Studying with the ICCA

As a not-for-profit organisation, our first priority is our students. The ICCA Bar Course is focussed on enabling students to achieve the best of themselves, from the quality of education and skills training we provide to supporting you to achieve success in securing pupillage and entry into the profession.

The Vocational Stage of Bar training, formerly referred to as the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), was reformed in 2019 following the Future Bar Training consultation. The following year, in 2020, the ICCA was authorised by the Bar standards Board to launch our new and innovative approach to training to become a barrister.

Since our first students started in September 2020, ICCA students have delivered exceptional assessment and pupillage results. 80% of our 2021 graduates have secured pupillage and our students achieve the highest BSB centralised assessment pass rates across all Bar training providers. As a diverse and supportive community, the ICCA attracts students and career changers from over 50 universities and from numerous professional and cultural backgrounds. We look forward to welcoming you to the two-part ICCA Bar Course.


Discover what it is like studying with the ICCA

We have strong links to the profession:

You will:

  • benefit from visiting guest lectures, seminars and workshops from senior practitioners and the judiciary spanning a diverse range of practice areas
  • have the opportunity to earn one of the many Chambers-sponsored awards for modules on both parts of the Bar Course enabling successful students to enhance their CV, access one-to-one mentoring and gain mini-pupillage experience
  • access placements with ‘Advocate’ through our Careers programme and take part in one of the many internal and external moots via our selected Advocacy Committee members.

Our Part Two teaching takes place within the precincts of the Inns of Court:

You will:

  • share your environment with members of the profession every day
  • benefit from first-class training facilities within the Inns of Court
  • have easy access to the Inns’ world-class libraries as a place of private study and research
  • be able to dine in Hall and use the other Inns’ bar and restaurant facilities to enjoy Bar discounted student rates.

We are focussed on quality and preparing our students for the Bar:

  • The ICCA has the highest average pass rate across all Bar Training providers in both BSB civil and criminal centrally set assessments – Read the BSB Chair’s Report July 2022 here (turn to page 37, para. 5.5)
  • ICCA students achieve exceptional results in securing pupillage
  • Our Bar training course is designed and taught by barristers and legal academics with many years’ experience of professional practice
  • With Part Two being taught within the Inns of Court, you will be training in the heart of legal London, just a short distance away from the Royal Courts of Justice and the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey)
  • The Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Bar Practice is validated by King’s College London.

Our students are our first priority

  • As a not-for-profit Bar training provider, our priority is the success of out students, to enable each individual to achieve their ambition to become a barrister
  • Our Fair Admissions Policy is designed to encourage students from all backgrounds – applications are measured against fair and transparent criteria and all admissions staff are fully trained in fair and inclusive admissions practices
  • The ICCA attracts students from a wealth of backgrounds and from over 50 universities. Many ICCA students are career changers with a wide variety of professional experience
  • With a focus on individual training, all advocacy classes are in groups of 4 and double-session conference classes are in small groups of no more than 6. All in-person teaching in Opinion Writing and Drafting is delivered in small groups of no more than 12
  • As a welcoming and inclusive community, we work with closely with our students to enable them to reach their full potential.
  • Learning and studying support, as well as personalised assessment arrangements, are available to support students with a disability, including physical and mental health conditions, diagnosed specific learning difficulties, or other temporary conditions that may affect learning, studying and assessment performance at the ICCA.
  • We have been awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the Bar Council for our commitment to the wellbeing of our students and bespoke materials are embedded into the ICCA Bar Course. All of our students have access to 24/7 counselling services via Health Assured.

We work with you to secure pupillage:

  • ICCA students have achieved exceptional success in obtaining pupillage. 80% of the ICCA’s first graduating cohort have secured pupillage (2021), having either applied during or after studying at the ICCA, or having secured pupillage by enrolment
  • Our experienced Directors of Careers offer one-to-one help with reviewing your pupillage applications
  • You will have access to the ICCA Careers Hub, providing a wealth of advice from pupillage applications and interview preparation to the numerous areas of practice open to you
  • You can enhance your advocacy skills and build your CV by joining the Advocacy Committee and undertaking pro bono work experience with ‘Advocate’ and ‘JUSTICE’.

The two-part ICCA Bar Course

  • The ICCA Bar Course Part One can be started in either September or January
  • Part One, as an online self-study course, allows you to follow a guided pathway (over 12-14 weeks) or to take a more flexible self-paced approach over a longer period. (We recommend completing Part One within one year.)
  • You can choose to take your Part One BSB centrally set assessments in December, April or August
  • Part One is designed for self-study, allowing you to access course content at any time of the day and from any location
  • The flexibility of Part One allows students to study whilst maintaining work or caring responsibilities
  • Once you have successfully completed Part One, you will move to Part Two, which is taught within the Inns of Court over a period of 17-19 weeks, with two cycles each year: March-July and September-January.

Two-part ICCA Bar Course Examples

  1. Following a standard route 1 – Part One commences September 2023. Exams completed December 2023. Part Two commences March 2024. Completion July 2024.
  2. Following a standard route 2 – Part One commences January 2024. Exams completed April 2024. Part Two commences September 2024. Completion January 2025.
  3. Taking a flexible route 1 – Part One commences September 2023. Exams completed April 2024. Part Two commences September 2024. Completion January 2025.
  4. Taking a flexible route 2 – Part One commences January 2024. Exams completed August 2024. Part Two commences March 2025. Completion July 2025.

Fees and Funding

  • As a not-for-profit organisation, we maintain our fees at the lowest sustainable level for all students
  • Course fees are only payable on enrolment for each individual part, not before
  • The flexibility of Part One of the ICCA Bar Course allows you to work while you study
  • No fees are required for Part Two of the ICCA Bar Course unless and until you enrol on Part Two. You are not contractually bound to pay for Part Two if you do not enrol on Part Two.
  • Part Two flexible payment options are available
  • We do not require a deposit and we charge no administration fees.
  • The Inns provide over £6m of scholarships to GDL and Bar Course students (such scholarships are provided irrespective of where you choose to do your Bar training)
  • The ICCA provides a bursary scheme for students to assist with the Bar Course training fees.