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The Bar Professional Training Course (Bar Vocational Course or BVC prior to the 2010-2011 academic year) is a graduate course that is completed by those wishing to be called to the Bar, i.e. to practise as a barrister in England and Wales. The ten institutes that run the BPTC along with the four Inns of Court are often collectively referred to as 'Bar School'.

This vocational stage is the second of the three stages of legal education, the first being the academic stage and the third being the practical stage, i.e. pupillage. No person can practise as a barrister unless she or he has successfully completed this course.[1]

Contents

Entry requirements

Although the minimum entry requirements for the BPTC is a qualifying law degree with no less than lower second class (2:2) honours, or a degree in another subject with no less than 2:2 honours in addition to a pass in the Common Professional Examination (CPE), applicants for the BPTC should demonstrate a strong academic profile (preferably upper Second Class Honours degree and above from a leading university and excellent extracurricular activities). Additionally, a suitable candidate should provide strong evidence of a commitment to the English Bar.


In 2006:[2]

  • 3,227 students applied for the BVC,
  • 1,932 received a place,
  • 1,425 passed the BVC,
  • 598 received pupillage,
  • 544 received tenancy.


As a result of the apparent over-supply of barristers, the Bar Standards Board recently considered four controversial proposals:

  • Capping the number of BPTC places
  • Deferring call till the completion of pupillage
  • Raising the minimum entry standards to a 2:1 degree (implemented into some BPTC offering institutions)
  • Mandating a minimum IELTS score of 7.5/9 for foreign students (implemented into some BPTC offering institutions)

As of 2008, only two of these proposals have been able to find enough support to be implemented.

Fees for the BPTC are now between £8000 and £15000, making the course a serious investment for future barristers.

Course options

The course bridges the gap between academic study and the practical work of a barrister by teaching subjects with which a practising barrister will need to be familiar with. Core modules include:

Grading

Students successfully completing the course may be awarded the overall grade of “Outstanding”, “Very Competent” or “Competent”.

  • To gain the award of “Outstanding” a candidate must have passed all assessments at the first attempt and must achieve either an overall mark of 85% or above, or six or more grades in the outstanding category.
  • To gain the award of “Very Competent” a candidate must have failed no more than one assessment at the first attempt and must achieve either an overall mark 70% or eight or more grades in the very competent or outstanding categories.
  • To gain the award of “Competent” a candidate must pass each assessment subject to the rules governing the opportunity to re-sit.

Providers

BPTC Providers
Institution Location Circuit Approx. course fees
BPP Law School London South Eastern £14,500
BPP Law School Leeds North Eastern £11,500
University of the West of England Bristol Western £10,300
Cardiff University Cardiff Wales and Chester £8,500
Nottingham Trent University Nottingham Midland Circuit £10,950
The College of Law London South Eastern £12,930
The College of Law Birmingham Midland Circuit £10,500
City University (formerly ICSL) London South Eastern £14,500
Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester Northern £8,950
Northumbria University Newcastle upon Tyne North Eastern £9,155

References

  1. ^ Adam Kramer (2007). Bewigged and Bewildered: Pupillage and a Career at the Bar. Hart Publishing. ISBN 1841136514.  
  2. ^ Statistics

See also

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The Bar Vocational Course (usually termed the BVC) is a graduate course that is completed by those wishing to be called to the Bar, i.e. to practise as a barrister in England and Wales. The ten institutes that run the BVC along with the four Inns of Court are often collectively referred to as 'Bar School'.

This vocational stage is the second of the three stages of legal education, the first being the academic stage and the third being the practical stage, i.e. pupillage. No person can practise as a barrister unless she or he has successfully completed this course.[1]

Contents

Entry requirements

Although the minimum entry requirements for the BVC is a qualifying law degree with no less than lower second class (2:2) honours, or a degree in another subject with no less than 2:2 honours in addition to a pass in the Common Professional Examination (CPE), applicants for the BVC should demonstrate a strong academic profile (preferably upper Second Class Honours degree and above from a leading university and excellent extracurricular activities). Additionally, a suitable candidate should provide strong evidence of a commitment to the English Bar.


In 2006:[2]

  • 3,227 students applied for the BVC,
  • 1,932 got a place,
  • 1,425 passed the BVC,
  • 598 got pupillage,
  • 544 got tenancy.


As a result of the apparent over-supply of barristers, the Bar Standards Board recently considered four controversial proposals:

  • Capping the number of BVC places
  • Deferring call till the completion of pupillage
  • Raising the minimum entry standards to a 2:1 degree (implemented into some BVC offering institutions)
  • Mandating a minimum IELTS score of 7.5/9 for foreign students (implemented into some BVC offering institutions)

As of 2008, only two of these proposals have been able to find enough support to be implemented.

Fees for the BVC are now between £8000 and £15000, making the course a serious investment for future barristers. There are many avenues to fund the course, whether via a professional studies loan[3] or the various Inn scholarships[4] given out each year.

Course options

The course bridges the gap between academic study and the practical work of a barrister by teaching subjects with which a practising barrister will need to be familiar with. Core modules include:

  • Criminal Advocacy
  • Civil Advocacy
  • Drafting
  • Opinion Writing
  • Client Conferencing
  • Negotiation
  • Criminal Litigation and Sentencing
  • Civil Litigation and Evidence
  • Legal Research
  • Case Preparation and Analysis
  • Professional Conduct and Ethics
  • Two optional modules (these vary from institute to institute)

Grading

Students successfully completing the course may be awarded the overall grade of “Outstanding”, “Very Competent” or “Competent”.

  • To gain the award of “Outstanding” a candidate must have passed all assessments at the first attempt and must achieve either an overall mark of 85% or above, or six or more grades in the outstanding category.
  • To gain the award of “Very Competent” a candidate must have failed no more than one assessment at the first attempt and must achieve either an overall mark 70% or eight or more grades in the very competent or outstanding categories.
  • To gain the award of “Competent” a candidate must pass each assessment subject to the rules governing the opportunity to re-sit.

Providers

BVC Providers
Institution Location Circuit Approx. course fees
BPP Law School London South Eastern £14,500
BPP Law School Leeds North Eastern £11,500
University of the West of England Bristol Western £10,300
Cardiff University Cardiff Wales and Chester £8,500
Nottingham Trent University Nottingham Midland Circuit £10,950
The College of Law London South Eastern £12,930
The College of Law Birmingham Midland Circuit £10,500
City University (formerly ICSL) London South Eastern £14,500
Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester Northern £8,950
Northumbria University Newcastle upon Tyne North Eastern £9,155

References

Template:Refs

See also


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