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PGDip

Barristers Training Course

Bar Professional Training Course
  • Level(s) of study: Professional
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2020 or March 2021; (March start subject to required numbers being met)
  • Course duration: 6 months full-time


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Why choose this course?

For students who wish to study the BSB’s compulsory modules in a cost effective and time efficient manner, our Barristers Training Course (BTC) provides the necessary vocational training for the Bar in just six months. Successful completion of this course will enable you to achieve a Postgraduate Diploma and be called to the Bar. Perhaps you have already secured pupillage, are worried about taking too much time out of paid work or are concerned about accommodation costs? The BTC may be ideal for you.

Why study at Nottingham Law School?

  • All our staff are experienced lawyers and you will benefit from their practical knowledge, as well as from our visiting lecturers.
  • Our teaching is consistently commended as excellent.
  • We teach in as small groups as possible to encourage student participation.
  • We get to know our students and support and encourage you in both your studies and in your employment applications at the start of your legal career.
  • We offer a multi-award-winning pro bono programme, including a Legal Advice Centre for the local community.
  • Our dedicated and experienced careers consultants provide guidance and support to help you secure qualifying work experience or other legal employment. You'll benefit from working with our successful careers team.
  • Alongside access to an exclusive BTC study area, studying with Nottingham Law School means that you have all the facilities a large Law School can offer plus the advantages of studying within a university environment which offers outstanding library, IT, support, sports, language and Student Union services.
  • We have considerable expertise in advocacy and alternative dispute resolution. We're home to the first Centre for Advocacy in the UK and our Centre for Mediation and Dispute Resolution was opened in 2016 by Sir Peter Coulson, now a judge of the Court of Appeal.

To celebrate the launch of this course, we will also offer a £1,000 Launch Award for those starting in 2020. This will be a reduction on the tuition fee.

We are authorised by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) to deliver the vocational component of Bar training.

What you'll study

The Barristers Training Course (BTC) is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and offers you the opportunity to study the knowledge areas and skills set by the BSB.

The BTC is designed to build upon your knowledge and understanding of the law and develop the skills that you've gained during your previous legal studies. The course will enhance the attributes required to be an effective member of the Bar and demonstrate that you have met the requirements of the BSB's Professional Statement.

Following a two-week introductory period, which will include consideration of Legal Research and Case Analysis, you will handle seven realistic briefs (four criminal and three civil) from commencement to trial. Knowledge and skills are taught and learned through the progress of these case studies as you respond to instructions to Counsel.

  • Modules

    Pervasives

    • Case Preparation and Analysis
    • Legal Research

    Knowledge

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

    Skills

    • Advocacy
    • Conference Skills
    • Drafting
    • Opinion Writing

How you’re taught

The six-month, full-time course is taught predominantly by way of practical small group sessions in high quality teaching accommodation, which includes impressive mock courtrooms. You'll be taught in groups of approximately 12 students, except for Advocacy and Conference where you will be taught in groups of six students.

Specific sessions are dedicated to the separate knowledge and skills areas. The course also adopts an integrated approach to the learning and teaching of the knowledge and skills areas through the use of briefs which replicate the reality of practice at the Bar and allow you to practice and experience case management from beginning to end.

Assessment

You will receive a percentage mark for each assessment and, on successful completion of the BTC modules, a transcript containing your overall aggregate.

Two of the knowledge modules are assessed by way of assessments that are centrally set by the BSB and comprise of multiple choice and single best answer questions. These modules are:

  • Civil Litigation and Evidence (one closed book paper and one open book); and
  • Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing (one closed book paper).

Professional Ethics is the other key knowledge area on the BTC and is assessed by way of short answer questions set by Nottingham Law School.

Skills assessments are set by Nottingham Law School with criteria provided by the BSB. They are practical in nature, and designed to allow you to demonstrate competence against specific criteria relevant to the skill. Typically, the assessments are set in the context of briefs or instructions to Counsel.

Learn from practitioners with significant experience.

Careers and employability

Your future career

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 both pupillage and alternative employment. The team provides practical sessions and advice. 100% of postgraduate leavers of this course are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving (latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016-17).

The team offers advice and practical support, such as mock 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 BTC 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.

A number of local Chambers have been enthusiastic in their support for the course and our students and former students are represented amongst those they 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 continual professional development (CPD), 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.

Links with the profession

In addition to the programme of guest lectures and practitioner workshops that run during the year, we give you further opportunities to experience life at the Bar, and to meet practitioners. Examples of these opportunities include:

  • Welcome reception – at the beginning of the course, we arrange a social event attended by the Bar and Judiciary.
  • Annual dinner – the Nottingham BTC / Nottingham Bar Mess Annual Dinner is a popular event that is attended by practitioners, judges, and representatives from the four Inns of Court. Many former students – now tenants and pupils themselves – attend.
    This event counts as one of your qualifying sessions.
  • 1 High Pavement Plea in Mitigation Competition – 1 High Pavement is a leading criminal set which sponsors our annual Plea in Mitigation Competition.
    The competition is judged by members of Chambers.
  • Ropewalk Chambers Mooting Competition – Ropewalk Chambers, a leading specialist civil set in Nottingham, sponsors the mooting competition, which is judged by members of Chambers.

Our dedicated and experienced careers consultants provide guidance and support to help you secure qualifying work experience or other legal employment.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

You will need one of the following options:

  • Qualifying Law degree (2.1).
  • Graduate Diploma in Law / CPE with an undergraduate honours degree (2.1)
  • A 2.2 honours degree will be considered with evidence of exceptional achievement elsewhere in the application e.g. awards, scholarships, work experience – paid or unpaid.

All applicants should provide evidence in their personal statement of their commitment to a career in law and will be required to provide a full reference in support of their application.

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.

Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS)

Anyone with non-standard qualifications is required to present a Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS) from the Bar Standards Board before they enrol on the Barristers Training Course. Full details of who is required to obtain this Certificate can be found on the Bar Standards Board website.

Help and support

If you need any more help or information, please contact us through Ask NTU or call on +44 (0)115 941 8418.

What are we looking for?

You will need one of the following options:

  • Qualifying Law degree (2.1).
  • Graduate Diploma in Law / CPE with an undergraduate honours degree (2.1)
  • A 2.2 honours degree will be considered with evidence of exceptional achievement elsewhere in the application e.g. awards, scholarships, work experience – paid or unpaid.

All applicants should provide evidence in their personal statement of their commitment to a career in law and will be required to provide a full reference in support of their application.

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.

Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS)

Anyone with non-standard qualifications is required to present a Certificate of Academic Standing (CAS) from the Bar Standards Board before they enrol on the Barristers Training Course. Full details of who is required to obtain this Certificate can be found on the Bar Standards Board website.

English language requirements

It is a requirement of the BTC that students are fluent in English. Applicants need to be able to demonstrate that their English language ability is equivalent to a minimum score of 7.5 in each element of the IELTS test.

International students will be required to produce a certificate evidencing the necessary IELTS scores or equivalents* unless they have:

  • An actual or predicted degree classification of 2.1 or above in a law degree undertaken wholly or predominantly in the UK
  • An actual or predicted commendation or above in the GDL undertaken in the UK.
  • An actual or predicted commendation or above in a taught LLM undertaken in the UK.

*We currently accept the following as alternatives to IELTS:

  • Pearson Test of English (Academic)
  • KITE
  • TOEFL

KITE is free to our offer holders who are unable to access other acceptable English language tests due to current test centre closures. If you would like to sign up for the test, please email kite@ntu.ac.uk. Find out more about our English language requirements for International students: English language requirements.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team through Ask NTU for advice.

How to apply

Before submitting your application please read and complete our supporting information document for your Barristers Training Course application. You are required to upload this to your application.

Apply directly to the University online using the NTU online application portal.

Apply for your course as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

For a step-by-step guide on making an application to the University please visit our how to apply page.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

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.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions team on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Application closing date

Please note this course can reach its maximum capacity prior to the course start date, which will result in early closure. We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Personal statements

For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.
Please note that you can refer to your Supporting Information Document in your personal statement.

Guidance for References

An academic reference must be provided in order for us to process your application. This should be from your most recently attended institution. Your referee should email their reference from their university/institution email account rather than a personal account and should address the following information:

  • How long they have known you and in what capacity (e.g. subject/module tutor; course leader)
  • The opportunities they have had to gauge your performance on your studies (e.g. marked work; supervision)
  • A predicted grade (or confirmation of your grade if you have completed your studies)
  • A statement of your suitability to undertake vocational training for the Bar

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

Before submitting your application please read and complete our supporting information document for your Barristers Training Course application. You are required to upload this to your application.

Apply directly to the University online using the NTU online application portal.

Apply for your course as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

For a step-by-step guide on making an application to the University please visit our how to apply page.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

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.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions team on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Application closing date

Please note this course can reach its maximum capacity prior to the course start date, which will result in early closure. We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Visa

For advice on applying for a visa please visit our visa information page.

Personal statements

For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.
Please note that you can refer to your Supporting Information Document in your personal statement.

Guidance for References

An academic reference must be provided in order for us to process your application. This should be from your most recently attended institution. Your referee should email their reference from their university/institution email account rather than a personal account and should address the following information:

  • How long they have known you and in what capacity (e.g. subject/module tutor; course leader)
  • The opportunities they have had to gauge your performance on your studies (e.g. marked work; supervision)
  • A predicted grade (or confirmation of your grade if you have completed your studies)
  • A statement of your suitability to undertake vocational training for the Bar

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

Fees and funding

Fees for 2020 entry

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)International
Full-time (6 months) £11,750 £11,750

The fee for 2020 entry includes the BSB enrolment fee.

To celebrate the launch of this course, we will also offer a £1,000 Launch Award for those starting in 2020. This will be a reduction on the tuition fee.

Fees are payable for each year of your course.

Funding your studies

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 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.

Visit the NLS funding page for more details on course specific scholarships.

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.

NTU Alumni Discount

If you are an existing NTU final year undergraduate student, or if you have graduated from an NTU full-time undergraduate or the Nottingham Law School GDL after 1 July 2015, and you enrol onto a Nottingham Law School full-time, part-time, or distance learning Professional Course, you are eligible to receive a £1,000 tuition fee reduction.

You must accept your offer of a place to study on an eligible course at Nottingham Law School starting in September 2020. You do not need to apply for the discount, as it will automatically be deducted from your fee before enrolment.

Getting in touch

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

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Fees for 2020 entry

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)International
Full-time (6 months) £11,750 £11,750

The fee for 2020 entry includes the BSB enrolment fee.

To celebrate the launch of this course, we will also offer a £1,000 Launch Award for those starting in 2020. This will be a reduction on the tuition fee.

Fees are payable for each year of your course.

Funding your studies

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

For information on funding opportunities and scholarships for this course visit the NLS funding page.

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

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

NTU Alumni Discount

If you are an existing NTU final year undergraduate student, or if you have graduated from an NTU full-time undergraduate or the Nottingham Law School GDL after 1 July 2015, and you enrol onto a Nottingham Law School full-time, part-time, or distance learning Professional Course, you are eligible to receive a £1,000 tuition fee reduction.

You must accept your offer of a place to study on an eligible course at Nottingham Law School starting in September 2020. You do not need to apply for the discount, as it will automatically be deducted from your fee before enrolment.

Getting in touch

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

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Still need help?

NLS Enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460