The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) is a requirement for future barristers. TSL looks at the costs, funding available and course structure.


The BPTC is currently offered at: (All costs below are for full-time students)

BPP Law School

  • London (£19,070)
  • Birmingham (£15,680)
  • Leeds (£15,680)
  • Manchester (£15,680)

The University of Law

  • London (£18,150)
  • Birmingham (£14,900)
  • Leeds (£14,900)

City University
(The City Law School was formerly the Inns of Court Law School)

  • London (£18,500)

University of West England

  • Bristol (£14,000)

Cardiff University

  • Cardiff (£16,650)

Nottingham Trent University

  • Nottingham (£15,200)

Northumbria University

  • Newcastle (£15,000)

Metropolitan University

  • Manchester (£15,500)

Please note: Kaplan Law Schools no longer offer the BPTC.

Make sure you investigate every option thoroughly as each provider offers various incentives for studying with them such as the opportunity to study for another qualification if you do not receive pupillage or perhaps a Civil Procedure White Book or Archibald included in your tuition fees.

The Bar Standards Board utilises a central application service ( for applying for the BPTC and applications open in December of the year before your intended course start date.


Bar Loans Scheme

The scheme is currently under review by the Bar Council and aims to provide BPTC students with a low interest loan from a bank. The Bar Council is currently searching for a new bank to take over the scheme.

Professional Development Loans

Enquire with your bank and others to discuss the options for a professional loan, which could have a lower repayment rate or a grace period of no payment compared with regular bank loans

Inns of Court

The deadline for scholarships is the first week of November in your third year of law or your GDL.

Each Inn offers different funding for the BPTC ranging from awards of a few thousand up to awards covering the entire tuition cost or more. The Inns have over £5 million in funding, which they award to cover the costs of the BPTC, GDL and pupillage.

Some examples of awards available for the BPTC include:

  • 7 Bedingfield Scholarships at Gray’s Inn - up to £30,000 each.
  • 6 Prince of Wales Scholarships at Gray’s Inn - up to £30,000 each.
  • 5 Princess Royal Scholarships at Inner Temple - up to £20,000 each.
  • 13 Lord Mansfield Scholarships at Lincoln’s Inn - up to £20,000 each.
  • 74 Lord Denning Scholarships at Lincoln’s Inn of up to £15,500 each.
  • There are too many to give an exhaustive list here. Have a read of the Inn’s websites for more information.

There are other scholarship opportunities in the Inns for providing wigs and gowns, books and competition-based awards for mooting.

The Course

Please remember that before being able to undertake the course you must register for, and pass, the BCAT (Bar Course Aptitude Test). The BPTC aims to teach you the skills needed for embarking upon pupillage and covers areas such as advocacy, research, case preparation and negotiation. You must study civil litigation and remedies, criminal litigation and sentencing, evidence, and professional ethics. Assessments range from exams in the summer set by the Bar Standards Board to varying practical and multiple-choice tests throughout the year. If you pass the course you will be awarded one of the following marks, outstanding, very competent or competent. For outstanding you must pass all the assessments first time and mark outstanding in half or more. For very competent you can only fail one assessment the first time and must mark outstanding or very competent in eight out of twelve assessments. Finally, for competent you simply must pass all assessments either first time or by re-sits.