Bar course: Where? How? When?

Watch this thread
wifd149
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#1
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#1
I am in the middle of the final year of my LLB undergraduate degree, and I have the following questions:

  1. Which institution is better to study the bar course in: BPP or University of Law?
  2. Considering that each Inns of Courts have compulsory "qualifying sessions" and the Inns are based in London, how difficult will it be if I choose to study the bar course outside London? What are the factors that I need to consider?
  3. When should I start applying to BPP or University of Law to take the BTC/BPC this upcoming September?
  4. How hard is it to pass the BCAT?


I will try to search some things up meanwhile, but there hasn't been much helpful sites.
  • Not all Inns of Courts website talk about qualifying sessions for students outside London explicitly.
  • Pearson VUE's website isn't helpful in finding out what test centers provide the BCAT exam and what conditions are for the take-home version (if they apply internationally or not)


Gmaster1980 TFEU Crazy Jamie
Last edited by wifd149; 5 months ago
0
reply
IdiotSandwich69
Badges: 7
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 5 months ago
#2
(Original post by wifd149)
I am in the middle of the final year of my LLB undergraduate degree, and I have the following questions:

  1. Which institution is better to study the bar course in: BPP or University of Law?
  2. Considering that each Inns of Courts have compulsory "qualifying sessions" and the Inns are based in London, how difficult will it be if I choose to study the bar course outside London? What are the factors that I need to consider?
  3. When should I start applying to BPP or University of Law to take the BTC/BPC this upcoming September?
  4. How hard is it to pass the BCAT?


I will try to search some things up meanwhile, but there hasn't been much helpful sites.
  • Not all Inns of Courts website talk about qualifying sessions for students outside London explicitly.
  • Pearson VUE's website isn't helpful in finding out what test centers provide the BCAT exam and what conditions are for the take-home version (if they apply internationally or not)


Gmaster1980 TFEU Crazy Jamie
1} The Bar course per se is much of a muchness, and you should view it as a technical hurdle that you need to overcome in order to get pupillage, rather than a qualification that has any "prestige" beyond that. I did the Bar at BPP and to be brutally honest, it wasn't very good at all. I think a lot of this may have been down to the pandemic, online learning, tech problems etc, but still, it wasn't great. That being said, I also did the GDL with them (in person) and it was very good. Perhaps someone from UoL can offer insight into their time there.

2) Good question. Ask the Inns whether they'll still be running online QSs, which was a godsend when I was doing the BTC. I imagine it would be a pain to travel back and forth, not to mention expensive, 10 times a year. You would of course have to factor in the cost of living etc in london if you were to do the BTC there though.

3) You can apply basically right up to the course start date. There are scholarship deadlines though, so double check those a e co-ordinate accordingly.

4) The BCAT is, infamously, a complete joke. I would be more concerned about having to find the £150 it costs to take it than I would be about failing it.
0
reply
Gmaster1980
Badges: 12
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#3
Report 5 months ago
#3
I'm on the solicitor side so I can't speak to much of this. But I've heard from my barrister friends that the Bar course at City is fairly well run and world's better than UoL and BPP so it might be for you to consider as an option instead.
0
reply
TFEU
Badges: 15
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#4
Report 5 months ago
#4
Unfortunately, I also do not know much about the Bar

Anecdotally speaking, I do have friends who are currently studying the Bar course at BPP, and I can tell you they are very unimpressed. Based on the other replies on this post it seems they r not the exception in feeling this way.
0
reply
wifd149
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#5
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#5
(Original post by IdiotSandwich69)
1} The Bar course per se is much of a muchness, and you should view it as a technical hurdle that you need to overcome in order to get pupillage, rather than a qualification that has any "prestige" beyond that. I did the Bar at BPP and to be brutally honest, it wasn't very good at all. I think a lot of this may have been down to the pandemic, online learning, tech problems etc, but still, it wasn't great. That being said, I also did the GDL with them (in person) and it was very good. Perhaps someone from UoL can offer insight into their time there.

2) Good question. Ask the Inns whether they'll still be running online QSs, which was a godsend when I was doing the BTC. I imagine it would be a pain to travel back and forth, not to mention expensive, 10 times a year. You would of course have to factor in the cost of living etc in london if you were to do the BTC there though.

3) You can apply basically right up to the course start date. There are scholarship deadlines though, so double check those a e co-ordinate accordingly.

4) The BCAT is, infamously, a complete joke. I would be more concerned about having to find the £150 it costs to take it than I would be about failing it.
1) I see, true. I just heard that UoL apparently has more open-book exams, but I'm not sure about that yet. I will ask around more about which one I should go for.

2) I asked some of my seniors and they said that the Inns do accommodate for students outside London. Basically you need to have fulfilled 10 QS points within that year, and if you are from outside London 1 event can give you either 2 or 3 points - hence if everything is in-person events that means that I would have to come down to London about 5 to 6 times. Whereas if it's an online event, it only constitutes 1 point. Some Inns do subsidies ticket costs, but I think that there are restrictions or requirements on that - I will check on that later.

