LLM

Bar Professional Training Course

Law students in court
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught / Professional
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 1 year

Why choose this course?

  • Successful completion of all elements of the LLM BPTC will result in a Masters award – an internationally recognised qualification.
  • Engage with real cases and gain the qualifications, practical knowledge and insight essential to employers.
  • We provide a dedicated careers and recruitment service.
  • We offer an award-winning pro bono programme, including a Legal Advice Centre for the local community.
  • Our pupillage rate is consistently above the national average.
  • We offer a range of options for varying types of practice.
  • You will undertake assessments with a practical focus.
  • Students are taught in small groups in high-quality teaching accommodation.
  • You will receive individual feedback in all assessable skills.
  • Scholarships worth up to half the fee are available.
  • 100% of  postgraduate leavers of this course are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving (DLHE survey, postgraduate leavers 2015-16).

Nottingham Law School has a proven track record in practical skills training and is one of a few educational establishments validated by the Bar Standards Board to deliver the BPTC. We offer a unique one-year LLM BPTC, which means you have the option to also gain a Masters qualification as part of your course.

The BPTC aims to equip you with the skills and procedural knowledge necessary to follow your chosen career. Our BPTC was written by eight barristers who came to the Law School from practice. The course was designed in conjunction with judges, practising barristers and senior academics. Practitioners and judges assist with the delivery of the course as guest speakers and in practitioner workshops.

In a changing legal education environment it is important that our courses meet the needs of students and employers. This is why we have redesigned our BPTC so that it also offers the opportunity to gain a Masters (LLM) award. To gain the LLM, you will complete a dissertation or undertake practical legal work experience. There are a number of options available, such as undertaking pro bono activity through our Legal Advice Centre, working for the Citizens Advice Bureau or carrying out placements within a professional legal setting.

Students who do not wish to study for the full Masters award can still study for the traditional BPTC award.

Marshalling

We also assist students with marshalling opportunities. This enables you to shadow a judge with the following benefits:

  • see cases from a judicial perspective
  • complement mini-pupillages
  • strengthen your CV / pupillage application.

Contact us for further information

If you would like to speak with a member of the team, you can contact us using the details below.
Email us
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4460
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Visit the Nottingham Law School website.

What you'll study

After a short introductory period you will commence your study of the compulsory subjects. You will handle seven realistic briefs (four criminal and three civil) from commencement towards trial throughout the first two terms. Knowledge and skills areas are taught and learned through the progress of these case studies as students respond to instructions. Counsel Skills amount to around 60% of the LLM BPTC and are normally taught in a variety of practical contexts to show how skills, once learned, can be transferred.

Two options are studied in the final term. A wide choice within mainstream areas of practice is available so that students obtain a broad foundation on which they can build once they have entered the profession.

  • Year One

    Pervasives

    • Case Preparation and Analysis
    • Legal Research

    Knowledge

    • Civil Litigation, Evidence and Remedies
    • Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing
    • Professional Ethics

    Skills

    • Advocacy
    • Conference Skills
    • Drafting
    • Resolution of Disputes Out of Court
    • Opinion Writing

    Options

    Choose two from the following (subject to availability and demand):

    • Advanced Civil Practice (Judicial Review)
    • Advanced Criminal Practice
    • Commercial Practice
    • Employment Practice
    • Family Practice
    • Landlord and Tenant.

Practical course designed by practising barristers, judges and senior academics.

How you’re taught

This course has a strong practical focus. Our core staff are practitioners with significant experience and they will help you to gain the skills required for practice.

There are 12 assessments. All students have a one-to-one feedback session with a tutor prior to each substantive skills assessment. Wherever possible, assessments are set in a practical context. We use actors to provide you with a realistic experience of an examination in chief and cross-examination and the questioning and advising of clients. You will also perform a chambers application before a District Judge who will interject with questions. The following are examples.

  • Advocacy One: an interim application (performed before a District Judge who interjects with questions)
  • Advocacy Two and Three: examination in chief and cross-examination of a witness played by an actor
  • Conference Skills: questioning and advising a client who is played by an actor
  • Family Practice: a conference to advise a client in respect of a family dispute (client played by an actor)
  • Advanced Civil Practice: oral application for permission to apply for judicial review

All written skills assessments are based on briefs.

The two options are assessed in the final term.

Learn from practitioners with significant experience.

Careers and employability

Your career development

Successful completion of this course enables you to proceed to be called to the Bar and proceed to pupillage. We have a dedicated careers and placement service who will support you in your search for pupillage. The team provides practical sessions and advice, which has helped to keep our pupillage rate consistently above the national average. 100% of postgraduate leavers of this course are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving (DLHE survey, postgraduate leavers 2015-16).

