Frequently Asked Questions

Please see our Entry Requirements and The Application Process sections for more information.

The ICCA Bar Course  is delivered in two independent cycles with commencement dates as follows:

First Cycle
Part One (online) September 2021 (anticipated completion December 2021); leading to
Part Two (in person) March 2022 (anticipated completion August 2022).

Second Cycle
Part One (online) January 2022 (anticipated completion April 2022); leading to
Part Two (in person) September 2022 (anticipated completion February 2023).

The anticipated completion dates above assume passing assessments at the first attempt and following our recommended structured learning pathway for Part One.

Commencing Part Two is conditional on passing all Part One assessments at the first or second attempt and joining an Inn of Court.

Please see our Entry Requirements and The Application Process sections for more information.

No. Part One of the ICCA Bar Course is an online-only course of study covering the knowledge subjects of Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing and Civil Litigation, Evidence and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

This follows a recommended structured pathway over 12-16 weeks or at your own pace, at any time of day and from any location. As such, Part One of the ICCA Bar Course does not include provision for face-to-face teaching. The ICCA will monitor progress and feedback and, where required, organise additional online input to assist students.

Part One online content involves films, interactive activities and quizzes within each subject designed to demonstrate understanding and apply knowledge, underpinned by realistic case studies, which follow the progress of a case through the legal system.

There are numerous opportunities for self-assessment on Part One, including stage-by-stage formative (mock) assessments involving a range of single best answer and multiple-choice questions, discussion forums (peer review), knowledge checks and a comprehensive question bank of over 500 practice questions, all designed to gauge your readiness to sit the BSB’s centrally-set exams.

You will be assigned a personal tutor on both Parts One and Two of the course. A personal tutor is an academic member of staff who will take an active interest in your college experience and is concerned for your general welfare. Your personal tutor will also be available to discuss your academic progress on Part Two of the course.

It is important, however, that all students applying for the ICCA Bar Course consider whether they have the motivation, dedication and diligence to succeed on our course with its individual philosophy and design and, in particular, whether they are suited to online study on Part One. During the application process applicants are asked why they feel the ICCA Bar Course model would suit their individual learning style, including the ability to work independently with limited tutor support on Part One.

With the success of your future career always in mind, full careers support is available to students on both Parts One and Two of the ICCA Bar Course.

Please see our Entry Requirements and The Application Process pages for more information.

No. Part One of the ICCA Bar Course is taught entirely online, but Part Two requires compulsory attendance.

Part One also requires attendance for assessments, although overseas sittings can be applied for.

Please see About the ICCA Bar Course for more information about modules and assessments.

There is an attendance requirement for Part Two of the ICCA Bar Course.

Yes. In order to progress and make the most of the course you are expected to attend all face-to-face teaching sessions. This is monitored not simply to ensure academic progress, but also because lack of attendance can indicate issues regarding the wellbeing of students. Students who do not attend at least 80% of Part Two in-person teaching sessions will be unable to pass the ICCA Bar Course.

Part One is delivered entirely online, therefore attendance is not required. You will be required to attend Part One assessment sittings. Venues will be made available both in London and in another regional location. You can also apply to sit the assessments overseas.

Please see About the ICCA Bar Course for more information.

Part One assessments are known as centrally-set assessments and are set by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

Venues will be made available both in London and in another regional location. You can also apply to sit the assessments overseas.

Part Two assessments are set by the ICCA (in accordance with BSB standards and regulations) and will be taken by students in London.

Please see About the ICCA Bar Course for more information about modules and assessments.

No. At present there is no part-time option on the ICCA Bar Course.

