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. 

Intake: January

Length of Programme: 1 years Full-Time / 2 years Part-Time

Mode of Study: Study in the UK

Request information?


Start Date: September

Length of Programme: 1 year Full-Time / 2 year Part-Time

Mode of Study: Study in the UK

Benefit from our Career Guarantee

If you start your PGDL and go on to study our LPC or BTC you'll benefit from our Career Guarantee.

If you don't get obtain a training contract or pupillage within six months of completing your LPC* or BTC** you can study another qualification at BPP for free.

Preparing you for practice

The BPP University PGDL is designed to help you make a smooth transition from being a non-law graduate into a career in law. We don't just give you an excellent qualification, we give you an insight into life in practice, so you enter the next stage of your training more informed, more prepared and more effective, and able to demonstrate a higher competency when applying for training contracts and pupillages.

Once you have successfully completed your PGDL exams, you have the opportunity to specialise or develop an understanding in alternative areas, take two extra modules and you could graduate with a Graduate LLB (Hons) awarded by BPP University.  The Graduate Diploma in Law is awarded by BPP University and is recognised as completion of the academic stage by the SRA and BSB.

When you have passed your PGDL, you're guaranteed a place on our LPC, the next step to becoming a solicitor. Or you can apply for our BTC, the next step to becoming a barrister. 

How the programme is taught

We assume you have no prior knowledge of law when you start your PGDL, so you get a full induction programme and a high level of support from day one. This includes outstanding learning materials and online resources. All study materials are included in the fee. All lectures and resources have online equivalents.

You'll be taught by our experienced legal professionals and academics with time split evenly between tutorials and lectures as well as regular consolidation sessions and a wealth of online resources. For full details view our Locations tab.

What you will experience in the classroom

BPP University's ethos is learning by doing. Classes are designed with an interactive focus, based on discussions, debates and resolving practical case studies. You will learn the academic knowledge, but as importantly you will learn how it's applied in practice, with a logical approach, presenting your arguments persuasively and in a structured manner.

You will study up to 21 hours a week consisting of live and online lectures and classes dependent on location and start date. Tutorials are taught in groups of around 18 students, giving you a high level of student/tutor contact time.

All our students also have a Personal Tutor and access to a Student Advisor, should you need any guidance or additional support outside of class time.

Independent research essay options

We offer a wide range of titles, and will always consider individual topics suggested by students. Current options include intellectual property, succession, company law, family law, housing law, medical law and public international law.

Study Options

Personalise your PGDL timetable

BPP gives you more control over the way you study with face-to-face, online distance learning, or a combination of both available. Classes are offered morning, afternoon, evening and weekends. Face-to-face PGDL classes are taught on two set days per week during the core teaching term, at the following centres, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge and Liverpool.

You can start in January or September. For full-time study, both options take nine months. Or if you choose part-time and start in January, you'll finish in 18 months – ready to start the LPC or BTC in September. If you start part-time in September the programme takes two academic years.

Optional modules

With the BPP PGDL, you're given access to an unrivalled range of additional modules, designed to get you ahead and give you the edge in interviews. Highlights include:

  • Company law module
  • Further specialist law modules – start specialising early in areas such as Intellectual Property or Public International Law, so you can demonstrate more expertise than other graduates.
  • Professional Skills modules developed with leading city firms – Featuring areas like legal writing and legal research
  • Mandarin Chinese – Gain an insight into the language used in one of the world's most important markets with free Mandarin Chinese lessons (London only).

Specialist careers advice

From the moment you accept your place until you secure your first legal position, you can use our careers service. With our one-to-one support, we aim to give you the edge when it comes to getting a training contract or pupillage. You'll have everything from access to our vacancies database to advice on filling out application forms, intensive interview coaching, employer research and networking opportunities with top firms.

Part-time PGDL

Our part-time programme is designed to fit around your other commitments such as work and family. BPP offers a variety of part-time modes:

  • Evenings: taught between 6.00pm and 9.00pm. Each module is taught by a one-hour tutorial per week. All our lectures are recorded and made available to students online for flexibility of study
  • Weekends: one Saturday every fortnight, consisting of tutorials. Lectures delivered online
  • Day: taught on one half-day per week from 9am - 1.30pm in year 1 and from 9am - 2.40pm in year 2. Lectures are delivered online
  • Distance learning: weekly online lectures and tutorials with optional face-to-face tuition.


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




    January 2024

    • London Holborn: £17,000
    • Leeds: £15,900
    • Birmingham:  £15,900
    • Bristol: £15,900
    • Manchester: £15,900
    • Fees include BSB registration fee of £705
    • A deposit of £350 will need to be paid within 48 hours of accepting your offer on all our courses, to secure your place.



    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 


    Still have some questions?

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