To be considered for a place on the Bar Training Course, 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.
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 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.
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.
- Civil Litigation
- Criminal Litigation Evidence and Sentencing
- Professional Ethics
- Professional Practice Unit
- Advocacy Civil
- 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
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.
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).
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).
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.
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:
- Full-time 20% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 80% independent study
- Full-time 60% coursework; 0% practical; 40% examination
Additional information about this course
All study materials and text books are included in the course fee.
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.
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.
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 officeforstudents.org.uk.
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.