Our course is a flexible two-part programme:

Part One is delivered entirely online and comprises the knowledge subjects of Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing and Civil Litigation, Evidence and ADR delivered online. You can follow a recommended structured pathway over 12-16 weeks or take Part One at your own pace, at any time of day and from any location;

Part Two is delivered in person within the precincts of the Inns of Court and comprises the skills subjects of Advocacy, Conference skills, Legal Research and Opinion Writing & Drafting. There is also an online Professional Ethics course to ensure that you are fully conversant with the code of conduct and standards of ethical behaviour at the Bar. Part Two requires full-time attendance over a 20 or 22 week period (commencing Part Two in March takes 20 weeks and commencing Part Two in September takes 22 weeks).

Please see About the ICCA Bar Course for more information.

Part One of the ICCA Bar Course is entirely online and therefore can be studied from any location.

Part Two is taught face-to-face within the precincts of the Inns of Court in London. Part Two is not available in any other location.

Please see About the ICCA Bar Course for more information.

If you do not commence Part Two (for whatever reason) you will not be charged a fee for Part Two.

Payment for Part One is taken upon enrolment (day-one of the course) and there is a 14-day cooling off period during which you can decide not to proceed with the Part One course and receive a full refund (of both the ICCA fee and the BSB intake fee).

For Part Two, the ICCA fee can be paid in whole when you enrol on Part Two or by instalments. If you leave Part Two before or up to the halfway stage you will be liable for only half the ICCA fee, although the Part Two BSB intake fee, which is payable on Part Two enrolment, will not be refunded.

See our Course Fees page for more information.

Successful completion of the ICCA Bar Course (both Parts One and Two) leads to a Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Practice (PGDip) from King’s College London. Successful completion also enables you to be called to the Bar (subject also to completing Inns’ qualifying sessions and a ‘fit and proper person’ check).

The ICCA Bar Course attracts 120 credits at Masters level (40 credits for Part One and 80 credits for Part Two).

If you successfully complete Part One of the ICCA Bar Course you will not receive an award from the ICCA, although you may be able to use the 40 credits achieved to continue your study with another Authorised Education and Training Organisation or Higher Education provider, subject to their individual policies on recognition of prior learning and experience.

Yes.  Applying for the ICCA Bar Course does not prevent you from applying for Bar Vocational Training Courses run by other course providers (AETOs) and you are encouraged to do so, although you should not accept an offer to study on more than one Bar training course.

Other AETOs adopt their own selection procedures and admissions criteria (subject to minimum requirements imposed by the Bar Standards Board) and you should contact these individual AETOs or check their websites for further information.

See our Application Process page or more information.

No. You are entitled to apply to more than one course provider (AETO) for your Bar Vocational Training and are encouraged to do so, but you should not accept an offer to study on more than one Bar training course.

If you do accept an offer from one AETO, but then receive an offer from another which you would prefer to accept, you should withdraw your offer from the first before doing so.

See our Application Process page for more information on applying to study on the ICCA Bar Course.

No. Joining the ICCA as a Bar Course student is separate and distinct from joining an Inn as a student member.

The four Inns of Court (The Honourable Societies of Gray’s InnLincoln’s InnInner Temple and Middle Temple) are the professional membership associations for barristers in England and Wales dedicated to promoting the rule of law and providing excellent education and training to their members.

Under the Legal Services Act s.207(1) a “barrister” means an individual who has been Called to the Bar by an Inn of Court and is not disbarred by an order of an Inn of Court.

The Inns accept student members who are subject to the regulatory education and training requirements of the Bar Standards Board (BSB), as contained in the Bar Standards Board Handbook (see Part 4 Qualification Rules in the BSB Handbook and the Memorandum of Understanding between the BSB and the Inns).

The Inns are responsible for Call to the Bar of their student members. The Inns also undertake a unique and essential role in the training of barristers.

This educational and professional development role includes the following core components:

  • Student membership of an Inn.
  • The provision of educational and training scholarships and awards to student members.
  • The administration of fit and proper person checks both upon admission to an Inn as a student member and again before being called to the Bar.
  • The conduct of student members of an Inn.
  • The provision of professional development events known as “Qualifying Sessions”.

