BPP University Law School today reveals details of its new and flexible Barrister Training Course (BTC) designed to reflect the changes made by the Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) review of training for the Bar. The institution is the first of the existing BPTC providers to share full details of how its students will be able to complete one of the new pathways to qualification that replaces the existing BPTC programme.
The law school has confirmed that the two-part course will be taught face-to-face throughout, enabling students to gain new knowledge and skills in an integrated way across the whole course, so making learning more engaging and memorable and polishing key professional skills such as advocacy through extended practice.
As with its new PGDL, launched two weeks ago, students on BPP’s BTC will be supported by intuitive online tools that will give them instant feedback on their learning and help them to track their progress, understand their strengths and target areas for improvement, so that they have the best possible preparation for their assessments and for practice.
In Part 2 of the course, students will also be able to choose between common law or commercial practice contexts and will be able to further boost their employability prospects by gaining real world experience through both BPP’s award-winning Pro Bono Centre and its BTC internship scheme.
The course, which will be taught by qualified lawyers with extensive practice experience, will be available to students from September 2020. The BTC will last for eight months with study set at a pace suited to highly capable graduates. BPP will structure the course across two stages of equal length, with the option to pause after completing the first part to give students flexibility around any other commitments such as gaining paid work experience.
The new BTC can also be built into an LLM Legal Practice (Bar) to increase accessibility by allowing students to access postgraduate funding. Funding of up to £10,906 will be available to those who complete a professional research project or, once the SQE draws nearer the ability to study areas of legal practice tested by SQE stage 1. It means that students can complete BPP’s LLM and be well on their way to dual qualification as a Solicitor, further enhancing their employability prospects.
Mark Keith, lead designer of the BTC at BPP University Law School, explains that “the new regulations have given us more freedom in the way we can deliver our training to student barristers. From day one, our students will learn to think and act like a barrister. Students will get regular opportunities to apply their knowledge by tackling realistic legal scenarios that will prepare them for the types of cases they are likely to encounter within their pupillage.
“We have made the conscious decision to not go down a Part 1 ‘teach yourself’ experience. Our highly capable students regularly tell us that they could not envisage passing the centralised assessments without the expert teaching of our Law School faculty. Our course will ensure students gain both skills and knowledge throughout the entire time that they study with us, firstly because learning about law and practice in this way makes it more memorable meaning students will be able to perform better in their assessments and secondly because it will allow for an extended period of skills practice and development, as the more practice you have, the more skilled you will become.
“Our new BTC has been developed in close collaboration with members of the Bar and will be taught by experienced practitioners to ensure we continue to help our graduates secure more pupillages than those of any other provider*. Our innovative approach will provide students not only with essential legal knowledge, but also the advocacy and other barrister skills they will need to succeed in practice.
“The BSB has set out to make entry to the Bar more accessible through their changes in regulation around the new pathways to qualification. At BPP, we have more than £1 million in full and partial scholarship awards to academic high achievers, including students who display potential from under-represented backgrounds. A number of scholarship options will be specifically reserved for BTC students.”
The current BPTC offered by BPP will remain unaffected by these changes. Students starting the current BPTC this Autumn will be subject to the transitional arrangements put in place by the Bar Standards Boards (BSB).
More information on BPP’s new September 2020 BTC can be found here. Pricing for the new BTC will be confirmed next month [October] along with all BPP’s other Law School programmes for 2020/21.
While BPP is sharing its BPC details today, the course is still subject to approval by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).