What Aspiring Lawyers Need to Know About the BPTC

Lawyers and barristers, who are crucial in advising and promoting laws and rights, are referred to as the "bar" in the UK. Every aspiring barrister must complete the Bar Professional Training Course, or BPTC, before beginning pupillage.


AHZ Associates

2 years ago | 6 min read

Lawyers and barristers, who are crucial in advising and promoting laws and rights, are referred to as the "bar" in the UK. Every aspiring barrister must complete the Bar Professional Training Course, or BPTC, before beginning pupillage.

In the UK, the BPTC program lasts for a full year. People who intend to practice law need to receive the appropriate training as well as the tools and skills they will require both during pupillage and afterwards in their legal careers. All aspiring attorneys should be familiar with the following information on the BPTC.

One of the most important steps in becoming a barrister is completing the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), which wraps up the vocational portion of bar training. Over the course of a full year, you will study practical skills, comprehend the procedure, and attend meetings with your Inn of Court.

What is the BPTC in UK?

The qualifying postgraduate program that enables graduates to train for and practice as barristers in England and Wales is the Bar Practice Course (BPC), formerly known as the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Before moving on to the last, most practical step of training—pupillage—you must successfully finish the vocational stage of training.

With excellent instruction, which is created and provided by experienced practitioners with unmatched experience in providing advocacy, you can give yourself the best chance to land pupillage and to get ready for life as a barrister.

You must complete the BPTC course in the UK in order to practice law as a barrister in England and Wales. It’s a certification meant to complement the legal information you already have from your undergraduate or graduate studies and get you ready for bar pupillage.

Eligibility Criteria for the BPTC degree in the UK

In order to qualify for the BPTC, one needs to have either a law-related degree with a Graduate Diploma in law (GDL) or an LLB law degree of the lower second class (2.2 classifications).

It should be noted that applicants cannot be guaranteed a seat for the BPTC, as it is a highly competitive course with a limited number of seats. One needs a degree with a high grade, an overall exceptional academic record, and enough practical experience that can help you secure a place in the BPTC.

What Will Happen During the BPTC?

During the BPTC course in the UK, students will be trained vocationally and will be made to hone and utilize their skills in all important areas in order to qualify for pupillage. The areas span over the following:

  • Negotiation techniques
  • Legal research
  • Advocacy
  • Conferencing
  • Documentation

Besides this, an aspiring barrister will need to have joined one of the Inns of Court before they can qualify for the BPTC course in the United Kingdom.

Some do this before their BPTC commences, but in order to make full use of their varied facilities, it is recommended to join beforehand. You will get the chance to experience the social activities that you should expect to take part in once you are a barrister, so it is advised to join in advance.

The UK has an exceptional reputation for legal excellence across the globe. In fact, many legal systems and courts still refer to UK law for guidance. However, if you are considering taking a law course in the UK, it is essential to understand the different types of courses on offer, and how they might affect your future career options.


In order to be able to make legal decisions and judgments, it is necessary to get qualified first. Where you learn, and the legal systems that you study will affect where you can practice law in the future. This is because the UK has a number of distinct legal systems.

Law courses in UK

If you wish to practice law in Scotland, you must complete a Scots Law LLB, followed by the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (Dip.LP).

On the other hand, if you wish to practice law in England and Wales, you can complete any undergraduate degree, but if you do not complete a qualifying law degree, you must undertake further study. It is currently common for UK institutions to teach EU law as part of any law degree or course, but it is currently unclear how Brexit will affect this.

Tuition fees and duration for BPTC course in UK

BPTC charges differ depending on the provider. For a full-time, 12-month program, you should budget between £15,000 and £19,000.

No matter your country, you will not pay more in tuition as an international student than a UK or EU citizen.

The BPTC course lasts a full year if you take it full-time. However, a number of organizations give a part-time BPTC that is completed in two years.

Qualification for BPTC degree in the UK

In the UK, the usual route to becoming a qualified solicitor, barrister, or advocate in any jurisdiction is first to complete a full-time law degree (LLB). At present, this is a requirement in Scotland. Although there are many law courses in the UK and degrees offered across Scotland, not all of them will be a qualifying LLB.

You should ensure that where you wish to practice law in Scotland, your course meets the requirements set by the Law Society of Scotland. In England and Wales, if you have completed another degree, you may complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) in order to practice law.

Scholarships for BPTC degree in the UK

As you can see, obtaining a certificate from the Bar Professional Training Course in UK is not inexpensive. However, you have a couple alternative BPTC funding choices available to you.

Each of the four Inns of Court has a scholarship program available for BPTC students. Scholarships range in value and type depending on the institution. More information is available on their websites:

  • Lincoln’s Inn
  • Inner Temple
  • Middle Temple
  • Gray’s Inn

BPTC: what degree do you need?

Those who wish to apply for the BPTC course in UK must possess either an LLB, which immediately qualifies them for the program, or an honors degree and have successfully completed the conversion course (GDL).

This requirement stems from the requirement that all BPTC students have studied the fundamental legal concepts, sometimes known as the “foundations of legal knowledge.” These are the pillars of the golden rule:

BPTC application process

The BPTC course in UK is the crucial professional requirement to become a barrister. We’ll walk you through the application procedure right here-

You’ll recognize the BPTC’s online application procedure as a seasoned veteran. The Bar Student Application Service (Bar SAS), which is a centralized application platform used by BPTC Online, is comparable to UCAS for university applicants. Direct applications to providers won’t be permitted; only this method will be accepted.

It costs £65 to apply to the BPTC. Before the first deadline, you must choose and rank your top providers. An initial round and clearing period practice then follow:

The suppliers will evaluate applications and provide their offerings during the first round. Those that are rejected will proceed to the clearing round for a second opportunity to receive an offer. In the event that you accept an offer, you will be given a deadline.

Salary range for BPTC course in UK

At the upper end, 2% of barristers earn more than £1 million annually, while nearly 12% make less than £30,000.

The disparity in pay is mostly caused by the diverse areas of practice of barristers. At the start of their careers, criminal and family set counterparts can make £20,000 or less, and that’s before deductions for chambers’ rent, clerks’ fees, tax and VAT, travel expenses, insurance, and required CPD programs.

In contrast, even the youngest barrister at the most successful commercial chambers can earn more than £70,000, and the best commercial QCs can command enormous fees.

Accelerated degrees

Many of the most prestigious universities in England, Wales and Scotland, offer accelerated LLB law degrees to graduates from other disciplines. This can be an excellent option if you are looking for a career change, or if you didn’t meet the initial requirements for admittance to an LLB degree at the university of your choice.

As you can see, careful consideration is required when choosing a law course in the UK in order to become a qualified solicitor, barrister or advocate.

Over the course of your BPTC, the student needs to attend at least 12 sessions at the Inns of Court that you are a part of. The results of the sessions will help determine whether you are qualified enough to become a barrister and be called to the bar.

If you have passed all 12 sessions, then you will be able to complete and pass your BPTC. Resists are usually allowed for students, but your chance to acquire pupillage may be hindered if you do so.


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