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The award

How long you will study
1 year

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How you will study

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About Bar Professional Training Course at Nottingham Trent University

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.


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

Visit the Nottingham Law School website.

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.

Lecture Capture

Having listened to student feedback, Nottingham Trent University have implemented a Lecture Capture procedure. Available in all teaching rooms that have a capacity of at least 50 students, significant investments have been made to provide our students with this audio-visual facility on all of our campuses. Where possible, the majority of lectures will be available for our students to access as recordings that are synchronised with presentation slides. This provides students with a great tool for recapping on lectures and revision.

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.


  • The £13 million Boots Library has a wide range of both print and online resources, as well as 24/7 IT facilities, group and individual study spaces.
  • mock courtrooms provide realistic environments for advocacy and mooting.
  • our Legal Advice Centre is fully regulated,  meaning you can gain pro bono experience in a professional environment.
  • the redeveloped Newton and Arkwright buildings will provide you with an inspiring place to learn.
  • our virtual learning environment (NOW)  allows you to learn online at any time.
  • 3,000 student open access PC's and 300 secure wireless access points.
  • a City site Students' Union building giving you an exceptional array of social, leisure and well-being facilities.

Study options for this course

Entry requirements

You will need one of the following:

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:

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

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