Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)

Get one step closer to practising at the Bar with our Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

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Overview

Following the academic requirements of the Bar Standards Board, we’ve designed this course to provide you with the skills and expertise needed for a successful career as a barrister.

From day one, you’ll get involved with advocacy training and group sessions that deliver true-to-life mock trials, assessments, and real-life legal work experience opportunities.

You’ll put your skills into action as you ‘perform’ in front of other students and develop strong working relationships similar to a professional chambers.

To equip you with the knowledge you need, you’ll study core modules including resolution of disputes out of court and professional ethics. 

You’ll also have the chances to explore the areas that interest you – whether that’s employment law or personal injury litigation.

 

The heart of the Northern Circuit

Manchester Law School has been delivering this course for 20 years. In that time, we’ve built links to both the local legal profession and the Northern Circuit.

We’ve built a highly experienced team that includes barristers and solicitors, district judges, internationally renowned research academics and legal scholars.

Throughout the course, practitioners from the Northern Circuit provides additional advocacy classes and are on-hand at events to offer advice about your future as a barrister.

Features and Benefits

  • Specialist facilities for BPTC students – apply your skills in a realistic environment with ourspecialist facilities including chambers rooms, a legal library and mock court room.
  • A legal hub – study in the second largest legal centre in the UK. Manchester is home to well-respected law firms and at the heart of the North Circuit of the Bar.
  • Extensive training – hone your skills with 42 hours of criminal and civil advocacy plus assessments – over three times the minimum required by the Bar Standards Board.
  • Additional Professional Programme (APP) – bridge the gap between student and professional life and prepare for the Bar. Develop your CV by attending regular guest lectures and doing pro bono work.
  • Practitioner Mentor Scheme – each chambers group will be assigned a practising barrister as a mentor to mirror the real-life practices.
  • Mediator Training Programme – you’ll have the opportunity to gain an additional qualification in mediation through the ADR Group at no extra cost.
  • Supportive community – the student Law Society brings together students from all stages of legal study. The Law Society incorporates the Critical Lawyers Group (CLG) and the Mooting and Advocacy Society.
“It is extremely beneficial to be taught by staff members who are still in practice or who have recently been in practice. They can give you practical examples from a client perspective." Sarah Cook, BPTC Graduate Barrister at Kenworthy’s Chambers.

"It’s the ideal place to study for a law degree as there is a thriving law community."

Lucy Mair, Barrister, Manchester Met Law School graduate.

Career Prospects

Manchester’s legal sector employs over 20,000 people in diverse specialisms including sport, transport, insurance, corporate finance, banking, IP and media.

The BPTC focuses on simulating realistic legal practice scenarios and encourages you think and behave like a legal professional.

During the BPTC, the Faculty of Business and Law’s Careers and Employability Service will help you prepare for your next step. This support continues for up to three years after you graduate.

 

Your career path

This course prepares you for pupillage and life as a barrister, but the skills you learn can be applied to a wide range of professions.

Our graduates work as barristers in the UK and internationally, or have taken up roles in related legal practice. Most are barristers in employed practice or self-employed. Other graduates have returned to a different jurisdiction to practise as a lawyer.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

To be considered for a place on the BPTC, you will normally have to satisfy two criteria:

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.

MEET THE EXPERTS

“Studying law at Manchester Metropolitan University is a great choice. We are situated in the heart of the city of Manchester, the second largest legal centre in the UK…”
 
Listen to what Jackie Panter, Associate Head, has to say about studying at Manchester Metropolitan University…

Course details

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 group’s 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.

"The support and advice from the tutors, as well as the practical experience is invaluable."