I just find London too cramped to live in with too many people in one space, though London does have great museums.

3) Good to know! Right now I am only worried about when should I do the BCAT and how should I do it - I will also check on that up after New Years.

4) That's relieving, I haven't taken a single look at their questions yet but I did the BMAT, UKCAT, LNAT before and I generally hate them. LNAT especially because I'm either a pretty impatient person or want to take my time reading.
0
reply
wifd149
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#6
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#6
(Original post by Gmaster1980)
I'm on the solicitor side so I can't speak to much of this. But I've heard from my barrister friends that the Bar course at City is fairly well run and world's better than UoL and BPP so it might be for you to consider as an option instead.
Oh... That's interesting. I tend to not find staying in London attractive though (London's expensive too), I will continue to ask around how's it been for them and if the institution is worth moving into London.
0
reply
wifd149
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#7
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#7
(Original post by TFEU)
Unfortunately, I also do not know much about the Bar

Anecdotally speaking, I do have friends who are currently studying the Bar course at BPP, and I can tell you they are very unimpressed. Based on the other replies on this post it seems they r not the exception in feeling this way.
That's helpful too though. I guess I would want to stay out of BPP's waters :cookie: I will try to learn more about UoL after New Years.
0
reply
IdiotSandwich69
Badges: 7
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#8
Report 5 months ago
#8
(Original post by wifd149)
1) I see, true. I just heard that UoL apparently has more open-book exams, but I'm not sure about that yet. I will ask around more about which one I should go for.

2) I asked some of my seniors and they said that the Inns do accommodate for students outside London. Basically you need to have fulfilled 10 QS points within that year, and if you are from outside London 1 event can give you either 2 or 3 points - hence if everything is in-person events that means that I would have to come down to London about 5 to 6 times. Whereas if it's an online event, it only constitutes 1 point. Some Inns do subsidies ticket costs, but I think that there are restrictions or requirements on that - I will check on that later.

I just find London too cramped to live in with too many people in one space, though London does have great museums.

3) Good to know! Right now I am only worried about when should I do the BCAT and how should I do it - I will also check on that up after New Years.

4) That's relieving, I haven't taken a single look at their questions yet but I did the BMAT, UKCAT, LNAT before and I generally hate them. LNAT especially because I'm either a pretty impatient person or want to take my time reading.
Open book exams wouldn't extend to the two most difficult exams (litigation) anywhere, because they're centrally set. As for other exams, you wouldn't really need open books anyway as they're either advocacy based or written skills (ie, you go away and research it).

As for the QS events with more points - this is true, but they are also more popular, so there's no guarantee you'd be able to do a number (or even any) of them.

And the BCAT, this honestly is the easiest exam you will sit in the entirety of law school. I cannot overstate just how big a waste of time and money it is (but unfortunately it's required by the BSB). I did mine having only done practice questions 30 minutes before. It's notorious for being a complete joke.
0
reply
Crazy Jamie
Badges: 19
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#9
Report 4 months ago
#9
I've been away so am late to this, but it seems like you've largely been given the information you need anyway. Unfortunately I'm not up to date on which courses are the 'better' ones in terms of the Bar course. One thing I can say is that certain inns have made it easier historically for students outside of London to get the required qualifying sessions. I joined Middle basically for that reason, but again you'll have to check to see what the current situation is in that regard. Covid is the wildcard there. We clearly don't know how long its effects are going to be felt, and whilst you'd hope that it isn't much of a factor by the time you're doing your qualifying sessions, the past nearly two years has shown us that that can't be taken for granted.
1
reply
Blayze
Badges: 8
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#10
Report 4 months ago
#10
In terms of institution, I did mine at University of Law, and thought it was good, but I think the experience at City is probably a bit more consistent. They seemed to have more "lecture" style teaching with real comprehensive handouts. UoL was a bit more seminar style, and therefore if your tutor was good (which 5/6 of mine were), you were golden. The one bad tutor I did have was for subjects which were also covered by one of the stellar ones, so it all worked out alright. I know that others didn't always have the same experience.

Personally, i would probably go for wherever was cheapest (which is how I eneded up at UoL since they were doing a discount that year to celebrate an anniverary of theirs).
0
reply
wifd149
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#11
Report Thread starter 4 months ago
#11
(Original post by Blayze)
In terms of institution, I did mine at University of Law, and thought it was good, but I think the experience at City is probably a bit more consistent. They seemed to have more "lecture" style teaching with real comprehensive handouts. UoL was a bit more seminar style, and therefore if your tutor was good (which 5/6 of mine were), you were golden. The one bad tutor I did have was for subjects which were also covered by one of the stellar ones, so it all worked out alright. I know that others didn't always have the same experience.

