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    Cardiff School of Law and Politics Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    05 July 2018

The LLM Bar Professional Training Course offers intensive, postgraduate-level studies to those who wish to qualify as a barrister but who also wish to undertake research at Master’s level.


The LLM Bar Professional Training Course offers intensive, postgraduate-level studies to those who wish to qualify as a barrister but who also wish to undertake research at Master’s level.

You will take this course after undergraduate study and before the period of work based training, also known as pupillage, required for those training to become barristers.

This programme will prepare you for the 12 months of pupillage and ensure that you acquire the skills, knowledge of procedure and evidence, attitudes and competence required during your work based training. It will provide you with a solid foundation in knowledge and skills for your early years of tenancy.

The programme aims to foster a professional and ethical approach to practice as a barrister, whilst giving you an informed view of a barrister’s working life and to allow you to reflect on the challenges facing the legal profession in today’s world.

Distinctive features

We have delivered a high quality and highly regarded Bar Professional Training Course/Bar Vocational Course since 1997. The LLM Bar Professional Training Course builds on that existing course and distinctive features include:

  • the opportunity to marshall with a Judge and/or undertake a mini-pupillage; a high level of individual feedback and support on performance in oral and written skills;
  • a course strongly supported by the local employed Bar, the independent Bar and the Judiciary;
  • the opportunity to practise all skills exceeds the Bar Standards Board’s minimum recommended number;
  • the opportunity to conduct research at Master’s level;
  • innovative methods of student assessment.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures and small group sessions. Most teaching is delivered in small groups of students with all oral skills teaching in smaller groups of six students.

You will have practice opportunities through your teaching that exceed the minimum indicated by the Bar Standards Board. The timing of teaching sessions and assessments has also been carefully considered to ensure that you have sufficient opportunity to practise and receive feedback. This is essential to enable you to refine your work and skills as a result of feedback received.

You will be given an introduction to legal research during terms one and two which will assist you in preparing for the research module. Seminars will be held in the third (options) term to cover further and more detailed matters. Supervision of your research module will commence in the third term.

You will be encouraged to take an active role in your learning, particularly in relation to the feedback and assessment criteria. During each written skills session you are required to annotate, in light of what you learn during the session, the work that you have prepared for the session. This is to demonstrate that you have understood the strengths and weaknesses of your own work and how to improve future attempts.

In addition, you will be continually required to self-reflect on your performances and to identify ways in which your performance can be improved. The ability to learn in this way is considered to be an essential skill for future practise. Furthermore, you will be required to undertake peer review on a very regular basis and as a result develop the ability to critically and constructively analyse a performance.

Outside the curriculum you will have the opportunity to develop wider “employability” skills through participation in the School’s Law in Action pro-bono schemes run with partner organisations, in which student volunteers assist real people in their dealings with the law. The schemes currently include: 

  • Law in Justice: the Innocence Project, (dealing with alleged miscarriages of justice);
  • Law in Healthcare: the NHS Continuing Healthcare Scheme, (challenges to NHS healthcare funding assessments);
  • Law in Sport: the Rugby Union Project (providing legal advice and legal newsletters to rugby clubs)

Other activities include mooting, negotiating and client interviewing competitions and legal discussion groups.

How will I be supported?

Your learning will be supported through e-learning. All modules are supported by Learning Central, a virtual learning environment that is available on and off campus through which you will access a wide range of materials for your modules. Paper copies of teaching materials will also be provided.

You will receive dedicated pastoral support through our personal tutor scheme. We offer an extensive programme of careers lectures and workshops within the School with an in-house Law Careers Consultant and a Pro-bono Scheme Co-ordinator. A designated Disability and Diversity Officer ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities. The University has a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service and excellent libraries with specialist law librarians and resource centres.  

Support for your research module will be by way of face to face tuition, materials on Learning Central and supervision.

Career prospects

After completion of the BPTC, you will be able to undertake pupillage. The BPTC may also lead to legal work in some other capacity, e.g. paralegal, with the option of obtaining pupillage at a later date.

The option to complete a research project or reflective portfolio has the potential to increase your engagement in pro bono activities within the School or further your skills of independent research thereby increasing your preparedness for practice.

In addition, there is a growing need in the public and private sectors for students who can demonstrate being different to other graduates and who can offer something more to potential employers. You will learn important skills that will set you apart in the job market: how to write and critically reason, how to write for and engage the reader, and how to understand the impact of your research.

Visit the Bar Professional Training Course - LLM/PGDip page on the Cardiff University website for more details!





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