The BSB has conditionally authorised the ICCA to deliver its new two-part Bar Course. The conditions of authorisation are that the ICCA’s application for registration with the Office for Students is approved and that thereafter a contract is entered with the BSB to deliver the authorised course. Subject to these final steps, the ICCA will take applications from December 2019 from students wishing to embark on the two-part course from September 2020.
Applicants to the ICCA Bar Course must meet the following minimum academic entry requirements by enrolment on Part One:
Applicants to the ICCA Bar Course Part Two must meet the additional following entry requirements:
Applicants will be responsible for providing satisfactory evidence of meeting these requirements upon enrolment on Part One and continuation to Part Two.
All applicants will submit applications through our Applications Portal which opens in December 2019. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to attend a selection day/evening comprising an interview, advocacy exercise and written exercise.
Please go to the Application Process section for more information including the criteria applicants will be assessed against both at the shortlisting and selection event stages.
All successful applicants will receive offers for the entire course (Parts One and Two) conditional on meeting entry requirements.
The minimum academic entry requirements for the ICCA Bar Course include:
An acceptable law degree means a UK degree awarded at Level 6 (or above) of the ‘Framework for Higher Education Qualifications’ by a recognised degree awarding body which covers the foundations of legal knowledge subjects and the skills associated with graduate legal work (e.g. legal research) and which is compliant with the QAA benchmark statement for law;
A degree means a UK degree, awarded at Level 6 (or above) of the ‘Framework for Higher Education Qualifications’, by a recognised degree awarding body.
Graduate Dipoloma in Law
Students who do not hold an acceptable law degree must take a law conversion course, such as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or equivalent qualification, which must cover the foundations of legal knowledge subjects.
Certificates of Academic Standing
In order to complete the academic component of training (before proceeding to the vocational stage of bar training such as the ICCA Bar Course) based on a law conversion course, a student must:
Students who do not obtain a UK degree of the required standard must verify the equivalence of their qualifications or experience by obtaining a Certificate of Academic Standing from the BSB. This a Bar Standards Board requirement. If you are offered a place on the ICCA Bar Course, it will be a requirement to upload your Certificate of Academic Standing upon enrolment. For further information please visit the BSB website or contact the BSB Authorisations Team.
Students who do not hold an acceptable law degree must take the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) which must cover the foundations of legal knowledge subjects.
To be eligible for enrolment, students must commence the Bar Course within five years of completion of the academic component (undergraduate degree in law or GDL). This means that if you took your law degree more than five years ago or your law degree did not include each of the seven the foundations of legal knowledge subjects, you will need to complete a conversion course commonly referred to as a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).
All offers based on predicted acceptable law degree grades will be conditional upon receiving an Upper Second (2:1) or above. All offers based on predicted GDL grades will be conditional upon receiving a Commendation or above.
Predicted Grades and References
Applicants with predicted law degree awards and GDL classifications will require a reference in support of their application from a nominated academic referee who is familiar with their work and is able to provide an accurate assessment of their undergraduate degree award or GDL classification. The ICCA is unable to take into account references provided by members of the applicant’s family and friends. Please note that for administrative reasons, references must be provided by the closing date for applications (12pm on Friday 10 January 2020) and it will be the responsibility of the applicant and referee to ensure this date is met. Details of your academic referee and their academic email address are entered into the applications portal which opens on 9 December 2019. Please ensure in good time that your referee is aware the reference must be provided by the closing date for applications.
Students who have already been awarded their degree or GDL but have attained either a lower second award (2:2) or GDL pass will not be considered to have met the minimum academic entry requirements unless in either case mitigating circumstances apply. Applicants who did not achieve this minimum degree award or GDL classification and consider that they would have done but for mitigating circumstances, may apply to the ICCA for the exercise of discretion to disapply the minimum degree award or GDL classification requirement in their individual case. Please note, however, that the BSB retains the authority to deal with the ‘applications for discretion’ and the ‘reactivation of stale qualifications’ and this will be handled by the BSB’s Authorisations team. Current details of this process and application forms can be found in Part 2A of the Bar Qualification Manual.
The criteria for discretion to be exercised concerning mitigating circumstances are: (i) there is clear evidence that the student is academically of upper second class quality (for students who have taken an acceptable law degree) or of Commendation or Distinction quality (for students who have taken the GDL) overall; and (ii) there is clear evidence of a temporary cause which prevented the student from fulfilling their full academic potential, which has not already been considered by their course provider in the award of their degree. The ICCA will require an academic reference and evidence in support of your application for mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances are applied for during the application process where guidance will be provided.
Please note that mitigating circumstances can only be taken into account for candidates who have already received their law degree award or GDL award. In all other cases, the ICCA understands that circumstances beyond an applicant’s control may detrimentally affect their academic progress and therefore have an adverse impact on an application. In such instances, the ICCA expects applicants to have taken appropriate action to ensure the relevant examination bodies have allowed for such circumstances.