The Inns provide this education and development which is distinct from the Bar Course education delivered by the ICCA as an Authorised Education and Training Organisation (AETO) on behalf of COIC.

It is important to recognise that registration on the ICCA Bar Course confers no advantage in relation to Inns’ scholarships or awards, Inns’ membership, Inns’ Qualifying Sessions or Call to the Bar. Similarly, any offer of an Inns’ scholarship confers no advantage to a student applying to study with the ICCA.

It is a student’s responsibility to join an Inn of Court before commencing Part Two of the ICCA Bar Course, although many students will choose to join an Inn before commencing Part One and this is recommended.

No. The ICCA prescribes no preference nor affords any preferential treatment to any current or prospective student of the ICCA based upon their choice of Inn.

Student registration on Part Two of the Bar Course of the ICCA requires student membership of an Inn of Court.

Students are encouraged to visit the Inns and read the information contained on their websites. Each Inn has its own unique character and part of the excitement of training to become a Barrister is making the decision for yourself as to what Inn suits you best.

You can visit the Inns’ websites here:

Gray’s Inn

Lincoln’s Inn

Inner Temple

Middle Temple

The “Bar Professional Training Course” (BPTC) was the title used for all post-graduate Bar Vocational Training Courses until 2019.

Under the current system, providers of Bar Vocational Training must satisfy the Bar Standards Board that their courses satisfy four key criteria before they are authorised to accept students: Flexibility, Accessibility, Affordability and maintaining High Standards. The ICCA is such an Authorised Education and Training Organisation (AETO).

Current Bar training courses seldom use the ‘BPTC’ title, although the principle objective of these courses is to provide students with Bar Vocational Training which will enable them to be called to the Bar of England & Wales.

The ICCA Bar Course is a Bar Vocational Training Course, successful completion of which:

  • Allows you to be called to the Bar of England & Wales . (Please note that Call to the Bar also requires students to pass ‘fit and proper person’ checks and to complete Inns’ Qualifying Sessions.)
  • Following successful completion of the ICCA Bar Course you will also receive the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Practice (PGDip) from King’s College London. The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London is the validating academic body for the ICCA Bar Course.

Please see About the ICCA Bar Course for more information.

No. The ICCA provides its Bar Course on a not-for-profit basis and ensures that the cost to all students is maintained at the lowest sustainable level.

To this end, rather than providing scholarships to individual students, the financial benefit and saving is built into the affordability of the course for all students.

Applicants to the ICCA Bar Course should feel free to apply for scholarships from other sources.

The Inns provide scholarships to students intending to take Bar Vocational Training or the Graduate Diploma in Law (or equivalent law conversion course) and do so irrespective of which course provider (AETO) you choose. Please look at their individual websites for more details.

Please note that applying for a place on or registration on the Bar Course of the ICCA confers no advantage in relation to Inns’ scholarships or awards, Inns’ membership, Qualifying Sessions or Call to the Bar.

No. Applying for a place on or registration on the Bar Course of the ICCA confers no advantage (in comparison to any other Authorised Education and Training Organisation) in relation to Inns’ scholarships or awards, Inns’ membership, Qualifying Sessions or Call to the Bar.

Student registration with the ICCA does not afford any preferential status in respect of receiving any award, bursary or scholarship from the Inns of Court. The provision of any such an award by the Inns is made without regard to an individual’s choice of AETO for Bar Vocational Training. The ICCA does not take part in any decision to offer such awards, bursaries or scholarships.

The ICCA and the Inns have a Policy which sets out clearly the independence of the ICCA from the Inns of Court in relation to Call, Qualifying Sessions, Outreach and Scholarships. You can read the Policy in full here.

No. Applying for a place on or registration on the Bar Course of the ICCA confers no advantage in relation to Inns’ scholarships or awards, Inns’ membership, Qualifying Sessions or Call to the Bar.

