request a certificate if concerns arise in respect of language ability. This is in addition to the above entry requirements.

The Bar Standards Board believes that compliance with one of the standards identified above is the absolute minimum necessary to successfully complete the Bar Professional Training Course.

Inn of Court

Applicants must join an Inn of Court prior to starting the BTC. For more information, please contact the relevant Inn

Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT)

Applicants are required to pass the BCAT prior to enrolment on our BTC. You can submit your BTC application prior to taking the BCAT. For more information, click here


September 2023

  • London Holborn: £16,151

  • Leeds: £15,121

  • Birmingham:  £15,121

  • Bristol: £15,121

  • Manchester: £15,121

Application Deadline:
September 2023

Commencement Date:
September 2023

Length of Programme:
Full-Time: 12 months 
Part-Time: 24 months

Mode of Study:
Study in the UK

Attend our law seminar to get more information.

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