The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) offers intensive, post graduate-level studies to students who wish to qualify as a barrister.
The BPTC is taken 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 also provide you with a solid foundation in knowledge and skills for your early years of tenancy.
The BPTC 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.
We have delivered a high quality and highly regarded Bar Professional Training Course/Bar Vocational Course since 1997. Distinctive features include:
• a guaranteed period of two weeks' placement (offering mini-pupillage with a local Chambers or other placement with the employed Bar, and marshalling with a local Circuit Judge and District Judge);
• 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 BPTC is a one year course studied over three terms. All modules within this programme are compulsory and comprise knowledge areas, core skills and options. An attendance record is kept and 100% attendance at teaching sessions is expected.
During the first and second term you will be taught and assessed in the following areas:
You will be taught through a mixture of lectures and small group sessions. Most teaching is delivered in small groups of 12 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.
The BPTC assessments are designed to be fair, rigorous, realistic and provide sufficient depth and/or breadth of coverage of the skills and subjects assessed. Individual assessments will cover a representation of the outcomes in the particular subject or skills area. A practical emphasis will appear throughout.
Each skills teaching session is a formative session; in addition you will undertake a practice assessment for each of the core subjects studied in terms one and two. These assessments will be undertaken in circumstances that reflect the arrangements for the summative assessments.
Three assessments, civil litigation evidence and remedies, criminal litigation evidence and remedies and professional ethics will be assessed by way of a centrally set paper produced by the Bar Standards Board.
For all Cardiff-produced BPTC assessments, the assessment criteria and, where relevant, guidance/explanatory notes will be made available to you from the outset of the subject. The assessment criteria for each subject are clearly aligned with its learning outcomes to ensure you can demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes for the subject through the assessment.
There are 12 summative assessments. Four are knowledge assessments, one in each of the following:
Civil litigation and evidence Criminal litigation, evidence and sentencing Professional ethics Resolution of disputes out of court.
There are eight skills assessments, in each of the following:
Conference skills Opinion writing Drafting Advocacy (one assessment with oral plus written components and two oral assessments; examination in chief and cross examination). Option one (written or oral) Option two (written or oral)
After completion of the BPTC you will be able to undertake a pupillage in preparation for practice as a barrister.
Alternatively, the BPTC may be lead to legal work in some other capacity, e.g. paralegal or legal executive, with the option of seeking pupillage at a later date.
Guaranteed placements are offered giving you the opportunity to marshal with both a Circuit Judge and District Judge in addition to undertaking a mini-pupillage.