Student membership of an Inn is distinct from admission as a student to the Bar Course of the ICCA and must be applied for separately and independently.

The ICCA does not take any part in the decision of any Inn to admit a student member to that Inn nor shall the ICCA seek to use the Inns as a conduit for information to their students. This shall not affect the right or responsibility of the ICCA to pass on misconduct findings of any ICCA student in accordance with its misconduct rules.

No. Applying for a place on or registration on the Bar Course of the ICCA confers no advantage (in comparison to any other Authorised Education and Training Organisation) in relation to Inns’ scholarships or awards, Inns’ membership, Qualifying Sessions or Call to the Bar.

Student registration with the ICCA does not afford any preferential status in respect of Call to the Bar. Call to the Bar is determined by objective and transparent criteria as published by the Inns. One such criterion is passing the vocational component of training and this can be fulfilled with any AETO.

The ICCA does not take part in the decision of any Inn to call any individual to the Bar. This shall not affect the right and responsibility of the ICCA to pass on misconduct findings of any ICCA student in accordance with its misconduct rules.

Yes. Joining the ICCA as a Bar Course student is separate and distinct from joining an Inn as a student member.

The Inns undertake a unique and essential role in the training of barristers which is separate from the Bar Course of the ICCA. The educational and professional development role of the Inns includes the provision of professional development events known as ‘Qualifying Sessions’.

Applying for a place on or registration on the Bar Course of the ICCA confers no advantage (in comparison to any other Authorised Education and Training Organisation) in relation to Inns’ scholarships or awards, Inns’ membership, Qualifying Sessions or Call to the Bar.

Inns Scholarships
The Inns provide scholarships to students intending to take Bar Vocational Training or the Graduate Diploma in Law (or equivalent law conversion course) and do so irrespective of which course provider (AETO) you choose.

An Inns’ Scholarship does not confer any special benefit on a student applying to the ICCA. No ICCA Governor or members of staff or anyone associated with the ICCA Bar Course will engage in activities at the Inns relating to Call or Scholarships.

Further details can be obtained from the websites of the four Inns of Court as follows: Gray’s InnLincoln’s InnInner Temple and Middle Temple.

Students can only join one Inn but can apply for several scholarships and awards. Each Inn has its own set of criteria that are used to assess potential scholars and details are available via the Inns directly.

Grants
Students may be able to access funding from a number of alternative sources. The following information may be of assistance:

Turn2Us is a national charity helping people at difficult times in their life. They provide financial support to help people get back on track. They list a number of available grants under the Grants Search according to location, gender and age moving onto a more specific search, such as law for example. These can be quite small grants, but it is possible to combine a few of them to make up a shortfall.

Finding a Masters provides extensive guidance on applying for Masters funding without a scholarship. There are some myths and realities about the search for charitable funding and there is invaluable information for anyone looking to research large and small charities for funding with top tips on how to make an application.

The Grants Register – The Grants Register 2020 is a guide to postgraduate and professional funding worldwide. It contains international coverage of grants in 58 countries, both English and non-English speaking; information on subject areas, level of study, eligibility and value of awards; and information on over 6,000 awards provided by over 1,300 awarding bodies. It is available only in hard copy and is expensive to purchase, but should be available in good libraries.

Private Lenders
There are a number of commercial lenders who will consider lending money to postgraduate students. They each adopt a set of criteria when considering an application. The ICCA has no relationship with any private lender and does not endorse any of them individually. The information below is purely to help students assess how they might acquire funding in the event they cannot self-fund. Private lenders are unlikely to have an upper age limit or to take into account existing qualifications. Some of the criteria they might consider are:

  • A student’s credit score and/or credit history
  • Savings or assets available to the student
  • The reputation or status of the AETO
  • Length of the course
  • Future earnings and employability after graduating
  • A student’s employment and/or academic history
  • Availability of a guarantor

Some examples of private lenders concerned in postgraduate funding are:

Lendwise – loans of between £5,000 and £100,000, terms over ten years, approximately 7.9% interest up to 15% with repayment commencing around 6 months after graduation.

