The ICCA Bar Course Bursary Scheme

Due to the generous support of The Chancery Bar Association and the Commercial Bar Association, the ICCA is delighted to offer a Bursary Scheme to support students on its Bar Course.

Those applying to commence their studies with the ICCA from September 2024 onwards are eligible to be considered for the award of a bursary, of up to £10,000 towards the ICCA Bar Course fees.

Bursaries are aimed at those who have:

  • A demonstrable commitment to the work of either The Chancery Bar OR the Commercial Bar.
  • Significant financial difficulty taking up a place on the ICCA Bar Course without a bursary; and
  • A background that is under-represented at the Bar generally, or at The Chancery Bar or Commercial Bar particularly.

Submitting an application

Individuals currently applying for a place on the ICCA Bar Course are also eligible to apply for the award of a bursary. This must be done using the secure web portal (see links below) by the extended closing date of 31 January 2024.

Applications to the Bursary Scheme will be considered simultaneously with applications to the course, so those awarded bursaries will be informed of the outcome of this at the same time that they are offered a place on the course (which is expected to be in March 2024).

Applicants can only apply for one bursary funded by one Specialist Bar Association (SBA), and will be asked to select an SBA at the start of the process. Multiple applications made by the same individual will result in all applications being discounted.

Applicants should understand that funding for bursaries is limited and is targeted at those who are likely to financially struggle to take up a place on the ICCA Bar Course. Bursaries are not intended for those who have access to income or assets that they are (however understandably) reluctant to utilise.

All applicants will be required to upload financial evidence in support of their application.

Applicants will also be asked to submit personal details and complete an equality & diversity monitoring form. This information will not be made available to those assessing the awards to be made.

Applicants will be required to declare that the information they have provided is true, and confirm that they understand that suspected false, incomplete or misleading submissions could lead to an investigation into whether an applicant is a fit and proper person to become a practising barrister.

Consideration of Applications

Decisions about the awards of bursaries will be made by a panel appointed for that purpose, and which will potentially be composed of some or all of the following: ICCA Governors; ICCA staff; representatives of the relevant Specialist Bar Association and ICCA Bar Course alumni. The exact ‘panel’ of assessors, and arrangements for marking, will depend on the SBA and the number of applications, with each application being assessed by at least three individuals.

The marking scheme used for applications will be based on the following:-

Does not meet criteria1
Partially meets criteria2
Meets criteria3
Exceeds criteria4

Marks awarded for the criteria regarding demonstrable commitment to the work of The Chancery Bar OR the Commercial Bar will be weighted by an additional 33% compared to the two other questions to reflect its importance.

Awards will be made to those with the highest overall scores, save that a mark of 1 in any category may automatically mean the applicant is judged to be ineligible for a bursary.


The award of a bursary is conditional upon the applicant enrolling on the cycle of the Bar Course upon which they have been offered a place. It will not normally be deferred without extenuating circumstances (such as illness or similar grounds).

Shortly prior to the start of the Course, those awarded bursaries will be asked to confirm that their financial circumstances have not changed significantly since the time of their application (and that they have not, for instance, subsequently been awarded a scholarship or attained a pupillage (with the option of a drawdown of income) that has radically improved their financial position).

Assuming individuals remain eligible for a bursary award, the bursary will be confirmed, and a congratulatory certificate sent to the student.

In circumstances where a student has (for example) a scholarship for their fees, but is still in evidenced financial difficulty, the ICCA would make a cash award from the bursary fund to support that student with their living expenses.

In circumstances where an ICCA student’s financial position deteriorates after they have started the course, they will not be eligible to apply for a ‘retrospective’ bursary, but instead will be directed towards the ICCA’s Hardship Fund.

No cash alternative will be available for applicants who are awarded a bursary but who choose not to commence their studies on the ICCA Bar Course.

The names and contact details of those awarded bursaries will be shared with the relevant Specialist Bar Association. This is for information, and so that there is the opportunity for the successful applicant to build a relationship with the SBA, and potentially attend events organised by them.


The ICCA Bar Course Bursary Scheme will be subject to regular review, so that both its criteria and operation may be improved following experience and feedback of it in use. This includes both annual reviews and, where necessary, in-year reviews if deemed appropriate to ensure the fair and appropriate award of bursaries. For this reason, the ICCA, in consultation with the Specialist Bar Associations supporting the scheme, reserves the right to amend the details and process for making awards at any time.

Further Information and Questions

Please contact admissions@icca.ac.uk if you have any questions about the ICCA Bar Course Bursary Scheme or its operation.

Click the button below to apply for the bursary scheme supported The Chancery Bar Association

Apply Now - Chancery Bar

Click the button below to apply for the bursary scheme supported the The Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)

Apply Now - COMBAR