If your goal is to become a barrister, the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) at Manchester Law School is designed to provide you with the best possible skills, experience and training to prepare you for a successful career. We offer advocacy training and group sessions that offer true-to-life mock trials, assessments, 'mini chambers' and real-life legal work experience opportunities.
Manchester Law School has a proud history of providing barrister training in the North West and as a result has outstanding links to both the local legal profession and the Northern Circuit (Chambers in Cheshire, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston). Practitioners from the Northern Circuit will provide you with Additional Advocacy Classes for students and are on-hand at regular events to offer advice about your future as a barrister and obtaining pupillage.
You can expect exceptionally high standards of tutoring and a wealth of pro bono opportunity. We will support you preparing pupillage applications, with access to our specialist careers service.
If you are considering applying for the BPTC and have any questions about the course, or you wish to query something about an application you have already submitted, please do not hesitate to contact the BPTC team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The team will respond to your email as soon as possible.
Features and benefits of the course
Specialist BPTC facilities
Recognising the challenging nature of barrister training, the Law School offers a number of specialist facilities for the use of students on the BPTC programme. Students benefit from specialist postgraduate study areas, personal chambers rooms, legal libraries, personal study areas plus a mock courtroom where students can practice their advocacy skills in a realistic legal environment.
We will provide you with the opportunity to hone your advocacy skills with many opportunities to understand the skills involved and to put them into practice. Our advocacy sessions far exceed the minimum hours set by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and we are very proud of the skills that our students develop during the course.
You will receive approximately 42 hours of criminal and civil advocacy plus assessments, which is over three times the minimum required by the BSB. We also offer Additional Classes with barristers who are in full time practice to give you further opportunities to develop your advocacy skills.
Additional Professional Programme (APP)
An innovative feature of Manchester Law School’s BPTC programme. The APP bridges the gap between student and professional life, and prepares you for the Bar. There is a whole range of extra curricula, career-boosting activities of which you can take advantage. From guest lectures provided by judges and clerks of chambers, to Pro Bono opportunities, the Student Law Society, mooting and other national competitions.
Practitioner Mentor Scheme
Each chambers group is allocated their own Practitioner Mentor, a locally based barrister who will be on hand to guide you along the path to practice.
Mediator Training Programme
We are exclusively offering the option to gain an additional independent professional qualification in mediation through the ADR group, normally costing £2,750 +VAT, at no extra cost to our BPTC students. The programme is practically orientated and focused on equipping you with the skills you need to perform well at mediation – either as a representative or as a mediator – and leads to ADR Group Accredited Mediator Status.
Award-winning Faculty environment
At Manchester Law School you will have access to an outstanding Faculty building, housing spacious study and IT zones, laptop counters, cafes and coffee shops, and free WiFi. You will benefit from highly modern facilities on our thriving campus too, at the heart of the UK’s second city.
About the course
The BPTC focuses on developing highly practical skills and features an innovative 'mini-chambers' approach designed to mirror the real life working practices of a barrister. You will be placed in a group (or chambers) with 11 other students and be provided with a permanent, multimedia-equipped base room. You will be expected to 'perform' regularly in front of your fellow students to encourage the development of strong working relationships similar to a professional chambers.
The BPTC begins with a participative and dynamic induction programme introducing students to the highly practical BPTC, compared with academic study. Students are almost immediately offered the opportunity to network with local practitioners during a team building exercise and social event. Following this induction, the remainder of the course features a combination of compulsory subjects and an opportunity to study two subjects of your choice, depending on your particular career aspirations.
You will also take part in career prospect enhancing activities such as guest talks by judges and clerks of chambers, which are all ideal preparations for BPTC students seeking pupillage. An important feature of the course is the Additional Advocacy Classes provided by members of the Northern Circuit. Each chambers group will also receive classes on professional conduct from a working barrister acting as the groups Practitioner Mentor. You will also receive the opportunity to gain an independent mediation qualification, included as part of the course.
As well as running a pro bono legal scheme, offering students opportunities to practise their skills on live legal projects, the Law School also enters teams of students into national competitions to test their skills in realistic situations.
The BPTC is taught by an experienced team of barristers. You predominantly learn through the mini-chambers system (requiring significant student preparation) and occasionally by traditional lecture. Teaching is complemented by online resources ranging from self-testing resources and podcasts, to advocacy demonstrations.
- Civil Litigation
- Evidence and Remedies
- Criminal Litigation Evidence and Sentencing
- Professional Ethics
- Opinion Writing
- Conference Skills
- Resolution of Disputes out of Court
There are eight elective subjects available to BPTC students, of which six will run depending on the popularity of each unit as chosen by the you.
- Advanced Civil Litigation
- Advanced Criminal Litigation
- Business Law and Corporate Finance
- Civil Claims Arising From Criminal Proceedings
- Employment Law
- Family Law
- Judicial Review
- Personal Injury Litigation
Typical entry requirements
To be considered for a place on the BPTC, you will normally have to satisfy two criteria:
- You will hold an LLB degree or have completed the GDL programme.
- You will have obtained a pass in the Bar Aptitude Test.
BPTC students are selected primarily on academic ability and must have been awarded at least a 2:2 at first degree level, or international equivalent, although factors such as commitment to the profession, motivation and other skills will also be considered.
All BPTC offers are subject to the condition that students successfully complete the academic stage of their training to the Bar Standards Board's satisfaction and have enrolled as a student member of one of the Inns of Court.
International students please refer to mmu.ac.uk/international. This course requires IELTS of 7.5 in all elements of the test. Please note this is a requirement that differs from the University standard.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated November 10, 2017