Danske Bank – It is possible to borrow from £1,000 up to the full amount of your tuition fees and to repay the loan over 1 to 5 years with lower payments for the first 30 months. No early repayment charges. No arrangement fee. A representative example is as follows: Representative APR 2.6% APR variable, borrowing £5,500 over 60 months with 30 monthly repayments of £11.92, then 30 payments of £189.54 with a total amount payable of £6,043.72.

Future Finance – loans of up to £10,000. By way of an example, Future Finance give the following representative example: Graduate Loans 17.6% APR, borrowing £5,000 for 3 years with an origination fee of £375.50 where the total amount repayable would be £10,011.76 at an interest rate of 14.78% p.a. (variable) and monthly repayments of £5 per month (5 monthly repayments) then £118.89 per month (84 monthly payments).

Government Funding
Successful completion of the ICCA Bar Course leads to a Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Practice (PGDip) from King’s College London.

This attracts 120 credits at Masters level. Postgraduate Loans are not available for postgraduate level courses for a Postgraduate Diploma.

The ICCA does not offer an LLM version of the Bar Course to increase the number of credits available. For this reason government Masters loans are not available for the ICCA Bar Course.

More information about postgraduate funding and eligibility is available at Student Finance England.

Reducing the financial risk to ICCA Bar Course students
The ICCA has taken the decision to reduce the financial risk to all students:

  • No students will incur any costs for Part Two unless they proceed from Part One to Part Two and no deposit will be required.
  • For the 2021/22 Cycles, the ICCA fees will be:
  • Part One: £515in addition to which students will pay £511 for textbooks and the BSB intake fee of £575. The total payable for Part One is £1,601 .
  • Part Two: £11,585 in addition to which students must pay the BSB intake fee of £295. The total payable for Part Two is £11,880.
  • Total combined cost: £13,481

The ICCA provides its Bar Course on a not-for-profit basis and ensures that the cost to all students is maintained at the lowest sustainable level.

To this end, rather than providing scholarships to individual students, the financial benefit and saving is built into providing the affordability of the course for all students.

More helpful links

Students may find the following links useful when considering funding:

Students may wish to access a student budgeting facility to help them arrange their finances: UCAS Budget Calculator

Yes. The ICCA welcomes international students.

Part One of the ICCA Bar Course is entirely online, accessible from any location.

Students are reminded that attendance in the UK for Part One assessments is required, although you can apply to sit the centrally-set (Part One) assessments overseas if required. Each application will be considered on its merits.

Part Two of the ICCA’s Bar Course is a 20 or 22 week programme of study (commencing Part Two in March takes 20 weeks and commencing Part Two in September takes 22 weeks). Full-time attendance is required, including for assessments (and any assessment resits).

The ICCA is not a Tier 4 sponsoring institution.

International students coming to the UK for courses lasting less than six months without any placement or work requirements will usually need to obtain a Short-Term Study Visa (previously known as “Student Visitor visa”).

As matters currently stand, from 1 January 2021 students from the EEA will also require a Short-Term Study Visa to study in the UK. You can read more about this from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

If you come to the UK as a Short-term Student, you are only able to study on a course which lasts for 6 months or less, and you will not be able to extend this visa in the UK. For students who are coming to the ICCA to study on Part Two of our Bar Course, your Short-term Study visa support letter will be issued to you by Admissions once you have met all of the conditions attached to your offer.

International students are required to meet the minimum entry requirements for the ICCA Bar Course (please see the Entry Requirements section) and, in the event of being shortlisted, attend a selection event. The selection event can take place online via Zoom in the event of visa or travel difficulties, although attendance in the UK is recommended where possible.

ICCA Bar Course fees for international students are the same as for UK students.

