LLM/PgDip LLM in Legal Practice at the Bar

Learn from top experts in legal practice and academia. We’ll help you understand the theory and gain practical experience for your career as a barrister.

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend a course fair How to apply


This course is two programmes in one – the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and the Master of Laws (LLM). This means you’ll study towards the professional qualification to become a barrister, while learning advanced legal research skills.

You’ll also have the chance to specialise in the area of law that interests you – whether that’s business law and corporate finance or personal injury litigation. 

The BPTC part of the course develops your practical skills through an innovative ‘mini-chambers’ approach. This group structure is similar to the way barristers work in real life. You’ll develop strong working relationships with your chambers, just like the professionals. 

Boost your knowledge with academic skills

During the LLM you’ll learn new research methods and work towards your 15,000-word dissertation. You’ll be supervised by an experienced legal expert on our teaching team. This part of the course means you can explore a specialism in real depth, with help from one of our leading academics.

The BPTC element meets the requirements of the Bar Standards Board. Because this course includes the LLM, you could be eligible for a postgraduate loan.

Features and Benefits

  • Study in an award-winning Faculty – The Law School is based in Manchester, the second largest legal centre in the UK and at the heart of the Northern Circuit of the Bar.
  • Funding available - If you’re a UK or EU resident, you may be eligible for the Postgraduate Loan Scheme.
  • Specialist BPTC facilities - Use your personal chambers room, our study zones, legal libraries, and mock courtroom where you can practise advocacy skills.
  • Legal experts – you’ll be taught by our team of academic specialists and practising professionals. They’re leaders in areas such as equality law, medical ethics and human rights.
  • Advocacy - Hone your skills with 42 hours of criminal and civil advocacy sessions (three times the minimum required by the Bar Standards Board) and extra classes with practising barristers.
  • Practitioner Mentor Scheme - Your chambers group will be allocated a Practitioner Mentor to guide you along the path to practice.
  • Mediator Training Programme - Gain a highly regarded professional qualification in mediation. The practical programme gives you the skills to act as an accredited representative or a mediator.
  • Pro Bono work - Volunteer with our partner organisations. Get help finding mini pupillages. Build your network at events featuring external speakers and members of the Northern Circuit.
“I think that one of the strengths of Manchester Met is the professional expertise of the tutors. Many have recent experience at the Bar and many are still practising.” Claire Athis, BPTC Graduate.

"We have very strong links with international and national law firms and barristers chambers based in Manchester."

Jackie Panter, Associate Head of School.

Career Prospects

This course is two awards in one, so your CV will really stand out. We’ll work with you to prepare for pupillage and give you the best start to your career as a barrister.

The LLM part of the course is particularly useful if you want to work in a specialist area of law. The BPTC part of the course prepares you for life as a barrister. But the skills you’ll learn throughout your time at Manchester Met will be valuable in a huge range of careers.

A Masters qualification means you could work in roles across the legal profession. Your skills will also be valuable in public administration, the civil service, the voluntary sector, teaching, or academia. You could also carry on your studies by working towards a PhD.

Learn more about graduate careers


of graduates go straight into employment or further study within six months of graduating.

DLHE survey 2017, for all respondents available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known.

Entry requirements

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

BPTC and LLM in Legal Practice at the 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.

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.


“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

Our LLM in Legal Practice at the Bar is two programmes in one, bringing together our Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and the Master of Laws (LLM). The first offers the professional skills you’ll need to climb the ladder to becoming a barrister. The second helps you develop masters-level legal research skills – then lets you use them to build an in-depth understanding of a specialist area of the law. It’s a powerful combination.

Everything about the BPTC element of the course is built to prepare you for life as a barrister – with a programme that meets (or exceeds) the benchmark set by the Bar Standards Board. What sets the course apart is its practical approach and professional focus. So, for most of your studies, you’ll work within a mini chambers group of 6-12 students, designed to mirror the real-life practices you’ll face in your career – from the way you work with your colleagues, to the way you perform in our mock court room.

Meanwhile, the LLM part of your course is based around an in-depth research project or dissertation. First, you’ll develop the research methods, before putting together a research proposal outlining your project. Then you’ll be ready to tackle your chosen subject, producing a 15,000-word piece of work that explores a specialist area in real depth.

It’s a course that covers a comprehensive range of units. You’ll study areas crucial for practise as a barrister, like civil litigation and professional ethics, together with a unit equipping you with expert research techniques. But from there, you’ll find the flexibility to adapt your studies to your interests and ambitions. You can specialise with option units covering areas like family law or employment law, while your research topic is up to you – as long as your programme supervisor gives their seal of approval.

You’ll also have the chance to complete an extra qualification in mediation, which can lead to ADR Group Accredited Mediator Status. Our Pro Bono Network offers the chance to learn real-world skills while making a real-life difference. And, 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.

Throughout it all, you’ll enjoy the best possible guidance. To help you achieve a professional qualification, you’ll have professional support – with classes and lectures from judges, clerks of chambers and other members of the Northern Circuit, together with the advice and insight from a Practitioner Mentor. The same standards apply for the LLM aspect of your course, with leading academics offering their expertise at every step of your research project.

Whatever your ambitions for your career, the legal arena is a competitive jobs market. This course provides the opportunity to stand out. With practical skills, professional contacts and deep-rooted specialist knowledge, you’ll have everything you need to make the best possible step for your future in law.

While the core units you’ll study are designed around the Bar Standards Boards requirements, you can also choose option units – learning from specialists and tailoring the qualification to your interests and ambitions. So, in a typical week of studies, you could spend:

  • 1½ hours in a class, on a unit like Civil Litigation
  • 2 hours of advocacy class – with your performance recorded on USB so you can review it later.
  • 6 hours in a chambers room (which are open 7 days), working independently or in your group
  • 6 hours at home or in the library, preparing for the next class – whether reading, listening to a podcast or doing a quiz on Moodle. 

From there, the LLM aspect of your course will involve a dissertation or research project – a 15,000-word piece of work exploring an area of the law that interests you.

BPTC core units

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

Plus two BPTC option units, from a list including:

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

LLM core unit

Dissertation or Research Project – including research methods, assessed research proposal and the project itself, the topic for which will need to be approved by the programmes team.

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.


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. 

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:


Placement options

Manchester Law School offers a range of opportunities to work on pro bono cases with our partner organisations. Working alongside a professional, you’ll have the chance to work on real cases, helping clients tackle real legal issues – and gain real experience for your CV.

Our dedicated careers advisor is also on hand to help you find mini pupillages and 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: £15,500 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).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £15,500 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).

Additional Information

In addition to tuition fees, a registration fee of £585 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

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 your 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.

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.

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


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 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.