The Application Process

Applying for the ICCA Bar Course

Applications for places on the ICCA Bar Course commencing in September 2025 and January 2026 open on 14 October 2024.

Applications for places on the ICCA Bar Course commencing in September 2024 and January 2025 are now closed.

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.

Fair Admissions

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.

Application Process

Applications for places on the ICCA Bar Course are by online application through a link which will be available on this page. 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.

If you intend to apply to the ICCA for course cycles (commencing September 2025 and later), you can register your interest here.

The Application Process

Applications for places on the ICCA Bar Course commencing in September 2025 and January 2026 open on 14 October 2024, 12pm and will remain open until Monday 13 January 2025, 12pm.

Applications for places on the ICCA Bar Course commencing in September 2024 and January 2025 are now closed.

In the online section of your application you will enter your personal details and degree/GDL grades (actual or predicted). References are not required for predicted grades, but all offers will be conditional on meeting our minimum academic entry requirements.

If you have already received your degree or GDL but have not achieved our minimum grades, 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 asked of you (during the last application window) together with the criteria we apply when assessing each candidate for shortlisting.

PLEASE NOTE: these criteria will be subject to change for the next application window commencing October 2024.

1. Motivation
Question:
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
Question:
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
Question:
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
Question:
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 outcome.
  • 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 an online selection day/evening 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.

Your invitation will be sent to your registered email address which will include all the information you require to book your selection day/evening appointment. Appointments are booked on a first-come-first-served basis. All the information you require for your advocacy exercise will be sent to you at least 24 hours before your booked appointment.

PLEASE NOTE: the criteria below will be subject to change for the next application window commencing in October 2024.

Criteria

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. These criteria are set out below:

Effective Communication
Criteria:

  • Is clear and understandable.
  • Structures communication to aid understanding.
  • Presents complex points simply and accurately.
  • Builds strong, logical arguments.
  • Adapts style and language to the needs of the audience.
  • Delivers arguments or views with confidence and impact.

Analysis
Criteria:

  • Effectively assimilates written or spoken information.
  • Distinguishes between relevant facts and irrelevant information so as to identify the real issues.
  • Provides justification for views or arguments advanced without making unwarranted assumptions.
  • Ability to identify and focus on achieving a solution to a given problem.

Motivation
Criteria:

  • Demonstrates motivation and commitment to qualifying as a barrister.
  • Identifies a personal key skill or attribute and why this would be useful in practice at the Bar.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the profession.

Judgment & Integrity
Criteria:

  • Demonstrates integrity.
  • Ability to make considered decisions and reach sensible conclusions.
  • Inspires trust and confidence.

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

Applications for places on the ICCA Bar Course commencing in September 2025 and January 2026 open on 14 October 2024, 12pm and will remain open until Monday 13 January 2025, 12pm.

Applications for places on the ICCA Bar Course commencing in September 2024 and January 2025 are now closed.

Key Dates (current appplications for January 2025 places)

  • Monday 13 May 2024, 12pm – Applications closed
  • Friday 24 May 2024 – Shortlisted candidates invited to attend an online selection day/evening appointment (you will choose your appointment via a link provided to you)
  • Week commencing 10 June 2024 – Online Selection Day appointments (advocacy exercise 10 minutes & interview 10 minutes) – evening and Saturday appointments will be available.
  • Wednesday 19 June 2024 – Notification of offers
  • Fri 28 June 2024 – Acceptance deadline.