Living in the UK for the first time may seem a strange and difficult experience and the ICCA will endeavour to provide support and assistance to all of its students.

No. Part One of the ICCA Bar Course is delivered entirely online and as such can be studied from any location.

Part Two requires full-time attendance over 20 or 22 weeks (depending on whether you commence Part Two in March or September respectively) and is taught within the precincts of the Inns of Court in central London.

As such, students will need to make their own living arrangements in a location which allows them to reach central London for the Part Two period.

The following links may help you in your search for short-term accommodation, together with advice on living and studying in London:

  • Airbnb– an online marketplace which lets people rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests.
  • Fresh student living– Fresh Student Living has four sets of student accommodation near Ealing, Vauxhall, King’s College London and between Clapham and Brixton.
  • Student stay– Short lets available up to 6 months.
  • Unite students– Short stays available.
  • Liberty Living
  • Home to go– Holiday rental search engine.
  • Gumtree– Student rental properties advertised.
  • Londonist– Londonist DMC is a destination management centre company and student accommodation agency, offering services in every area of London.
  • Britannia students– Short-term student accommodation in London.
  • Spare room
  • IQ Student Accommodation– short lets available.
  • UKCISA – The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is the UK’s national advisory body serving the interests of international students and those who work with them. They have links to studying and living in the UK, searching for housing and advice for preparing and planning to live and study in the UK.
  • National Union of Students – Top Tips for avoiding crime as a student.
  • Gov.uk– How to Rent guidance.

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) is the independent regulatory body established by the Bar Council for the regulation of legal services by Barristers and BSB authorised entities in England & Wales.

The BSB’s powers arise from various statutes and regulations including the Legal Services Act 2007.

The BSB is responsible for setting the education and training requirements for those who wish to practise as Barristers at the Bar of England and Wales.

The BSB approves Authorised Education and Training Organisations (AETOs) who provide vocational training and pupillage and other forms of work-based learning for those training for the Bar in accordance with its regulatory framework.

Within its regulatory role, the BSB sets the education and training requirements for becoming a barrister, the continuing training requirements for barristers and the standards of conduct for the profession.

Useful BSB Links

From September 2019 any organisation seeking to provide Bar Vocational Training had to apply to the Bar Standards Board (BSB) to become an Authorised Education and Training Organisation (AETO).

The ICCA is authorised to deliver its new two-part Bar Course from September 2020. For more details please see the BSB website.

No. The ICCA is committed to equality of opportunity and the promotion of diversity. We adopt fair and transparent admissions and selection processes so as to achieve our aim of accepting candidates who are motivated, bright, dedicated and diligent with a realistic chance of attaining the standard required for an award of pupillage, irrespective of their social, cultural and economic background.

We operate a fair admissions policy. This means that all of our trained admissions assessors will not have information relating to your name, address, school or university, or protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. If you reach the selection day stage of our selection process, where certain individual characteristics may be obvious, your school or university background will not be made known to the assessors.

You can read more in the section on The Application Process.

No. Our applications process is designed to assess whether you are motivated, bright, dedicated and diligent with a realistic chance of attaining the standard required for an award of pupillage, irrespective of your social, cultural and economic background.

We have specifically designed the applications process to widen participation and seek candidates from all walks of life and from all backgrounds.

You will not be placed at a disadvantage if you do not have any lawyers among your family or friends.

The ICCA adopts a fair admissions policy and you are encouraged to read our Entry Requirements and Application Process for further information.

No. The Bar is comprised of individuals and there is no set “type” destined for success at the Bar.

In accordance with its Fair Admissions and Equality and Diversity Policies the ICCA believes in widening participation, equality of opportunity and that the Bar should represent the society it serves.

For this reason our applications process is designed to assess whether you are motivated, bright, dedicated and diligent with a realistic chance of attaining the standard required for an award of pupillage, irrespective of your social, cultural and economic background.

You are encouraged to read our Entry Requirements and Application Process pages for more information.

