“ICCA remains as the most successful AETO in terms of the percentage of candidates entering for a centralised assessment securing a pass, almost 30% ahead of the second placed AETO” BSB Central Examinations Board Chair’s Report 7 November 2022 (para 5.5.2)
Designed and taught by experienced barristers and educational specialists, the ICCA Bar Course is innovative, flexible and accessible, offering a learning experience of outstanding quality.
Even if you have studied law at postgraduate level, this Vocational Stage of Bar training will introduce you to many new skills. It is useful to think of the Vocational Stage as the bridge between academic study and practical work experience in pupillage or work-based learning.
You will be learning the procedural and practical aspects of civil litigation, alternative dispute resolution and criminal litigation, evidence and sentencing. You will learn the fundamental skills of advocacy, from making submissions to a judge to handling witnesses in examination-in-chief and cross-examination. You will be introduced to the skills utilised in conducting effective conferences with clients, to how to draft pleadings or statements of case and how to write legal opinions. You will be introduced to Professional Ethics, including the core duties of barristers to the court and to clients.
The ICCA Bar Course is delivered in two parts using a combination of in-person teaching, e-learning, and self-study. Validated by King’s College London, the ICCA Bar Course is designed to equip you with the knowledge and vital practitioner skills required to achieve success in pupillage and then in professional practice as a barrister.
Part One is delivered entirely online. Your learning is through self-study at your own pace or by following a guided pathway (over 12-14 weeks). This means there are no timetabled sessions and Part One can be taken from any location.
The online lessons are accessed through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where you will find online forums for tutor and peer support and a number of pre-assessment revision webinars. Part One students are in regular communication with one another and are assigned a personal tutor for pastoral support.
You will also be provided with (included in the fees) all the learning resources required, including a hardcopy of the White Book (2 volumes), e-book versions of Blackstone’s Criminal Practice, the Jackson ADR Handbook and access to Westlaw and LexisNexis legal databases.
|Civil Litigation, Evidence and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)||Self-study, online learning||Two BSB centrally set assessments||17.5%||20||200|
|Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing||Self-study, online learning||One BSB centrally set assessment||17.5%||20||200|
There are three opportunities each year to sit the BSB assessments: April, August and December. For example, if you start Part One in September, you can take your BSB exams in December, or the following April. Assessments may be taken online or in person. If an in-person assessment is required outside the UK, there may be an additional cost for this. When you have passed your Part One assessments and joined an Inn of Court, you can proceed to Part Two.
Part Two is delivered in person. Teaching takes place within the Inns of Court (Gray’s Inn, Inner Temple, Lincoln’s Inn and Middle Temple), This means you will benefit from modern, first-class training facilities, have access to the Inns’ libraries for quiet study and share your environment on a daily basis with members of the profession. All sessions are timetabled in small groups, with a focus on individual attention.
All oral advocacy practice sessions are taught in small groups of 4 (Examination-in-Chief and Cross-Examination) or in double-length sessions in groups of up to 6 (Submissions Advocacy) by experienced practitioners
|In-person||Internal exams||Examination-in-Chief – 17.5%|
Cross-Examination – 17.5%
Submissions Advocacy –15%
|Examination-in-Chief – 14|
Cross-Examination – 14
Submissions Advocacy –12
|Examination-in-Chief – 140|
Cross-Examination – 140
Submissions Advocacy –120
|Opinion Writing and Legal Research||In-person||Internal exam|
Take-away written problem with a week to complete, maximum 4000 words plus legal research trail
|Drafting||In-person and online||Internal exam|
Take-away written problem with 24 hrs to complete, no word limit
Taught in small groups of up to 6 in double-length sessions
Live conference undertaken with actor/client, 25 minutes and submission of conference plan
|Professional Ethics||Online with in-person introduction||Internal exam|
Closed-book, multiple-choice, 40-question test lasting 2 hours
The ICCA Bar Course offers two course cycles each year with dates as follows:
|Mode||Start date||anticipated Completion|
|First Cycle: September 2023|
|Part One||Self-study, online learning||September 2023||December 2023|
|Part Two||In-person||March 2024||July 2024|
|Second Cycle: January 2024|
|Part One||Self-study, online learning||January 2024||April 2024|
|Part Two||In-person||September 2024||January 2025|
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 and joining an Inn of Court.
As mentioned above in Part One, there are three opportunities each year to sit the BSB assessments: April, August and December. For this reason, Part One offers you the flexibility to take your BSB assessments at the first opportunity (by following the guided pathway), or to take them at a later date. Once you have successfully completed these assessments and joined an Inn of Court (if you have not already done so), you can proceed to Part Two.
Throughout the course you can benefit from:
Your health and wellbeing is a priority for us.
On successful completion of the ICCA Bar Course, you will be:
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. For more information see the Policy on Independence between the Inns of Court and the ICCA as an Authorised Education and Training Organisation.
Academic Regulations 2022-2023