University of the West of England, Bristol

Bar Professional Training Course (full-time) - Postgraduate Diploma

University of the West of England, Bristol
In Bristol

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Important information

Typology Postgraduate
Location Bristol
Start Different dates available
  • Postgraduate
  • Bristol
  • Start:
    Different dates available

The UWE Bristol Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) provides the foundation of your career as a barrister. Rigorous and demanding, yet stimulating and rewarding, the course will equip you with the advocacy, research, conference and mediation skills you need to excel at the Bar and beyond.
We aim to be as supportive of your pastoral care as we are of your academic progression, and alongside the teaching, the course provides excellent opportunities to help secure a pupillage.
Outstanding quality of teaching
The quality of teaching on the BPTC is nationally and internationally renowned, with tuition provided by a dedicated team of barristers, solicitors and judges and an unrivalled range of facilities to enhance your study experience. Our high student satisfaction rates are testament to the high quality of tuition on the course; and 85% of students would recommend our BPTC to other (BPTC, Bristol UWE, Full time student evaluation survey December 2014).
Employability-enhancing opportunities
To increase your chances of obtaining pupillage and improve your employability generally, you will also have the chance to:
participate in our award-winning pro bono Law Court Clinic
hone your mooting skills in our Bristol Chambers sponsored mooting competitions
appear in the Bristol Crown Court or in the Civil Justice Centre before real life judges in our Chambers sponsored family, criminal and civil commercial advocacy competitions
teach legal skills to LLB undergraduates.
Alternative dispute resolution training
At the end of the BPTC Course (and included in your fee) students can undertake commercial mediation training provided by an external Commercial Mediation Training organisation. This provides students with the opportunity to become an accredited Civil Commercial Mediator (this course would usually cost over £3,000).
You can also choose to study the BPTC part time.
Read the Chambers Guide review of our BPTC and this Lawyer2B's article on Bristol's thriving...

Facilities (1)
Where and when



Bristol (Avon)
See map
Coldharbour Lane, BS16 1QY


Different dates availableNow taking bookings

To take into account

· What are the objectives of this course?

Study facilities Bristol Law School has excellent, state-of-the-art facilities, including: dedicated study rooms exclusively for the use of BPTC students mock law courtrooms, with equipment to record advocacy sessions for later analysis a 24-hour dedicated chambers library, giving you access to a vast range of legal resources a nationally recognised online learning system A £50m project is also underway to build the new Faculty of Business and Law building. Located in the heart of the campus, the building will provide innovative teaching spaces, including two showcase law courts,...

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What you'll learn on the course

IT Law
Full Time
Quality Training

Course programme


The BPTC takes you from the initial stages in civil and criminal proceedings through to trial. You will firstly master the compulsory subjects within the criminal and civil areas, before moving on to two specialist options of your choice.

Compulsory modules

  • Civil Advocacy - covers how to undertake case analysis in order to prepare a case effectively, using basic advocacy skills. This includes understanding the relevant law, facts and principles, observing the rules of professional ethics and planning submissions.
  • Civil Litigation, Remedies and Evidence - takes you through how to advise on the most appropriate remedies available to clients in civil proceedings, with a sound working knowledge of the powers of the civil courts, and of the evidential rules governing the resolution of factual issues.
  • Conferencing Skills - covers the factual, legal, procedural and evidential issues that might be raised in a conference as well as the objectives of holding one. You will learn how to conduct a conference, deal with all the relevant issues and advise a client appropriately.
  • Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing - equips you with a sound working knowledge of the procedure and sentencing powers of the criminal courts, and of the evidential rules governing their resolution of factual issues.
  • Opinion Writing - one of the two written skills taught on the BPTC, this module covers the factual, legal, procedural and evidential issues that may be relevant when writing an Opinion, as well as the appropriate structure and language to use.
  • Drafting - covers the factual, legal, procedural and evidential issues that are relevant when drafting statements of case, in particular the Particulars of Claim, the Defence and Third Party Proceedings. You will learn how to draft documents that are well structured, with correct headings, language and all necessary formalities.
  • Professional Conduct - introduces you to the core professional values underpinning practice at the Bar of England and Wales, and in particular the areas of Core Duties and Code of Conduct. You will learn how to properly identify ethical issues and respond appropriately in any given situation.
  • Resolution of Disputes Out of Court - introduces you to the range of ADR methods and teaches you how to advise on and conduct negotiations, mediations and arbitrations or adjudications. The module covers case analysis as well as the tactical and procedural requirements for conducting successful negotiations and mediations.
  • Criminal Advocacy - covers how to make submissions on behalf of a defendant in a plea of mitigation and for bail. You will develop the skills of examination-in chief and cross-examination in a variety of criminal case scenarios. The main focus will be on examination of witness techniques.

Optional modules

The teaching of optional modules takes place after the compulsory subjects. They are not intended to teach you substantive law, but rather to provide you with an opportunity to develop the skills you have acquired.

We offer a wide choice of optional modules to allow you to specialise in the area of law you are most interested in or would like to practise.

You will study a combination of two of the following optional modules:

  • Clinical Negligence
  • Criminal Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Employment Law
  • Family
  • International Trade
  • Landlord and Tenant
  • Refugee and Asylum Law

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Highly experienced and supportive tutors, drawn from legal practice, as well as the academic side of law, will enable you to develop your knowledge quickly. Most of the course is taught through small group sessions, meaning you will benefit from substantial face-to-face contact with your tutors.

Certain subjects are also supported with online resources (for example, recorded lectures, MCQ tests and recorded demonstrations) to enable you to supplement your work and knowledge remotely at a time to suit you.

Weekly skills sessions with written and verbal feedback allow you to continually develop your skills. All advocacy tutors are ATC accredited and all REDOC tutors are accredited mediators to ensure our teaching is of the highest standard.

We aim to make the content covered as realistic as possible, and you will have the chance to participate in mock trials with professional actors.

For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

Study time

The full-time BPTC lasts 32 weeks, starting in mid-September. Enrolment is followed by the compulsory subjects in terms one and two and then a choice of two options in term three. Up to 15 hours a week is dedicated to formal training and students are then expected to study independently for approximately 20 hours a week to reinforce their learning. Fridays are kept free of teaching for consolidation and reflection.

Dedicated support

You will receive a high level of support both during your studies and after you graduate. You will be able to meet frequently with your personal tutor, or contact them by phone or email, to discuss any aspects of the course. We also offer extensive careers support.


Civil Litigation, Criminal Litigation and Professional Conduct assessments are all set centrally by the Bar Standards Board and examined using multiple choice and short answer questions. Opinion Writing and Drafting are set locally as unseen assessments in controlled conditions. All other assessments are also set locally and are either completely seen or partially seen, in that you will receive information in advance to research the relevant areas of law.

Mock assessments with feedback will also be given to help you monitor and improve your performance, and deal effectively with all forms of assessment.

For more detail see our full glossary of assessment terms.

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