The ICCA want to ensure that your experience in the Bar Course is engaging, valuable and focussed. For this reason places on the ICCA Bar Course are limited.

For the first two cycles, (commencing in September 2020 and March 2021), places were limited to approximately 50 students per cycle. For the next two cycles (commencing in September 2021 and March 2022) these numbers will be increased as we build towards our intended maximum intake in 2023/2024 of 120 students per cycle.

Due to the limited number of places available, we cannot always offer all eligible students a place. Before applying for the ICCA Bar Course, it is important that you consider if you suited to the split regime of studying online in the first instance before attending for their more traditional skills training.

We have taken great care to design an online course which we firmly believe will enable bright, motivated and diligent students to pass the centrally-set BSB assessments with ease. It will require a determined and sustained effort on your part. The benefits are the relatively low cost and the flexibility of the course coupled with high-quality digital learning assets and a pastoral support package.

We think it is our responsibility to point out to any prospective Bar student the fierce competition that exists to secure a pupillage.

This is something that will intensify as a result of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, with a number of chambers reducing their pupil intake, cancelling vacancies or deferring pupillages.

What do the statistics tell us?
Let’s take last year for example. In 2018-19 there were 1,758 students enrolled on a Bar Course. 807 of those were international students who were not intending to practise in this jurisdiction.

There were however, only around 450 available pupillages.

That’s not the whole picture:

  • Not all students pass the Bar Course: there is a high non-completion or failure rate.
  • Applications for pupillage may be made for up to 5 years after Call to the Bar.

This means there is something of a bottleneck at the Bar because there are more Bar students than there are pupillages. Every year there are around 3,000 successful Bar graduates applying for about 450 pupillages.

As mentioned above, until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and their impact is no longer felt, this is likely to reduce the pupillages available. The publicly funded Bar is likely to feel the impact of these restrictions more acutely than other areas of professional practice.

The cost of Bar training
Before the ICCA two-part course and any other new, more affordable pathways that are authorised, students had to pay between £15,000 and £19,000 upfront for their Bar training depending on location. Only at the end, did unsuccessful students discover they had failed some aspect of the course.

In addition to the cost of the course is the cost of accommodation and subsistence and, for non-law students, the cost of the GDL (or equivalent law conversion course).

The cost of qualifying at the Bar can exceed £130,000. This has to be balanced against the risk of not getting a pupillage.

For more information on funding, see the FAQ: How can I obtain funding for the ICCA Bar Course?

Who gets pupillage?
According to the BSB in their review of 2019, intellectual ability and academic history were found to be the most important selection criteria across chambers when sifting applications for pupillage.

Examples of intellectual ability cited by chambers included evidence of academic achievement, including a first class or upper second-class degree (or equivalent), Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) grades, and a few references to high marks for A-Level (or equivalent).

At paragraph 160 of the BSB’s research from January 2019, it is stated that those from BAME backgrounds were far less likely to attain pupillage when controlling for other variables.

The ICCA has taken the Bar Council’s Fair Recruitment Guide as a starting point and worked with the authors of that guide to develop a Fair Admissions Policy for selection on to the ICCA Bar Course.

We will carefully monitor the success of our approach.

Studying for the Bar is expensive and carries risks
You should be sure that you have the intellectual capacity to cope with the demands of the course and the means with which to support yourself during the period of study.

BSB statistics
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) publishes statistics on Bar training and the most recent data available is the key statistics report of 2019. Please note that this refers to Bar training under the previous Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and not the current approach to Bar training which came into force with the new Bar Qualification Rules  on 1 April 2019. For this reason you will not see the ICCA Bar Course referred to in this document. Nonetheless, it provides a helpful overview of the numbers of students previously undertaking Bar training, together with success in gaining pupillage.

If you would like to read more about the ‘old’ and ‘new’ approaches to Bar Training, please read this article on making sense of Bar training in 2020 and beyond.