The application process

The ICCA Bar Course applications process opens on 17 October 2022 until 6 January 2023 for course cycles commencing September 2023 and January 2024.

The ICCA invites applications from students 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 backgrounds.

Our application process is designed in line with the ICCA Fair Admissions Policy. This means that all candidates are measured against the same fair and transparent criteria. We do not take into account either the school or university you attended or your protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. All admissions assessors receive training in equality and diversity and unconscious bias avoidance.

Applications for places on the ICCA Bar Course are by online application through this website. Shortlisted candidates are then invited to a selection day/evening for a short advocacy exercise and interview.

You can read more below about each stage of the application process, including the criteria we apply in selecting candidates.

You can also register your interest here.

In this section you will enter your personal details and degree/GDL grades (actual or predicted). If you have not achieved our minimum grades in your law degree or GDL, you can apply for mitigating circumstances when completing this form. For more information go to: Entry Requirements.

During this online application you will also be asked 4 specific questions. We are not looking for the “finished article” but rather a candidate with the individual qualities to develop and succeed on the ICCA Bar Course and into the profession. Below we have set out those questions we ask of you together with the criteria we apply when assessing each candidate for shortlisting.

1. Motivation
Your reasons for wishing to qualify as a Barrister. Please include an experience you have had within a legal or non-legal environment which has influenced and informed your decision to train for the Bar and why. Please also include here why you feel the ICCA Bar Course model (comprising online learning in Part One and face-to-face teaching in Part Two) would suit your individual learning style, including the ability to work independently with limited tutor support on Part One.

Marking Criteria:

  • Reasons for wishing to qualify as a Barrister are considered and well thought out.
  • Justifies how the decision to train for the Bar has been influenced and informed.
  • Has a good understanding of the ICCA two-part Bar Course model and provides considered reasons why it would suit their individual learning preference, including the ability to work independently, with limited tutor support (Part One).

You must answer this question using a maximum of 2100 characters, including spaces. This equates to approximately 300 words.


2. Oral Communication Skills
Experience of public speaking where you have sought to persuade an audience to agree with the argument you were advancing. Please provide an example of public speaking to an audience and how you were able or not able to persuade your audience to your point of view. How were you able to use your oral communication skills to connect effectively with your audience?

Your example can be in a legal or non-legal field and could include (but is not limited to) a work-based presentation or an event at school or university where you have communicated with an audience individually or as part of a group on any subject, or taken part in a debate, mock trial or a moot. Please note that losing an argument is not in itself a negative indicator in our assessment of this part.

Marking Criteria:

  • Experience of public speaking to an audience.
  • Logical and considered explanation of how audience was persuaded (or not) to their point of view.
    NB Losing an argument does not in itself detract from the mark awarded.
  • Uses oral communication skills to connect effectively with an audience.

You must answer this question using a maximum of 1400 characters, including spaces. This equates to approximately 200 words.

3. Written Communication Skills
A well written, clearly structured, succinct and grammatically correct application.  Please provide an example of where you have impressed someone/a group with a piece of written work (which does not have to be legal). Your example could include, but is not limited to, persuading someone to your point of view, settling a dispute or gaining a prize in a competition.

Marking Criteria:

An application which is:

  • Well written;
  • Clearly structured;
  • Succinct;
  • Grammatically correct.
  • Demonstrates ability to impress audience with a piece of written work.

You must answer this question using a maximum of 1400 characters, including spaces. This equates to approximately 200 words.

4. Initiative and Determination
Please give one example of when you have shown initiative and determination to achieve a goal to a high standard, which required you to work round a problem or obstacle. This could be in a legal or non-legal context and could include, but is not limited to, overcoming a hurdle to achieve a desired outcome within a work, university, sporting or personal context.

 Marking Criteria:

  • Willing to take the initiative to achieve a desired
  • Demonstrates determination to achieve a goal.
  • Accepts responsibility to achieve that goal to a high standard;
  • Ability to work round a problem or obstacle.

You must answer this question using a maximum of 1400 characters, including spaces. This equates to approximately 200 words.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to meet us at a selection day where we will ask you to take part in an advocacy exercise (10 minutes) and an interview (10 minutes). You will also be invited to an introductory talk by the Dean of the ICCA, where you will be able to ask questions of current ICCA students and staff.

All candidates will receive information about their advocacy exercise at least 24 hours in advance of their booked appointment. Appointments are booked using an online platform on a first-come-first-served basis. We also hold selection appointments during several evenings and on a Saturday to allow everyone an opportunity to attend.

During the advocacy exercise we assess your skills of Effective Communication and Analysis. During your interview we assess your Motivation, Judgment & Integrity and Effective Communication.

After all shortlisted candidates have been seen at a selection day, offers to attend the ICCA Bar Course will be sent to successful candidates.

We hope to provide a timeframe for acceptance which allows candidates to have received notification about their scholarship application from their individual Inn of Court. Students who anticipate receiving notification after the acceptance deadline should contact us after receiving their ICCA Bar Course offer.

If additional places become available due to student deferrals or for other reasons, the ICCA may hold an additional application cycle in 2023.

Applications portal opens: 12pm Monday 17 October 2022

Applications portal closes: 12pm Friday 6 January 2022

In due course, details will be included here of the dates for shortlisting notification, selection days, offers and acceptance deadlines.