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. 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/Republic of Ireland 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/Republic of Ireland degree, awarded at Level 6 (or above) of the ‘Framework for Higher Education Qualifications’, by a recognised degree awarding body.
Graduate Diploma 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/Republic of Ireland 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 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.
The ICCA recognises that many applicants will not have received their final degree award or GDL classification when they apply for a place on the ICCA Bar Course. In these circumstances applicants will simply be asked to predict their own grades. References in support will not be required, but offers will be conditional on meeting our minimum academic requirements.
Students who have already received their law degree award or GDL (or equivalent qualification) classification 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 read our mitigating circumstances guidance.
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.
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.