Bar Training Course

Take the next step towards a future full of impact in the justice system, with the professional skills, practical approach and in-depth understanding vital for joining the Bar.

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This is a course built for a career at the Bar, with everything from the learning environment to our academic team created to give you the expertise and experience you’ll need to pursue a future as a barrister.

It’s a course rooted in real experiences. You’ll mirror professional practices – working within a chambers group, developing your skills and knowledge through the use of practical scenarios. You'll study an innovative professional practice unit to help you develop resilience, confidence and leadership, understand the demands of the profession and thrive at the Bar.

If you want to get onto the path to practice, our Bar Training Course offers the best step forward.

At the heart of the Northern Circuit

We have a long-standing history of delivering this course in Manchester. During this time, we’ve built strong and lasting links with the legal profession, both locally and across the Northern Circuit, giving you access to mentoring, advice and networking opportunities.

Taught by experts

Our highly experienced teaching team includes barristers and solicitors, district judges, internationally renowned research academics and legal scholars.

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

Please note: This course has been approved by Manchester Metropolitan University to start in September 2020. Pending full authorisation by the Bar Standards Board.

Features and Benefits

  • Specialist facilities for Bar students – apply your skills in a realistic environment with our specialist 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, LLB and BPTC graduate

“The staff are just fantastic; they always emphasise how much time they are willing to make for you. Most of the lecturers have good links with the Northern Circuit, which is what drew me to this university and it is a well-respected law school in the Northern Circuit.”

Jessica Purchase, GDL and BPTC graduate

Career Prospects

Designed to meet the professional demands set out by the Bar Standards Board, this course is designed to equip you with everything you’ll need to take your next step into the competitive world of pupillage. However, with such a practical environment and approach, it’s a course that can help you on a range of other career paths, across the legal world and beyond.

Many of our graduates have become barristers in the UK and internationally, while others have opted for different jurisdictions or roles in other related fields. We’ll be here to help you do the same – with the support of our Careers and Employability Service to help you pursue pupillage and take the next step in your legal career.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

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

Bar 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 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 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.


“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

From the environment we’ve created and the methods of study we employ, to the real-world opportunities we provide and the extra activities we offer, everything in this course is built to prepare you for the Bar. Put simply, it will give you the skills, expertise and experience you’ll need to pursue a future as a barrister.

Join us and you can expect an exceptional standard of teaching, delivered from a team that includes barristers and solicitors, district judges, internationally renowned research academics and legal scholars.

With our Additional Professional Programme, we have a wide variety of guest lectures, competitions and other career-boosting activities designed to close the gap between your studies and your career.

Whatever direction you choose, you’ll find a course geared to give you an experience that’s as real and relevant as possible. That starts with being a member of a group set up as mini chambers, working in chambers rooms, our mock courtroom and a legal library – mirroring the real-life practises of a working barrister.

We also put a strong emphasis on your advocacy skills. With mock trials – not to mention our mooting society – you’ll have plenty of chances to put those skills to the test in a realistic and challenging environment. And, with a wealth of pro bono opportunities, you’ll be able to tackle real-life legal issues. In short, you won’t just learn the principles, you’ll also get to grips with the practical skills.

At the Manchester Law School, we have a proud history of providing barrister training. In fact, we’ve been delivering this course for more than 20 years. As such, we’ve built long and standing links to both the local legal professional and to the Northern Circuit of Chambers in Cheshire, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston. Thanks to those links, we can offer regular access to practising barristers, whether through additional advocacy classes or regular events, or as your chamber’s group mentor – a local barrister who will be on hand to guide you along the path to practice.

For new graduates aiming for a career as a barrister, the market is incredibly competitive. Standing out demands well-honed skills, deep-rooted knowledge and relevant practical experience. With all that and more, our Bar Training Course offers our best possible step for your future in law.

Additional Professional Programme (APP)

In May 2019, the law school hosted an APP event for Bar students. Speakers included a circuit judge, QC and recorder who gave up their time to share their knowledge and advice with our students. Hear what our students had to say:

“An exceptional lecture with eminent speakers imparting invaluable knowledge to aspiring barristers.”