The team offers advice and practical support, such as trial interviews. A number of presentations are given throughout the year reflecting the changing needs of students as they progress through the application process. The focus of these presentations is on both practice at the Bar, which reflects the ambitions of most of the students, and alternative careers.

Students should view careers advice as something about which any BPTC tutor can be approached. All teaching staff come from practice, some from London and some from the local area, and some retain tenancies in chambers. We are thus able to offer first-hand advice and guidance to students, some of whom wish to practise in this area and some further away.

A number of local chambers have been enthusiastic in their support for the course and for the students. There are opportunities for mini-pupillages with these chambers, and our students are represented amongst those they have recruited as pupils with a view to tenancy.

Continuing professional development

Nottingham Law School also offers a suite of practice-based practitioner programmes specifically designed to meet the personal development needs of legal practitioners. We offer courses that qualify for CPD with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, in-house training and bespoke programmes. These courses are highly flexible and can be delivered throughout the year both nationally and internationally.

Placements are not part of the course, although there are opportunities to gain legal experience through pro bono projects. We also run a successful Legal Advice Centre and strongly advise students to get involved in these activities.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Dedicated careers support throughout your course.

Gain pro bono experience in our Legal Advice Centre, the only organisation outside of London permitted to train Free Representation Unit (FRU) volunteers.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

You will need one of the following:

  • a qualifying Law degree (normally a 2.1 or above)
  • a Graduate Diploma in Law / Common Professional Examination with a good first degree (normally 2.1 or above).

Applicants who have or are predicted a 2.2 in their Qualifying Law Degree will be considered if they can provide additional evidence of achievement in their personal statement e.g. awards, scholarships, work experience – paid or unpaid.

All applicants are expected to demonstrate commitment to the profession and an aptitude for advocacy.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

You will need one of the following:

  • a qualifying Law degree (normally a 2.1 or above)
  • a Graduate Diploma in Law / Common Professional Examination with a good first degree (normally 2.1 or above).

Applicants who have or are predicted a 2.2 in their Qualifying Law Degree will be considered if they can provide additional evidence of achievement in their personal statement e.g. awards, scholarships, work experience - paid or unpaid.

All applicants are expected to demonstrate commitment to the profession and an aptitude for advocacy.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Any student who holds a first degree from outside the UK, has completed the GDL and wishes to proceed onto the BPTC may need to provide a Certificate of Academic Standing obtained from the Bar Standards Board.

Full details of who is required to obtain this Certificate can be found on the Bar Standards Board website.

English language requirements

International students also need to meet the English language requirements.

The Bar Standards Board requires that students enrolling on the LLM BPTC are fluent in English. This rule applies regardless of the student’s first language. From the first day of the course and at all subsequent times, students must be able to demonstrate that their oral and written English language ability is at least equivalent to either:

  • 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).

International students must undertake one of the above tests before enrolling on the course.

How to apply


Applications for the BPTC are through a dedicated application system at: Bar Student Application Services.

Before applying please read the health warning from the four Inns of Court, BPTC providers, Bar Standards Board and the Bar Council

The Bar Course Aptitude Test

In order to enrol, all students must take and pass the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) by the deadline set by the Bar Standards Board.

Inns Membership

All students must apply to join one of the Inns of Court by 31 May of the year of intended enrolment. Students intending to take up a place with Nottingham Law School will need to complete our Inns of Court form and return it to us before enrolment.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Applications for the BPTC are through a dedicated application system at: Bar Student Application Services.

Before applying please read the health warning from the four Inns of Court, BPTC providers, Bar Standards Board and the Bar Council

The Bar Course Aptitude Test

In order to enrol, all students must take and pass the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) by the deadline set by the Bar Standards Board.

Inns Membership

All students must apply to join one of the Inns of Court by 31 May of the year of intended enrolment. Students intending to take up a place with Nottingham Law School will need to complete our Inns of Court form and return it to us before enrolment.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduates’ guide funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Career Development loans may be available. For further information, please visit the Gov.uk website.

This course is eligible for the government postgraduate loan scheme.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Please visit our postgraduate fees page for further information on course fees.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study on eligible courses at the University.

For more information on these and other opportunities for funding please visit our international scholarships page.

For information on how to pay your fees to the University please visit our international fee payment page.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Our LLM BPTC is eligible for the UK government postgraduate loans scheme.

Still need help?

NLS Enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460