Personally, i would probably go for wherever was cheapest (which is how I eneded up at UoL since they were doing a discount that year to celebrate an anniverary of theirs).
I really should be considering City if that’s the case, but on the other hand, I don’t want to allocate to London for the bar. I will see soon I guess. Agreed about going where’s the cheapest though.

Is it alright if I asked which UoL campus did you go to?
0
reply
Blayze
Badges: 8
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#12
Report 4 months ago
#12
(Original post by wifd149)
I really should be considering City if that’s the case, but on the other hand, I don’t want to allocate to London for the bar. I will see soon I guess. Agreed about going where’s the cheapest though.

Is it alright if I asked which UoL campus did you go to?
I went to Bloomsbury.
Last edited by Blayze; 4 months ago
0
reply
heidggbh
Badges: 7
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#13
Report 4 months ago
#13
Definitely have a look at pass rates for the BSB centralised exams. You DO NOT want to have to study for those exams more than once! Criminal Litigation had a pass rate of around 35% in my year (2020-2021).
Also, one of the bar course providers has been accused of intentionally failing students in at least one of the internally set exams, with the majority of their students having to resit exams.

If you can get into ICCA, then go there. Otherwise, City is the next best option.
Last edited by heidggbh; 4 months ago
1
reply
wifd149
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#14
Report Thread starter 4 months ago
#14
(Original post by heidggbh)
Definitely have a look at pass rates for the BSB centralised exams. You DO NOT want to have to study for those exams more than once! Criminal Litigation had a pass rate of around 35% in my year (2020-2021).
Also, one of the bar course providers has been accused of intentionally failing students in at least one of the internally set exams, with the majority of their students having to resit exams.

If you can get into ICCA, then go there. Otherwise, City is the next best option.
Oh, that’s interesting information :cyber:

Thanks, I will look into them. Thanks for the tips too
0
reply
The University of Law Students
Badges: 16
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#15
Report 3 months ago
#15
(Original post by wifd149)
I am in the middle of the final year of my LLB undergraduate degree, and I have the following questions:

  1. Which institution is better to study the bar course in: BPP or University of Law?
  2. Considering that each Inns of Courts have compulsory "qualifying sessions" and the Inns are based in London, how difficult will it be if I choose to study the bar course outside London? What are the factors that I need to consider?
  3. When should I start applying to BPP or University of Law to take the BTC/BPC this upcoming September?
  4. How hard is it to pass the BCAT?


I will try to search some things up meanwhile, but there hasn't been much helpful sites.
  • Not all Inns of Courts website talk about qualifying sessions for students outside London explicitly.
  • Pearson VUE's website isn't helpful in finding out what test centers provide the BCAT exam and what conditions are for the take-home version (if they apply internationally or not)


Gmaster1980 TFEU Crazy Jamie
Hi wifd149

Thought I'd jump on here as I'm a current Bar Practice Course student! I'm with the University of Law - Bloomsbury Campus, London.
I'm really enjoying it but it is definitely challenging- in a good way.

I also live outside of London (Hampshire). I travel in twice a week on the train and have organised to only have afternoon lessons so that I don't have to commute in rush hour. If you're an early bird, you ask for morning sessions instead. The great thing I've found with ULaw is that if something comes up, you can also switch to online sessions. I prefer the face to face ones but it comes in handy when you want to do mini-pupillages for example.

I also like doing the afternoon sessions because it means I can pop over to the Inn after lessons to complete the qualifying sessions if they are on. I've done 11 already! But yes, you can do residentials as well- Gray's run 3 a year. I'm not sure what the other Inns do but you can check out their events pages on their websites. I am attending one in March and it will be worth 5 QS. Obviously, you can stop at 10 if you prefer but I have found them really useful- particularly the moots.

You can apply to ULaw at anytime, I would advise the sooner the better. I obviously can't advise on BPP. With ULaw, you will be offered a conditional place and you will only be able to accept the offer once the conditions have been met (so you won't be liable for fees until that point).

The BCAT course is passable with practice and there are lots of example papers and practice sites that can be found on the internet.

Hope that helps!
Nic
Student Ambassador at the University of Law
1
reply
Gym Bunny
Badges: 13
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#16
Report 3 months ago
#16
I did my BPTC at UWE. I don't have rave reviews about the course, so I am glad that I paid considerably less than the London based providers.
I lived overseas at the time, so did the course part time but still managed to get my Qualifying Sessions including a two night residential that gave me three points. If I had the choice, I would always look to pay less for the course - higher fees do not mean you get a better delivered course. The course fees have been rising every year but the quality of the course has not improved.

I took the BCAT in Israel as there were no providers in the country I was living. It was easy, took about half an hour and then enjoyed a jolly in Tel Aviv.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Has advance information helped during your exams?

Yes (53)
64.63%
No (23)
28.05%
I didn't use it to prepare (6)
7.32%

Watched Threads

View All