Tolu Obadan, Bar Student

“I found the event refreshingly entertaining and highly educational. I found their talks to be inspiring yet pragmatic, entertaining yet serious and professional, and I have no hesitation in saying that I found the event very beneficial.”

Kennedy W Hodge, Bar Student

The APP is set to continue throughout the following academic year, with sessions opening up to all interested law students.

If you choose to study the full-time course, you will study nine core units in one year. These units meet the Vocational Component of Bar Training from Criminal Litigation to Conference Skills and Drafting. You’ll also study a Professional Practice Unit, where you will develop the resilience and confidence to be able to thrive at the Bar.

Term 1:

  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Litigation Evidence and Sentencing
  • Professional Ethics
  • Professional Practice Unit

Term 2:

  • Advocacy Civil
  • Drafting
  • Conference Skills
  • Opinion Writing and Legal Research
  • Advocacy Criminal

If you choose to study the part-time course, you will study the same nine core units, but they will be spread across two years of study.

Anyone who is interested in the part-time flexible mode of study needs to contact programme leader Joanne Lewthwaite to discuss eligibility.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Civil Litigation

To provide knowledge, understanding and the ability to apply and evaluate the rules of civil litigation and resolution of disputes out of court.

Criminal Litigation Evidence and Sentencing

To provide knowledge, understanding and the ability to apply and evaluate the rules of criminal procedure, evidence and sentencing.

Advocacy Civil

To introduce and develop the skills necessary to prepare, present and respond to a case or legal argument before a court or other tribunal in a civil context. To provide skills necessary to examine witnesses (Examination in chief and cross examination in a civil context).

Advocacy Criminal

To introduce and develop the skills necessary to prepare, present and respond to a case or legal argument before a court or other tribunal in a criminal context. To provide skills necessary to examine witnesses (Examination in chief and cross examination in a criminal context).

Conference Skills

To introduce and develop the skills necessary to prepare for, structure, take instructions and advise a client in conference.


To introduce and develop the skills of drafting statements of case to be used at different stages of legal proceedings.

Opinion Writing and Legal Research

To introduce and develop the skills to carry out legal research and to provide written advice to the instructing solicitor and lay client. 

Professional Ethics

To introduce and develop the knowledge of the key ethical and professional conduct issues that underpin practice at the Bar. 

Professional Practice Unit

To assist in developing resilience and confidence in order to be able to thrive at the Bar taking account of wellbeing and employability. To improve students’ employability links with the legal community, increase understanding of the demands of the profession and develops community awareness and leadership skills.  

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:


Additional information about this course

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

Placement options

As part of Manchester Law School, our Bar students have the opportunity to get involved in voluntary work through the Pro Bono Network. Working with one of our partners to provide free expertise to people in need means having the chance to build real skills and relevant experience.

Through the Pro Bono Network you will get the chance to explore different areas of law in practice. You'll build your professional network and ultimately, you could make a difference to someone's life even before you qualify. it helps you stand out from the crowd and increases your skills, confidence and employability.

We work with a variety of organisations on our pro bono projects, both local and international. If you join our network, you could be working in court with the Personal Support Unit, on a free advice line at Slater & Gordon, with a team of commercial pro bono lawyers at Addleshaw Goddard at our Business Law Cafe or even representing clients at appeal hearings through the Legal Advocacy Support Project.

Find out more about our Pro Bono Network

Our dedicated careers advisor is also on hand to help you find mini pupillages and help contact legal firms, so you can develop your own opportunities for gaining experience and building your network.

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


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £13,500 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).

Fees for this course have yet to be confirmed and will be updated shortly.

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £13,500 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).

Fees for this course have yet to be confirmed and will be updated shortly.

Additional Information

In addition to tuition fees, a registration fee of £870 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).

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


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.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

How to apply

Applications for the Bar Training Course will open on Tuesday 14th April.

If you would like to receive more details about the course and the application process, please register your interest using the form below.

Register your interest


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 Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.