Helen Longworth, BPTC | Full Time | 2015-2016

Core units:

  • Advocacy
  • Civil Litigation
  • Evidence and Remedies
  • Criminal Litigation Evidence and Sentencing
  • Professional Ethics
  • Opinion Writing
  • Drafting
  • Conference Skills
  • Resolution of Disputes out of Court

Elective units will include:

  • Advanced Civil Litigation
  • Advanced Criminal Litigation
  • Business Law and Corporate Finance
  • Employment Law
  • Family Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Professional Ethics

You will learn about the the fundamental concepts of professional and ethical values required of a practising barrister at the Bar of England and Wales. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the philosophical issues and purposes underpinning ethical behaviour, including the concept of duty in professional life both to the client and to the rule of law. Topics covered also include You will develop an in-depth understanding of the requirements of the Code of Conduct and the Equality code.

Opinion Writing

This units develops your skills in providing written advice to the instructing solicitor and lay client that is practical, reliable, clear and well presented. This unit is an integral part of the Civil course, which includes Civil Litigation, Opinion Writing, Advocacy and Drafting. These subjects are to be taught in a cohesive and complementary manner.
Furthermore, the units are integrated as part of the Criminal course. This enables you to appreciate the connectivity between all the subject/skills areas.

Drafting

You will be introduced to the skills of drafting technical legal documents to be used at different stages of the legal proceedings. You will develop your general drafting skills, your understanding of style and terminology, remedies, including whether a range of remedies should be pursued and applicable time limits, contract and tort.

Conference Skills

This unit includes the practice of taking instructions from and advising lay clients. It provides the skills necessary to prepare for, structure, communicate, investigate and advise the client. You will learn general Conference skills, how to conduct a Conference with a client, and advising the client. You will also develop interpersonal skills in order to effectively communicate and respond appropriately to the client. 

Resolution of Disputes out of Court

The unit aims to provide knowledge and understanding of the various alternative methods of dispute resolution that fall outside the usual judicial process before courts or tribunals and may be exercised prior to a possible court hearing, or at any time during the litigation process, or prior to appeal. You will learn about the advisory representational and advocacy skills required of barristers during this process. 

Advocacy Skills

The Advocacy Skills unit provides the skills necessary to prepare, present and respond to a case or legal argument before a court or other tribunal. The course is divided into unopposed submissions, opposed submissions and witness handling skills. You will be taught the necessary skills to prepare, manage, present and/or respond to a case or legal argument, both orally and in writing.

Civil Litigation

This unit provides knowledge, understanding and the ability to apply and evaluate the areas of civil litigation and remedies. It will cover practice procedure and evidence.

Criminal Litigation Sentencing and Evidence

You will gain an understanding of procedures related to arrests, pre-trail issues, summary and jury trials, sentencing and appeals. You will develop your knowledge of the important  evidential rules that apply to criminal cases.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A Masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment

Additional information about this course

All study materials and text books are included in the course fee.

Placements options

Pro Bono

Manchester Law School offers excellent Pro Bono opportunities, allowing students to undertake voluntary legal work with our partner organisations. Our dedicated careers adviser will provide assistance with finding mini pupillages and initiating new links to the profession. You will also receive support with careers from your tutors and you will have the opportunity to increase your network at our many events including external speakers and members of the Northern Circuit.

Manchester Law School

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £14,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £14,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

In addition to tuition fees, a registration fee of £550 is payable in year 1.

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Professional Costs

£550

Bar Registration Fee

Other Costs

Prior to enrolment you are required to be a member of an Inn of Court £100 joining fee. Whilst studying the BPTC you are required to complete 12 qualifying sessions at you Inn in order to be called to the Bar. You need to book these sessions through your Inn. There are fees for these sessions depending on the nature of the event - you can check these by contacting your Inn. Most qualifying sessions will take place in London so you will need to pay for travel to London - we provide a one off £60 towards the total cost of your travel. There will usually be around 2 to 3 qualifying sessions in Manchester each year.

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

How to apply

Applications through BPTC online - please visit the BSB website for details of how and when to apply.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Office for Students is the principal regulator for the University. For further information about their role please visit the Office for Students website. You can find out more about our courses including our approach to timetabling, course structures and assessment and feedback on our website.

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